Posts Tagged ‘Team H.K.’

Cougar Pride – Three Kaiser High Grads Making a Difference

November 1, 2010

When it comes to careers, they have an old saying… “Do what you love and you never have to work a day in your life.” Most of us chug along through the day to day of life, wondering if there’s a better way. Personally, though I love my job, I often wonder if the folks in Major League Baseball are still out there looking for a mediocre-ly built, over-the-hill, talented (in-his-own-mind) right arm to be the next best thing in the bigs. And then I wake up.

A lucky few, however, are fortunate enough to find something they fall in love with and follow that path towards something they can make a career of. Below is the story of three such men.

Jody Kamisato – `Ukulele Hale

Jody Kamisato is the owner of Ukulele Hale, an ukulele school in Kaimuki that teaches students – from small kid time all the way up to our senior citizens – the art of our beautiful 4-stringed instrument.

Though we both knew of each other from our Kaiser High School/Hawaii Kai days, I think I actually first met Jody when I asked him to perform at an event I was putting together back in September (the inaugural Rice Fest). Not only was I impressed by the talent he showcased during his performance on stage (through his group Heart & Soul), but I was also taken aback by the way he mentored and encouraged his students before their performances.

Here’s an interview I had recently with Jody:


An Interview with Ukulele Hale’s Jody Kamisato

[Edward Sugimoto] When did you first pick up the `ukulele and how long was it before you fell in love?

[Jody Kamisato] Geez, I first picked it up in elementary school. So I went to Kamiloiki Elementary and in their Hawaiiana class, they offered ukulele. So that was my first time, and started taking lessons, and actually it wasn’t until high school that I got really into ukulele.

[Edward Sugimoto] Kaiser right?

[Jody Kamisato] Kaiser. *winks*

[Edward Sugimoto] That’s right!

[Jody Kamisato] Kaiser! *laughs*

[Edward Sugimoto] Kaiser baby! *laughs* At what point did you know it was the path for you?

[Jody Kamisato] Um, well actually Jake Shimabukuro from Pure Heart had come to do one of our assemblies at Kaiser, and he was in a group called Pure Heart along with Jon Yamasato who’s another Kaiser graduate… Um, but after that, I just you know, I saw what he did and I was just amazed at what the ukulele, you know, the possibilities of the ukulele. And just the way he played and the style that he played in really caught my attention, so I just called him up and I was like “Hey, can I sign up for lessons?” and so I did and a few years later he asked me to teach. He opened a school called Ukulele Academy in Hawaii Kai and so that’s where I kinda got my start from… was teaching at his studio.

[Edward Sugimoto] Do you draw from any positive experiences from some of your mentors from your past and apply them to your teaching methods today?

[Jody Kamisato] Absolutely. You know, I think one of the greatest gifts with music is the ability to share it. And so, some of my mentors, which included Peter Moon, Jake Shimabukuro, Troy Fernandez…You know these guys have really done so much with music and really taken it to, not just Hawaii, but outside of Hawaii so, they’ve gone international. And especially with Jake, and so, just from that, he’s really opened a lot of doors with music and with ukulele. So that’s what I want to try to do with our music… it’s to take it on another level and share it with people not just from Hawaii but around the world.

[Edward Sugimoto] And you have a business: Ukulele Hale. Talk to me about your keiki.

[Jody Kamisato] Alright, well, we have a school called Ukulele Hale in Kaimuki and I’d say a majority is students, is the keiki. You know we actually teach students of all ages and skill levels. So we start them… Our youngest is 3 and a half years old, and we also have senior classes as well. Right now we have about 170 students.


Kody Kiyokawa and Jody Kamisato jammin’ on the uke

NOTE: Kody Kiyokawa recently represented Ukulele Hale at the Duke’s Ukes contest and came home with a brand new Kamaka Ukulele after winning the Best Showmanship award.

[Edward Sugimoto] On top of being a teacher, you also have a group with Chris Salvador called Heart & Soul? Tell me a little bit about that.

[Jody Kamisato] I partnered up with a friend of mine, his name is Chris Salvador, and we call ourselves Heart & Soul, and we are actually in the recording studio now working on our debut album. We’re hoping to have it out, gee, in the next few weeks and actually have our CD release party in November. It’s set for November 21st. Chris and I just got back from touring Japan as well as New York. We participated in the New York Ukulele Festival, and also Japan has this event called the Ukulele Picnic which draws 10,000 ukulele fans. So it was an amazing experience and we just feel very blessed to follow our passion and play music.

Poster for Heart & Soul Debut CD Release Celebration (click to enlarge)
Poster for Heart & Soul Debut CD Release Celebration (click to enlarge)

[Edward Sugimoto] Where can we pick up the album when it’s ready?

[Jody Kamisato] It’ll be available on iTunes and definitely in music stores and book stores throughout Hawaii. Yeah, so go out and support local music. *laughs*

[Edward Sugimoto] You were mentioning that you guys tour a lot, you were in New York and you go all over the place. You were at the Rice Festival of course…

[Jody Kamisato] Rice Festival, yeah!

[Edward Sugimoto] … Where else can we find you guys going forward?

[Jody Kamisato] We’re definitely going to be performing more. Right now we’re focusing on the recording. Once that’s finished, we plan to do more steady gigs for the public. And definitely we’re actually planning a Japan tour this coming December. We’re going up for about a week and a half. It’s a Heart & Soul CD Japan Release Tour.

[Edward Sugimoto] That’s awesome.

[Jody Kamisato] Yeah, we’re excited.

[Edward Sugimoto] You’re all over social media. You wanna give some plugs out there to your various locations?

[Jody Kamisato] *laughs* Sure. Alright well you can come check us out on Facebook. Um, I just set it up recently. It’s uh facebook…

[Edward Sugimoto] *shows Jody his notes*

[Jody Kamisato] *laughs* facebook.com/jody.kamisato. Or you can visit us on Youtube. Just type in “Jody Kamisato”, “Ukulele Hale”, or “Heart & Soul”. And Twitter. I’m ukulele…

[Edward Sugimoto] jody

[Jody Kamisato] jody *laughs* Thanks Ed! @ukulelejody

[Edward Sugimoto] Cool. Good stuff.

[Jody Kamisato] Thanks a lot. Take care. Keep jammin’ the uke and live aloha. *shaka*

Ukulele Hale
Kaimuki Professional Building
1109 12th Avenue Suite 203
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816 (map)
(808) 258-7237
ukulelehale@gmail.com

George Kotaka – IKF Hawaii

George Kotaka is legend in karate. He is a 4th degree black belt with 30 years of training under that belt. He is the son of Chuzo Kotaka (a legend in his own right), the man responsible for bringing IKF (International Karate Federation) Karate to Hawaii. George is one of the main instructors for IKF Hawaii teaching students at dojos in Kamiloiki, Kailua, Kaneohe, Kapolei and the University areas.

My first memory of George was seeing him grow through the karate ranks right alongside of the rest of us. Under Sensei Kotaka (Chuzo), I was fortunate enough to earn my brown belt, and I remember little (at the time) George showing up at our dojo to train periodically. Eventually our paths crossed again while attending Kaiser High School.

George sat down with me during this recent interview:


An Interview with IKF Hawaii’s George Kotaka

[Edward Sugimoto] First of all, please introduce yourself George.

[George Kotaka] My name is George Kotaka, I’m 33 years old and I’ve been taking karate since I was 3 years old.

[Edward Sugimoto] Back in the day, your father (Chuzo Kotaka) was my sensei at IKF in Kahala. Is this where your interest in karate first came from?

[George Kotaka] My interest in karate began, like I said, when I was 3 years old, and my father actually didn’t really force me to take karate. He was just bringing me by the dojo and kinda like just like anything else, you know, where you’re introduced to it so often, after a while you just start to pick it up. I just was really kinda just drawn to karate. Never forced to start it.

[Edward Sugimoto] As the sensei’s son, did you feel any extra pressure to be better and perform well because your dad was the sensei?

[George Kotaka] Being the sensei’s son, I really didn’t feel any pressure at all. I always just went to practice, worked really hard, always had goals in mind that I wanted to achieve since I was young. Just, you know, just like short term goals in the beginning and then later on, fulfilling my long term goals, but never had the pressure because I always just knew that if I just relied on my training and my skill, you know, good things would come about.

[Edward Sugimoto] Lyoto Machida of the UFC, he became the Light Heavyweight Champion a while ago (UFC 98 on May 23rd, 2009) and probably burst karate into the mainstream. Did you kinda feel that karate/”Lyoto Effect” in your studios/dojos?

[George Kotaka] I would say there was a little bit of an affect from the UFC fight where Lyoto won the UFC title. We saw a little bit of an influx of students inquiring about karate, interested in martial arts, especially the traditional martial arts. He comes from a traditional Japanese background, his style is called Shotokan, and it’s a very very popular, I would say one of the four major styles of karate in Japan. So I would say there was a little bit of an influx of students when that happened.


George Kotaka knocks out opponent (from shotokan68’s channel)

NOTE: George does not endorse this clip (a popular video on Youtube with over 29,851 views) and was frankly quite embarrassed of it when I brought it up. I snuck it in here just to give you a glimpse at what George’s karate is capable of.

[Edward Sugimoto] What inspired you to take the next step and become an instructor?

[George Kotaka] I always was intrigued and motivated to be an instructor, to be a teacher. Ever since I was about 14 or 15 years old, I began helping my sister at one of the local karate classes and being kind of like a junior assistant or junior leader and from since that time on, I was really just drawn to teaching, I always liked working with other people. So even after the competition aspect, I could always rely on going back to teaching and falling back to that background.

[Edward Sugimoto] You mentioned your competition background. You’re pretty much a karate legend here and around the country. What do you have in store going forward?

[George Kotaka] Most importantly right now, after retiring from competition in 2008, is just to really work on my students and giving back to the dojo and going back to that teaching. Whether it’s producing the next state champion, national champion, Pan-American PKF Champion or even world champion, that would just be great. I just want to produce quality students most importantly. They don’t have to be champions. If that comes along that would be great but overall I just want my students to be good mannered students, have good morals and ethics and really go by the karate way.


George Kotaka Highlights (from CHAMPOFFICIAL’s channel)

NOTE: This clip I found on Youtube is probably a better representation of what George is all about (as opposed to the previous one). Check it.

[Edward Sugimoto] Cool, thank you very much.

[George Kotaka] OK, thanks.

IKF Hawaii – Main Office
7231 Nuulolo Street
Honolulu, HI 96825
(Click here for individual dojo locations/information)
(808) 395-1774
ikfkotaka@yahoo.com

Todd Tanaka – Team HK

Todd Tanaka holds a black belt under the prestigious Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu system. He is the owner and head instructor of the Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Team HK team, with locations in the University area, Kaimuki and Lutherville-Timonium in Maryland. He teaches the art of jiu jitsu and self defense to keiki (ages 5-13) and adults of all ages. He (along with George above) also just started a women’s cardio kickboxing class on Sunday nights (5:30pm-6:30pm).

Of the three, I probably knew Todd the best during high school. We ran in similar groups and hung out at some of the same places. Todd helped me land my first “celebrity” interview with his good friend Jason “Mayhem” Miller and even let me train at his dojo for a little while.

Here’s Todd and I catching up in this recent interview:


An Interview with Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Team HK’s Todd Tanaka

[Edward Sugimoto] Please introduce yourself.

[Todd Tanaka] Hi I’m Todd Tanaka and I’m the head instructor and owner of Relson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Team HK.

[Edward Sugimoto] Long before the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)/Jiu Jitsu explosion, you were training with Relson Gracie before anyone knew what it was. How long ago did you start training in the art of jiu jitsu and why did you first start?

[Todd Tanaka] I started in 1990 and I was in, I believe, 8th grade. That’s when (Jean Claude) Van Damme and Steven Seagal was all popular, and me and my friends John and Jared wanted to take a martial art because of the popularity of the martial arts. We were thinking about taking like kickboxing, aikido and stuff and Jared’s father suggested that we go with him to this jiu jitsu class, Brazilian jiu jitsu classes, and we were like, “What is that?” We had no idea. And the dad was like just come down and see if you like it. So we went down, met Relson, started taking the classes from there, and we fell in love with it from day 1.

[Edward Sugimoto] What inspired you to take the next step and become an instructor?

[Todd Tanaka] Well after the UFC started (1993), a lot of my friends wanted to learn and they’d always see me at the weight room and ask me to teach them and I was like “Man, sounds like a good deal.” You know, I could use the side cash so I asked Relson “Eh, can I start teaching?” and he said, “Well I want you to take an instructor program from my brother.” So he flew me up to his brother Rorion’s school in Torrance California, which Royce Gracie was there at the time and the dad (Helio)… And I stayed there, I took their instructor program, and I came back and I helped Relson open his new school in Kaimuki. And that’s pretty much how it all started for me in teaching.

[Edward Sugimoto] Talk to me about your kids. What brings you the most joy when you teach them?

[Todd Tanaka] The most joy is probably just seeing the smiles on their face and seeing how they really like it when they actually do the move correctly.

Todd Tanaka watching over his students
Todd Tanaka watching over his students

[Edward Sugimoto] Do you have an opinion or any comments to those who feel jiu jitsu is dangerous for young kids?

[Todd Tanaka] Yes. You take a risk in any sport… You do… but they have to understand that jiu jitsu and MMA is totally different things. I don’t teach my students to fight. I teach them to defend themselves, self defense, you know. And, you know, if you go in there and you think that jiu jitsu is all about fighting, then yeah, you’re gonna have that perception, but I’m gonna let you guys know that the Relson Gracie jiu jitsu system is about self defense and not fighting.

[Edward Sugimoto] What about personal goals? You received your black belt in July of last year? Anything else in store?

[Todd Tanaka] Um, well, I’m just gonna keep training. I currently just opened two other schools this past year. I have a branch in Kaimuki, and I opened one with another Kaiser classmate/alumni Stuart Ramos. He opened a school under me in (Lutherville-) Timonium, Maryland. Hopefully I dunno, maybe my schools can start growing.


Relson Gracie Promotes Todd Tanaka to Black Belt (from GracieTeamHK’s channel)

[Edward Sugimoto] How about any professional fighting for you at some point?

[Todd Tanaka] *laughs* No, I’m too small and old for that.

[Edward Sugimoto] Finally, you’re big into social media. Do you find that it helps a lot?

[Todd Tanaka] Yes. I can’t remember where I heard this, and I’ve always been using this for years… It’s not who you know, it’s about who knows you. So I’ve always put myself out there. You know, they say there’s no such thing as bad publicity right? Everything’s good publicity, so whatever I do, I put myself out there, I’m easy to find. *smiles*

[Edward Sugimoto] Why don’t we do some plugging of some of those web sites?

[Todd Tanaka] Alright, I got my web site: ToddTanaka.com, and I have my jiu jitsu web site: TeamHK.net, I have my Facebook: facebook.com/toddktanaka, I have Twitter: twitter.com/toddtanaka, Youtube: youtube.com/gracieteamhk, and, man, I got a couple others but I can’t remember all of them right now. *laughs*

[Edward Sugimoto] Alright cool, thanks a bunch Todd!

[Todd Tanaka] Thank you!

Team HK
(Click here for individual dojo locations/information)
(808) 277-1128
todd@teamhk.net

Three great individuals doing great things in their respective communities… who, oh-by-the-way, all happen to be graduates from my proud Alma mater of Henry J. Kaiser High School. They have found a way to follow their passion and find a career doing something that they absolutely love.

I guess you can say they never have to work a day in their lives…

Movies In My Pants (#moviesinmypants)

November 1, 2010

Happy November 1st y’all! I hope you’re all recovered from a lonnnng weekend of Halloween partying. *grin*

So the other day on Twitter, the hilarious #moviesinmypants hashtag picked up a lot of steam. It’s a funny game that cracked me up and made me think about you guys. The idea is to think of a movie name and fill in the blank for the following statement:

__________ In My Pants

The more creative you get with the movie titles, the more we’ll crack each other up. Yes it’s juvenile… but what the hey, it’s a good way to help each other get through this Monday together right? LOL!

So in the comment area below, post your favorite movie in your pants! Hurr’s an example: “40 Year Old Virgin In My Pants”… Ahahaha! Get um?

In other news, check out my new article (including videos!) on AroundHawaii.com:

Cougar Pride - Three Kaiser High Grads Making a Difference
Cougar Pride – Three Kaiser High Grads Making a Difference

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Fave Friday – Weekend Activities

April 30, 2010

So this weekend for me, as it is for most of us I’m sure, is a pretty hectic one. Here’s just a snippet of what’s goin’ down (down down down down) in one day:

* 6AM – Since tomorrow lands on the 1st of the month, I will be going in early to work to take care of some of our monthly updates for our web presences.
* 8AM – Back home to sleep (but, in reality, probably not)
* 10AM-ish – Head to Sears to get a part for our dryer
* 11AM-ish – I really shouldn’t, but I might want to take a peek at the new Droid Incredible by HTC (if I didn’t already buy it by the time this post goes live *evil grin*), which was just released to the public yesterday.
* 1PM – Meeting with Broker to discuss some options for my Real Estate license.
* 3PM – UH Baseball game (possibly) See note below for FREE tickets!
* 6PM – Was asked by a friend to cover the Galaxy MMA event at the Blaisdell (see details at bottom).
* 9PM-ish – Out with some friends after (possibly)

Some of these are chores/errands, some are for fun. Some is for work, some personal… Ideally, the weekends are supposed to be used to relax, but it never seems to work out that way yeah? So hurr’s our Fave Friday topic for this week:

If you could do anything you wanted
for an entire weekend,
what would you do and why?

I would probably just relax at home in my underwear and eat pizza and watch TV all day. TMI? Haha, nah, nah, das gross! I would probably just want to take a neighbor island trip with wifey and simply unwind. Turn off the cell phone, sit on the beach, eat good grindz, and just chill. Those Corona commercials on the beach always make me jealous! Lottery, where are you? 😛

So what about you? What would you do?

Galaxy MMA Event

Galaxy MMA - Worlds Collide Poster
Galaxy MMA – Worlds Collide Poster

WHO: (Main Event): Scott Junk vs Fabiano Scherner, (Co-main Event): Tyson Nam vs Keola Silva, (Plus Pro Bouts): Brennan Kamaka vs Preston ‘Bruski’ Louis, Roderick ‘RJ’ Richter vs Eldon ‘Sale’ Sproat, (Lightweight Grand Prix Tournament): Clay Lewis Jr. vs Steve Gable, Jenzen Espanto vs Kristopher Kyle, Kyle Ka`ahanui vs Jose Salgado, Harris Sarmiento vs Chris Yee, (Amateur Bouts): Ryan Clay vs Chris Templo, Markus Kindblad vs Evan Lowther, Zack Pang vs Kimo Sanders
WHAT: Galaxy MMA’s inaugural event: Worlds Collide
WHEN: Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 6PM (doors open at 5PM)
WHERE: Blaisdell Arena
WHY: Why not?


Galaxy MMA Trailer

Local boy Junk and Brazilian Scherner have both competed in the UFC and have something to prove in the main event.

For the Co-Main Event, although I love Tyson Nam’s fighting style, I gotta pull for Keola Silva. Ola was our resident wrestling expert when I was training stand-up at HMC, and an overall good guy. Here’s some info about him, as told by a couple of his peers:

“He is a school teacher and a coach for wrestling at Kamehameha High school…he also dedicates a lot of time to teaching a wrestling class out of HMC and was there this week to teach even though he has his fight coming up…Ola is the kind of guy that puts himself and everything on the side to help out his students and friends…”
– Kevin Yoshida (HMC owner/sensei)

“Ola has the innate ability to simplify the most complex wrestling moves so that even a person who has NO wrestling experience will understand. His talent does not only lie within his coaching, though. He can speak Hawaiian, has weekly music gigs at Blue Ocean Thai, and recently received his blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Leandro Nyza. Overall, he’s just an awesome person to know and an even better training partner. He proves to you that you can turn your “can’ts” into “cans.” If can, can. If no can, you still can!”
– Lea Young (fellow HMC student)

Keola Silva
Keola Silva

Can’t forget to also send some love to my high school classmate Todd Tanaka and his school Team HK, who will have two fighters (Zack Pang and Chris Templo) represented in the amateur bouts. Templo will actually be fighting HMC’s Ryan Clay. Shmall kine torn on that one. 😉

Anyway, good luck to all fighters and, most importantly, be safe.

FREE UH Baseball Tickets!

UH fans! Let me know if you want FREE baseball tickets to this weekend’s games against Nevada. I got 4 for tonight’s game (2 winners) and 36 for tomorrow’s game (18 winners). Holla!

* Friday, April 30, 2010 @ 6:35PM – Hawaii vs. Nevada
* Saturday, May 1, 2010 @ 3:05PM – Hawaii vs. Nevada (Doubleheader)

Have a great weekend gang and don’t forget to post your response below to this week’s Fave Friday topic! Shooooots!

Monkeying Around with Jason “Mayhem” Miller

March 1, 2009

Jason “Mayhem” Miller and I have been “friends” on MySpace for years, but he probably had no idea. Sure, we’ve traded a few emails about him possibly becoming an AroundHawaii columnist one day, but that was way back in the day. You know, before he really became the Mayhem we all know and love today.

Jason "Mayhem" Miller posing during a match in Japan's Dream tournament (photo courtesy of Mayhem's Myspace)
Jason “Mayhem” Miller posing during a match in Japan’s Dream tournament (photo courtesy of Mayhem’s Myspace)

Who the heck is Mayhem you ask? The question really should be who Mayhem isn’t ’cause he’s just about everything you can think of in a real life action figure. He’s part wrecking machine (a sick professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter), part comedian (one of the funniest, off-da-wall guys you’ll ever meet), part Hollywood (gots more personality than a WWE wrestler), and part geek (loves him some video games).

Mayhem on Xbox Live (photo courtesy of Mayhem's Myspace)
Mayhem on Xbox Live (photo courtesy of Mayhem’s Myspace)

Mayhem’s humble beginnings started back in June of ’03 (well, at least it did for us Hawaii MMA fans) where he beat Jay Buck at the SuperBrawl 30 – Collision Course event. He followed that up with successive wins against Sean “Tornado” Taylor, and local favorites Egan Inoue and Ronald Jhun. By this point, us Hawaii peeps started taking notice. His ring entrances were magic and his post fight interviews even better. Hawaii had no choice but to fall in love with this charismatic S.O.B. (wassup Anuhea! 🙂 )

Then it was off for a brief stint in the UFC before returning for more fights in the islands under the Icon name. And then… it happened…

KABOOM!

The world of MMA pretty much exploded into the mainstream phenomenon it is today, and, along with it, “our” beloved Mayhem. He’s now got numerous sponsors, is pretty much the face of HDNet Fights, writes regularly for FIGHT! Magazine, appears on a segment called Mayhem Mondays on Jason Ellis’ Sirius Satellite Radio show, is a favorite for all MMA related magazine and TV show interviews, and even has a worldwide cult following called the Mayhem Monkeys.

Mayhem Monkeys cult leader (photo courtesy of Mayhem's Myspace)
Mayhem Monkeys cult leader (photo courtesy of Mayhem’s Myspace)

In preparation for this interview, I tried to “osmosisize” as much Mayhem info as I could. I knew it was going to be a wild ride as I’ve seen him wreak havoc (in a good way) on TV shows many times before. I was going in with the mindset that my questions would simply be the footnotes to the show that would be Mayhem. That’s pretty much how it all went down yo. Enjoy!

Edward Sugimoto) For those who aren’t in the know, please give a little background on who Jason “Mayhem” Miller is and what makes him tick.

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Aw c’mon that’s the easiest question ever! What do you mean describe who I am? By the end of this interview, if you don’t know who I am… then you’re not reading. So if you read this… if people read this, well Bob’s your uncle.

Edward Sugimoto) (persists) OK, so for those non readers and non-MMA fans out there then, who the heck is Mayhem?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) NO! I’m not going to answer that. Mayhem is Mayhem. If you don’t figure it out by the end of this interview, either you didn’t give a good enough interview, or the person did not read well. You’re gonna figure it out over the course of this magical journey.

Edward Sugimoto) Who are the Mayhem Monkeys?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Mayhem Monkeys are a cult. Like any other cult we do whatever it takes to further our agenda and, on a daily basis, we’re furthering our agenda.

Edward Sugimoto) And it got started on the Internet?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) No, they got started in my backyard when I was 16.

Edward Sugimoto) Is it true that you used to be a computer geek growing up?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) I am still a computer geek to the fullest. I just switched over to a Mac and I think that anybody who doesn’t switch over to Mac is pretty much a retard and should not be allowed to breed. And I say that with every drop of my soul involved because Mac is so much easier and it doesn’t crash half as much and when it does crash it comes back to life normally. And they have service that is light years above and beyond that of the PC… the call centers in India where they don’t even speak English well and they’re just faking like they do and they say their name is “Ted” but they’re name isn’t “Ted.” Their name is some varied Indian name but they can’t say that so they gotta pretend that and say they’re in Indiana but they’re not! They’re in Mumbai.

Edward Sugimoto) So I take it you’re sponsored by Mac?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) No! I wish! If Mac would come though, I would gladly… uh… You know what? I would even do it for just some new computers. Some Macbooks and new uh… I want one of those Airs, but I can’t justify spending that much money when I can’t even put a CD in that thing.

Edward Sugimoto) How did you go from being a computer geek to punching people in the face?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) I’m still a computer geek. I never left. I just punch people in the face. It’s the same thing dude. Fighting is the same as anything else. You figure out a system to win, and you try to win, you know what I mean. Life is just one big video game. If you figure it out, you try to find the best skills to do whatever you need to do well then Bob is your uncle you figure it out.

Mayhem victorious (photo courtesy of Mayhem's Myspace)
Mayhem victorious (photo courtesy of Mayhem’s Myspace)

Edward Sugimoto) What’s a typical day in the life of Mayhem like?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Usually wake up, go for a run, eat an egg white omelette, cruise MySpace, go on Facebook, go box, eat lunch, try to pick up chicks, go back to training again, at night, kickbox or jiu jitsu or something, try to pick up chicks, write my article for Fight Magazine, go to sleep and do it again.

Edward Sugimoto) You’ve always given props to your Hawaii fans. What is it about them that you vibe on?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) What do you mean? Hawaii is like my home. Hawaii is like my hometown, you know, so what the hell, like I can’t really turn my back on the whole deal, just because I’m living on the mainland trying to make a bunch of money being a TV star, beating people up in the mainland and in Japan. You can’t just turn your back on your family you know. Believe me I tried because my family is out of their goddamn minds.

Edward Sugimoto) OK, we won’t put that in there.

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) NO! Put that part in. I don’t care. My family knows they’re all out of their damn minds. My dad’s crazy, my mom’s crazy, my sister’s crazy. And that’s all I got in this world. That and Hawaii.

Edward Sugimoto) Your ring entrances are legendary…

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Legend!

Edward Sugimoto) How do you come up with it? Where does it come from? Why do you do it?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) What I do is an art, an art form. That’s just part of the art, the expression, so, I do it.

One of Mayhem's many "artistic" ring entrances (photo courtesy of Mayhem's Myspace)
One of Mayhem’s many “artistic” ring entrances (photo courtesy of Mayhem’s Myspace)

Edward Sugimoto) It’s not to intimidate the opponent?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Why? It’s for me, it’s for the fun. I only get to be magic for one night in the fight world so I’m gonna make the most of it you know. Everyone’s paying attention so, you know, I try to express myself in other ways than punching the guy, kicking the guy, and choking the guy.

Edward Sugimoto) You’ve got two pretty good badges of honor (your cauliflower ears). I’m jealous.

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Badges of honor? They’re an annoyance.

Mayhem's cauliflower ears (photo courtesy of Mayhem's Myspace)
Mayhem’s cauliflower ears (photo courtesy of Mayhem’s Myspace)

Edward Sugimoto) Be honest, it helps you with the ladies doesn’t it?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Yeah, if they know what it is. If not, they think I’m retarded. You know, whatever. I was just too lazy to wear a headgear honestly. And then I got the ear and then the doctor said to wear the headgear and I just never wore it, so you know, it’s nothing special. I wish that I didn’t make my mama cry. She stopped drinking for 9 months so that I wouldn’t be retarded, and I still ended up retarded.

Edward Sugimoto) What was up with that sudden retirement? Were you seriously just done with it all?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Yeah, I never was retired, I said retarded. Yeah and then everybody thought I said retired so I just rolled with it and said yeah, I’m retired and just agreed with everyone. So, I dunno, I just didn’t have any fights scheduled so I said whatever you know.

Edward Sugimoto) You’re next fight is against tough guy Kala Kolohe Hose on April 18th. Are you ready to go?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) I’m ready to do it right now… in the parking lot… on University at Team H.K. I’m ready to do it right now in the parking lot, but whatever, I’ll wait, you know. I’ll wait and train even more.

Kingdom MMA Mayhem vs. Kala poster (poster courtesy KingdomMMA.com)
Kingdom MMA Mayhem vs. Kala poster (poster courtesy KingdomMMA.com)

Edward Sugimoto) You also have a new reality show coming out on MTV this month called “Bully Beat Down.” Let’s talk about that.

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) What do you want to talk about?

Edward Sugimoto) You know, what it’s all about, what’s the premise, that kinda thing.

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) The premise is, you know there’s bullies all over the globe. I step to the bully and offer ’em 10 Gs to step in the cage against one of my fighters. Now, more often than not, they agree to do it AND they get their ass kicked… and we all have a good laugh.

Edward Sugimoto) Good for TV right?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Dude, it’s TV platinum. It’s not even TV gold, it’s TV platinum. I’m taking it to the next level.

Edward Sugimoto) I expect global notoriety and worldwide domination after that. You?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) It’s already there. I’m just getting out to a different demographic now. I’m getting out to the MTV generation of retards.

Edward Sugimoto) Anything else you ‘d like to say to your Monkeys out there?

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) They already know. Yeah, they’re in the know. I don’t need your web site to tell ’em.

Edward Sugimoto) *laughs* Ouch!

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) No offense. *smirks*

Edward Sugimoto) Alright, thanks a lot man.

Jason “Mayhem” Miller) Yeah of course. My pleasure.

Probably one of my most adventurous interviews yet. I knew going in that I would be laughing my butt off, but I didn’t think it would be after every single question. Though he’s pretty intense and intimidating at first (perhaps it was because I met him right before some serious training?), he’s got a likable way about him that makes you feel comfortable as well. It was almost as if it were just two friends shooting the breeze one evening. Well, MySpace friends at least…

Mayhem flashin' the shaka
Mayhem flashin’ the shaka

(Would like to send a special shout out to Todd Tanaka of Team HK for setting things up and letting us use your dojo for the interview. Mahaloz also to the students there for letting me sit in and watch you guys train. Lastly, mad props to Jason “Mayhem” Miller for the time. Good luck in your upcoming fight and TV show).

http://www.myspace.com/mayhemmiller