Telling Warrior Stories with Hula


(drums tapping) – I think a lot of people look
at hula as just women dancing but, um, we love it, man. (drum tapping) Hula is a story. To tell the story the way
the ancient Hawaiians did, you really need to put
yourself in that dance. You need to live like them. You need to chant like them. (chanting in Hawaiian) You need to train like them. Basically you need to become them. (drums tapping) (singer chanting) Halau is a hula school. We perform all over the world. (chanting in Hawaiian) In ancient times, warriors
were actually recruited from the halau. The chief would come to look and from the ranks of the
advanced male dancers, warriors were selected. The philosophy of our halau
is to kind of replicate that. – For male hula, we’re basically
telling warrior stories. And to dance like a warrior, you need to train like a warrior. (waves splashing) We train in a private piece of
land on the west side of Oahu using only what ancient Hawaiians had. Whether it’s rocks, the sand, the ocean. When we come to practice,
we expect to die. It’s strenuous on the legs, but
it’s also to train your mind. I tell myself and the rest of the boys, “If I fall, it’s because
my body just gave out.” One of the hardest workouts we do would be climbing the coconut tree. Sometimes you reach the top
and your legs are shaking because, you know, you’re
holding your weight. And to look down knowing
that nothing’s holding you you’ve got to kind of
have this warrior mindset as like, you know, that this is
what I want, you know. I’m going to get this. – You know, when these
gentlemen come to hula, they are like a ball of clay. As kumu, I look at it as my responsibility to shape them into better individuals, better fathers, better
sons, better brothers. Our goal is that when
these men are done dancing that they leave here better people. (waves splashing) – What hula does for me culturally, it still takes me back
to how Hawaii used to be. People sometimes are losing
that aloha for each other, that love for each other
and hula just gives you that reality check, man. I’m dancing until my kneecaps fall off. And even after that I’m going to do whatever
I can for the halau. You know, we have this brotherhood where we take care of each other. We help push each other. It’s my passion and I look forward to seeing where hula takes me in life.

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