We had the good fortune of connecting with Robert Kingi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Robert, how do you think about risk?
Life is all about taking risks! I have never been the risk averse type, probably due to being raised in martial arts, more specifically the way I was raised by my parents. We were taught to take risks, whether it was in class, in competition, or in areas outside of Kajukenbo. I took a risk by taking over our martial arts studio from my Dad over 10 years ago. At the time, I was young and taking on the responsibility of managing a studio with over 29 years of invaluable contribution to the community, not to mention the huge shoes I had to fill. I compounded this by taking an even greater risk, quitting a stable corporate position in order to manage the studio full time. Add to that, I had just recently got married and this seemed like the perfect recipe for disaster, if you look at it through a lens of fear and anxiety. Instead though, I saw an opportunity to pursue something I was passionate about, improve upon a legacy of service, provide for my family, and take our studio to a new level. Despite all of the risks taken to get here, I can happily report today, the risks have paid off and our legacy is growing. Taking risks is not optional in my opinion. We risk the outcome of any situation whether we act on it or not. If we choose not to act or take a risk, we risk not reaching our potential, losing out on an opportunity or accomplishing our goals. This is not to say we should risk it all, in every situation, but building discernment in taking risks through trial and error is key. That is where I feel Kajukenbo came in clutch for me. We always preach about the importance of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Explore how you are feeling in those moments, deal with the fear and anxiety, collect yourself and respond accordingly. We learn to manage it through training and most importantly in sparring. When you want to win or become a champion, you accept the fact that there is the possibility of getting punched in the face, or losing a match, but that is where strength and courage is developed. Knowing that those risks are there, inspires you to train more and work harder. In turn, your confidence rises and your willingness to take risks and apply what you’ve learned to other areas of your life increases. Taking risks is just part of life and an area that you should embrace.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Kingi’s Kajukenbo has been in the community since 1981. We help our students achieve their goals both on and off the mat. Whether you want to fight professionally, learn how to defend yourself, become a better leader or business owner, get in shape, or you just want to find a home away from home, we have you covered. One thing that sets us apart is that we are all one big family at our school. It’s not just a karate school, we are “OHANA.” It is common to find us socializing after class, laughing, telling jokes, and just having a good time or as we say, “talk story.” Our school is like a second home to many. We have annual Summer Picnics, Halloween parties, and our annual Ohana Lanui Gala is one of our biggest events of the year. We travel to competitions and take trips and vacations together. When we train, we work together, not against each other; we train hard, but at the same time, we all have fun! Our students don’t only view us as a martial arts school, but as a FAMILY. The idea of “it takes a village” rings true in our community and we are all so much more capable of attaining our goals when we reach for them together and have someone there to support us on our journey. It is about more than just learning to punch and kick, it is about the desire to become better everyday in all areas of your life, while using martial arts as a vehicle to get you there. We have been changing the lives of individuals and bringing families closer together for over 39 years and we look forward to sharing our passion with everyone for many more years to come!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love the ocean, so anything along the coast or near the beach is a must for anyone coming into town to visit. Due to this pandemic, there is not as much to do right now, but one of the greatest benefits of living in SoCal is the amazing weather and access to so many beaches. I love to ride my motorcycle, so if they ride, we would definitely take a quick trip up the coast to Neptune’s Net in Malibu. There are always some cool bikes and cars there and on the road along the way. A nice ride through Palos Verdes, taking in the views, with a quick hike down to the shore at Abalone Cove Shoreline would be nice as well. It is always cool to check out all of the caves and sea life at the tide pools along the beach. As far as food goes, I’m vegan so I have my go-to spots around the city that I frequent and some that I hit up as a treat to myself occasionally. Locally, we hit Simply Wholesome, Earl’s on Crenshaw, Sage Plant Based Bistro, LA Vegan, Doomies, Sugar Taco, and Plant Power Fast Food. For a real treat though, we would definitely have to make a push to OC and visit one of my favorite places, Munchies Diner in Santa Ana. They also have a plant based asian fusion spot in the same area called Naughty Panda. It’s amazing! Then to top it off with some sweet treats, we’d have to go to Cinnaholic and Yoga-urt for some fire cinnamon rolls and soft serve! Ok, now I’m hungry, ha ha ha!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate this shoutout to my Ohana (my family)! Family is everything to me. As I took over the school from my Dad in 2010, the support of my family has truly been vital in helping me grow and not only sustain, but expand our impact on the community. Specifically, I am grateful for my parents who entrusted me with their baby that they built for over 29 years. Not only that, but have continuously supported me along the way, even when I chose to do things my own way. Also, my wife deserves a lot of the credit of our success. Without her support, dedication, love, and counsel, I would not be where I am today. Lastly, my sibs have always been extremely supportive and have contributed in their own ways to my success and the success of our school.