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Nicole Kato

Martials Arts Keeping Mililani Family Focused And Together

There’s no doubt that mixed martial arts runs deep in the Lee family. Ken and Jewelz Lee, who live in Mililani, have been professional martial arts instructors since 1992, and their children have excelled in the sport. The family’s list of accomplishments is nothing short of amazing.

Victoria and Adrian Lee demonstrate an arm bar while practicing at the family’s new Waipio gym. Photo by Lawrence Tabudlo, ltabudlo@midweek.com.

Ken is a World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) black belt and certified referee. He also was head coach of the Canadian Sports Jujitsu Team (2000- 2002), president of the Canadian Sports Jujitsu Federation (2001-2003), president of the Canadian Pangration Federation (2002-2003), and the founder and promoter of “Ultimate Warrior Challenge,” which launched the careers of UFC fighters Denis Kang, Jeff Monson, Dennis Hallman and John Alessio, among others.

Pankration (spelled with a “k” to differentiate the sport from the organiza- tion) is a marital art that mixes boxing and wrestling; it was intro- duced into the Greek Olympic games in 648 B.C.

Jewelz also is a WTF black belt and certified referee, and is a two-time Canadian silver medalist in WTF taekwondo.

Angela, the couple’s eldest child, is a junior at Mililani High School and stated she was raised practicing MMA as a child. “I like the competition, and I like that there’s no limits with MMA.”

Angela competes on the Trojan wrestling team, and won at this year’s state championships in March in the 121-pound division.

“I hated wrestling at first,” she admitted, “but I learned to love it.”

Angela was the 2011 and 2012 USA Pankration national champion, 2012 North American Grappling Association Expert Champion, 2012 World Pankration champion, 2012 World MMA champion and 2013 Tigerbalm North American MMA champion.

Angela’s brother Christian, 14, also wrestles for Mililani High and took first place in the 135- pound division in the junior varsity boys wrestling championships.

He also has been training in MMA, thanks to his mom and dad.

“My mom’s parents and my parents, they’ve been teaching martial arts for

a long time,” he said. “We were kind of raised into it.

“I like how it combines all the martial arts into one, and I really enjoy the sport. It’s fun.”

Christian was the 2011 NAGA Expert Champion, 2012 USA Pankration champion, 2012 World MMA champion, 2013 USFL national champion and 2013 Tigerbalm North American MMA champion.

Victoria, 8, is a third- grader at Mililani Waena Elementary and placed third in the 2012 USA Pankration competition and is a 2012 Tigerbalm North American MMA champion.

“I mostly like to do submissions,” she said. “What I like about the competitions is I like being able to compete against different people and sometimes win.

“It feels good, like you accomplished something.” At age 7, Adrian is the youngest of the siblings, but still managed to secure a third-place finish at the 2012 USA Pankration competition. He also is a 2013 Tigerbalm North American MMA cham-

pion.
“I like how you can

box and wrestle,” he said. “I felt happy (when I won), and it was fun.”

Because MMA is deeply rooted within the family, the Lees have opened a new martial arts gym, United MMA, in the Waipio Industrial Court.

For more information on the gym and classes, call 450-5700 or visit unitedmma.net.

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