Martial Arts Veterans Open Fitness Training Center In Kahaluu

Co-owner of Jungle Gym Fitness, Jason Tosoba, practices his escrima moves. Photo by Kenway L. Kua.

If Kahaluu has had a dearth of activities for its youths, that’s no longer the case.

Two local fitness enthusiasts, Kelii Coelho and Jason Tosoba, opened Jungle Gym Fitness at 47-664 Kamehameha Hwy., Suite 1 (across from Sunshine Arts) in early April and are celebrating the gym’s grand opening from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

“First, my partner Jason and I got together and started the gym mainly to help out the community around us because there’s nothing in this area,” explained Coelho. “Second, we train and we wanted to find more people to train with.

“As we called around and checked out other gyms, we started to realize that a lot of these gyms cost a lot of money, and we thought: How do we make it affordable for everybody to be able to go get healthy? That was our inspiration.”

The power duo have a strong range of defense skills between them. Coelho is versed in Muay Thai, kickboxing, kenpo karate, jiu jitsu, tae kwon do, ninjutsu and boxing. Tosoba specializes in weapons, martial arts, kali/escrima, Muay Thai and boxing.

“Our main focus is women and children, and the men come next,” said Coelho. “We’re not a fight school, that’s the biggest thing we try to let everybody know. We’re not a fight school, we’re a fitness center, and we hope to grow big within the community.”

The men run their studio with the help of assistant instructors as well as guest instructors and presenters from around the nation. They also plan special classes and events featuring experts with self-defense backgrounds from UFC fighters to weapons specialists and more.

Classes are offered week-days from 5 to 9 p.m. For costs and more information, call 861-7653, or visit Jungle Gym Hawaii on Facebook.

The is expected to be up and running by mid May.