Punching Your Way To Fitness

Snooky Fujikawa at Punch by Mono E Mono | Nathalie Walker photo

Punch by Mono E Mono Boxing celebrated its grand opening last Saturday in its new studio at 1646 Kapiolani Blvd. (above Papa John’s). Owner Snooky Fujikawa, 45, has been boxing since he was 20 and started teaching about seven years ago. He also trains a few amateurs and is a boxing commissioner and licensed boxing second, but his studio is more of a place to help people lose weight, increase self-confidence, learn self-defense tips or simply get in shape. “I help people get in shape off of a boxing platform,” he explains. “I teach actual boxing techniques, but a majority of the people who come to me aren’t here to be fighters.”

Born and raised in Makiki, Fujikawa recalls being over-weight growing up, weighing about 213 pounds when he was 13. He discovered boxing while trying different types of martial arts, including aikido, tae kwon do, kempo and kung fu.

“Boxing was the one that fit me the most,” he says.

He eventually started to help friends train one-onone for boxing matches and other fitness events, and in 2008 he quit his job as an area manager for Papa John’s to start Mono E Mono. Within the first year of establishing his business, his clientele grew from five to more than 50, all through word-of-mouth and referrals. Since then, he continues to have a growing following, with clients ranging in age from 8 to 70 years old.

One of his clients is 52-year-old Roger Wall, vice chairman of Sullivan Family of Companies, who has been training with Fujikawa for about four years and trains twice a week. “I thought it would be a fun thing to try; I never did boxing before,” says Wall. “It’s a great workout, but it also requires focus. It’s also a really great outlet and stress-reliever, and the conditioning is great.”

Wall, who also works with a personal trainer four days a week, says since training with Mono E Mono, he has experienced weight loss and improved stamina, endurance and quickness.

For 50-year-old Helen Rapoza, owner of medical spa Helen’s Haven in Kahala, boxing was a fun way to increase her cardio workout.

“It’s empowering,” she says. “It’s just fun to hit something. Also, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis five years ago, so working out has become important to me. I also weight train, so between the weight training and the boxing, my bone density has become better. I’m definitely in better condition, and my employees say I’m a nicer boss.”

Punch by Mono E Mono Boxing offers one-on-one, group and boot camp classes. For more information, call 721-8957 or visit memboxing.com.