Saturday | June 25, 2016
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Shay opts for active lifestyle


Tribune-Herald columnist

Dharma Shay instantly fell in love with sports from watching Chinese kung fu movies.

“My father raised us watching Chinese culture, due to him being an acupuncturist,” Shay said. “Once I moved to Hawaii I got involved in karate for a short time.”

This was Shay’s involvement in sports participation at an early age, 6 or 7, and it came under the guidance of Layne Luna at Hilo Intermediate School.

“Mr. Luna’s heart and warmth helped me to believe in my latent abilities at the time,” Shay said. “Soon after I moved to train in Hungar Kung Fu under my Uncle Yada Mims in Puna.”

After being trained by his uncle in Puna, his father stepped in and introduced his son to several new pieces of literature on the subject to read on techniques of boxing to Oigong (energy cultivation).

“This was just the beginning,” Shay said.

While at Hilo High and Keaau, he was introduced to traditional team sports for a short period of time but found the adjustment difficult.

“The rampant ego that came with high school didn’t sit well with my martial arts humility training.” Shay said. “I found myself at odds and decided to stick with training in Hungar, jin jitsu and mui thai.”

Shay recently returned from Korea where he was teaching English as a second language and finishing his second language degree.

“I currently work at United Hawaii College as an English teacher and the job entails working with different students from Japan every month,” he said. “The position offers teachers a comfortable lifestyle and the tools to facilitate a unique educational experience.”

Shay has opened his doors to a wide range of educational experiences.

“Most of my work experiences here in Hawaii has been with behavioral health and education, working as a youth counselor with Goodwill’s Ola I Ka Hana and Hale Kipa’s advocacy program,” he said. “I volunteered for two years as a PE instructor at Waters of Life after graduating from there.”

Shay volunteers most of his time and energy to a wide variety of projects.

“Though I do not receive any income from projects like Urban Training or Busan Urban Training, I dedicated the rest of my week to Hawaii Urban Training (HUT),” Shay said. “I continue to work on my Masters.”

HUT is a completely free community based health and high intensity fitness group for adults, based off the Busan Urban Training Model, according to Shay.

“HUT’s goal is to build a sense of ownership and direction with participation from community health and wellness from people like Scottie Hoang, an Army Ranger,” Shay said. “My greatest challenge is breaking through a culture of being complacent for American participants.”

Shay finds that with running a free fitness group that members tend not to read the groups requirements.

“I approach the UT group like a business, not to eventually charge, but to increase my efficiency as an innovative leader and entrepreneur,” Shay said. “I would like to see students in wellness and fitness majors to utilize this model in communities across the nation as part of a reinvestment from soon to be healthcare practitioner’s communities.”

As for Shay’s fitness routine, he exercises daily consisting of two to three days of weights and two to three days of calisthenics.

“Most of my workouts are functional, though I spend one or two of my weight days focusing purely on muscle development,” Shay said. “This will consist of heavyweight lifting and focusing on isolated groups.”

Shay will also focus of light weight and movement in order to burn and work on his form.

“The key to my entire workout is never taking a break longer than 30 seconds though I tend to stick to 15 second maxes,” he said. “I do the breaks of one to two minutes after I have completed the circuit. Some day’s workout will overlap which will allow me to have full days off, providing me with five solid days of workout.”

As for diet, Shay will eat quite clean and basic. For one cup of meat he will eat three cups of vegetables.

“I try to maintain a high level of fiber and non fat based proteins,” he said. “My favorite veggie right now is fresh kale from one of the organic stands at the farmers market here in Hilo.”

To keep what he calls clean blood, Shay will eat lots of garlic.

“I eat about a kilo of garlic a month,” he said. “My favorite treat is sweet potatoes with cinnamon. I keep a gallon bag full of stewed sweet potatoes with cinnamon, honey, and a little cayenne pepper.”

Shay also emphases the impotence of staying hydrated.

“Staying hydrated with clean water is the key,” Shay said. “I rely on regular vitamin supplement and Chinese herbs and I avoid workout supplements that add to the wear and tear of my organs.”

Shay’s theory on diet is that you should eat what your healthy body wants and avoid fasting or drastic changes in diet.

“I do not restrict myself from junk food,” he said. “Occasionally I have a pizza night here and there, but I do pay attention to the amount of calories I am consuming and I take the time to burn those off.”

And someday should you happen to see an retired teacher come passing by, remember to say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”

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