Aug 062012
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No. Ku isn’t slang for being cool.  But it’s part of it.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want out of my life and how I want to live it.

See, I’m naturally a happy person.  Growing up I had a couple nicknames I went by – Smiley and Sparky.

I believe you should always try to look at the positive side of things but there are times where we come to a point where it’s a challenge.  Even the happiest people have their bad days, but there’s no way to live without happiness.

Many who know me, know that I’m very proud of my Native Hawaiian heritage.  I have the tattoo to show it – special Mahalos to Uncle Keone Nunes for spending 4 hours tapping my kakau and to my brother, Isaiah, for stretching my skin to make sure the taps didn’t go in too deep. There’s definitely more to it than having a kakau, but when you meet my family you will know exactly why.

polynesian tattoo design

So, What is Ku?

In Hawaii, Ku has many different meanings all of which goes into my new project. Ku is defined as – to stand tall, strike, exist, achieve, transform, and rule.  Ku is also mostly known to the Native Hawaiians as the god of strength and war. Ku often accompanied warriors as they went into battle and would also be displayed during competition to bring strength and courage to everyone who participated.

What does this all mean to Aipa?

One of the biggest meanings of Ku for me is ACHIEVE. John Maxwell, a well known author on leadership, mentioned the difference from achievement and success.  Everyone wants to be successful. When you think about successful people, you  see what or how much they have accumulated over a period of times; the money, cars, houses, businesses, all other material things.

But sometimes, those “successful” people come to the realization that it’s not enough.  That’s the difference.  Success benefits ourselves while achievement is for the benefit of others.

My Build a Ku Body project has become a lifetime project and I’m hoping you will join me.  My main goal is to make a positive impact on peoples’ lives by helping them live happier and healthier. I will be sharing my experiences of both success and failures during my journey on achieving a Ku Body. Yes, I’m still in Ku training as well.

Why would I share my failures? Because people who’ve achieved a lot are successful in failing as well.  Without adversity, it’s just luck.  And you learn nothing.

This is a new concept that I’ve been thinking about over a couple years.  I am not looking at only achieving a Ku body physically, but also mentally and spiritually in all aspects of life.  I don’t know all the answers, no one does.  I’ve learned how to swallow my own pride and ask for help.  Something I thought I never needed.

This holistic approach came as I looked at what I want to achieve in my lifetime and leave behind when my time has come.  Wow Aipa, that’s kind of a sad thing to think about.  It’s not sad, it’s life – so what do you want to do with it?

beach meditation

Too many people focus on one aspect of their lives while paying none or little attention to the others.  You may become successful in one area, but still feel underachieved because something was missing.  If you have become financially successful, maybe you lacked in your health.

In my case, building a Ku body physically is not a problem and I intend to help as many people as possible to achieve their strength and fitness goals.  But I know for sure I lack in other areas.

What’s Build a Ku Body?

The first step to a Ku Body is this Hawaiian Value, ‘Imi na’aua0 - seek enlightenment, wisdom, and education. – Aipa

Life Values to live by

Physically Ku Body

To build a Ku body physically here are the areas we all need to focus on:

1. Exercise and physical activity – Building a strong body is very important to me.  Exercise is my life, and I intend to do it until the day I die.  With a stronger body brings confidence and pride for the work done.

2. Healthy nutrition - too many people lack in this area, and they wonder why they can’t reach their fitness goals.  The saying, “We are what we eat,” is very true.  Health eating will make your body feel healthy and strong.

Mentally Ku Body

1. Positive Thinking – This idea is everywhere and I am a true believer of it.  If you change your perception on life, you will live a much more fulfilling one.

2. Achievement – What do you want to achieve? What’s your purpose? It’s never too late to find what your purpose is.  I’ve heard hundreds of stories of supposedly successful people who left their corporate jobs because although they were making a lot of money, they still weren’t happy.  For instance Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus left their corporate jobs and started a blog called, The Minimalists, where they talk about living a meaningful life with less clutter.

3. Influence – Great leaders influence. If you cannot create a positive change, you cannot lead.  There is a leader in all of us.  It’s not about being the first one, loudest one, most knowledgeable, or holding a high position.  ”He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.” – unknown

I could go on forever about building a Mentally Ku body, but I think you know where I’m going.

Spiritually Ku Body

1. Nature - We all need to pay more attention to nature.  When was the last time you enjoyed the sunrise, or took a walk and saw a butterfly.  We rush from place to place without taking the time to look around and enjoy the surrounded.

2. Give, Give, and Give – The more you give you will receive back ten-folds.  The more I can help people the better I feel about what I’ve achieved.  But you want to make sure you get something in return right? You will, patience my friends.

3.  Higher Purpose - We all have a higher purpose in life, we all have a message we can share with the world, and we all need to look outside of ourselves to reach that higher purpose.

In my journey towards building a Ku body, I’ll be writing about how I will be living a much more meaningful life by influencing myself and other.

Join the movement and please share your thoughts on areas you want to achieve in the comments below. I strongly believe we are all here for a specific reason and have a message to share with the world.  If you know your message, don’t be afraid to share it with others around you.  I would especially enjoy hearing your message.

And if you are still searching for it or haven’t even thought about it, this is a good time to take a moment to yourself and ask this simple question – What do I want out of my life; physically, mentally, and spiritually? Write it down, look at it often, and live that life.

Aloha, Mahalo, A hui hou!
(Good-bye, Thank you, Until we meet again)

Let’s all Build a Ku Body together. Who’s in?



  12 Responses to “Join my new Project: Build a Ku Body”

  1. This is a wonderful idea and very inspiring indeed. I look forward to figuring out what building a Ku body means to me. I thank you for your advice along the way. Congratulations on creating what sounds like an accessible and beautiful philosophy.

  2. Thanks Paulo for stopping by and commenting. I think that is the first step everyone should take – is looking into themselves and seeing what exactly what it is we want out of life. Many simply go through life by being comfortable with good enough instead of reaching their full potential and making an impact that benefits others as well as themselves.

    Much Aloha!

  3. This is a great write up my brother! I like where it’s going and the message that you are trying to get out there. It’s a great thought of things to come and I’m going to share this blog with na Olohe and na Po’o. Your timing on posting this couldn’t have been better since we just started another 48. Reading this has given me a little more knowledge and allowed me to think more about how I need to achieve greatness in every aspect of my life. Some of us need a reminder from time to time. I have been given a little more responsibility during the 48 and will definitely keep these things in mind. I look forward to the day you come back to classes and help with the recruit process.

    It’s exciting thinking about the possibilities that can come out of your concept of building a Ku body. I’m looking forward to it and am willing to help you out in any way possible.

  4. Thanks for the comment Isaiah. I think my time away from Hawaii and family has made me think about what I want out of my life. Plus hearing about the leadership and responsibility you have been given with the Pa has inspired me to look further into what it means to be a leader and live a meaningful life. I am also excited about my concept of building a Ku body and helping out other people realize how to take control of their own life in every aspect.


  5. aloha e Mahinamanulani, Great blog! Our family and friends, as well as people every where will all benefit from your mana’o. We look forward to when you will be home with all of us as we all strive for Ku! Mahalo for your perseverance and aloha. Aloha nui wale e ku’u keikikane, love, Mom.

  6. Mahalo Mom. Please share with the rest of the ‘ohana and friends, A hui hou! Aloha, Kaniela

  7. Dsniel, Very nice blog u have here, found it thru another blog, I love ur Family’s language, it’s very peaceful and welcoming, I live on the mainland in cali and work as a federal corrections officer, I’m just begining to follow ur blog and look forard to more.

  8. Aloha. Thank you for the comment. I’m glad you found your way to my blog and hope to share with you a place of aloha and strength. I currently live in southern California myself but keep my family values and lessons close to me at all time.


  9. E Kaniela:

    Aloha. Continuing to enjoy your writings. Keep it up. One thought that comes to my mind as I scan through your blog is what William Blake once said: “He who gives when he is asked has waited too long.” Osumi wrote “some give under constraint. Some give because they are expected to. Some give because they ought to. But, they all miss the joy of true giving–giving voluntarily and sacrificially. To make the most of life, you must give it away. To live is to give.” Your sharing in this blog on your own volition is pono maoli no! Hiki no! A Hui Hou!, Kou Makua Kane.

    PS–E, No foget kahi ka poi after each indulgence.

  10. Mahalo Dad, those are solid quotes and will definitely be using them and checking out those authors. If anything,My goal of this blog is to help somebody if anyone gain control of their own life and offer some guidance. Mahalo for everything you have taught me in life and looking forward to sitting on the porch to talk more stories. Aloha Makua Kane.

  11. Aloha Kaniela,
    I am your dads 1st cousin, living in southern California. I moved to the mainland almost 30 years ago, to seek a better life for myself and daughter then at the age of 6. Today i have no regrets, and have succeeded and been blessed. My children are all young adults now and are pursueing their lives in many positive directions. I feel it is time for me to redirect my vision on life and return to my roots. I’ll only be a flight away from my children, but alot closer to where my heart has been. Anyways, I dont remember how i stumbled across your website but i look forward to your articles and blogs. Both my husband and I are volleyball coaches at the high school level, and so we know all about the physical stuff, but got to brush up on the mental and spiritual aspects with the minds of today. Anything you can share would be greatly appreciated. We are baby boomers but are quick learners. Because of our athletes, we manage to stay young. Look forward to your wisdom, a hui hou! Cuz Pamela

  12. Aloha,

    Thank you for reading my site and glad you are enjoying my articles. The Aipa Project first started as just focusing on the physical aspect of things but then I realized I wasn’t finding balance in my life. That was when I decided to change to a more holistic approach and become more intentional in learning about myself and how I can help others. Mahalo for the support and please feel free to share this with your athletes if you feel they could learn something. It’s been funny because now a lot of the athletes I train at the university are slowly finding out about my blog. A hui hou!

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