7 Hawaiian martial arts styles to consider learning

Finn Mitoma
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kajukenbo hawaiian martial arts

Martial arts have been a central part of many cultures around the world for centuries and have a long, rich history in Hawaii. The Hawaiian martial arts encompass a variety of styles and disciplines, each of which has unique characteristics, origins, and advantages. These martial arts have been adapted over the years to fit the needs of the Hawaiian people and are now practiced in many different forms. Many practitioners of Hawaiian martial arts view their disciplines as a way to build strength, coordination, overall health, self-discipline, and respect for one another.

This blog post will explore Hawaiian martial arts’ history, techniques, and benefits. We will look at the different martial arts styles practiced in Hawaii, the various forms of each style, and how these disciplines have been adapted over time to fit the needs of the Hawaiian people. Additionally, we will discuss the practical applications of Hawaiian martial arts and how they can be used to improve physical and mental health. Let’s get started.

1. Lua

Lua is one of the most popular Hawaiian martial arts and is known for its combination of striking, joint locks, throws, and weapons training. It is a highly effective and powerful form of self-defense and is renowned for its ability to quickly and accurately adapt to any situation. The movements and techniques of Lua are based on the principles of balance, pressure, and angles, which are central to its effectiveness. Lua practitioners learn to use their body weight to generate maximum power and to effectively defend against attacks. This combination of strikes, holds, throws, and weapons training makes Lua one of the most complete and adequate styles of Hawaiian martial arts.

2. Kapu Ku’ialua

The Kapu Ku’ialua is a combative art from the Hawaiian Islands which incorporates grappling, ground fighting, and striking. The techniques and strategies used in Kapu Ku’ialua have been passed down for centuries, and art has played a significant role in Hawaiian culture and history. The martial art form is believed to have originated from ancient warriors who used hand-to-hand combat skills to protect their land and families. Kapu Ku’ialua uses joint manipulation, throws, and sweeps to take down an opponent. It also incorporates strikes and kicks to defend oneself from an attacker. Kapu Ku’ialua can be used for self-defense, but it is also considered a sport practiced in competitions worldwide.

3. Kajukenbo

Kajukenbo is a Hawaiian self-defense system that combines martial arts from different styles, including Karate, Judo, Jujitsu, Kenpo, and boxing. It was created in 1947 in the Palama Settlement of Oahu, Hawaii, by a group of martial artists who wanted to create a system that could be used to defend against any attack. Kajukenbo is a highly effective self-defense system, and it has become famous throughout the world, especially in the United States. It emphasizes the use of punches, strikes, throws, locks, and ground fighting techniques and incorporates elements of meditation and philosophy. Kajukenbo is a powerful system of self-defense that can help you protect yourself in any situation.

4. Eskrima

The Hawaiian Islands are home to various martial arts, including the Filipino art of Eskrima. Eskrima, also known as Arnis or Kali, is a weapons-based martial art practiced for centuries. It involves training with sticks and knives and is characterized by its fast and powerful strikes. In addition, it also incorporates grappling and ground fighting techniques, making it a comprehensive martial art. Eskrima is an excellent way to gain self-defense skills and can also be used as a form of physical and mental exercise.

5. Hōkūle’a

Hōkūle’a is an ancient martial art from the Hawaiian islands which focuses on self-defense and spiritual growth. Hōkūle’a means “star path” and refers to the warrior’s journey to enlightenment. The martial art is based on ancient Hawaiian spiritual practices and combines breathing techniques and physical movements to achieve balance and harmony. The movements are taught through a series of forms and kata, which include punches, kicks, blocks, and strikes. Hōkūle’a also includes weapons training, such as staff and stick fighting. Additionally, practitioners of Hōkūle’a often practice meditation, visualization, and energy work to further their spiritual development.

7. Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a form of martial art with its roots in Thailand and is one of the most popular striking arts in the world. It focuses on punching, kicking, and grappling, causing maximum damage to an opponent. Muay Thai is known for its effectiveness in the ring and has been adopted by many other martial arts, such as Mixed Martial Arts, Krav Maga, and even kickboxing. In Hawaii, Muay Thai is a popular choice among martial arts enthusiasts, as its striking, grappling, and clinching make it a well-rounded and effective form of self-defense. Additionally, practitioners of Muay Thai in Hawaii often combine their training with other martial arts to improve their skills and make them well-rounded martial artists.

8. Jiu-Jitsu

Hawaiian martial arts are not just about fighting but also about self-defense, discipline, and physical fitness. One of the most popular Japanese martial arts of this type is Jiu-Jitsu. It is characterized by its emphasis on throws, joint locks, and ground fighting. Jiu-Jitsu teaches practitioners to use an opponent’s strength and energy against him, allowing a smaller person to defend himself against a larger opponent. It also teaches practitioners how to take a fall without getting hurt and to use joint locks and holds to restrain one’s opponent. Jiu-Jitsu is a great form of martial arts for people of all ages and sizes to learn.

All in all, Hawaiian martial arts is a robust and diverse form of self-defense that has been used for centuries. It is based on the ancient Hawaiian traditions and beliefs of respect, honor, and loyalty. It is a way for students to connect with their Hawaiian heritage and learn more about their culture. It also teaches important lessons about self-defense, discipline, and responsibility. Hawaiian martial arts is an excellent way to practice self-defense, stay healthy, and have fun.

Finn Mitoma

Founder @ The Combative

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