One for the Ages

Kyle Nitahara
Kyle Nitahara
Doctor Myles Suehiro
Doctor Myles Suehiro

By Jason Tang

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- At an age when most people are retiring, one local martial artist is just beginning his competitive career.

And though it's usually the young who compete in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Doctor Myles Suehiro is proving age doesn't really matter.

Literally translated, Jiu-Jitsu means gentle art. But for many who practice it, it's much more than something you do.

"Ju-Jitsu is not just a hobby, it's not just a sport, it's kind of a way of life," said Kyle Nitahara, a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner for 10 years.

And for the first time in his life, 65 year old Dr.Suehiro is entering a Jiu-Jitsu tournament this weekend.

"I'm doing this primarily to highlight the grappling community and Jiu-Jitsu in particular," said Dr. Suehiro.

The tournament takes place at the Ala Moana Hotel this Sunday, but it wasn't just the location that got Doc Myles out to make his debut.

"There is a sense of grace and flow, and it almost becomes a chess match. This is what I enjoy out of it. It's not a matter of winning or losing or tapping out guys, it's a matter of participating in that flow, in a way it's why people do dancing," said Doc.

As a medical doctor, Suehiro understands the inherent risk of stepping on the mat, but he's confident everything will be just fine.

"It's not a matter of choking someone out or breaking an arm or an ankle, it's placing your opponent in a compromising position, he acknowledges and he taps," said Suehiro.

No matter how Doc fares on Sunday, his health and longevity have already inspired many.

"All grapplers hope to one day be 65 and still do what we love to do," said Nitahara.

Although this Sunday is his first official match, Doc Myles has participated in Jiu-Jitsu for 11 years.

If you want to support the Doc, the tournament begins at 11:00 am over at the Ala Moana Hotel.  He's one of the first matches scheduled.