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Former BJ Penn Instructor Tom Callos Featured at Todays Big Island Internet Society Meet Up

The Big Island Internet Society has grown to about 100 folks and the meetings have been moved to the third Saturday of each month.  Today’s meeting was a potluck held at the societies founders house Larry Czerwonka.

Today, a group of about 20 of us met to listen to Tom Callos discuss how he has used the internet to help his business in general.

Larry Czerwonka talks to Tom Callos about the internet

This months format took a different twist as Larry interviewed Tom which was video taped and then others had the chance to go forward and give a “Born/Raised” presentation on where they were born and raised.

Larry interviews Sherry Carden

Here is part of the interview with Larry and Tom.  For those that don’t know… Tom Callos is the guy that basically taught BJ Penn much of what he knows as he was one of BJ’s first instructors.


…At his school’s peak in the late 1990’s, Tom taught about 200 Hilo residents both stand-up martial arts (taekwondo and kickboxing) and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Before Tom started his school in Hilo, in fact, on the first day he and his bride to be Kathleen Harris moved from Kamuela to Hilo, Tom put up fliers in local gyms looking for judo players and wrestlers to train with.

The next day BJ Penn’s father called Tom and said his boys were interested. Coincidently, Tom had met JD Penn the day before, as he was leasing one of the Penn’s rental properties on Kauila St.

BJ Penn, his brother Reagan, and a number of their friends started meeting Tom two to three times a week at the Waiakea Recreation Center. Tom taught BJ and “the boys” what he knew, as he had just started training in Jiu-jitsu a 18 months before, and BJ became Tom’s 5th degree black-belt-test training partner.

“I’m going to guess that I have tapped out BJ Penn more than anyone in the world, “Said Callos in a recent interview. “Of course, that was in the first three months of training with him, because after a few months, BJ was a formidable and eventually an unbeatable opponent.”

When Callos’ instructor, Ernie Reyes, Sr. was having his 50th birthday party in 1997, Tom suggested to JD Penn that BJ could go to San Jose with him. Tom offered to introduce BJ to his former teacher, Ralph Gracie (the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu pioneered the worldwide popularity of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu).

Shortly thereafter, BJ’s father arranged for BJ to live near –and train with — Ralph Gracie’s Academy. Two years later BJ would earn his black belt (normally a 5 to 8 year process) and win the world championships, earning him the nickname, “The Prodigy”…

More Here: What is Tom Callos to BJ Penn

Planning… FAIL! Chicken Mushroom for the Next Few Days!

So for the last year and a half the Big Island Internet Society has been meeting on the Second Saturday of each month so when I got our last notice I just naturally figured that it was going to be on the second Saturday of this month… TODAY!

So I went and picked up a catering order of  mushroom chicken from L&L Drive In and I’m running around trying to figure out where the meeting is cause I can’t find anyone…

When I finally decided to look back at the web  page to see if the meeting had gotten moved to another location… only to find out that I was a complete week ahead!

Looks like it’s chicken mushroom for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next few days!

Big Island Internet Society Has Its First Anniversary

Well today we had the one year anniversary of the Big Island Internet Society. It was great to see so many familiar faces as well as meet those that came for the first time.

Sure Save and Wiki Wiki Mart owner Carl Okuyama spoke about how Sure Save has used search engines over the last 14 years to help bring his company up in search ranks.

Devany Vickery-Davidson and Carl Okayuma talk about "Starts at Home"

Carl also talked to us about his new program that he has started up called Starts At Home which is a program geared towards parents and really helping them develop full relationships with their children.

Lots of new faces in the crowd

There were about 15 – 20 folks that all had different interests in the internet but the one thing we all had a common interest in was the delicious food brought by everyone!

I’d like to thank The Hilo Burger Joint for hooking us up with this pan of steak and sauteed mushrooms!

Mahalo to the Hilo Burger Joint for this pan of Pupu's!

Branding Myself and the New Header?

So this past weekend at the Big Island Internet Society meet up that was held at Big Island Pizza, the topic that Larry Czerwonka talked about was how to brand yourself.

Members of the Big Island Internet society discuss among other things... the internet

The biggest thing that he mentioned… was using your own name to brand yourself.

Unlike companies which have to come up with a name, a logo and a catch phrase for their products, you were born with all that built in. From the moment you were born you have had your own unique brand and as we transition from the Industrial Age into the Information Age be very thankful for that uniqueness… http://bialoha.ning.com/profiles/blogs/branding-you

So with that, I thought about things and I decided to change my header from the Pahoa sign to something that I thought represented my blog in general.

Besides that Mike Hale started up another site called Pahoa Online that used a very similar picture to the one I took… so I didn’t want any confusion going on as his site becomes more popular.

So what do you think of my new blog header picture?

The Big Island Internet Society Meet Up Today

Just wanted to say thanks to the 15 – 20 folks that showed up today for the Big Island meet and greet at Big Island Pizza.

It was a great meet up once again and we were fortunate to have Grif Frost speak to us today about “LQ – Life Quality”.

Grif Frost talking about "LQ - Life Quality"

Grif’s a well known businessman throughout the world and has settled into a comfortable lifestyle here on the Big Island.

I appreciated listening to his words of wisdom and the key words that I took away from his talk today was to have a good life quality, you must think about the following things in the following priority:

  1. Health – You must be healthy to do anything in general
  2. Ohana – Take care of the Ohana and those around you
  3. Business – Worry about the other things above but do realize you need to bring in money to make ends meet.

Just wanted to say thanks again to Larry Czerwonka for organizing this little hui that we have going on.  I just realized this was our 6th meeting that we have had so far.

Today!!! Monthly Big Island Meet and Greet

Just wanted to remind everyone that today is another one of our Big Island Internet Society Meet and Greets.

Just a reminder so you don’t forget like I did at the last moment for our last meet and greet… please bring two canned goods to help the local food bank.

During this holiday season, it’s always good to think about those less fortunate then ourselves.

In another blatant plug to my own sponsor… I’m also happy to announce that Hawaii Nui Brew has signed on to host future meet ups with a half case of beer each month so big props to them!

So even if you haven’t signed up… and even if you aren’t on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, or whatever happens to pop up tomorrow… If you are interested in the internet at all… come on down and talk story with a few of us.

Today’s tentative schedule… which always seems to flip and flop as we start to talk and conversations drift… but so be it… were not hypocritical of anyone… except me… LOL!

1:00 – 1:15 Arrive and get settled in

1:15 – 1:45 Guest speaker will share with us the revival of Hawaiian Language here on the islands.

1:45 – 2:00 Short Break, Grab some food and drink

2:00 – 2:45 Introductions. Get to know a little more about everyone.

2:45 – 3:15 Q&A about blogging, social networks and all things internet … Talk story with friends, surf the web and enjoy another great day on the big island.

Reminder: Meet Up Today “Big Island Internet Society”

Big Island Pizza Owner Jim King talks to the crowd at the last meet up

Big Island Pizza Owner Jim King talks to the crowd at the last meet up

No be shame… come on down to Big Island Pizza today at 1:00 and talk story with some of your Big Island online friends… and maybe even someone from the Mayor’s Office!

1:00 – 1:15 Arrive and get settled in

1:15 – 2:15 Introductions. Get to know a little more about everyone.

2:15 – 2:30 Short break, if we want (fill up on some munchies)

2:30 – 2:45 Quick discussion about how twitter, facebook and youtube were used to raise over $3,000 for @ourangelgabe.

2:45 – 3:15 special guest will give a talk entitled: “The HIs & LOs of Twitter: Adventures of EHCC/HMOCA in the Twitterverse.”

3:15 – 3:45 Q&A about blogging and social networks and how to build an audience and make money doing it.

3:45 on … Talk story with friends, surf the web and enjoy another great day on the big island.

Click here to see who’s coming: Big Island Internet Society Meet Up