FROM YOUNG REBEL TO PEACEFUL WARRIOR
By Brandon Bosworth
Self-discipline is key to any martial artist, a lesson Eddie Faaloloto learned years ago and continues to stress today.
Born in Hawaii but raised in Long Beach, Calif., Faaloloto was a good student with a bit of a wild streak.
“I was known as the smart kid who did dumb things,” he says. “I had a very competitive attitude in high school, even in academics. I wanted to be the top of the class and still be the bad boy.” Despite a tendency to get into trouble, he possessed enough discipline to get his act together and graduate.
His longtime commitment to martial arts no doubt was a source of some of his discipline. Faaloloto recalls training in karate when he was about 5, although things didn’t start getting serious until he started wrestling as a teenager.
“My family wanted me to play football,” he says, “but I just had a drive for wrestling that I couldn’t explain.”
Around this time he also embraced traditional martial arts, and began training in Kajukenbo and Lima Lama with his sensei, the late Paul Padilla. Faaloloto calls Padilla “a major male role model in my life that I credit for getting me through high school.”
Faaloloto would learn even more about the importance of self-discipline when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Part of his duties included teaching sailors tactics in room clearing as well as how to search for prisoners.
“Serving in the military changed my outlook. It made me grow up,” says Faaloloto, whose Naval career would take him all the way to the Middle East.
Life in a uniform also changed his perspective on the martial arts. “The military gave me the discipline I was lacking in my training,” he says. “It’s one thing to train to be a fighter, but it’s another thing to live the strict life of a fighter. The military gave me the insight and discipline I had been lacking through the years.”
With his competitiveness and extensive martial arts background, it was inevitable that Faaloloto would enter the world of MMA. He was stationed in San Diego and training under UFC fighter Brandon Vera when he decided to put his skills to the test.
“Brandon took me to compete in my first pankration tournament at Pendleton Marine Base,” Faaloloto says. “It was my first competition and came in first. After that, I was hooked.”
Since then, more fights have followed, including WEC and UFC bouts. Faaloloto is currently living and training in Japan. Though some fight offers have come is way, he’s currently concentrating on something a bit more cerebral: completing his college degree so he can fulfill his dream of teaching high school English. Yet in the long run, his goal is open his own gym.
“I want to teach traditional martial arts incorporated with MMA,” he says. “I want to teach in rough urban areas like where I grew up and offer martial arts as an alternative to the troubled youth. There is a lot of anger and frustration walking the streets, and I just want to give it a purpose and direction and ultimately peace — peace of mind, peace of heart, peace in spirit. That is my ultimate goal.”
WHO: Eddie Faaloloto
RECORD: 2 wins, 3 losses
CURRENT LOCATION: Japan
TRAINERS: Paul Padilla, Arthur Wong, Brandon Vera, Chris Leben and Burton Richardson
FIGHT DISCIPLINES: Wrestling, Muay Thai, Pankration and Kajukenbo