"Hands Of Wisdom"
The word LIMALAMA means “The Hand of Wisdom”. It is derived from two Polynesian words – “Lima” and “Malamalama”. “Lima”is a popular term in both the Samoan and Hawaiian languages and it means “five”or “hand” and the term “Malamalama” is defined in the Samoan language as “understanding”, “bright”, “brilliant” or “intelligent”. Using both words in their entirety would create a word difficult to pronounce, so the word “Lima” was joined to “Lama” from “Malamalama” to create the word LIMALAMA.
The intention of the Founder, Tu’umamao “Tino” Tuiolosega was to create a word that expressed and projected understanding in a non-biased mood. He wanted the word to convey the message of warm feeling, and the sense of humility.
Roots of the System
When Limalama was developed, the following thirteen Samoan movements were utilized as a basic foundation.
1. Afikau – the study of warrior’s traditions, specifically dance.
2. Amofoe – the understanding of the manipulation of weights, shifting and swaying tactics to off balance weight.
3. Fa’aelise – the study of coordination, reflexes, balance, holds, breaks and throws.
4. Fa’ako’elau – movements similar to wrestling, including holds and tripping.
5. Faufusu or Ku’iku’iga – movements similar to hand to hand fighting, boxing or street fighting.
6. Lua’aga or Le’iga – the study of pressure points, nerves and joints.
7. Milosia – the study of the execution, delivery and application of circular movements; such as locking wrists.
8. Pepelu ma Pega – the study of knife fighting, this is a cutting coordination. This is a conceptual method in the use of weaponry.
9. Uma Ma Kaupi’I – the study of holds, breaks and take downs.
10. Vaeka ma Kavae – the study of foot movements such as kicks and foot counter movements.
11. Ti’apega ma Lo’u – the study of Kaoi’a, stick fighting.
12. Tal’amoa – the study of combining several of the other concepts together.
13. Upaga ma Lo’ulo’uga – the study of trapping.
He formalized these movements and combined them with his extensive background of boxing and street fighting and created a contemporary, and comprehensive self defense system that others could understand and practice. The cause and affect patterns of these motions and movements are learned through the application of: a) Limalama forms, b) Limalama techniques, c) controlled reflexes, d) physical balance, and e) mental awareness, alertness and stability. It also inspires confidence in one’s own abilities.
Limalama has 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, Limalama remains oriented toward its Polynesian origins.