Thursday, February 09, 2012
The “New Breed” – Setting itself apart from the rest
There is something to be said about a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Kauai, the oldest (and one of the smaller) island in the Hawaiian island chain, is known for more than just its lush beauty and iconic scenery. It is no secret that Kauai continues to breed some of the best grapplers in the state of Hawaii. But the question is… how? How can a small island with limited resources groom some of the best grapplers, and more recently, MMA fighters, on the island?
One school, New Breed Kauai (formerly known as Kamole Jiu Jitsu), is quietly climbing its way to the top of the MMA scene on Kauai. Introduced to BJJ Revolution/New Breed USA by fellow Kauai native, Eben Kaneshiro, New Breed Kauai was established in September 2010. Kaneshiro, a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt and professional MMA fighter, also runs a New Breed Academy in Portland, Oregon. New Breed is under the direction of John Ramirez and John Ouano. Rodrigo Medeiros directs BJJ Revolution, whom New Breed is all a part of.
Under the leadership of brothers, Kaleo and Kaeo Lopez, New Breed Kauai has become a force to be reckoned with. Not only have they proven themselves on the mats, but in the cage as well, producing up and coming MMA fighters like Tyson and Nalu Hawelu, Tim Teves, and Pancho Lopez. Three of them will be making their debut on Ainofea’s Warpath to Mayhem: Rumble at the Resort event on March 3rd on Kauai.
So the question still remains… how can a small academy produce some of the hardest hitting and technically sound grapplers on the island? I’ve left it up to the Lopez brothers and some New Breed students to explain what makes their academy unique and how that sets them apart from the rest of the schools on the island.
Kaleo Lopez: I feel at New Breed Academy Kauai, we are an academy that takes every training session seriously. Along with constant technical drilling, sparring, and conditioning, it is also important to us that we teach and show our members good values such as respect, discipline, and kindness both in and out of the dojo. I like to think of us as a family or an extension of our family to our members. I don’t want to say we ARE better, but I do know we train hard and do well in both jiu jitsu tournaments and MMA events. Win or lose, competing or just learning the art of jiu jitsu, we are proud of each and every one of our members.
Elijah Koga – 17 years old, 3rd degree blue belt: I have been training since I was nine years old! I JUST made eight years with the academy a week ago. I think the best part about training at New Breed Kauai is how it’s not just a team; but more of a family, always pushing each other, inside and out of the dojo. What really sets New Breed Kauai training apart from other academies is how much we run our sequences. We are constantly drilling, always refining our technique. Another key to our success is how we do lots of strength and conditioning as a team outside of the dojo. We are either running on the beach while dragging a huge fricken rope or doing sprints up a ridiculously steep hill before class. So we are always in top shape. Training at New Breed Kauai has improved my jiu jitsu and MMA tremendously. I’ve been fortunate enough to start my training with New Breed and never felt the desire to jump school because of the top-notch training I get there.
Eric Cannon – 21 years old, purple belt: I’ve been training with New Breed Kauai for over five years and its improved my ground game from a basic wrestler to an all around accomplished grappler. What makes New Breed different is we are a new breed of jiu jitsu grapplers… simply put. We are very accepting of new styles of Brazilian jiu jitsu and are dedicated to evolving the martial art to new heights. But most important about New Breed is we are all good people part of a jiu jitsu family that emphasizes discipline and gives respect to all those that practice martial arts even if they are on another team.
New Breed Kauai proves that a small academy CAN produce results. On and off the mats, the students of New Breed Kauai exude humility, respect, and loyalty – all of which are fitting for a small island community in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.