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Hawaiian Warrior: Michelle Manu on Hawaii the People and Culture

Fascinating People Fascinating Places

Daniel Mainwaring

Documentary, Society & Culture:documentary, Society & Culture, History

51.1K Ratings

🗓️ 14 October 2023

⏱️ 31 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


Michelle Manu, holds a unique distinction: she is the first female fully qualified Lua martial artist in 200 years. But in the past, female warriors were an integral part of Hawaiian society, so what happened? Charismatic Michelle’s resume reads like that of a superhero. A 26-year legal career after studying at Harvard Business School, earning a Master’s degree in Metaphysical Science, whilst working as a professional actress, martial artist, and dancer. She is an advocate for women, a self-defense trainer, an advocate for Hawaiian culture, and a Knight Commander of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I (O’ahu Chapter). In this episode, we discuss the recent tragic events in Hawaii, the impact of racism and colonialism on the islands, plus the self-inflicted wounds caused by the former royal rulers. A candid assessment of the 50th state. Its past, present, and her hopes for the future. Michelle Manu Official Website: www.michellemanu.com Music: Pixabay

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Female warriors have been an important part of Hawaiian culture since ancient times.


But presently there's only one fully trained female practitioner and teacher in the Hawaiian martial art of law,


and her name is Michelle Manneu.


Known to many as an actress, stunt coordinator, dancer and martial artist.


Michelle also found time to study business at Harvard.


Her remarkable resume also includes a master's degree in metaphysical sciences.


And then there's her day job where she's been a legal professional for 26 years.


In this episode, I speak to Michelle about her incredibly varied career


as well as the people, traditions and culture of Hawaii, the challenges of the past and present, and her hopes for the future.


Michelle, you've got a superhero like resume.


You seem to be so talented in so many areas.


One thing that struck me though was you went to George Washington University,


then you went to Harvard Business School.


And I think it's fair to say for a lot of people


going down that path that opens up a lot of doors for you and opportunities where


they may disappear into Wall Street, New York, Washington, what have you.


But you made a decision to come back to Hawaii, to embrace the Hawaiian traditions with the dancing, martial arts and so forth.


Was it always your plan when you embarked on your academic career


and worked to promote and protect the Hawaiian culture in various respects?


That's a beautiful question Dan.


I'm kind of conflicted because I'm also half Scandinavian.


So and I also have some Asian on my paternal side.


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