His parents could only hope Earl Yonemura would learn some when they sent him off to the Shobukan dojo and into the care of the legendary Sunao Migita. Perhaps judo — “gentle way” as it is translated — would calm their 7-year-old son whose antics had outgrown the family’s small Kapalama home…
Earl Yonemura, wearing his 9th degree black belt, holds his certification for reaching the belt.
Mark Oshiro’s life is moving at a frenetic pace.
He’d like to maintain that pace when he steps into the fighting cage in two weeks.
Oshiro recently signed a contract with Bellator Fighting Championships, a fledgling mixed martial arts organization that has a national television contract with Fox Sports Net.
Lafortune takes fourth title; Moanalua, Punahou champs
The goals were to win it for himself and his team. But history painted a tough picture for Moanalua’s Brady Lafortune.
Only three other judoka have won four straight state judo titles and Moanalua, which has a young team this year, has never won a state title.
Lafortune gets No. 4
Brady Lafortune couldn’t contain it any longer.
Moments after he became the fourth judoka to win an individual state title in all four high school years — and first to do so after switching to a higher weight class each year — the Moanalua senior was overcome with emotion. He pointed up with both hands at Na Menehune faithful screaming at him from the Stan Sheriff Center stands, hugged his coach and lost himself in the moment.
State judo: Medeiros, Rivera earn medals
HONOLULU — Baldwin High School’s Makalea Medeiros and King Kekaulike’s Shayla Rivera were the lone Maui Interscholastic League competitors to place at the state judo championships Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Waiakea judoka shines
Waiakea junior Tyler Yonemori’s plan was to go hard until either his gas tank was empty or there was no air in the Stan Sheriff Center.
He brought along his nonstop motor and a belief that he could beat the best of the best at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association judo tournament.
He grinded through three opponents to capture the 145-pound boys title on Saturday, bringing home the Big Island Interscholastic Federation’s only first-place medal.
BIIF judo state finishers
98 pounds: Meagan Aina, third place, Kamehameha
115: Jenna Aina, fifth, Kamehameha
129: Tanalei Louis, runner-up, Konawaena
139: Kalena Shiroma, fifth, Kamehameha
220: Lia Nakamura, sixth, Hilo
108: Justin Raymond, sixth, Konawaena
145: Tyler Yonemori, first, Waiakea
161: Tyler Vaughn, sixth, Hilo
198: Kawika Scott, sixth, Konawaena
Na Menehune co-coaches work on bettering last year’s runner-up finish in the boys judo state tourney
Two former athletes have come back to their high school alma mater in hopes of giving favored Punahou a spirited challenge in the boys judo state tournament this week.
“We have a young, inexperienced squad this year, not nearly as talented as in previous years,” Moanalua head coach Brandon Maki said. “But they are all fighters and will be ready for this weekend. Punahou is strong and the defending champ, but we want to go out there and make a challenge, not make it so easy for them.”
Brady Lafortune loves to strike up conversations with others — but sometimes it’s at the least likely moment.
Lafortune is a Moanalua senior and four-time O’ahu Interscholastic Association individual judo champion. His accolades are second to none as the 132-pound judoka has gone undefeated in his four-year prep career and Saturday, he will attempt to capture his fourth state title.
A low blow is not exactly the best way to make a first impression.
But that’s how the main event of the Galaxy MMA: Worlds Collide mixed martial arts card ended last night at the Blaisdell Center Arena.
The main event between Kailua’s Scott Junk and Brazil’s Fabiano Scherner was ruled a no-contest after Scherner landed an unintentional low blow on Junk in the opening seconds of the bout.
O’ahu Interscholastic Association
At Moanalua High School
Roosevelt 95, ‘Aiea 0
10 Point Winners–Roosevelt: Chasen Yuu, Koan Kojima, Brad Pena, Lindsey Nelson.
Moanalua 100, Pearl City 0
10 Point Winners–Moanalua: Kelsen Onigama, Brant Tsuda, Brady Lafortune, Brycen Kometani, Justin Fujiwara, Robby Ostovich, Andrew Arellznez, Zach Sheldon, Alex Kozuma.
Farrington 47, Mililani 40
10 Point Winners–Farrington: Reymark Buhain, Logan Bucsit. Mililani: Cody Uyejo, Bobby Kim, Clifton Quitevis, Cameron Murayama.
Castle 50, Campbell 42
10 Point Winners–Castle: Mason Kam, Dustin Nakayama, Troy Muraoka, Bryson Risso, Cy Pana. Campbell: James Platt, Kevin Lapitan, Diego Myers.
Moanalua 80, Farrington 20
10 Point Winners–Moanalua: Kelsen Onigama, Jacob Palimo’o, Chad Patulingan, Brady Lafortune, Justin Fujiwara, Bobby Ostovich, Sage Yoshida, Andrew Arellanez. Farrington: Jesus Rivera, Keith Chargulaf.
Roosevelt 90, Castle 10
10 Point Winners–Roosevelt: Renton Kawamae, Cody Fernandez, Koan Kojima, Brad Pena, Lindsey Nelson, Randy Ishitani, Tyler Hayashi, Weston Akamine, Tyler Kunishige; Castle: Trevor Nakaahiki
Moanalua 57 Roosevelt 40
10 Point Winners–Moanalua: Jacob Palimo’o, Brant Tsuda, Brady Lafortune, Sage Yoshida, Alex Kozuma. Roosevelt: Brad Pena, Randy Ishitani, Tyler Hayashi, Welson Aranine.
‘Aiea 42, Castle 40
(Aiea wins by tiebreaker)
10 Point Winners–Aiea: Jill Honjo, Lindsay Villarmia. Castle: Tracey Okada.
McKinley 80, Waipahu 10
10 point Winners–McKinley: Marina Higa, Brittany Balanay, Ayame Higa, Leilani Hernandez.
Pearl City 65, Kahuku 20
10 Point Winners–Pearl City: Taylor Vidad, Toni Uyehara, Kelly Ancheta, Mei Ling Keiki. Kahuku: Kayla Martin, Amber Ah Sue.
Kapolei 80, Moanalua 17
10 Point Winners–Kapolei: Kaylen Canyete, Shanelle Ramelb, Diane Mikuni, Ilisha Badua, Sydney Cofran, Abigail Helenihi, Brandy Lopez.
Pearl City 95, ‘Aiea 0
10 Point Winners–Pearl City: Apelila Hokoana, Kelly Ancheta. Toni Uyehara.
McKinley 57, Kapolei 20
10 Point Winners–McKinley: Marissa Rogers, Brittany Balanay, Ayame Higa, Leilani Hernandez, Marilyn Medallon. Kapolei: Courtney Ferreria, Brandy Lopez.
Pearl City 52, McKinley 51
(Pearl City wins by tiebreaker)
10 Point Winners–Pearl City: Taylor Castro. McKinley: Marina Higa, Marissa Rogers, Brittany Balanay, Ayame Higa, Marilyn Medallion.
Kailua fighter embarks on road back to prominence
Scott Junk has a clear vision. It involves a return to the UFC.
First, he must win the main event of the Galaxy MMA’s “Worlds Collide” mixed martial arts card at the Blaisdell Center Arena tomorrow.
Junk, who is from Kailua, will face Brazil’s Fabiano Scherner in the main event of Galaxy MMA’s inaugural card.
Sale Sproat’s professional mixed martial arts debut isn’t going to be the only first on Saturday night at the Blaisdell Center.
The 2003 graduate of Molokai High School will fight on newly formed Galaxy MMA’s debut card, against R.J. Richter of Las Vegas in a 185-pound bout.
Moanalua High School graduate Stephany Lee won her first U.S. Open wrestling title by upsetting World Champion Iris Smith in the 158-pound final Saturday at Cleveland State’s Wolstein Center.
Lee earned a decision over the top-ranked Smith, by scores of 1-0, 5-0. Smith was seeking her fifth Open title.
There were 21 champions crowned in Cleveland, seven each in freestyle, Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle.
U.S. Open champions in freestyle and women’s freestyle advance to the finals of the World Team Trials in Iowa.
Lee’s Sunkist Kids won the women’s team title.