BJ Penn to Open Hawaii’s First UFC Gym on Oahu

I had the opportunity to check out BJ Penn’s Academy off Kinoole Street last year and I’m stoked to hear that the UFC looks more and more like it’s actually going to come to Hawaii!

Media Release:

UFC® Gym™ announced today that it will partner with UFC superstar and former two-division champion BJ Penn to establish a signature BJ Penn fitness facility in the fighter’s home state of Hawaii.

BJ Penn's Gym in Hilo, Hawaii

The facility, which will begin enrolling members in Summer 2011, is set to open for workouts in January 2012, and will be located in the Kamehameha Schools Kaka‘ako neighborhood, at the former Pipeline Café on Pohukaina Street in Honolulu.

Integrating mixed martial arts, innovative fitness training, nutrition, and youth programming, the 37,000 square-foot facility is expected to raise the bar for fitness in Honolulu. UFC Gym Hawaii will feature cutting-edge training techniques inspired by BJ Penn, including MMA classes, muay thai and jiu-jitsu, progressive group fitness, UFC Kids’ Gym youth training and the Daily Ultimate Training Series.

Much like the three successful UFC Gym locations currently operating in California, UFC Gym members in Honolulu will enjoy a variety of amenities, including the signature Arm Bar Café which will feature some of BJ’s favorite foods, a UFC Gym Store for the latest in apparel, and full amenity locker rooms complete with dry saunas. Other features include functional training areas, group fitness rooms and the
famed UFC Octagon®.

BJ Penn's Hilo Ring at his academy on Kinoole Street

“BJ Penn is one of the biggest superstars in the UFC, a future Hall of Famer, and an icon in his home state of Hawaii,” UFC President Dana White said. “We’re excited to open a signature UFC GYM with BJ and expect it to become the ultimate fitness destination in Honolulu.”

“I’m very excited to be part of this tremendous opportunity,” the 32-year-old Penn, a native of Hilo, said. “I look forward to working with the UFC and UFC Gym to make this a huge success. It will be such an honor to have a UFC Gym with my name, especially in my homeland of Hawaii.”

In addition to becoming an instant destination for fitness enthusiasts in Honolulu, the lease to UFC Gym marks another milestone for the local community. Officials from Kaiaulu o Kaka‘ako, Kamehameha’s acre master planned community in Kaka‘ako, envision a healthy and sustainable community and are excited to have a UFC Gym as a cornerstone.

“UFC Gym will be a perfect addition to the master plan for our community” said Christian O’Connor, Kamehameha Schools’ senior asset manager. “A true neighborhood includes a variety of housing integrated with retail, restaurants and gathering places. A high-energy fitness center, such as UFC Gym, is the kind of establishment that creates a sense of community.”

UFC Gym’s enrollment center will be opening in the old Cutter lot on Ala Moana Boulevard in early summer 2011. Anyone interested in the ultimate fitness experience, which combines a conventional gym with mixed martial arts training for families, and people of all ages and fitness levels, may visit

A Possible Solution to the Coqui Frog Problem on the Big Island

Everyone knows how much I hate these dang chirping coqui frogs that are so prevalent here in East Hawaii.

More then a year ago UH Hilo hired someone who was supposedly an expert on these things… but I haven’t seen any progress made.

I just read the following article, Tables Turn as Beetles Kill Toads & Frogs, and I’m wondering if this could be a possible solution to the problem?

…In a sick twist of fate, the beetles often like to get to know their meals before dinnertime; in the wild, the researchers frequently found the two sharing shelter during the day, before things turn deadly at night. The beetles aren’t picky eaters, either. They prey on amphibians of all types, from frogs and toads to newts and salamanders.

The beetle kills the amphibian by biting it on the back, to which the frog or toad reacts violently, trying to swing the beetle off. The beetle makes an incision in the amphibian’s back, which paralyzes it within a few minutes, then slowly devours it from the legs up, usually taking several hours to complete the meal…

I’m not one that likes to bring in non-native species normally… but to eradicate this damn coqui frog I would try anything!

So check out this video and see how the Epomis Beetle takes out a frog in less then 10 minutes!