Archive for May, 2009

Come on Baby Light My Fire

May 31st, 2009


Fireknife Dancing

Did you know that a number of little kids are taking up fireknife dancing as an after-school activity?  Yes. You've gotta wonder  -- at what age is a child too young to play with fire!? Ok, these kids do it with adult supervision.  Our Sports Director, Johann Bouit, covered the 16th Annual World Championships held recently at Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie. This year's winner is Mikaele Olua, a former three-time world champion, who just turned 19.  His 17 year old cousin VJ (last year's winner), took second place. These young dancers already hold jobs at resorts.  Miakele works at the Fiafia Luau at the Marriot Hotel in Koolina and VJ is in Orlando, Florida. They've become role models for a group of very young competitors, about 30 dancers, all 17 and under, who competed this year in the Jr. Divisions.  The youngest champion is 9.  Another is 10 yet he's practiced fireknife dancing since the age of 2. Their parents believe the sport promotes good traits-- dedication, focus, perseverance, and athleticism -- all valuable qualities.  And of course this is all practiced under strict supervision.

For westerners this might be one of the most far afield after school activities one could imagine but Life is Good in the Pacific.  Give a kid a fireknife half his size, toss in a book of matches, he'll surely learn how to respect fire.  And the blade he twirls and hurls above his little forehead?  Don't sweat it.  He's trained to balance perfection with artistry even though he's only a small fry.   If you ask me this beats seeing local 9 year olds coming up thinking they're not good enough because they never learned that discipline helps us grow self esteem and that sense of achievement makes for strong confident young males.  And those young men become  good husbands and fathers.  I hope that across the Pacific we'll continue to see the preservation of these kinds of arts and cultural practices. We see too  many American kids wasting  their precious youth playing Grand Theft Auto, or smoking pakalolo in the halls, or bullying other kids and hanging out at malls doing nothing. They could do with some fireknife dancing.

So what's it cost to tool up?  Lots of chutzpah, coordination, some really understanding parents, and $155 for the flaming sword. Satisfaction level: priceless.

To view the entire story visit

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Hawaii's Regatta Paddling Season

May 25th, 2009


Hawaii's Regatta Paddling Season

Johann Bouit (, Sports Director) reports that this year's 2009 Regatta Season starts June 7th.  "OHCRA the Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association and other canoe racing associations around the state will be organizing regattas every Sunday, all summer long, at many of Hawaiiʻs famed beaches and water sports venues."

The season will culminate in state championships at Hilo Bay on August 1st.  Donʻt miss that event. It's an old style ohana fun atmosphere (remember when you were a kid) and good clean healthy activities during the entire regatta season.  This is definitely one of the reasons we all pay the high cost of living in our beautiful Islands and why I say that Life is Good doesn't mean you have to have a lot of kala.  No matter what's happening during this economy in living local you find the good life... if you make it happen.  

Outrigger Canoe Paddling is the stateʻs team sport and it perpetuates much more than just competitive ocean sports.  This is an activity that brings out the young and the young at heart and at its core are deeply valuable cultural lessons.  Under 12-year-old categories up to golden masters 60 years and above will be competing in 1/4 mile to 1/2 mile races.  As Johann reports, "Entire families from grandchildren to grandparents participate in the day's events."

 Donʻt miss out on the action this summer but if you do or you're new to this sport, visit Pacific Paddler TV at  featuring highlights of some Hawaiiʻs best regattas.  See you in the water!  

PS: Ok for those of us who have always wondered but never yet tried it -- in an outrigger canoe the paddlers sit in line, facing toward the bow of the canoe (i.e. forward, in the direction of travel, the opposite of rowing). The seats are numbered from 1 (closest to the bow) to the number of seats in the canoe, usually 6.  The steersman sits in the last seat of the canoe (usually 6th seat) and he/she is responsible for steering. The paddler sitting in seat 1 is the stroker and he/she is responsible for setting the pace of the strokes. The first two positions may also be responsible for steering maneuvers. Outrigger canoeing has grown from its roots in Hawaii and Polynesia to become a very popular water sport, with sporting and social clubs located around the world paddling on lakes in Italy to rivers in Europe and Africa. If you're game, there are plenty of people who can direct you to supporting the sport as spectators or jumping into the water and working those deltoids. 

This clip produced by Johann Bouit, for more visit Pacific Paddler TV at
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Bobby Puakea, Master Canoe Builder Pt 1

May 17th, 2009


"They gave me the name kahuna kalai wa'a but I kept saying I am not kahuna, I'm a kalai wa'a, a canoe builder."  Bobby Puakea is the son of a canoe builder. He teaches his craft and mentors young artists. It takes him three years to build a single va'a (outrigger canoe).  He is a generous elder who has shared his knowledge with many who are serious enough to dedicate their time and devotion.

For more  visit

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Joanne Kahanamoku - Artist, Voyager, 21st Century Woman

May 16th, 2009


Joanne Kahanamoku is a feather lei maker and cultural practitioner who speaks candidly.  Not sometimes, all the time.  Artist, voyager, and mentor to many,  she is a kupuna with the vivacity of a 21 year old. Niece of Duke Kahanamoku, Joanne carries her family lineage with pride.  She spoke with Pacific Network on a myriad topics including kids today, her art, and society's changing values.  Recipient of many honors, she participated in Hokulea's voyage to Tahiti and her point of view is uniquely Joanne Kahanamoku.  
 "In our time we were satisfied eating poi and corned beef or poi and fish and whatever we got from the land. We didn't have all that society is able now give to young children...They have to create another entity to bring back the positiveness and the culture itself (and ) embed this in the child.  If it wasn't for Hokulea, we would have never ever had that revival of our culture." For more visit
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2 Couture - Eric & Takeo Part I

May 15th, 2009


2 Couture - Eric & Takeo  Part I

Eric Chandler and Takeo Kobayashi  founded  "2 Couture" thirty years ago and since then their reputation for quality design has made them icons to many a beauty queen and belle of the ball.  Responsible for custom evening gowns that start at $5000, many girls participating in beauty pageants make a stop at 2 Couture. Actors and actresses also seek their advice as a management company that prepares talent for life in New York and Los Angeles and some of their clients have met with success in front of the camera in the fashion and television industries.  I spent a good twenty years+ in San Francisco and Los Angeles in front of the camera and would have appreciated having them as mentors to help me prepare for life in a highly competitive industry and living in a very quick paced urban metropolis.  Coming up for them is a huge unique event involving a long list of broadway performers (Broadway Babies). For info call 808 538 6690.

To view the entire segment please visit Pacific Network at

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