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A Black Belt Snap that was heard around the world. LimaLama Arts of Self Defense Sole Founder and Grandmaster, Tino Tuiolosega, has passed his legacy to son and protégée, Senior Master Rudy Tuiolosega.

American Kenpo Master and film star Jeff Speakman, rocked the martial arts world last month at his 2004 International Kenpo Training Camp in Las Vegas Nevada. After having just been promoted himself the day before, and at a special dinner that was in honor of Kenpo artists who have dedicated their lives to Kenpo, he introduced his friend and the respected Grandmaster of LimaLama Arts of Self Defense. “LimaLama is one tough style people and a sister to Kenpo” Speakman said as he introduced Grandmaster Tino Tuiolosega. With the undivided attention of hundreds of martial artists, Speakman continued, “GM Tino was a friend and former partner of Edmund Parker, the Founder and Grandmaster of our Kenpo.” Many in the audience were spellbound as they witnessed something that few in the world have, the passing of mastery.

Many of the world’s top masters from other martial arts styles were there in witness as Grandmaster Tino Tuiolosega promoted his son, Rudy Tuiolosega to be the only recognized 10th degree in LimaLama’s history. This move was supported and the new leader’s certificate was signed by several of the world’s most recognized masters, including Master Jeff Speakman himself, the world famous and undefeated Benny “The Jet” Urquidez and too many others to name here. This announcement came just after the formation of a nine member council and the assignment of two cultural and business advisors to the masters of The LimaLama.

Many in the martial arts community have long wondered who if anyone would take the place of The Grandmaster in continuing the dream and vision for his art.” Senior Master Tuiolosega has spent much of his life trying to prove his worthiness, perfect his skills and gain the respect that would be critical for anyone who dared step out from the shadow of The Grandmaster. “Senior Master Rudy is truly honored and humbled by the combined support of the Grandmaster, those who signed his certificate and the council of nine. This is without a doubt, an extremely historic occasion in the world of martial arts,” said Kevin McDonald, advisor to the LimaLama Masters and council member. “The council and advisors have been chosen to help guide the new leader and the organization into its future” he continued. Senior Master Rudy Tuiolosega, worked to hold back a rush of emotions and said, “While I am the new leader, the council will be responsible for helping me balance the tough political and business issues that we face as a martial arts organization. We do this with the understanding that we all must stay forever true to The Grandmaster’s Vision and remember that he and the world are watching.” When asked if the members were martial artists, the new leader replied, “Yes, the council is comprised of people who have extensive martial arts backgrounds but who also have real business management skills, cultural understanding and political experience that we will need to move forward.

Tom Tamez, a life long LimaLama Martial artist and recognized 8th degree has been assigned the tough job of wrangling the LimaLama masses, organizing the business efforts and generally wrestling with the issues that lie ahead. This is a major move for an organization that has been frayed by the illness of their Grandmaster and spiritual leader GM TINO Tuiolosega. After many years of recovery and finding a team of professionals that have the martial arts skills required for respect in the community, combined with the extensive business, political and cultural experience required to grow any business in the martial arts world. Limalama is a devastatingly affective art that is respected by all who know of it and it resurgence is fantastic news for so many. For those who do not know much about Limalam, here is a brief history as written by the Grandmaster himself. Brief History of the “LIMALAMA Arts of Self-Defense”

Terminology and Definitions:

The word “LIMALAMA” means “The Hand of Wisdom”. It is derived from two Polynesian words – “LIMA” and “MALAMALAMA”. “LIMA” is a very popular term in both the Hawaiian and Samoan Languages. “MALAMALAMA” on the other hand is only used in the Samoan Language. The term “LIMA” means “five” or “hand” and the term “MALAMALAMA” is defined as “understanding”, “Bright”, “Brilliant”, or “Intelligent”. Using both words in their entirety would create a term difficult to pronounce. Therefore, the word “LIMA” is used with “LAMA” from “MALAMALAMA”. The intention of the selection of these words was to express and to project understanding in a non-biased mood. It was also to create a word that conveyed the message of warm feeling, the sense of humility and the symbolizing of man’s undisturbed flow of his mind as a path to understand his own physical self.

Type of System and Style of Self-Defense:

When I developed the LimaLama Arts of Self-Defense, I utilized the following thirteen Samoan movements as a foundation in the development of the art. Afikau – the study of warrior’s traditions, specifically dance. Amofoe – the understanding of the manipulation of weights, shifting and swaying tactics to off balance weight.
Fa’aelise – the study of coordination, reflexes, balance, holds, breaks, and throws.
Fa’ako’elau – movements similar to wrestling, including holds and tripping.
Faufusu or Ku’lku’lga – movements similar to hand to hand fighting, boxing or street fighting.
Lua’aga or Lelga – the study of pressure points, nerves and joints.
Milosia – the study of the execution, delivery and application of circular movements; such as locking wrists.
Pepelu ma Pega – the study of knife fighting. This is a cutting coordination. This is a conceptual method in the use of weaponry.
Uma Ma Kaupl’l – the study of holds, breaks and take downs.
Vaeka ma Kavae – the study of foot movements such as kicks and foot counter movements.
Tl’apega ma Lo’u – the study of Kaoi’a, stick fighting.
Tal’amoa – the study of combining several of the other concepts together.
Upaga ma Lo’ulo’uga – the study of trapping.

I formalized these movements into a complex and comprehensive system that others could understand and practice. The cause and affect patterns of these movements are learned through application of (a) LimaLama forms, (b) LimaLama techniques, (c) controlled reflexes, (d) physical balance, and (e) mental awareness, alertness and stability. The LimaLama Arts of Self-Defense have been modified and revised throughout the years to cope with a changing society. It is influenced by a definite American motivation for realistic concepts in self-defense with an emphasis on mental acuity and physical ability. However, the LimaLama Arts of Self-Defense remains oriented towards its Polynesian origins.

Transcribed as written and copyrighted by: GrandMaster Tino Tuiolosega (1963)


About LimaLama:
The Grandmaster Tu'umanao 'Tino' Tuiolosega was born on Utulei, Tutila, American Samoa on July 2, 1931. He was the only son of King Tu'umamao Tuiolosega of the island of Olosega and Sapo Pomele and the grandson of the last King of all the Samoan Islands, His Royal Highness King Tuiolosega Tagaloa. The Art was created by incorporating the best characteristics of many different arts, starting with the Polynesian fighting style called LUA. LimaLama is a registered trademark, all rights reserved.

For more information go to

Kevin B. McDonald
Limalama Arts Of Self Defense
Advisor to the Masters
Meber Limalama Council of Nine


The following comments are for "LIMALAMA Grandmaster Passes Legacy"
by limalama

received black belt certificate in the past
I have comment on the idea of asking past black belts who have earnd their ranking in Limalama to be ranked again by the new council of Limalama. I do not think it is appropriate for any martial art system to think twice about how they conducted testing of their blacks in the past. You immediately put a question on your whole system, on how well you tested the individual and
were you giving out the certificates out for a price! In the last twenty or so years many people both in the USA and Mexico have received rankings of 6th or higher in Limalama, is this your target to put a question on these people. You are only validating certain black belts and rest of your certificated blacks are now less. No, this wrong and to charge for the name of Limalama is like charging someone for using shotokan, kenpo, judo or karate in their school's name. Limalama has been around since 1967 and the founding members were of all different martial art styles, so who can say that kenpo should get a piece of limalama or not. Ed Parker was a great influence with GM Tino in the early days, in fact Tino carried GM Parker's patch on his gi before Limalama was given to the world. I can understand the hard work that people have put into their teaching and training and to let go of their trust and loyality is a blow to all of us, as martial artists. I received my 1st in 1972 and my second black in 1974 in Limalama, I am very proud of my black belt because I was tested by Sal Esquivel and Richard Nunez who were two of the six original men who started Limalama. Both of my certificates are signed by GM Tino and no matter what anybody agrees on or disagrees today, my certificate stands as do others.

( Posted by: malama [Member] On: January 25, 2005 )

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