Melisa Uchida
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Friday - May 13, 2005

The undercurrents are stirring … things that usually fall outside the boundaries of “normal” are hitting the mainstream … and they’re doing it loudly.

Hawaiian Ryan did not make the Slam Poetry
team, but he had a good time trying! His
new TV show premiers Aug. 1

Rumble on the Rock sold-out hours before the bell rang. Rico “Suave” Rodriguez beat Kailua’s Scott Junk, but not without a good fight. This was Junk’s first fight. He won the first round, but got caught in a submission hold in the second… UFC legend Kimo Leopaldo beat giant Marcus Royster (6 ft. 8, 360 lbs.) in his first home fight. Leopaldo’s been fighting K-1 internationally, but Hawaii hasn’t had any events big enough for him… until now. … The headliner—the man who calls himself “the white Mike Tyson” — the world’s most famous street fighter— David “Tank” Abbot knocked out Hawaii’s Wesley “ Cabbage ” Correira in the first round! Cabbage has taken some serious beatings before, but not like this! The crowd of more than 8,000 people went nuts! Jay Dee Penn’s company Rumble World Entertainment started producing small fights in Hilo to feature local fighters and within a few years, sold-out shows at the Blaisdell with the world’s top fighters… RWE’s weekly TV show Rumblevision airs on K5. Nationally, The Ultimate Fighter reality show is drawing in fans by the hundreds of thousands. “Ultimate Fighting Championship” was “Yahoo’s #2 overall searched site” for one day last month— falling second to Britney Spears

B.J. Penn got into a little trouble after last
weekend’s Rumble on the Rock. His next
fight in the ring will be this November

But the Rumble wasn’t all good for Jay Dee’s brother, MMA champion B.J. Penn. Hours after the last round ended, B.J. was in a holding cell at HPD. Police say Penn hit a uniformed officer as the officer tried to break up a fight outside Zanzabar around 3:15 a.m… The Boys had their afterparty at the club. The fighter known as “The Prodigy” spent the night in jail, but posted bail in time to have Mother’s Day dinner with his family. In person, he doesn’t seem like a professional fighter. He’s 5 ft. 9 in., about 180 depending on whether he’s training for a fight. Penn’s been taking it easy since his loss to Ryoto Machida at the K-1 Hero’s in March. “He’s one of the nicest guys in the world!” a friend said. He really is a nice guy. I met Penn for the first time last year, and all I can say is we ate and laughed and talked story. I remember thinking, “I can’t believe he’s a pro ultimate fighter! He’s just a cool local guy.”

Slam Poetry’s not that different from ultimate fighting. Both are driven by heat, passion and power. One uses physical strength and strategy, the other, rhythm and words. I walked into the Hawaiian Hut last Thursday for the Hawaii Slam Poetry Finals and my jaw dropped. More than 500 people crammed into every crevice in the place, and yet, it was completely silent. The silence only lasted a few seconds before the poet’s words filled the void. In those few seconds, I felt the power of poetry — I was stunned at the crowd: Aunties and uncles, tourists and locals, young girls with dreads and older women with coiffed hair all listened attentively to each poet. A dozen slam poets competed for four slots to make the Hawaii National Team. While the poets performed, artists painted on giant canvases on stage. Judges were chosen randomly and identified by marked tickets. Michelle Buysse had no idea she’d spend the evening rating the poets with friend Mike Cole. This was a tough competition. Hawaiian Ryan ran on stage knowing only the first line of his poem. Hawaiian Ryan style — it’s all about improv and having fun. His phone rang about halfway though his performance. “Dude!” he yelled into the phone, “I only have a minute and a half!” His fans love him. But crew from ‘Olello will have to do a lot of bleeping before it can broadcast… Sidebar — Hawaiian Ryan is no longer in radio and has moved to TV. His new reality series Hawaii Love Stories premiers Aug. 1 …

Michelle Buysse holds up her score
at the Hawaiian Slam Poetry finals. She
was radomly selected as an event judge

Back to the Hawaiian Hut: “I believe in the power of poetry, where poetry can change the world,” shouted one of the finalists. “Lust only comes when you’re naked,” said another. “I apologize for the hostility, it’s nothing I can’t fix with therapy…” said one poet in a slam about a rollercoaster relationship called “Relationship Wreck.” Where else can you use “adulterous,” “origami” and “porta-pottie” in the same sentence? Travis K. Thompson, 25, is a waiter at Kincaid’s. He also teaches poetry to teens on Mondays and Thursdays from 4-6 p.m. at Mark’s Garage (free for 13-18 year olds). “There are too many cops and not enough teachers, too many prisons and not enough schools; too many courts and not enough justice…” The list went on and on. “My heart felt like it was going to explode,” he said afterwards. His performance was awesome. He made the team for the second year in a row… “I’m only human — slave to sensation,” said Selah, who also made the team. Her slam was honest and raw, erotic and passionate. She spoke of her demons and desires. “Yes, yes….” She ended with an erotic gasp. I thought of Meg Ryan’s famous scene in When Harry Met Sally and thought, “Oh, this girl’s good.” … Kealoha won his spot with a slam about his heritage. “I am a Hawaiian.” The intensity grew as his rhythm and passion increased. He spoke of the death of his people and the challenges Hawaiians today face. “I am a Hawaiian in the 21st century!” He received a standing ovation. He’s really the guy who made this movement in Hawaii what it is today. Like Jay Dee Penn, he took a small sub-culture here in Hawaii and cultivated it. Gone are the days of sitting on the floor at Studio 1. Now cocktail servers bring you your drinks as you listen to slam and thousands are flocking to MMA events before they sell out …

There were a lot of things to do on Cinco de Mayo, but that didn’t stop more than 8,000 fans from hitting Pipeline for Natural Vibrations’ Welcome Home Party. PeniDean, Jehua, Kayton, Shane, Stacy and Wayne recently returned from yet another West Coast tour. They hit Vegas, Berkeley, Lake Tahoe, Portland and Seattle. Next stop for these island boys? The UK! That’s what they’re hoping at least. There may also be a Live Tour 2005 album ahead …

While those boyz are taking their message of peace and equality to the Mainland, billionaire Donald Trump may be bringing something Trumpish to Honolulu … A luxury condo! Trump’s reportedly in talks with Outrigger Hotels to buy lot on Saratoga for the project


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