Posts Tagged ‘UFC’

Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 18, 2012

July 18, 2012

Ummm… Ooohhhkay, so I took a shmall kine hiatus from this blog for the last couple weeks. Did anyone even reconotice? ๐Ÿ˜› But actually July 4th was one holiday so technically, I only took one week off.

In any case, I apologize if you guys were just dying without your WIH Wednesday fix. Probably all four of you: mom, dad, wifey and bebe (if she could read). Actually, I don’t even know if any of them check this blog out. Sad no? Haha! Anyway, let’s get on with this week’s pics!

Photo #1
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - July 18, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 18, 2012

Points for Photo #1…
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* First names of the two shadows in the reflection: 3 points each
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #2
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - July 18, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 18, 2012

Points for Photo #2…
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* First names of the peeps in the pic: 3 points each
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Photo #3
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? - July 18, 2012
Where In the Hawaii is Edward Sugimoto? – July 18, 2012

Points for Photo #3…
* Location: 2 points
* General area: 1 point
* Island: 2 points
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points
* Name of the bruddah on the sign: 2 points
* Name of the guy he’s fighting next: 3 points
* Which UFC Card and when?: 5 points
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points

Last Time’s Results (6/27)
Points for Photo #1
* Location: 2 points (Wakiki Beach Walk – carokun)
* General area: 1 point (Waikiki – carokun)
* Closest street(s)?: 1 point each (Kalakaua Ave – carokun, Lewers St – Paco)
* Google Street View link (if get)?: 2 points (Paco)
* Name each merchant here: 1 point each (Oasis, Ruth Chris, Yard house, ABC store, Folli Follie, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Crazy Shirts – Paco, Coffe Bean and Tea Leaf, Giovanni Pastrami – pink lady, Na Hoku, Island Heritage, Honolua Surf, Quiksiver, Wyland Galleries, Island Pearls, Malibu Shirts, Peter Lik Gallery, Alter Ego, Subway, Mahina, Coco Cove, Roy’s Waikiki, UPS Store, Kaiwa Waikiki, Prime Jewelry, Hawaiian Quilt Collection, Under the Koa Tree – Coconut Willy)
* Month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the month photo was taken?: 1 point
* Day of the week photo was taken?: 1 point
* Year photo was taken?: 1 point
* Exact time photo was taken?: 5 points
Totals This Week

  • 4 points – carokun
  • 10 points – Paco
  • 2 points – pink lady
  • 18 points – Coconut Willy
Round 7 Leadahz

  • 29.0 – Paco
  • 28.0 – Coconut Willy
  • 19.0 – carokun
  • 17.0 – rayboyjr
  • 07.0 – pink lady
  • 04.0 – J-Dog, soogs
  • 03.0 – Ynaku
  • 02.0 – pink lady, che
[Da Leadahboard]

WAR SAGE!

This Saturday (Friday Hawaii time), Hawaii’s own Sage Yoshida will be representing us at the “Deep – Tokyo Impact 2012” (alternate link) event at Differ Ariake Arena in Tokyo Japan, as he takes on MMA legend Akihiro Gono in a shoot boxing (rules) match. (Story 1) (Story 2)

I used to train with Sage at HMC Academy where his father Kevin (the co-founder of the school) would coach. Sage was the most humble and kindhearted guy you would ever meet, but when it came down to train and spar, bruddah was a beast! You could just see that fire in his eyes!

Here’s a picture of Sage and his dad Kevin on the flight to Japan and his caption from Instagram. Best of luck bruddah Sage. We are all pulling for you and know you will do us proud! WWE `ohana, please help me send some good vibes to him and his dad during this exciting time in their lives.

Sage and Kevin Yoshida on the plane to Deep - Tokyo Impact in Japan
Sage and Kevin Yoshida on the plane to Deep – Tokyo Impact in Japan

“On our way to Japan! Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me, loved me, and pushed me through this throughout my lifetime. I feel so humbled by what everyone had done for me to help me accomplish one of the aspirations and goals I have dreamed about since I was a kid! I’ll be home soon too baby @mmhx3, just gotta do my best to hopefully get that win first ๐Ÿ™‚ Love all you guys, God bless ! @kickboxerx5 #ThankYouJesus #Japan #ShootBoxing #DefendHawaii #WorkHardToWin #Humbled”


VH07V SPOTTED!

This week’s “Spotted” shot for VH07V is a pic a friend took of some folks attending the “I Love Kailua” Town Party back in April.

VH07V got its shirt popped at the 'I Love Kailua' Town Party
VH07V got its shirt popped at the “I Love Kailua” Town Party

Weekly VH07V T-Shirt Updates!

Put in another “replenishing” order of over 200 “fill-in” pieces for existing VH07V stock in addition to a new color combo. Stay tuned for that. Will also be looking into expanding into different styles/designs. More to come!

Aside from that, business has been picking up some MAYJAH steam (Mahalos for all of your support). I’ve been grabbing at least 50 pieces pretty regularly from storage every weekend while the other weekend had me going for 70+! Eek!

Where/When you can find VH07V in the coming weeks:

  • 09/15/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. Lamar. Stop by and say hi.
  • 09/22/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 4:30pm game vs. Nevada. Stop by and say hi.
  • 09/29/12: 3rd Annual Rice Fest – As a sponsor of the event, VH07V will also have a booth at this year’s Rice Fest where we will sell all of our VH07V shirts in addition to the custom event shirt! Come on down to the Ward Warehouse complex to visit our booth any time from 11am-7pm.
  • 10/13/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. New Mexico. Stop by and say hi.
  • 10/19/12-10/21/12: 48th Annual Food & New Products Show – Get your Christmas shopping done at the Blaisdell all weekend! Come visit us at our booth for a free gift!
  • 11/10/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 2pm game vs. Boise State. Stop by and say hi.
  • 11/24/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. UNLV. Stop by and say hi.
  • 12/01/12: University of Hawaii Football game – Will likely be tailgating along the main walkway leading up to Aloha Stadium prior to the 6pm game vs. South Alabama. Stop by and say hi.

See you there!

As always, a big mahalos to everyone for your support and for helping to spread the VH07V! 8)

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Have a happy VH07V Wednesday y’all! Shoooots!

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Green River… Wea You Stay?

April 19, 2012

Yesterday, the brother-in-law told me he’s on a mission to find restaurants that still serve Green River so that he can reminisce back to the days when he used to drink it at Jolly Roger… I told him that I knew that Meg’s Drive In had it and I think Sekiya’s might still have it, but didn’t know of any place else. So I posted the question out to Facebook and Twitter and collected a few more locales, but I wanted to throw it out to my homeys on WWE as well to see if you guys had any suggestions as to where else he can go to stir up some nostalgia.

So wot? Where can the BIL get his Green River fix?

Green River drink from Megs Drive In (Photo Courtesy: Channel808.tv)
Green River drink from Megs Drive In (Photo Courtesy: Channel808.tv)

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Weekly VH07V T-Shirt Update!

Made a run to Fischer after work yesterday and picked up most of my supplies for my VH07V booth at the 2012 Hawaii Ocean Expo. Got rope, plexi frames, a waste bag for money, receipt books, etc. That place get choke kine stuffs!

After work today and/or tomorrow, I’m supposed to pick up the finished shirts, hats and stickers from three different vendors. Just in the knick of time… Well, hopefully!

As if I didn’t mention this enough awwwredde, the Hawaii Ocean Expo will be at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall this Saturday, April 21st from 9am-7:30pm and Sunday, April 22nd from 9am-5pm. Hope to see y’all there! :)

This week’s “Spotted” shot for VH07V is of my buddy Rich Hollis from the UFC, during his vacation here in Hawaii. He is joined by Amanda and Jessica. Mahalos for spreading the VH07V love!

Amanda, Rich & Jessica
Amanda, Rich & Jessica

Shoooooooots!

How Remote DVR Saved My Life

October 28, 2011

OK, so the story I’m about to share is not as dramatic as my title suggests, but let’s be honest… for many of us TV fanatics, forgetting to set our DVR to record our favorite show(s) often does seem like life or death.

Let’s take a few steps back and talk about what Remote DVR is. In fact, maybe I should moonwalk a little further and talk about what DVR itself is because, believe it or not, I still get asked this question on the regular.

DVR, which stands for Digital Video Recorder, is the greatest thing since sliced bread. And I’m not just saying that because I work for the company. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It’s basically a smarter, “nu skool”-ier version of the beloved VHS recorder. Instead of using tapes like the VHS, it uses an internal hard drive (like a computer). And instead of relying on you and your fading memory (let’s face it, we’re getting old) to check the guide in the daily paper and set your recordings manually, the DVR automatically syncs to the on-screen guide through which you can set all of your recordings. You can even set it to record a whole series of shows, adjust start and end times, and much more!

Remote DVR, which was recently launched here in the Hawaii market, takes this convenience to the next level. Thanks to the power of the Interwebs, you can now log in to http://dvr.timewarnercable.com (using TimeWarnerCable.com’s MyServices portal) from any Internet connected device, and manage your DVR recordings even when you aren’t home.

How Remote DVR Saved My Life

For Apple iPad users, you can leverage the power of our uber popular TWCable TV iPad App to similarly manage your DVR recordings. As a new father, I’ve found this service particularly useful & convenient because once baby goes to bed, the wife mandates that the TV be off. Not a problem. If I forgot to set a recording, I’ll just whip out my trusty iPad…

How Remote DVR Saved My LifeTWCable TV App on the iPad

fire up the TWCable TV app…

How Remote DVR Saved My LifeTWCable TV app launching

go into the DVR screen, and record away.

On this particular occasion, I forgot to set all of my UFC 137 related recordings. As a HUGE UFC and MMA fan in general, this event is of particular interest to me – as well as the rest of the state – because our local boy BJ Penn is headlining the card. (Read an interview I did with BJ Penn back in 2009.)

Since the “no TV when baby is sleeping” rule was in full effect, I simply did a search for “UFC” in the TWCable TV app and found all shows in the next 7 days with “UFC” in the title.

How Remote DVR Saved My LifeSearching for “UFC” in the TWCable TV app

From there, I simply selected the shows I wanted to record and, bingo-bango, they were all automagically set to record without even having to turn on my TV. Sweet right? Here’s what one sequence looked like when I scheduled a show (UFC 137 Prelims) to record on Spike HD.

How Remote DVR Saved My LifeSelecting UFC 137 Prelims in the search results brought up this options window

How Remote DVR Saved My LifeSelecting the HD version brought up this window that displayed additional show info and the Record button.

How Remote DVR Saved My LifePressing the Record button brought up the options screen where you could adjust the Save Time (“Until space needed” or “Do not delete”) and the Start and End times.

How Remote DVR Saved My LifePressing the Confirm Changes button set my recording

Not exactly life saving, but definitely time saving. Now, with all this extra time, I can concentrate on preparing for my UFC 137 BBQ/Party! 8) Goooooo BJ!

How Remote DVR Saved My LifeUFC 137 Poster (Poster Art Courtesy: UFC)

For Oceanic Time Warner Cable customers here in Hawaii, you can follow along through our UFC Video Content page. For more information on how to order, click here.

VH07V!

Updates from Pro Elite MMA – Live!

August 27, 2011

Follow me at

@worldwideed

for random updates from the Pro Elite MMA event happening right now (Saturday, August 27, 2011)… Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kendall Grove vs. Joe Riggs
@kendallgrovemma wins by guillotine over joe riggs

Andrei Arlovski vs. Ray Lopez
tko victory for @andreiarlovski

Reagan Penn vs. Paul Gardiner
Reagan Penn by RNC over Paul Gardiner


Reagan Penn vs. Paul Gardiner (08/27/11)

Mark Ellis vs. Jake Heun
Mark Ellis wins by RNC over Jake Heun next

Sarah McMann vs. Raquel Pa’aluhi
Sarah McMann over Raquel Pa’aluhi by Americana

Drew McFedries vs Garrett Olson
Drew McFedries TKO over Garrett Olson

Sale Spreat vs Kaleo Gambill
What a turnaround! Gambill by TKO!

Dustin Barca vs Reno Remigio
Ringside doctor stops fight due to cuts. Dustin Barca wins.

Brent Schermerhorn vs Jesse Lundgren
Brent Schermerhorn from @cripplerufc’s school victorious by tko

Chad Thomas vs Joey Palemia (Amateurs)
Joey Palemia victorious by decision

Pro Elite
@proelitemma

An Interview with BJ Penn’s Younger Brother: Reagan Penn [video]

August 25, 2011

I first met Reagan Penn when I flew up to Hilo in May of 2009 to interview his famous brother, beloved MMA legend BJ Penn. We were meeting up at their other brother JD’s house, and Reagan came by on his bicycle after a day at the gym.

Fast forward to today. Bruddah is preparing for one of the biggest weekends of his life when he will be making his professional fighting debut on one of the most anticipated MMA fight cards in recent Hawaii history as Pro Elite (re)debuts on Saturday, September 27th at the Neal Blaisdell Arena with a stacked card featuring former UFC stars Andrei Arlovski, Kendall Grove, Joe Riggs and Drew McFedries. The real story though, at least for true fight fans like myself, is the one surrounding Reagan Penn.

Prior to this, Reagan led a relatively modest but exciting life, supporting his brother BJ as he went on to capture UFC glory by winning both the Welterweight and Lightweight titles. This weekend, when Reagan faces an undefeated Paul Gardiner, he will step out his brother’s shadow to work on creating his own legacy in the fight world.

Check out my quick interview with Reagan Penn on the story behind his name, his ground game, his fight this weekend and what’s in store for his future… WAR Reagan!


Interview with Reagan Penn

Edward Sugimoto) First of all thank you very much taking the time out of your busy schedule. I know you have a fight this weekend right?

Reagan Penn) Yes thank you. Thank you for having me.

Edward Sugimoto) So let me see if I have this straight. You have three older brothers all named “Jay Dee” (Jay, JD, Baby Jay)?

Reagan Penn) Yes.

Edward Sugimoto) And you’re the youngest, the fourth, named Reagan?

Reagan Penn) Yes.

Edward Sugimoto) Where did that name come from? Do you know?

Reagan Penn) Yeah, actually my dad was going to name all his sons (Jay Dee), but my mom grabbed the birth certificate before my dad could, during the pregnancy and she put that name down.

Edward Sugimoto) Was that like one of her favorites?

Reagan Penn) She was actually watching TV during her pregnancy, her labor I mean and there was a football player who kinda scored a winning touchdown named Reagan so that’s how I got my name.

Edward Sugimoto) So everybody knows the story about how your dad’s neighbor Tom Callos and how he introduced you guys to jiu-jitsu. Be honest, who’s the most talented jiu-jitsu practitioner amongst the Penn brothers?

Reagan Penn) *laughs* That’s funny. Everybody asks that question. We’re all good at different positions you know so it’s hard to really say who would be better in really jiu-jitsu but me and my brothers, we all have certain positions that we’re all better at so it’s tough to really say. *laughs*

Edward Sugimoto) So you guys tap each other out regularly then?

Reagan Penn) *laughs* Yeah exactly so it’s back and forth.

Edward Sugimoto) That makes you better too right?

Reagan Penn) *laughs* That’s how you get better for sure.

Edward Sugimoto) So I read somewhere that you helped your family’s business with computer help and you actually started up BJPenn.com and helped out with that. How did you go from that to wanting to fight professionally?

Reagan Penn) In our family, everybody just gotta help out with what is ever going on so mostly we were working on the site BJPenn.com and then slowly we had more people helping us with it and I could train more, so I found myself training a lot more than I was doing my other jobs so I figured, hey, let’s try it out. Getting punched in the head, sparring every day. *laughs*

Edward Sugimoto) So let’s talk about getting punched in the head. You have a fight this Saturday… How did training camp go? Are you all set? Are you nervous? Excited?

Reagan Penn) Yeah, I can definitely feel the nerves now just thinking about how I want to be with my weight, getting in there, and the whole crowd thing. So I wasn’t feeling too nervous a couple days ago, but I’m definitely starting to feel the adrenaline and I’m starting to have dreams about fighting so, it’s definitely coming.

Edward Sugimoto) So there’s a lot of big buzz surrounding you because of your name and because it’s your first debut fight… Are you pretty nervous? Pretty excited? *laughs* I guess we just went over that huh?

Reagan Penn) *laughs* Yeah same thing.

Edward Sugimoto) Do you feel some pressure?

Reagan Penn) I just want to do good you know I don’t want to go in there and choke and panic or whatever can happen in there, you know, that’s the main thing. I just want to go in there and try to stay as calm as I can until I get in there and just show what I got. Whatever happens, I’m gonna try my best.

Edward Sugimoto) So your opponent is undefeated Paul Gardiner. What do you know about him and how’d you prepare?

Reagan Penn) Yeah, my opponent Paul Gardiner, I seen him on YouTube, I seen a few of his fights and I noticed he likes a lot to take the guy down but he can also strike. I seen him knock one of his opponents down so I’m not sure, since I think he has more of a jiu-jitsu base, he might be thinking I might have better jiu-jitsu and he might wanna try to stand with me, maybe just go all out and trade with me, but you never know until you get in there. We’ll just have to see what happens.

Edward Sugimoto) And if he does stand up with you, he’s in trouble right?

Reagan Penn) *laughs* Well we’re ready for everything. I didn’t really know what kind of opponent I had so all my training kinda was just geared for whoever, then just a few weeks ago, they finally got my opponent and I could just watch some tapes, but I didn’t really look at too much of his stuff until maybe the last week ago, two weeks ago, when my training started winding down and I started getting whatever bored, I’ll jump on the Internet. *laughs*

Edward Sugimoto) So after this match, after you win of course, what are your long term plans in fighting if you have any?

Reagan Penn) Yeah I want to try and pursue this sport as far as I can go. Of course, this is my first fight. I gotta see how this one goes. But yeah, I’m definitely planning on fighting right away if all goes well.

Edward Sugimoto) So you know all of us Hawaii folks are backing you, (I love) Just Scrap your shirt, we all have a lot of love and aloha. Do you have anything else to say to your fans out there?

Reagan Penn) Hey you guys. I’m gonna do my best for you guys, and eh, thanks for coming and watching and supporting us cause you’re the guys who make it happen.

Edward Sugimoto) Alright, thanks a lot!

Reagan Penn) Yeah, thank you.

Pro Elite: Arlovski vs. Lopez
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Neal S. Blaisdell Arena
(@proelitemma)

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…

Fun Day Monday – Name That Band

May 10, 2010

So last week, a friend of mine posted something on his Facebook status that got me pretty excited. He said:

“What!?! Color Me Badd and Shai are coming to Honolulu?? Time to buss out the ol’ Z Cavaricci’s.”

I know, sounds kinda da kine to get excited over something like that, but sheez, that be some flashback memories right there (for a guy like me at least).


Color Me Badd – I Wanna Sex You Up

And when I say a “guy like me” I’m talkin’ about a:

* first-CD-I-ever-owned-was-C.M.B.
* grew-up-on-these-bands-and-used-to-make-“Love-Jams”-mixes-with-these-songs-to-impress-the-ladies…
* listened-to-these-songs-on-my-Walkman-(while-the-teammates-listened-to-n.w.a.-and-nirvana)-on-the-bus-on-the-way-to-a-game…
* put-it-on-repeat-in-the-car-as-well-as-in-the-shower-so-I-could-memorize-every-intricate-detail-of-the-song…
* sang-in-groups-who-used-to-harmonize-(or-at-least-try!)-like-these-bands…

… kinda guy.

So yeah, as you can tell, I was a fan! Hearing that they will be reuniting and doing a show here in Hawaii is of particular interest.


Shai – If I Ever Fall In Love

I’m curious to know what bands excite you. We’re of varying ages, races and sexes up in hurr, so I’m sure we’ve all got our interesting tastes in music. (And yes, though it does sound familiar, we’ve never had this as a topic before (I think). I checked. Feel free to include your favorite fashion stylings of those times as well!

Holla!
* Who were some of your favorite bands growing up?
* What memories do you have of those times?
* Do you remember the fashion then? What were they?

Post um in the comment area below!

Hijack This!
* Thoughts on Shogun Rua’s brutal knockout of Lyoto Machida?
* Thoughts on Paul Daley’s cheap shot on Josh Koscheck after the fight?
* Thoughts on Dana White cutting Kimbo Slice from the UFC?
* Thoughts on Iron Man 2 debut?
* Thoughts on Dallas Braden’s amazing perfect game on Mother’s Day?
* Thoughts on the Suns’ impressive sweep of the Spurs?
* Thoughts on Tiger Woods’ withdrawal?
* Thoughts on a Road Runner Mobile if the device was FREE? Special starts today, just FYI… ๐Ÿ˜›

Fave Friday: Sports

April 9, 2010

First thing’s first. As an MMA fan, I would be remiss if I did not mention tomorrow’s big UFC card that will showcase two of our very own, local, Hawaii boys: Hilo’s BJ Penn and Maui’s Kendall Grove.

World Wide Ed
Local Boys: Lightweight Champ BJ Penn (left) and Middleweight Contender Kendall Grove (right)

Lightweight champ BJ Penn (remember him?) will be defending his belt against top contender Frankie Edgar, while middleweight standout Kendall Grove will take on wrestler Mark Munoz. See bottom for all the details.

A-ight with that outta the way, let’s get today’s Fave Friday show on the road. Now I know the title says “Sports”, but for those of you who aren’t big fans of the stick and ball kine games, feel free to list “Activities” like hiking or swimming, etc. Here’s my list:

Fave Sports to Watch:

* Baseball – Sooooo happy the 2010 season is under way again! Go “pills” right uncle jimmy? ๐Ÿ˜› Don’t know what it is, but I could just sit there and watch a whole game without getting bored at all.
* MMA – I used to be all crazy widit and watch every second of every event, but now, with limited watching hours in my day, I pretty much just focus on the UFC, WEC and some Strikeforce events with spot watching of the other ones like Bellator. Even then, I fast forward through the boring fights. I really do miss HDNet and their MMA coverage, especially with Dream. BTW, while we’re on the topic of MMA and local boys, don’t forget to support Brad Tavares who is reppin’ Hawaii on this season’s cast of the Ultimate Fighter, Wednesday nights at 7PM on Spike TV (Oceanic Cable 559 or HD 1559).
* Basketball – Orlando’s my team, but I’ll watch good matchups sometimes. UH is fun watching live, but it’s been really depressing the last few years. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
* Football (I guess) – only to follow my fantasy players. LOL! Live games at UH are fun too, but I like the tailgating more! ๐Ÿ˜›
* Boxing – used to watch a lot, until MMA came along and killed it! RIP. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Fave Sports/Activities to Do:

* Snowboarding – snowboarding is life. Period.
* Jiu Jitsu – don’t get to roll as much as in the past, but the cognitive part of it is soooo interesting to me.
* Baseball/Softball – my first sport ever = my first love.
* Basketball – played a lot of hoops in high school and college, but kinda slowed down later in life. I should get back into it again.
* Swimming – ever since training for the Tinman, I’ve been itching to get back in the water on the regular. Not only is it a good workout, but you get a mean tan to boot.

So what sports or activities do you like to watch/play? Holla!

In other sports-related news, what do you think of Nike’s new commercial with Tiger Woods, using his dad’s voice as the narrative?


Tiger Woods’ Nike Commercial

UPDATE:
Just got shown the new 3-D Channel on Oceanic Time Warner Cable channel 1217 and, lemme tell ya, it looks pretty mean! If you have a new HD 3-D television set, pop on your 3-D specs, turn them on, and tune to channel 1217 to watch some cool, On Demand content – including coverage of the Masters – in crystal clear 3-D. I sound like an infomercial don’t I? ๐Ÿ˜›

World Wide Ed
Masters Content in 3-D from Oceanic Time Warner Cable

UFC 112 Details

UFC 112: Invincible is being held on Yas Island all the way in Abu Dhabi so it will actually air live at a strange 7AM hour for us here in Hawaii, on Oceanic Time Warner Cable’s channel 701 or HD 1701. Hurr’s the official poster:

World Wide Ed
UFC 112 Poster

… and here’s sistah Bel showing some love for our local boy BJ Penn:

World Wide Ed
Bel Kissing the UFC 112 Poster

If you’re not a fan of waking up early on Saturdays, Oceanic will be re-airing the fight card at 10AM, with an afternoon airing at 4PM (re-aired at 7PM). Just select the time that works best for you. Click here for streaming UFC 112 content or here for ordering information.

K, pau! Sorry. Commercial ova. Have one awesome Friday and weekend gang, and I’ll see you on Monday K!? Shooooots!

Fave Five Friday – Celebrity Photo Opps

August 14, 2009

I’ve never been a fan of autographs. It’s too easy to forge, and, unless you can verify it and possibly even sell it for a premium, to me, it’s worthless. Celebrities are humans too. Some piece of paper with their chicken scratch on it doesn’t hold much weight. That’s just me.

But, as girly/kiddie as it sounds, what really gets me charged is getting a photo with said celeb. I value this the most because it has significance to me and me alone. I don’t care if it’s worthless to anyone else and ruined cause my ugly mug is in the photo, it’s just good kine fun and proof –ย in that particular moment in time –ย that I was there and actually met somebody I could tell a story about.

This past weekend in Philly, I had a blasty blast. Not only did I get that interview with Bruddah Shane, I was also able to sneak in some photo opps with “stars” from the MMA world, thanks to our awesome seats at UFC 101 the night before! Peeps like:

Cutman Jacob “Stitch” Duran

Stitch caught the same flight as us from Vegas. Cool guy!
“Stitch” caught the same flight as us from Vegas. Cool guy!

UFC President Dana White

UFC President Dana White taking the time to greet his fans
UFC President Dana White taking the time to greet his fans

Fighter Frank Trigg

Newly signed UFC fighter (again) Frank Twinkle Toes Trigg. Why does Bari look so upset?
Newly signed (again) UFC fighter Frank “Twinkle Toes” Trigg. Why does Bari look so upset? 8)

Referee Mario Yamasaki

Referee Mario Yamasaki kept coming into the stands for some reason. I caught him after the event was pau
Referee Mario Yamasaki kept coming into the stands for some reason. I caught him one quick one after the event was pau

Phillie All Star Shane Victorino

Me and Bruddah Shane in the Phillie dugout after our interview
Me and Bruddah Shane in the Phillie dugout after our interview

Which led me to this week’s Fave Five question. Which 5 celebs would you most like to have a photo with? If photos ain’t your bag, you can use autographs for your list.

  1. Flavor Flav – OMG! He’s so flamboyant and out there! This would be the funnest photo, like EVER! LOL!
  2. Mr. T – see above! Seems like a nice, humble guy too.
  3. Kimbo Slice – he’s crazy intense, but seems like a cool, mellow cat, outside the ring. I give him mad props for starting from scratch in the coming season of the Ultimate Fighter!
  4. Michael Jordan/Tiger Woods – gods in their respective games, though I’m not sure how good/genuine their personalities would be.
  5. Hugh Hefner – no words necessary! LOL!

I’m sure I’m missing a lot more, so lemme hear it. Send over your list of celebs you’d like to get a pic with/meet/get an autograph from.

Some celebs I forgot to mention were those that would bring the most cashola to my pocket (when sold to the tabloids). *grin* Maybe a scandalous shot with Jon or Kate, or both? Or Brangelina? Or even the Octo-mom? Is she even relevant anymore? ๐Ÿ˜›

Anyway, I digress. Have fun with this list on your T.G.I. Friday y’all!

Happy VHO7V Friday and have an awesome weekend k?ย Shoots!

(Editor’s note: Don’t get me wrong. I ain’t no celebrity stalker/groupie type, as the pictures above may make it seem. LOL! If I had to stand in line and wait a couple hours for one photo, I wouldn’t do it. These just so happen to fall into place a-ight? ๐Ÿ˜› )

Fun Day Monday: Ask a Shane (Victorino)

August 3, 2009

Hey Hey Hey! We may’ve done it again gang!

As part of my UFC 101 weekend in Philadelphia this weekend, I’ve been in contact with Shane Victorino’s management company (shout out to Josh Goldberg at Beverly Hills Sports Council) to see if I can’t line up an interview with our proud Phillie All Star that very same weekend. Josh says that we’ll make it happen so I’mma keepin’ my fingers crossed!

In anticipation of this interview, let’s collect your questions, much like how we did with your BJ Penn ones: Post any questions you’d like to ask Shane in the comment area below and I’ll take them up with me to ask Shane himself. Then, we’ll do a post-interview blog with your questionsย (much like how we did with the BJ ones)! Sound good? Comment away! ๐Ÿ™‚

A specialย thank youย to Ted Nakamura who connected me to Leonard Nakahashi who connected me to Shane’s mom, who connected me to Josh at BHSC. Mahalo Ted, Leonard, Shane’s mom, Shane, Josh, and BHSC!

Shane Victorino
Shane Victorino [Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons]

Wish me luck y’all!