Hapuka's Mau Rakau Blog

Discussion in 'Other Styles' started by Hapuka, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    So me and my family are finally moving. And I found yet another group that is closer (20 mins drive) from my new location in Wai-kik-a-mu-kau (its a joke referencing to any small rural town in new Zealand out in the middle of nowhere). They're under Te Whare Tu Taua O Aotearoa, which is good for me because I can continue my training and grade later this year.

    In referring to last nights post, I am glad that my original kiako has come back, because now I can concentrate my own training in other areas (like in Judo) as the new group's hours do not conflict with my training.
  2. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    So, with the move, will you no longer be involved at all in the group you were leading in your old instructor's absence?
  3. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    I'm still deciding, as my goals are different to my old instructor's. He is running his Mau Rakau group more as an outreach for troubled Maori (mental health, ex gang members etc.) and Kapa Haka competition's. As much as I believe those things are important (however I really don't care much for competing in Kapa Haka at the moment), I personally crave a more structured environment with consistency, with not as much potential drama considering recent history. I want to grade under a different curriculum (tu taua) than what he is willing to teach, so its probably best if I move along and focus on that rather than cause conflict of interest.

    Also no one else in the group other than myself and my older sister have shown much interest at the moment in grading (we were the only ones that showed last year for the mock grading as well). If they want to grade in the future they can get in touch with me and ask for their nearest tu taua instructor. I know of two that are within less than an hour's drive away from the groups current location.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
  4. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    So I have moved and currently working with a new kaiako. Fortunately training is free and 15 minutes down the road. At the moment I'm prepping for a 2-4 hour grading and a 5km run. I'm as unfit as hell but I have till October. Everyday I'm doing as much training and exercise as I can. I'm happy with my training, I'm receiving the coaching that I was yearning for. I've put all other training on hold to focus on grading. And also I'm poor at the moment so other training is out of the question as traveling is expensive. After October I will look back into cross training again.
  5. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    Today me and my sister went to the lower north island wananga (seminar), unfortunately I couldn't take photos as we were training and I only managed to film a 4 second snippet of the higher pou (rank) rakau whawhai (stick sparring).

    I'm feeling a bit bummed that I couldn't film enough to show you guys.

    But I will be definitely be filming the grading coming up in October. I'm also not 100% sure, but I think there is another wananga coming up too before October, so there will be more opportunity to film.
  6. uepohatu

    uepohatu New Member

    Kia ora Hapuka, sounds like you're on your way to grading. Kia kaha e hoa.

    Still training hard up here, aiming for a grading towards the end of the year (Takapau). Two of our Kaiako are going for Pouwaru so going to be a busy year.

    We've had three Wananga noho so far and many of us are sitting the Tu Taua certificate, which allows us to have these wananga (8 in total this year). We're very lucky up here to have a committed group.

    Can see some photos and info on our page: http://www.twttoa.com/te-kohao-t363-taua-wh257ngarei.html
  7. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    Why its hard to find Mau Rakau

    So I was talking to my kaiako (teacher) tonight and I asked him why Mau Rakau is not as public as say many other martial arts like Karate, Taekwon-do or Muay Thai. He told me that Mau Rakau was illegal at one point to practice publicly as recent as 30 years ago. Naturally I was horrified, as I believe that Mau Rakau has allot to offer not only for Maori but also for Pakeha (ethnically non Maori). Criticism for the practice of Mau Rakau has not come from the martial arts community at large but from the government and people who don't practice martial arts in general. This is also the reason why it remains relatively secretive today, my kaiako's reasoning is because the wider New Zealand public are not ready to receive it. People have been arrested as recently as up to 5 years ago for teaching Mau Rakau.

    I asked about filming, my Kaiako said its not recommended to show it publicly unless its of myself and I take responsibility for the outcome.

    Mau Rakau for Maori is a taonga (a treasure), if used incorrectly (faux rakau aka mcdojo) its mana and mauri (spiritual energy, life force, power and respect) are damaged by the cheapening of it, too many Maori taonga have been cheapened already through the incorrect exposure of them (not so much malice, but out of ignorance). Examples include; Haka, Taonga Pounamu (maori jewelry), Ta Moko (traditional tattoos) etc. That's why I need to be mindful of what I post to make sure its upholding the mana of Mau Rakau and the ancestors that created it (I know it might sound over the top but there is good reason for it). That's also why this blog is important because it serve as a reference point of understanding. I am still learning heaps as I go along.

    As I find stuff on youtube that's of interest and quality I will post it. I will also see what I can do with my grading footage when its filmed in October.
  8. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    Are you grading in October or December? I will probably be attending both grading's, my grading though is in October. My Kaiako is grading to Pouwaru too (the highest rank for those wondering). This year is an exciting year for Tu Taua.
  9. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    Found some Tu Taua footage on YouTube, allot of it is basic stuff (akonga, pou tahi and pou rua - ungraded, grade one and grade two). In this clip there is footwork drills, step sparring, light free sparring and a weapons haka at the end. I'm not sure which ropu this is (I think its one of the Australian groups). Hopefully they don't mind me posting.

    There is a whole mixture of pou (ranks) featured in this clip. The tipare (head bands) showcase rank (I made an ealier post explaining what colours refer to what rank/pou and which atua - Maori god - they represent).

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  10. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    From the same ropu, light whawhai (sparring), warning - you can turn off the music if you want, it has naughty words in it.

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  11. uepohatu

    uepohatu New Member

    Not sure on the date yet. I'm guessing your Kaiako will be grading for Pouwaru in Takapau also, so I will see you there!
  12. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

  13. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    Another amazing professional Kapa Haka/Mau Rakau team. They have amazing waewae (foot work) and ringaringa me nga rakau (rakau skills).

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  14. Guitar Nado

    Guitar Nado Valued Member

    I really enjoyed that video. Thanks for posting it, it is very impressive.

    I have to admit I totally don't understand the footwork at all. It you have time to offer insight, I would appreciate it.
  15. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    Looks like I will have to do a video of myself demonstrating basic footwork as the previous two videos were removed by the user. Charging the camera battery atm, I'm nowhere near as good as these guys are and they appear to be practicing a northern style (possibly Te arawa). The style I practice is Ngati Kahungunu.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  16. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    IMPORTANT NOTICE: Be prepared for allot of words. I am not an instructor, this is video is for educational purposes only. DO NOT COPY what you see in the video because chances are you will end up doing it incorrectly. Do not use this video as an authority on Mau Rakau technique. I am at the rank of Akonga (beginner/no rank), I have not graded under Te Whare Tu Taua o Aotearoa yet. Yes, I am also obese (am working on losing weight) with a history of leg injuries which does affect how the technique looks. PLEASE DO NOT SHARE THIS VIDEO, keep it on MAP and discuss about it here.

    Mau Raku is Tapu (sacred) to Maori, so please treat it as such.

    There are many different tribal styles, Tu Taua focuses on the style practiced by Toa (warriors) of Ngati Kahungunu. I am still learning about the purposes of these techniques myself but I will try my best to explain (I will update the explanations as I learn).

    The stick I am holding is not a Taiaha, it is a Whawhai Rakau (used for sparring).

    On my Whawhai Rakau you may notice that there is a green piece of tape on one of the ends, this represents the Ate (the butt end/club) on a Taiaha. It was hard filming this, I was pretty nervous in front of the camera. For reading/pronunciation, Te reo Maori words are pronounced with strict vowels.


    Technique 1: Kowhara Pourua - This technique was used for footing etc. walking through the bush. The rakau is held in the position Poutama ki Mua (holding out to the front). You will see me hold the rakau in this position for various techniques.

    Technique 2: Tumatuenga (is a standard guard pose, named after the god of war - all my moves end with Tumatuenga), Poupou Tahi (is a defensive pose - I prefer this one in sparring)

    Technique 3: Same as technique 1. I forgot to edit it out.

    Technique 4: Poto - Striking to the neck. Walking through with the shot.

    Technique 5: Tikaro - Blocking or striking to the knee, and lifting up the opponents rakau to open them up for a counter attack.

    Technique 6: Tikawe - Not entirely sure what the practical application of this technique is for. Looks cool though. Have been told in the past it was for blocking, I will ask my kaiako (instructor).

    Technique 7: Te Ahuahungaroa - For looking around, generally used for Wero (challenge on the marae), have also been told in the past that this technique does have a sparring application, mainly using the side on position to move out of the way of any technique coming towards you rather than from the side. I demonstrate the basic blocks and attacks used later on in the video.

    Technique 8: Tipatapata - For kicking up the dust, looks very impressive when done by a large group of Toa. Also mimics the sound of rain hitting the roof of a whare (house).

    Technique 9: Kowhara poutahi ki Katau (right side) and ki Maui (left side) - Used for showing off to an opponent how agile you are (I'm not very agile) can be used with Patu or Mere to close the gap against an opponent wielding a Taiaha or other long rakau.

    Technique 10: Putatea ki Katau and Putatea ki Maui - Used for showing off and for kicking up dust or water. Not sure what the sparring application is for this (if there is one) will have to ask my kaiako.

    Technique 11: Wheitua nga Parapara - This move is used for clearing a spiritual path. Is often used in situations like a Tangihanga (funeral) when bringing the body on or off the marae.

    Technique 12: Whakawhitiwhitirua - This is the hardest move to learn and master at this level. I have been told that this technique is used for jumping over attacks to the legs. At the moment I'm having enough trouble trying to get my legs up.

    Technique 13: Paupoua ki Katau (Paupoua ki Maui is the same but you start off by going to the left) - This move mimics the crab. Can be used to move in-between opponents in sparring. Often used in Kapa Haka as well. Can be done with or without the rakau. I need to focus more on moving my feet.

    Technique 14: Tuwaewae Takahia - Used in kapa haka application with a group of people. Often the caller will command the following; Takahuri Katau (turn right), Takahuri Maui (turn left), Patangatanga (hold for a beat then run 4 steps on the spot before carrying on) and Takahuri Whakamuri (turn around). In this video I demonstrate both Takahuri Whakamuri and Patangatanga.

    Technique 15: I'm not sure what the name of this technique is, but its used to improve footwork for sparring.

    Technique 16: Here I show the foot work being used with the rakau in both attacking and defensive moves. More explanation on those below.

    Technique 17: Nga Paoa - Strikes in the following order; Upoko (head), Kaki Katau (right neck), Kaki Maui (left neck), Tinana Katau (right side - shoulder to elbow), Tinana Maui (left side - shoulder to elbow), Hope Katau (right hip - elbow to hip), Hope Maui (left hip - elbow to hip), Turi Katau (right knee), Turi Maui (left knee). Whakarehu Kanohi (face), Whakarehu Poho (chest), Whakarehu Ure (groin). Ate Kanohi (face), Ate Poho ( chest), Ate Ure (groin).

    All whakarehu shots utilize the arero (tongue) of the Taiaha.

    All Ate shots utilize the Ate (club/butt end) of the Taiaha.

    Technique 18: Nga Karo - Blocks to the above strikes.

    Technique 19: Ahei - A sequence of techniques put together. Pattern. Similar concept to Kata.

    Whakata - At rest
    Toropaepae - This position is done for karakia (prayer) or when handing a rakau to someone
    Poupoutahi - Defensive posture
    Tumatauenga - Standard guard posture
    Hui Tanguru - Preparing to attack, can also be used defensively
    Kopere Ki Maui - Strike to the left
    Te Marangae Areare - Taunting posture, can also represent a whare (house)
    Paeruru - Owl perch, ready position
    Te O Tane - This stance is named after the famous Maori toa (warrior), Te O Tane who used this stance in battle.
    Kopere Ki Matau - Striking to the right
    Te Tuhi Upoko - Uppercut to the jaw, preparing to hit the upoko (head)
    Upoko Parahaki - Blocking the head
    Ko Tane Mahuta Ki Katau - Blocking the right side, I think this is named after Tane Mahuta, God of the forest. Will ask my Kaiako.
    Ko Tane Mahuta Ki Maui - Blocking the left side.
    Hawaiki Tu - Ready stance, also a block.
    Te Hua Tapu A Tu - Striking to the neck, can also be used as a block.
    Te Pa A Tu - Ready stance
    Te Tohu A Tu - Sign of Tumatauenga (god of war). Taunting posture.
    Poutou - Pointing to the ground, in a wero this would be pointing to the taki (dart)
    Tumatauenga - Standard guard posture
    Te Hoe- Talking to the ancestors
    Poupoutahi - Defensive posture
    Whakanoa - Peaceful posture, this posture is used when not in combat eg; walking around on the marae
    Whakata - At rest
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  17. flaming

    flaming Valued Member

    Yes it takes courage to put a video up. So well done for that.

    You look very light on your feet for someone that says they are supposedly obese.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  18. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    I have a question about the video in post #53. What is the meaning/ purpose of the hand wavering seen throughout the video? One example would be at 2:43.


    Edit- I just looked at your own video! Thanks so much for doing that despite being nervous! That was a great video and post! Very informative about your style. You obviously put in practice time in your art and take it seriously. You can tell from the video, even if you are at a beginner rank.

    I also have knee problems which affect some moves in my arts. I know how frustrating that can be! My kneeling horse stance in CLF is not very good at all. but it is the best I can do. Same with "snake creeps low" in TCC. Mine is more like "snake creeps semi-high." So, you are not alone.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  19. Guitar Nado

    Guitar Nado Valued Member

    Thanks for posting this. It is very interesting and super cool. I really appreciate you taking the time and effort to do this.
  20. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    Thanks aaradia. The hand movement is called wiriwiri (shimmering/comes from heat haze), it brings mauri (life force) into the movement. Its often seen in waiata (song), kapa haka and korero (speeches) etc. Its a form of expression.

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