Posts in Mindset
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If there is one question that many of our members as well as coaches get asked more than any other question, it's this: What goes on at Ku Performance? Is Ku Performance like CrossFit?

We decided it was time to set the record straight and have our Founder and Director of Performance, Daniel Aipa, give his answer to this often asked question along with other mana'o (insights) around questions about the Ku Performance Method.

Q: So is Ku Performance like CrossFit?
A: No, CrossFit is a sport.  But we do implement basic functional movements like CrossFit.

Q: Okay, so how is it different from CrossFit?
We utilize methodologies of various training systems and work with each individual to help them find what works best for them.  Coming from a strength and conditioning background at the college level, we look at each individual as their own specific sport, assess, and plan accordingly.

Q: Does that mean everyone is doing their own personalized workout or is it a group fitness class?
A: It all depends.  In group fitness classes, everyone is doing the same workout that is scaled accordingly.  We are known for training in semi-private sessions with up to 2-5 people per session.  During the session we are able to individualize the workout depending on the person's fitness and strength level, goals, as well as variable factors going on outside of their training.

Q: Variable factors? What do you mean?
A: Unless they are professional and competitive athletes, training is a small piece of a person's life.  And we are aware of that.  The variable factors consists of nutrition, hydration, sleep, stress levels from the multitude of stressors in life, career, injury and health history, exercise experience, extracurricular physical activities, and much more.  An individual's training is highly effected from the outside variables.

Say a person trains 3 times a week for one hour.  That's three hours out of 168 hours in the week.  That leaves 165 hours of variables outside of the training session to negate or have an adverse effect on those 3 hours of training.  We make sure our members and coaches are aware of this concept we call - the Circle of Influence.

Q:  It looks like you do more resistance training, is there a cardio component?
A: Again, it's dependent on the individual's goal but we do have a heavier emphasis on anaerobic conditioning compared to cardio like low intensity steady state.  We train in a fast pace environment to make sure we get through the main session of work within 45-60 minutes because we have found that to give the best results.  We do have a conditioning component in our training but nothing that I'd considered to be in the typical "cardio" category.

Q: What are your thoughts on cardio? Since you don't implement much cardio in the training?
A: We've been told that our training feels like cardio sometimes because of the fast pace and low rest intervals during the training sessions during certain cycles.  I'm assuming the cardio you are talking about is the long duration of activity between 20-30 minutes.  If so, I'd rather have people get outside and go for a hike in the mountains, take a walk on the beach, or anything active outside of the gym.  We live in Hawaii! Get outside. Your mind, body, and soul will thank you.

Q: You do a lot of different exercises that look unconventional, is it better than just doing the basic fundamental movements?
A: No, but everything has it's place.  I don't think what we do is unconventional nor do we try to be unconventional.  But it is an area we find ourselves placed in because people don't really understand what we do.  We are neither here or there, so we must be way out there.  

Q: Okay, you say people don't really understand what you do.  So, what do you do?
A:  We take time to learn about our members, who we call 'Alapa (athlete in Hawaiian), and build a relationship with them so they know we are a team working together in order to achieve what they want.  We create a plan and environment according to their interests, training age, goals, personality, and other variables as mentioned before.  Lastly, we adapt along the way as we continue to learn more about the individual, see their potential, and continue guiding them along their journey.

Q: Is there a specific system you follow?
A: No. Even though it's been called the Ku Method or Ku Performance System, there is no specific system. Bruce Lee being a big influence on my approach in all of this, made me realize that systems do indeed create division amongst people and that's not what we are about.  We are not saying that our so-called system is the best or better than another system.  We do what we do.  There are specific principles that we follow but our overall take on training is that physical vigor and performance is a modality of self expression and we are here to guide you through that journey of expressing yourself - or what we term as, be Ku.

Q: Interesting. So what can people expect from Ku Performance at Hui Alapa Ku?
A: For physical training, you can expect to learn various movements using different implements and modalities of exercise.  As for your mind, you can expect to experience introspection and gain more self awareness of your body and personal language.  Lastly, our goal is to create an ever evolving environment that provides a personal experience for each member.

Our mission is to instill confidence into people's lives. It's to strengthen individually in order to strength the whole.

Ready to get your Ku on? Schedule your "No Worry Beef Curry Intro" today.

The 5-4-10 Breathing Protocol to Regain Focus
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Reconnecting with your breath is a powerful you can use on a daily basis to ground yourself and relax the nervous system. Here's something you can try right now.

Before your next big meeting or in your preparation to attack a big task at work. Try this simple 5-4-10 breathing protocol to regain focus.  Perform 5-10 breaths following the 5-4-10 protocol.  

During your breathing, place a hand on your stomach to make sure you are breathing into your stomach and not into your chest. Your chest and shoulders should not rise up and down.  Many people tend to breathe into their chest which creates more tension within the body and add more tension to the shoulders and neck.  

Mahalo and A hui hou.

The Ku Mindset for Human Performance

In Hawaii, Kū means to stand tall, to anchor down, to achieve, and to transform.  Author of ʻAs a Man Thinketh", James Allen, wrote, "Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound."

The Ku Mindset of Human Performance is the first step towards the realization that in order to reach a high level of performance in life, not just in sports or work, one must be willing to improve themselves to reach for higher heights.  We call this ʻKulia i ka nuʻu", meaning to reach for the highest summit.

Ku is also a known as the god of War and is called upon to build, strengthen, and gain control.  We view this aspect of Ku when it comes to competition with no thought of the competition.  The Ku Mindset for Human Performance is to focus on the task at hand and prepare ourselves for success and execute.  The more you think of what the competition is doing, the less focus you have on what YOU should be doing.  

To reach a high level of performance, it starts with the Ku Mindset.  Only when you develop the proper mindset, you will remain to be bound to mediocrity and to us, thatʻs not what it means to Be Ku.


  1. Find your WHY: Think of what brought you to where you are today, then ask yourself, "Why do I want to improve? Why do I want to take my performance to the next level?" The WHY is higher purpose that is unique to each individual, team, or organization.
  2. Communicate it: When you find your WHY, you must put it out there.  You can write it down in a journal, put it on your mirror so you see it every day, or share it with the rest of the organization.  Putting it out there to the universe and constantly revisiting does wonders to your motivation and what you do every day.
  3. Hana Ka Lima: Hana Ka Lima, to us, means to put your head down and get to work.  You must make sure your behaviors and actions match your WHY and what you want to achieve.  This takes works - hard work.

Everything starts with your mindset.  It sets the setting for the way you approach tasks, your intention behind what you do, the choices you make, and your behavior.  When you have a Ku Mindset, then everything else comes with purpose and meaning which makes you on your way towards being Ku.