NEWS

Grandmaster Ramasima Eager To Share Martial Arts Skills, Knowledge

We conducted martial arts classes for self-defence purposes to some schools such as Adi Cakobau School, Ballantine Memorial School, Dudley High School and Vishnu Deo,” he said.
15 Oct 2021 11:14
Grandmaster Ramasima Eager To Share Martial Arts Skills, Knowledge
Pita Ramasima with other army officers from around the world learning the Chinese Wushu in China, in 2012.

Pita Ramasima holds black belts in seven different forms of martial arts, making him a grandmaster.

The Chinese Wushu, Israeli Karav Maga, Korean Taekwando, Japanese Karate and Jijitsu mixed martial arts, kick boxing and boxing are the forms he is a master in.

The retired military officer recalls how martial arts demonstration was always the highlight of Fiji Day remembrance celebrations.

Fiji Day celebrations

During every Fiji Day celebration since 1970 there was a display at the foreshore where we would display the various martial art forms.

“We would later receive visitors at the RFMF gates asking if there were classes, so we conducted for those interested in learning the art from 5pm to 6pm,” he said.

“Some would want to join the military because of their interest in martial arts.

“Most of those who walked through those gates to learn, were able to develop themselves as better persons and either joined the navy, prison services, police or even the military.

“We conducted martial arts classes for self-defence purposes to some schools such as Adi Cakobau School, Ballantine Memorial School, Dudley High School and Vishnu Deo,” he said.

“The largest group I have ever instructed and led were 500 officers from all units of all divisions for the first Pacific Asian Military Seminar that was held in Denarau and I requested the Prime Minister to do the honours of closing the ceremony by breaking the board as our finishing performance.

“The breaking board was sent from Korea but I replaced it with a polished pine board and Mr Bainimarama amazingly broke the board with one fist.”

Background

After leaving Dreketi Secondary School he learned Martial Arts in 1975 in Labasa from a Rotuman instructor and grandmaster, Henry Gibson, before joining the Royal Fiji Military Forces in 1978.

Marshall Arts encompassed all the arts that instil a life of discipline, respect, determination, perseverance and hard work.

Mr Ramasima said an unarmed combat academy was set up by the then commander Voreqe Bainimarama (currently Fiji’s Prime Minister) for military officers to train them to be equipped for battles when the power of the military weapons has ceased function.

He also went to China to learn and upgrade his skills of the art.

“The main reason for setting up the academy was to equip the officers for self-defence and for development,” Mr Ramasima said.

“It was done in courses up to the black belt level and for all the sub units.

“We had visitors from Korea that would visit to upgrade our skills in learning the art.”

The 63-year-old was among the 200 pioneers for peacekeeping duties to Lebanon in 1978 and has made numerous peacekeeping tours to the Middle East thereafter.

Mr Ramasima, who is now the Rehabilitation Project Officer, has been organising the rehabilitation process of his vanua in Naividamu, Seaqaqa.

As project officer he used his experience gained from serving in the military for 34 years in the Engineering Department.

He is utilising his engineering skills to assist in rehabilitation of Naividamu after it was affected during two tropical cyclones.

He has been to all the parts of Fiji for the purpose of rehabilitation and development which was carried out by the RFMF Engineering Department before the aligned ministry of Natural Disaster and Management was set up.

Life After Military Duty

Mr Ramasima retired in 2013 and started his own firm ‘Salty Martial Arts and Security Academy’ at his Cunningham home where all his four children, nieces and nephews first learned martial arts.

His two sons later joined the RFMF while his two daughters are both serving in the British Army Forces in the United Kingdom.

He set up the academy as well for school leavers to develop themselves and to pave the way for them to get a job anywhere including security services.

The father-of-four children travelled to the United Kingdom and visited all the royal palaces and even trained at the largest martial arts facility.

Future plans

“I hope to set up an academy in Seaqaqa because it is a centre where those interested from Savusavu, Nabouwalu and Labasa can access the training,” the retired Warrant Officer said.

“I am helping people with their illness by praying over them and giving massages for this is a God-given gift to help those that need healing.”

Feedback: laisa.kabulevu@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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