• February 17, 2018

    Q&A with Da Rulk

    Elite Functional Training Specialist


    Q: Hi Rulk, thanks for joining us! Could you please share a bit about yourself, your upbringing, and your passions growing up?

    "I have a Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology. I have always been fascinated with strength and conditioning. More specifically how our mind can push our body to exceed that which we believe we can do. I also gravitated toward biomechanics to learn how to deconstruct movement patterns and design efficient sequences to optimize performance. Many people would be fascinated with the 300lbs man that could lift 2000 lbs...where I would be more interested in the 90 year old woman that lifted a car off her trapped grandchildren.  I wanted to understand how that was people are able to accomplish remarkable feats when they don’t seem possible. Full commitment and conviction to purpose.   In Hawaii there is a saying...”If Can, Can. If No Can, Still Can.”  Always Can. This is my life mantra and something that I preach to my own sons and everyone that I work with."


    Q: You have a very unique, very practical approach to exercise. How did you get into training and how did you discover your focus?

    "I designed my own body weight training curriculum called Raw Functional Training or RFT®.  It focuses on our foundational movement patterns and a systematic approach of sequencing these movements together to enhance core stability, joint mobility and overall functional strength and conditioning. When training waterman, first responders or competitive athletes I also integrate the sensory system to help them learn to manage their nervous and adrenal systems."

    Q: You’ve had the honor of training some very honorable clients, can you name some of the individuals and groups you’ve worked with?

    "I have been blessed to work with many elite Olympic and professional athletes in a myriad of sports and genres.  I also have worked with elite military teams, SWAT, Fire, and Search and Rescue units.   I have specifically enjoyed working with many waterman including Big Wave Surf Champion Makua Rothman and members of the North Shore Life Guard Association."

    Q: You’ve had the opportunity to combine your training with the functionality designed into the ‘Eleu Trainer, can you tell us a bit about the trainer and how it worked for you?

    "I love the glove like feel of the ‘Eleu Trainer and it’s responsiveness regardless of the terrain I am training on.  I do a lot of my training outdoors and they allow my feet to feel both secure and comfortable when transitioning from ground work to running."

    Q: Getting a bit more personal, what do you love most about what you do?

    "I love helping people do more than they believe they can do.  Exceeding limitations that we all tend to place on ourselves.  Although I love working with my elite athletes and it is extremely rewarding training our military and first responders, every single person I have the pleasure of working with is a blessing and I am honored to navigate them on their journey.  There are no restrictions to my RFT® training curriculum.  Age, Gender, Level of Fitness, not matter.  The only two things that are required to succeed are focus and effort...and we control both of those things.  My mission is to show everyone that they are unstoppable if they can commit to purpose."

    Q: Lastly, we like to end our Q&A’s by asking our friends of the brand what your 3 favorite OluKai’s are. Other than the trainer what do you like to wear?

    "I like to wear the Kia'i IIKipi, and Kohala Boots"


    Thank you to Da Rulk! Check out his training tactics on his Instagram @da_rulk

  • February 10, 2018

    Introducing Kamea Hadar - Muralist

    Hawai’i has a small town feel. If you went to high school with someone, there’s a chance you’ll be crossing paths later on in life. It’s no surprise then, that two local artists from the same Oahu high school ended up coming back together later in life to create Pow! Wow! — the global street art festival with its roots in Hawai’i.

    Back in 2011, Kamea Hadar and Jasper Wong set out to create a collaborative art event in Hawai’i. They wanted to put their island on the map for art, and create a setting where talented Hawaiian artists no longer needed to leave for bigger cities to pursue their career. By inviting artists from across the world to come and paint murals for a week in Oahu, they were —unknowingly — laying the building blocks for a global art festival that would eventually reach countries across the world, from Taiwan to Israel, and Japan to mainland US. Yet back in its early days, it was a self-funded, grassroots event, where the biggest challenges were finding walls that could be painted and accomodation for the incoming artists.

    Photo by: Jonas Maon @jonasmaon
    Photo by: Jonas Maon @jonasmaon

    In fact, it was this need for a roof over the artists’ heads that led to Kamea becoming an intrinsic part of Pow! Wow!. “Daniel Ito called me out of the blue one day and asked if I remembered Jasper from high school,” Kamea tells us. “He told me he wanted to do this art event in Hawai’i but needed a house for the artists. My dad is a contractor (and an artist) and had literally just finished building a big house on our property on the North Shore that he was intending to use for artistic retreats. It was one of those meant-to-be moments!” For the next four years the artists of Pow! Wow! would crash at Kamea’s house, creating a family vibe that seems to have continued through the Pow! Wow! events, even if today the artists stay in hotels.

    Kamea’s own artwork has grown as the event itself blooms into an international art phenomenon. During the 2013 Pow! Wow! he painted his first large scale mural — an image of his wife’s face — that he considers the true starting point of his mural career. Ironically, it almost didn’t happen. He was offered the wall on the Thursday and was exhausted from his work putting the event together and considered turning down the opportunity.  But with the help of fellow artist and good friend Rone, he worked for two days straight and created what he now classes as his all time favorite mural. If you are lucky enough to walk through the streets of Kakaako, you will still see this mural today.

    The event has taken Kamea far and wide, and even back to his family roots in Israel in 2017 where he organized a smaller scale event reminiscent of Pow! Wow!’s earlier days. Yet nothing beats Hawai’i. “I grew up here,” he explains. “ I love everything about Hawaii! I love exposing outsiders to its beautiful places and people. I really care about the place and I want to better the art scene here. When I grew up I was told I could either be an artist or live in Hawaii - not both. I want to change that.

    The 808 Urban and POW! WOW! Hawaii School of Art mural (2013)

    It would seem he is well on his way to achieving that goal. This year’s Pow! Wow! is once again attracting super talented, well-known artists from across the world, including Daniel Arsham and Tokidoki co-founder Simone Legno. Yet no matter how large and impressive the event becomes, it will always stay true to its founding principles: Process is just as important as the finished product, and Collaboration.

  • February 3, 2018

    Dan Ito's Guide to Pau Hana

    Blog by Daniel Ito - Photos by Austin Kino


    What they call “Happy Hour” on the mainland, we call “Pau Hana” in Hawai‘i. “Pau” means “done” and “hana” means “work” in the Hawaiian language. So when Iʻm done with the 9 to 5 that means itʻs time to have a beverage. My day job as the digital media director at Hawaii Business magazine has me stationed in the epicenter of Hawai‘iʻs business community, Downtown Honolulu. So when it’s Aloha Friday my “Pau Hana” starts at downtown’s classiest bar: Bar Leather Apron.

    Bar Leather Apron

    Address: 745 Fort Street Mall Suite #127 Honolulu, HI 96813


    There is something magical about a great, handcrafted cocktail. When done properly the alchemy of premium alcohol and ingredients make an intoxicating concoction. Combine this with an enchanting atmosphere of muted-lighting, exotic wood furniture and intimate seating for only 25-30 people, and you have the magic of Bar Leather Apron.

    The magicians behind this craft cocktail destination in downtown Honolulu are Justin Park and Tom Park. Despite having the same last name they are not related, but both bring the experiences of their travels around the world and a mutual desire to make Bar Leather Apron a world-class and unique experience. The first cocktail I usually order is their signature drink, the BLA Ol Fashion. Itʻs still the best Ol Fashion Iʻve ever had!

    The handcrafted cocktails at Bar Leather Apron are delicious and strong so I usually downshift to beer because a good Pau Hana is a marathon and not a 40-yard dash. I like to head to Kaka‘ako, which historically has a great craft beer scene. One of my favorite watering holes in this zone is Village Bottle Shop and Tasting Room, affectionately known as Village Beer to the locals.


    Village Bottle Shop and Tasting Room

    Address: 675 Auahi Street Honolulu, HI 96813



    This is Honolulu’s first bottle shop and tasting room, and features over 500 carefully curated beers. I’ll usually ask Village Beer co-founder and fellow journalist, Timothy Golden, what is the latest local brew on tap, and order a pint of that to start. I also like to get one of their tasty pot pies, which are similar to Aussie meat pies, as a pūpū with my beer. Golden writes the “On Tap In Hawai‘i” column in the Honolulu Star Advertiser and is good surfer as well. I covered surfing for the newspaper for years so I really enjoy talking story from one journalist to another about beers and barrels with him.

    Perhaps, one of the best parts of Village Beer is its close proximity to Pow! Wow! Headquarters, Lana Lane Studios. This gives me a chance to twist the arm of artist Kamea Hadar to leave his studio and have a pint with me. Since we’re both fathers of young children we talk extensively about how to balance career with fatherhood while keeping our wives happy, and a nice glass of craft beer helps the conversation flow. Moral of the story: it takes a “Village Beer” to raise a child and keep friends in touch.


    Maui Brewing Co. Waikīkī

    Address: 2300 Kalākaua Avenue Honolulu, HI 96816 (Holiday Inn Resort Waikiki Beachcomber) Website:

    Currently, my all-time favorite beer is Maui Brewing Co.’s Bikini Blonde so when Kamea has to get home to his daughter I call a Lyft and head to the Maui Brewing Co. Waikīkī. I look up to the way Maui Brewing Co. designed their business to be environmentally sustainable and how they’ve championed Hawai‘i nationally and internationally.

    I’ve been fortunate to make friends with their owner Garret Marrero, who was named the 2017 National Small Business Person of the Year by the Small Business Administration with his wife Melanie. If you’re ever on Maui I highly suggest taking the tour of the Maui Brewing Co. brewery because if you’re a craft beer lover like me then that is your chance to be “Charlie in the Chocolate Factory.” But, when I’m in Waikīkī I’ll always try to make it a point to stop in Maui Brewing Co. to get a pūpū (I suggest the nachos) and order a flight of beers.

    I order the flight to find the Maui Brewing Co. beer that I want to take home in a crowler. Maui Brewing Co. Waikīkī Brewpub is the only place I know on O‘ahu where you can get a 32 oz. crowler made to order. Since, I usually have a sixer of Bikini Blonde stocked in my fridge so I’ll usually cop a beer that isn’t sold in stores. This Pau Hana has me going home with their tasty POG IPA.

    Okay, so I’ve got a good buzz going and I haven’t received a “where you stay, babe?” text from my wife yet so it’s time to squeeze in a night cap on the way home. I live in Kaimukī –which is 10 minutes away from Waikīkī– and we lovingly call our neighborhood “The Shire.” One of the best places to get a cool cocktail and a locally- sourced bite to eat is Mud Hen Water.


    Mud Hen Water

    Address: 3452 Wai‘alae Avenue Honolulu, HI 96816


    Chefs Ed Kenney and Dave Caldiero curate an amazing menu of locally-sourced food at Mud Hen Water, but by the fourth quarter of this Pau Hana I’m looking for something greasy and tasty. To go with the spicy Vishnu’s Vice cocktail in my hand I order the Preserved Akule (big eye scad) that is served with organic pickled vegetables, soda crackers and butter infused with limu (seaweed). Couple that deliciously fishy pūpū with the beet poke (beets, avocado, gorilla ogo and smoked macadamia nuts), and it’s an amazing way to cap the night without bogging yourself down with greasy processed food.

    My friend and Hawai‘i Business magazine colleague, Jeff Hawe, lives down the street from Mud Hen Water so I hit him up to join me for the ending of this Aloha Friday Pau Hana. Although this is the start to our weekend, we can’t help but to talk about our jobs and other passion projects we plan to tackle on Saturday. When you’re a creative in Hawai‘i even though you’re “done with work” you’re still always working – even when you’re drinking.


  • January 27, 2018

    Introducing Wooden Wave

    Walk through the streets of Kakaako in Honolulu, and you’ll find yourself in one of the world’s most inspiring, unofficial, outdoor art galleries. Home to Pow! Wow! — the global street art festival that attracts artists from all corners of the world — the murals that are created live on long after the event, providing pedestrians and passers-by with a constant injection of art in their lives. Keep walking, and eventually you will stumble upon Lana Lane, a warehouse building that is home to a collective of creatives, from lettering artists and oil painters, to videographers and graphic designers. It’s also where you’ll find Matthew and Roxanne Ortiz , a husband and wife team who make up Wooden Wave.

    With a background in fine art, you’ll find pieces from Wooden Wave as far afield as galleries in Washington D.C., but it’s their signature treehouse designs that are synonymous with their name. They use nature as their guide, add in a dose of the fantastical (inspired by a love of Peter Pan and the movie Hook) and build sustainable elements into the designs. The resulting artwork brings out the child in all of us, both young and old.

    Recently, they took one of their projects directly to children, in the Sunset Beach Elementary School. With hands-on help from the 400 students in the school, Wooden Wave recently painted two murals; a mauka-themed wall that depicts a sustainable treehouse landscape, and a makai-themed wall with a sustainable ocean dwelling. The ocean dwelling carries a theme of `ahupua`a—the traditional land and ocean tenure system of Hawaii.  The goal is to help local children understand their environment, and the plants and animals that they live amongst. The result is a mural that inspires, educates, and triggers a sense of community for the school. No Wooden Wave treehouse is complete without its sustainable elements, however, so you will find rain catchment systems and green roofs alongside the more playful skate ramps and tire swings.

    In fact, whether they are painting neighborhood walls at Pow! Wow! — (this year they will be collaborating with Lana Lane Studio-mate Gavin Murai, who is a letterer and graphic designer on a wall on Cooke Street) —penning fine art drawings for galleries, or creating fantastical murals for school yards, sustainability is the common thread through all of Wooden Wave’s work. Growing up in the resource-challenged island of Hawai’i’, they understand the importance of considering the environment and its long term health in everything you do, and they try to incorporate these ideas into their art in a fun way. If it manages to inspire even a handful of the island’s future architects, policy makers, and engineers, then as far as they are concerned, it’s mission accomplished!

  • January 19, 2018

    Meet Austin Kino - Ocean Voyager

    Austin Kino is a native Hawaiian with one foot in the past and the other in the future. Aware that some of Hawai’i’s culture and traditions are at risk of being lost forever, he has endeavored to bridge the gap between old and new, playing the part of both student and storyteller.

    It all started when he was invited to become part of the crew on the Hōkūleʻa in 2006, an iconic voyaging canoe whose journeys have revived the 2000 year old legacy of exploration, courage, and ingenuity that brought the first Polynesians to Hawai’i. Austin was chosen as one of a small group of young students  — the Kapu Na Keiki(meaning Keep the Children Sacred) — who would learn the ancient skill of celestial navigation. His love of the ocean and life spent surfing and paddling made him the perfect fit.

    Over the next 10 years, Austin’s life was spent in large part as crew member and apprentice navigator on the Hōkūleʻa. All the while, he never forgot a thought passed on to him by Master Navigator, Nainoa Thompson, that, “If you don’t have a vision for your future, someone else is going to impress their vision on you.” So, with a newfound knowledge and understanding of the ocean and Hawai’i’s navigational history, Austin pursued his own vision of sharing the past with the current generation. He founded Holokino — a traditional Hawaiian canoe adventure tour on O‘ahu’s south shore — where locals and tourists alike can experience first hand the ingenuity of Polynesian wave finding. His hope is that Hawai’i will continue to be known for its legacy of great ocean explorers.

    It seems to be working. Austin was recently named as one of the 20 people who will positively impact Hawai’i for the next 20 years. We’re guessing his impact will go way beyond that!

  • January 12, 2018

    Meet Lindsey Higa

    Aloha! My name is Lindsey Higa, and I was born and raised here in Honolulu, Hawaii. I spent 6 years away in San Francisco, but have been living back here on Oahu for almost 8 years now. My days are always different! I’m a freelance wardrobe stylist, so I’m either working on a shoot, or on my other 2 side jobs at Sig Zane Designs and We Are Iconic. I’m super excited for 2018, because I never really know what to expect for the year ahead. I’m already off to Vietnam for 2 weeks, so I hope to continue my travels and visit new places and work a ton along the way!


    Fave new Honolulu boutique: Gillia at Kaka’ako

    I love their clean and natural aesthetic. They carry two of my favorite local brands, At Dawn and Gillia Clothing that I’d probably be wearing if you ever run into me! Their clothes are comfortable, cool, and chic, which is perfect for everyday here in Hawaii. The girls there are the sweetest, and always make you feel at home.

    Favorite Coffee Shop: Morning Glass in Fishcake

    I spend most of my mornings stopping at Morning Glass coffee in Fishcake. Whether it’s after or before my daily yoga sesh, I’m there getting a Matcha Latte or Ginger Lemon tea. A close friend of mine is the barista there, and it’s definitely become a morning meeting place with friends.

    Favorite Beach: Kaimana Beach

    I grew up hanging there as a kid, and have spent many long days there watching the sunset with friends and family. It’s kind of a ritual to pick up and acai bowl or plate lunch from Monsarrat Avenue, then head to Kaimana’s to cruise at the beach.

  • January 9, 2018

    Where to Eat in Hawai'i

    By Chef Mark "Gooch" Noguchi


    Food brings people together; this I know. It's the guiding principle in why I cook, and besides cooking, the next greatest thing about cooking... is eating. I'm honored to be able to share six of my favorite spots to eat in Hawai`i. They're always my first choices, the spots that I take visiting chefs, family and friends. I hope you get to enjoy them as much as I do.


    PALACE SAIMIN Ramen is trendy, Saimin is life; that's my mantra. Iv'e been coming here since small kid time, and to this day it's still one of only two places I go for saimin (the other is HOME Bar.) The Arakaki-Nakagawa `ohana run this shop now; and it hasn't changed one bit. Hot, humid, cramped, soda boxes stacked to the ceiling. This is one of the first stops I bring all my chef buddies when they ask... "So what's local food?"

    HOME BAR & GRILL Quintessential local bar food, HOME is all 808. The flavors that these boys put out is just like the ambiance — loud, straight up, nuts, & unapologetic. It’s a local bar. If you’re new, or a visitor, you might get looks. It is what it is, local first. And that territorial attitude is something not born out of hatred, but geographical awareness. We protect what is ours. The food reflects that too...Big John and Neal never changed their style. They’ve kicked ass cooking for over a decade, and the loyalty of their fans show it. Go with some friends who’ve been there before. Get the Kalbi Fried Noodle, Tater Tot Nachos, Wafu Steak and legendary Negi Toro. And don’t forget the Chicken Gizzards & Fried Pork Chop.


    MARK'S PLACE Mark Oyama and his wife have kept this Kaua`i standard running for almost 20 years. He's the Mayor of Kaua`i, knows eveyone, and cooks some of the best local food in the State. Simple, ono, and straight up 808. Photo provided by: Moon & TurtlePhoto provided by: Moon & Turtle

    Hawai'i Island:

    MOON & TURTLE (Hilo) Another husband and wife duo, Mark & Soni Pomaski run this tiny gem of an experience. Soni's sense of hospitality, aloha, and killer cocktail hands, coupled with Mark's connections with the local fisherman bring a divine experience to Hilo. A favorite spot of the Sig Zane `ohana, you'll find Kuhao Zane holding court here multiple times a week.

    LAULIMA FOOD PATCH (Kona) Clean food —that's what Chef Bonita Lao does extremely well. She is an expert in simple, delicious execution (and surfs moonlit nights like no one's business.) One of my all-time favorite lunch spots. I can eat here every day. My favorite is her Happy Chick Bowl, extra pork belly, add egg.

    Image by: Laulima Food Patch


    TIN ROOF I don't really order at Tin Roof... ever. Even if I do order my favorite — the Mochiko Chicken Bowl — I never get just what I ordered. Chef Sheldon and his `ohana are masters of the "shishi naenae." Food so good it takes you to another time and place... then puts you to sleep. Their food is contemporary local, yet still grounded in heritage like only a born and bred brownie can. Always Hi, never Lo, Tin Roof is 96720 in the 96732 all the way.

    Photo from: Tin Roof Maui

  • January 5, 2018

    Meet Chef Mark "Gooch" Noguchi

    Chef Mark Noguchi is many things to many people: nationally-renowned chef, defender of Hawaiian culinary traditions, cultural educator and local food proponent, just to name a few.

    Born and raised in Hawai’i, his love for good food goes hand-in-hand with his mission to promote traditional methods of sourcing, preparing, and serving meals. Mark’s journey has taken him through several business ventures, from the He’eia Pier General Store & Deli along the stunning shores of O‘ahu’s east side, to LunchBox, the Hawaiian Airlines corporate employee cafe.

    Today, as co-founder of Pili Group with his wife Amanda, Mark is illuminating the diverse culture of Hawai‘i through catering, culinary workshops and community gatherings. Pili Group is dedicated to creating a world of food with integrity, and the community of farmers, fishermen and other food artisans that Pili supports through its work has garnered national attention. Their newest program, Food Therapy®, is helping native and non-native people throughout Hawai‘i rediscover their heritage through intimate, hands-on cooking groups.

    In Mark’s view, you can honor history and still thoughtfully improve upon it, which is why you’ll find him making traditional meals with a modern touch. Noshing a bowl of luau stew or a fingerful of poi is inseparable from learning the story and people behind it. When you’re with Mark, whether it’s local meat, fish, or vegetables, eating well is as much about building community as it is the culinary experience.

    While Mark is always happy to see Hawai’i’s traditions transcend its shores, you might want to avoid the topic of poke. Poke (pronounced POH-kay), a local dish made with raw, locally-caught fish, has exploded on the mainland United States. As chains have started to sell mass-produced poke, they’ve changed the way the word is written (‘poké’, with an accent over the ‘e’) and have marketed the dish as a Hawaiian staple without understanding its cultural significance or its environmental impact. While this kind of misrepresentation is disappointing, it presents a unique opportunity to tell Hawai’i’s story on the world stage, including our responsibility to the communal resources that feed us.

    No matter how you look at Chef Mark Noguchi’s life, one thing is certain: authentic, traditional Hawaiian food is more relevant (and delicious) than ever throughout Hawai‘i, and abroad, thanks to his work.


  • December 29, 2017

    New Perspective, Familiar Faces


    Those lucky enough to try Chef Gooch's cooking get to experience the taste of traditional Hawai‘i. These days, Gooch is known almost as much for his leadership in Hawai‘i's sustainable food movement as he is for his exceptional culinary skills.

    Gooch's "On the Go" Shoes: Makia Lace


    With her unique fusion of laid back island chic and city tomboy looks, O‘ahu native Lindsey Higa is a well-known personality in the world of wardrobe styling and fashion blogging.

    Lindsey's "Go Anywhere" Shoe: Pehuea


    From his ten years as a crew member and apprentice navigator on the iconic voyaging canoe, Hōkūle‘a, to the recent founding of Holokino - a Hawaiian canoe sailing experience on O‘ahu's south shore - Austin Kino is dedicated to the preservation of Hawaiian culture, history, and ocean education.

    Austin's "Shoe to Move": Nohea Moku


    Ito, as he's known to his friends, is a renowned journalist who loves to tell Hawai‘i's stories. He's also the Founding President of the Hawaiian Journalism Association, helping up and coming journalists navigate their way through the industry. Thanks to his work, the indigenous culture of Hawai‘i is increasingly understood both on its shores and beyond.

    Ito's Go-To Shoe: Makia

  • November 26, 2017

    Honor the Heritage: Nurture Sustainable Communities

    2017 Giveback Series - Part 6

    Waipā ʻĀina. Culture. Community.

    It’s all too easy in today’s world of modern agriculture and door-delivered groceries to lose the connection to the land that feeds us. The Waipa Foundation of north shore Kaua’i understands this and works hard to foster a strong sense of interdependence with the natural world, using the 1600 acre ahupua’a (traditional land division) of Waipa to bring communities back to the source.

    The foundation encourages an “eat local, live local” mentality, and is a primary grower of kalo, a native island plant of exceptional nutritional value that is central to Hawaiian heritage. The local community can get hands-on with the harvest through the foundation’s weekly poi-making sessions (poi being the end product made when the root of the plant are ground down), and have even built a community kitchen to support local farmers and food vendors. And in an effort to battle the reality that Hawai’i imports nearly all its food, the ahupua’a enables a true farm-to-table vision by providing ingredients directly to the local restaurants in the area.

    You’ll often hear Hawaiians talk about “kuleana” -- or responsibility -- when it comes to taking care of their land and ocean. The Waipa Foundation is no exception, and promotes the idea that all of us share the kuleana and ability to be more sustainable. It utilizes the ahupua’a of Waipa to share, teach, and re-learn how to live in balance with our aina.)

    We, too, believe in restoring the health of the natural environment of Hawai’i and the native ecosystems of the ahupua’a, and support the Waipa Foundation through our Ama OluKai Foundation.



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