Mililani’s Mad Tiger Academy Is A Family Affair For Everyone

The Goos - (from left) Owen, Cheryl, Ariel, Eric and Sebastian - have turned a personal passion into a family business. Photo courtesy Eric Goo.

Eric Goo brings his expertise in Brazilian jiujitsu, both as competitor and instructor, to Mad Tiger Academy, located in Mililani’s Fairway Plaza.

Goo trained under Relson Gracie for 10 years and won the world championships in Brazilian jiujitsu in 2007, which was the pinnacle of his competitive career.

A year later, his student Troy Irwin won in the same tournament – making it the pinnacle of Goo’s coaching career.

“We teach top-notch classes, and we offer the best instruction possible,” he said. “We have a good family atmosphere and a good family vibe.”

Each student and instructor follows the six values of the samurai: attitude, discipline, family, honor, loyalty and respect.

“If they know those and follow those throughout their life, we will be producing champions,” explained Goo, who is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. “That’s where it’s at for us, producing good people.”

The mindset behind each youth’s class focuses on self-restraint and the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which highlights control and leverage as opposed to physical violence.

“(We teach them to) use their mouths and minds first, using their techniques to resolve the situation as calm and cool as possible,” he explained.

Each class runs about 50 minutes to an hour and starts off with an extensive warmup, conditioning and a stretching regimen. Sparring follows with an emphasis on the techniques learned and ends with a fun exercise.

“Dodgeball is probably the favorite,” noted Goo, who moved back to Oahu four years ago from Southern California. “We also do steal the bacon and tag-team sumo wrestling. I like to make sure we end on a fun note and give the kids a little bit of rest and comic relief at the end.”

The techniques learned during Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes are a great way to cross train with other sports such as soccer, baseball and football, as it focuses on hand-eye coordination and athleticism.

According to Goo, Mad Tiger Academy’s bread and butter is the Brazilian jiu-jitsu program. But the facility also offers kick-boxing, fitness classes, yoga, kids boxing, boot camp classes and Insanity classes, which are “the new rage.”

“We focus on kids through adults,” said Goo, who was raised on Kauai, “but we really pride ourselves on our kids programs. We offer kids jiujitsu classes five days out of the week. Since moving back here (to Oahu) and having my own kids, we really focus on kids programs.”

It really is a family affair at Mad Tiger Academy. Goo’s wife, Cheryl, who was born and raised on Oahu, operates the front desk, and his 14-year-old daughter Ariel helps teach the kids classes.

Goo’s sons Sebastian “Sebby” (6) and Owen (3) are enrolled in classes, as well.

“We pride ourselves on being a family-owned and operated martial arts academy.”

Mad Tiger Academy is celebrating its third year at Fairway Plaza (95-119 Kamehameha Hwy.) and Goo admitted that it has been a long journey.

“We started out at a rec center with mats in the back of my van, and eventually we got our own stand-alone spot,” he said. “We are proud to say that we are the only stand-alone spot in central Mililani.”

The move to Fairway Plaza was a leap of faith for the Goo family.

“But I was a strong believer that if I build it, they would come.”

And come they did. “We kept our growth going,” said Goo, and with the increase in students, Mad Tiger Academy needed more space.

“Our neighbor on the side of us was moving out of his side of the building, so we took another leap of faith and ended up taking over our neighbor’s spot,” he said. “We were growing at such a rate that we really needed to do that.

“We made it work, and we’re still here, still doing our thing.”

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