Lua is a Hawaiian martial art that combines elements of jujitsu, judo, karate and Aikido and a range of exotic weapons unique to the islands of Hawaii.
Another element of lua is “bonebreaking,” a secret form of combat that lives up to its name. “Bonebreaking” was taught in secret and only to a select few, Olohe Solomon Kaihewalu is one of the very few martial artists to whom this ancient skill was taught. Today, he keeps the tradition alive through selected instruction and demonstrations.
Lua was introduced in 1750 when it was taught to the King, his bloodline and his honor guard and no one else. The lua was Kapu (forbidden) and kept secret, to teach to an outsider was punishable by death.
Hawaiian combat units consisted of small squads of between 10 to 30 warriors. Each man was an expert in Lua weapons such as the Maía (sling) and the Pohaku (stone). The Maía would be used to send a hail storm of stones raining down upon the enemy, which was quickly followed with Polo U, (long spears, from 6 feet to 18 feet long).
After attacking with Maía and Polo U, the front of the combat squad would encircle and close on the enemy using a Koíokoío (bo-cane) and smaller weapons such as the Kaíane (strangling cord), Lei-o-mano, (a nasty club and slashing-like weapon made from shark teeth), a Pahoa (single edge dagger), a Maka Pahoe (the eye, belly button, groin, double edge dagger, and to finish off the enemy they used a Palua Puíili (double club).
When a Kor (warrior) lost his weapon, he began hand-to-hand combat. This was called Kuí i (boxing) and was followed up with Mokomoko (dirty fighting techniques). The student of modern Lua must learn many skills, the first lessons taught begin with the forehead, shoulder, chest, elbow, forearm, wrist, palm hand, fingers, hips, knee, ball of foot, heel of foot, and the ground as a weapon.
The Lua student must train and learn how to place these body parts against an opponent to cause dislocation of joints. After that is accomplished, the Lua student is permitted to learn grappling.
The secret of Lua was broken in the early 1920ís in the city of Hilo, Hawaii. Professor Henry Okazaki learned Lua from a Hawaiian and then transferred Lua into his Danzen Ryu style of jujitsu.