Michelle Manu

A lawyer with credentials from Harvard Business School is a world-renowned practitioner and instructor of the ancient Hawaiian martial art, “Lua” dedicated to helping people unleash their true power.

Michelle Manu is a 10th Degree Black Belt combat artist and instructor of the ancient Hawaiian martial art, "Lua." She has been knighted by the Hawaiian Royal Order of King Kamehameha for her world-renowned accomplishments in Lua.

Michelle’s focus has been to teach, in a modern approach, how to become a whole warrior through martial arts training and philosophies to empower people around the world to live their healthiest life, both mentally and physically. Michelle helps her students to overcome past trauma and become more confident by teaching them to unleash their true inherent power.

Michelle is also a highly sought-after global lecturer and author, and has had numerous appearances at colleges, and on the large and small screen.

Known for her accomplishments as a 10th Black Belt and teacher (Kumu) of the rarely seen ancient Hawaiian Combat Art, Lua, Michelle is also the only woman accepted as a disciple and earn the title of teacher (Kumu) under Grand Master (‘Olohe) Solomon Kaihewalu in over 40 years.

Michelle is also the only woman, thus far, to be given the designation of “Knight Commander” of the Royal Order of Kamehameha I for her continued work in promoting, protecting, and perpetuating the Hawaiian culture through the Lua. She was inducted into the 2016 Martial Arts History Museum’s Hall of Fame for altering the course of history of martial arts.

A wood weapons maker and expert, Michelle is also the guardian and keeper of the only Kaihewalu Lua exhibit, located at the Martial Arts History Museum in Burbank, California.

​Michelle toured the Midwest as a professional Polynesian Hula dancer and choreographer (1990-2004). Lua was concealed in the Hula when Queen Ka’ahumanu banned the combat art from public display (around the same time Hula was banned). Lua is believed to been around a thousand years pre-Hula, which was approximately 1750 AD. Michelle now converts the Hula into the Lua. For the everyday woman, Michelle uses the Hula, Lua, Metaphysics, and Wellness to teach self-empowerment through the Butterfly Effect program (formerly the SHE (Super Hero Experience) program). Michelle strongly believes and can show that Lua and Hula (and Lomilomi) are the same use of energy. Lua is full contact (to bind and dislocate), Lomilomi is contact (to heal), and the Hula is no contact (storytelling).

  • 10th Degree Black Belt Martial Artist

  • Knight Commander

  • Lawyer

  • Speaker

  • Author

  • Actor/Host

2016 Martial Arts History Museum’s Hall of Fame

Recent News

Proud of Iconomy Client Michelle Manu for landing a role in #MeToo Drama ‘R Culture’

Weinstein Accuser Sarah Ann Masse Co-Writing #MeToo Drama ‘R Culture’ (Exclusive) by Etan Vlessing “There is a lot of me in this script,” Masse tells The Hollywood Reporter about the feature film that fellow writer Alexa Polar will direct. Harvey Weinstein accuser Sarah Ann Masse is co-writing R Culture, a #MeToo-era drama that tackles Hollywood’s rape…

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Dangerous Wahine

Going to the mat with lua teacher Michelle ManuStory by Beau Flemister. Photos by Adam Amengual. “Hit me,” she says. I hesitate. “Come at me and try to hit me!” she insists. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t want to hit a woman, let alone a grandma. But Michelle Manu, a tenth-degree black belt in…

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Acting Credits