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DocKarate presents Kumu Michelle Manu

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Welcome to DocKarate, with Host Kancho Dan Vena and his Co-Host, Renshi Kyle Forrest. Tonight DocKarate presents Kumu Michelle Manu to the program. Michelle is well known for her accomplishments as a Senior Black Belt and teacher (Kumu) of the rarely seen ancient Hawaiian Martial Art, the Kaihewalu Lua. She is the only woman that has studied under Grand Master (Olohe) Solomon Kaihewalu in the last 35 years. To learn the Lua in ancient times, one would have to be of royal (ali’i) descent and of male gender. Therefore it is historic that Michelle has achieved such accomplishments as she is of mixed descent, was raised on mainland U.S., and is a woman. She is also noted to be the only woman in historic record to make Hawaiian Lua Koa (warrior) wood weaponry. For almost 10 years, Michelle toured the Midwest as a professional Polynesian Hula dancer and choreographer. She now teaches Hula and converts the Hula into the Lua. Lua was concealed in the Hula when the missionaries banned the fighting arts. It has never been exposed this way and the Hawaiian culture is still not ready to learn about the correlation. The Hawaiian Lua has always been considered forbidden (kapu). Islanders have either:  1) heard of it and believe it is cursed, to not even talk about it not to mention learn it; 2) heard of it and have never seen it; 3) seen some of it but don’t know much or how it was truly hidden in the Hula; and 4) heard Lua was concealed in the Hula but have no idea where or how. The islanders carry on the folklore through “talk story” but do not know anything more than that. Hula and Lua have always been kept separate when truly they are one in the same.

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