On a warm February evening in Wailuku, a group of teenagers and a few scattered adults are sitting on the floor of an open garage. They’re preparing for battle.
Many are dressed in martial arts gis and listen attentively as Clyde Holokai reads a Bible verse–James 2:17–which explores the subject of “faith without works.” Following a discussion on the verse and the ethics of working hard, Holokai’s students rise to their feet and begin Jiu-Jjitsu drills.
Holokai is Captain Clyde Holokai, a 25-year veteran of the Maui Police Department. He calls his garage-turned-dojo (with a matted floor, framed photos and lots of open space to tumble around) “Fight For Life.” It’s also a Christian ministry that has offered instruction to students of varying ages and for the last 22 years.
All preconceived notions of this place resembling the angry Cobra Kai den from The Karate Kid are gone after observing for only a few minutes. The adults are focused but quick to laugh, and the young students are respectful.