Hapuka's Mau Rakau Blog

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

  1. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award


    After those horrific leg injuries moving like that is nothing less than excellent.

    Finally, obese my ass. I see a normal person. Too many people nowadays comparing themselves to others. Your only competition is with yourself.

    I don't see too many others posting videos.

    You've had an incredible journey and that is a really good video with a fantastic explanation.

    Props for posting.
  2. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    Clinically I'm classed as obese (borderline overweight/obese). But then again, I've always been a bit on the big side. So, its normal to me. At the moment I'm more concerned about improving my mobility and fitness. My surgeon did a great job reconstructing my left leg. To be able to jump and run again, yet alone walk on my own two legs is medical miracle.

    Seeing the positive responses has encouraged me to post more video's in the future. Who knows next time I might even say something.
  3. flaming

    flaming Valued Member

    I was shocked when I saw that some of the people with higher belts in capoeira had beer bellies. They could move like Eddy Gordo and do most of the acrobatic moves as well. Working on athletic performance is much more rewarding than checking the weighing scales each morning. I read once that people often gain weight by strength training this is due to muscle weighing more than fat.

    I have no qualifications just suggestions with regard to fitness. I used read a lot of fitness blogs but I was becoming fit but still remained unhappy.

    Yes I would have trouble speaking in a video also, if it is any consolation.
  4. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ New Member

    Hey Hapuka, really cool stuff bro
    I'm in Aus and will be heading to Auckland next month and was hoping to get some basic training in terms of strikes, stances, and foot work to get me started at home. Do you know of anywhere that would have short term classes as I won't be in the country long.

    Any help or direction would be amazing.. ps what you've put in so far is actually immensely helpful.
  5. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    Kia Ora CharlieJ, I can provide you some links and I will ask my tutor about it. There are also clubs in Australia too.

    Do you know which part of Auckland you will be visiting and for how long?

    Here are some links - Contact details

    Groups in Australia

    I am also aware that there is another group in Perth, but will need to find out more info.


    The south island branch in Christchurch is very helpful you can contact them on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Te-Whare-Tu-Taua-ki-Waitaha-408718445860840/?fref=ts
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  6. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ New Member

    Kia ora Hapuka,

    Thanks for the info! Really appreciate it.

    I still have about a month until my trip so still time to plan things but your links will be a great start for me.

    I hadn't heard of anywhere in Melbourne that teaches but a lot of kmowledge here is word of mouth so if you don't know it's hard to find out. (Just looked at your Melbourne link! Wow!)

    In any case I decided to come and learn straight from the source, who knows maybe I'll have to plan an extended visit.

    Again, thanks for the help Hapuka! Very helpful
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  7. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    Definitely go train with Pita Sharples and the gang at Hoani Waititi Marae then. You will be getting the best of the best that Tu Taua has to offer.
  8. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    For those in New Zealand and Australia, there was a show that was produced by Maori Television called Kairakau that reenacts the purakau (stories/legends) of our most famous toa. Two episodes were made on Te-O-Tane, Ngati Kahungunu's most famous toa. We have a move named after him in the Ahei (refer back to the video I made), which legend states was the stance he went into battle with.

    Tu Taua finds in roots in the fighting style of Ngati Kahungunu. *I forgot to mention that Te-O-Tane is played by Paora Sharples - Pita Sharples son - he runs the rōpū at Hoani Waititi Marae*

    (For those outside of Nz and Aus that are internet savvy there are other ways you can watch it... probably)

    Part 1

    Part 2
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  9. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    Another show on Maori television that takes an in-depth look into Te Whare Tu Taua. A must watch for anyone interested in Tu Taua.

    (Made for the iwi by the iwi, an authentic collection of distinctive kōrero from around the motu. Tonight: Te Whare Tu Taua o Aotearoa.)

    Ngā Pari Kārangaranga, Te Whare Tū Taua o Aotearoa, Series 5 Episode 1

    Ngā Pari Kārangaranga, Te Whare Tū Taua o Aotearoa, Series 5 Episode 2

    Ngā Pari Kārangaranga, Te Whare Tū Taua o Aotearoa, Series 5 Episode 3

    Ngā Pari Kārangaranga, Te Whare Tū Taua o Aotearoa, Series 5 Episode 4

    Ngā Pari Kārangaranga, Te Whare Tū Taua o Aotearoa, Series 5 Episode 5
  10. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    Woods used for carving Maori Weapons

    This summer I intend to go up into the bush and finally harvest some wood for carving taiaha. The wood I will using will either be Manuka or Kanuka. Both of these woods were used traditionally in carving of weapons. I'm still new to Whakairo (carving) but I have carved patu rakau in the past. Collecting the wood now will give me a couple of years of practice while I wait for the rakau to season. Unfortunately you can't really buy pre-dressed and seasoned manuka (if anyone knows otherwise, please let me know).

    The following is a list of rakau (wood) used for carving maori weapons (that I know of so far). Latin included for plant geeks;

    Manuka - Leptospermum scoparium
    Kanuka - Kunzea ericoides
    Puriri - Vitex lucens
    Akeake - Dodonaea viscosa

    Other woods used;

    Tanekaha - Phyllocladus trichomanoides *used for making koi koi, a 2 metre double pointed spear*

    Black Maire - Nestegis cunninghamii *black maire has the tendency to produce hairline cracks. Was generally considered to heavy for taiaha, but was made into koi koi.*

    Matai - Prumnopitys taxifolia *conifers are generally not preferred for the carving of Maori weapons as they are too soft.*

    Here is a video (sadly only available for those in NZ and AUS) on the processes involved in carving taiaha.

    Te Irikura, Series 1 Episode 12

    However there is this channel on youtube - Bodie Taylor
  11. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ New Member

    Hey Hapuka,

    I got in touch with the Melbourne group and started Monday. I don't think I've ever had a workout or training session quite like it, definitely feeling it.

    Thanks for the tips on woods. It's quite tricky to find many varieties of wood in Aus, closest thing I could find was mahogany which has worked out pretty well.
  12. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho


    Still been training hard, the grading is not that far away now (next month).

    Unfortunately I have not reached my goal of being able to run 5km continuously but I can run half that distance. At least that's something. I hope to be fitter for the next grading (next year) where I will have to run 8km. The running distance increases with each grading.

    I am currently working on cross stitching my tipare (head band). The tipare we wear in Tu Taua indicate rank, our equivalent of a belt. In an earlier post I talked about the different colors and what they represent.

    I'm thankful that we don't have to cross stitch a tatua (belt) or weave one out of muka (processed Nz flax fiber). Not all the ropu (group/groups) wear tipare, its optional. But its something that our ropu has decided to do.

    I will post a photo once my tipare is complete, for this grading I am going for pou tahi.

    As a recap the following colors represent the following rank, I have also used the belt system as equivalent:

    Akonga - White belt equivalent
    Brown - pou tahi (rank 1)
    Green - Pou rua (rank 2)
    Blue - pou toru (rank 3) - Brown belt equivalent
    White - pou wha (rank 4) - Black belt equivalent
    Yellow - pou rima (rank 5)
    Orange - pou ono (rank 6)
    Purple - pou whitu (rank 7)
    Red - pou waru (rank 8) - Highest rank
  13. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    So grading has come and gone and me and my older sister passed. Everyone from my group that graded, passed. Which is huge considering that 2/3 thirds of the people that attempted to grade did not pass. I wasn't expecting to pass either.

    My grading lasted 3 hours excluding the 5km run at the end (the grading finished at 11pm). Hands down it was probably the hardest grading that I have done out of any martial art system that I have trained in. The standards were set high by our assessors, which I appreciated. The assessors were quick to dismiss people that were not up to par, which was intimidating to see, but was necessary.

    My teacher who is an assessor (he did not assess our group) explained that it was to prevent injuries from happening as they did not have the skills to progress onto the next rank, yet alone to complete the specifications of the rank. There were quite a few injuries at the grading and just about everyone was experiencing muscle cramping by the end of the day, which in my book is the sign of a proper grading :cool:

    At our ceremony we received our tipare/headband (my tipare wasn't completed so I need to hit the sowing machine - but I still wore my uncompleted one anyway) and had a haka preformed for us by over 30 people (which was amazing). I will post a picture of my tipare when its completed.

    Unfortunately I could not film the grading, Mau Rakau in New Zealand is still not fully understood nor accepted by the public and our organization has been getting into trouble because of individuals posting videos on facebook and youtube.

    The best I can do as far as footage goes is to film myself and share videos that the heads of Tu Taua have chosen to share with the public (this was recommended to me by my teacher). But you find videos on youtube by searching 'Tu Taua'.

    Going back on the video I posted I did get some things wrong as I found out at the grading. Mainly to do with the footwork regarding the Whakarehu and Ate shots which I have since corrected.

    There is a massive grading coming up soon in December at the marae with people coming from all over the globe (including England) which I will be attending (not grading, but attending). It will be very exciting and I will be writing up about it.
  14. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    Congratulations! :)
  15. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    Here is my tipare (headband) as promised. I cross stitched the pattern, then sowed it onto the strapping. The brown represents the rank, pou tahi (the first level) and the atua (god) it is associated with - Papatūānuku (earth mother).

  16. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    In the future I will see if I can film myself at the next grading (with permission) and I will share the footage privately with those that have shown interest in this blog over the years. I will also make a pre-grading video too before I go for my next rank. I personally feel that its important to share what Mau Rakau is to ensure its survival with the rest of the martial arts community, as very few people know about it.
  17. uepohatu

    uepohatu New Member

    Kia ora e hoa, ka mau te wehi! He aha te ra o to whakamatautau? Hoani Waititi?
  18. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    I'd love to see it.
    Came back on MAP for the first time in months just to check on your blog!
  19. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    Kia Ora Uepohatu. Nga mihi for your kind words. I think I understand your question but I can't respond properly in Te Reo Maori (still learning)

    The grading was held at Rakautatahi Marae and I graded for my pou tahi (level 1) rank. The highest rank achieved at the grading was pou wha (level 4) - which was achieved by an individual from the wellington peka.

    Unfortunately I do not have any footage from that grading but I will try to film at the next grading.
  20. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    Hi folks, its been a while since I last updated. Training has been going well and I'm current learning what I need to know for the next big grading next year (or the year after depending on how fast I learn). I also found out tonight that I received an excellence at the grading (its been like 20 years since I got one of those). Also tonight I got to experience what I was like to spar against someone with a Patu. The Patu is very much an extension of the fist, and the techniques utilized with the Patu can involve kicking, using knees, elbow strikes and punches. My own ancestor, Wiremu Karaweko (chief of Kati Irakehu) was well re-known for his fighting abilities, the Patu being his weapon of choice. It was very humbling to spar with my Kaiako (tutor) and experience getting clipped with a training Patu first hand (lol). Unfortunately I won't be learning how to spar with a Patu until I've passed 3 more levels.

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