NMSD Self Protection Pilot Project: Information for Donors


Natural Movement Self Defense
For Personal Protection and Self Development

  • Offering Weekend Outdoor Workshops
  • In total:
    • 6 Beginner 2-day Workshops
    • 3 Intermediate “Train the Trainer” 2-day Workshops
    • Number of community members served: 50-60
  • Total cost of Two-Year Project:
    • Year 1: $34,500
    • Year 2: $57,400

Social Justice, Transformative Healing, and the Development of Agency

In order to encourage healing of generational trauma and the development of social agency in the under-resourced community of Honoka’a, the Pa’auilo-based Olohana Foundation together with the Honoka’a High & Intermediate School and Kumu Ramsay Taum, propose a project consisting of a series of workshops to teach Natural Movement Self Defense (NMSD) as developed by Kumu Ramsay Taum, founder of the Life Enhancement Institute of the Pacific and long-time Olohana affiliate. NMSD is a method of self-protection based on movements and gestures you already know and use in daily life at home, work, and school that can be used to break contact and protect oneself or others in the case of an assault. NMSD integrates the values, principles and philosophies of Lua and Aloha.

The overall mission of this project is to support the transformative process and development of individuals (binary and non-binary, youth and adult) who feel safe, families which feel safe, and a community which feels safe. Says Kumu Ramsay Taum. “We promote the development of self-confidence in our students who, through NMSD training, know within themselves that they can protect themselves, their families, and their communities from predation.”

The coronavirus pandemic and recent rising incidence of racist hate, including against Asians, have sharpened economic and social challenges already facing under-resourced communities such as those in Honoka’a. In the community’s Hāmākua Community Development Plan of 2018, Objective 6 states: Develop and improve critical community infrastructure, including utilities, healthcare, emergency services, affordable housing, educational opportunities and recreational facilities to keep our ‘ohana safe, strong, and healthy.

Safety, Security, and Agency

While the development and improvement of critical infrastructure is a key community objective, it is couched in the need for safety, strength, and good health. If the student is afraid, will she engage at school and excel in her studies? If the woman is afraid, will she seek help for a health condition? If the family is afraid, will they labor in the field to grow fruits and vegetables? For the Kānaka Maoli, generational trauma and a disconnect with traditional cultural practices and philosophies, fuels illness and a deep malaise; and isn’t restricted to that community but flows through the multi-ethnic ‘ohana as a whole.

The Vision: An ‘ohana where everyone feels safe, strong, and healthy.

The Mission

  • Redress social injustice against Native Hawai’ians and People of Color: why are some people safe and comfortable and others are not?
  • Cultural preservation: Reconnect the Honoka’a community and especially those of Kānaka Maoli heritage to their traditional cultural practices and philosophies
  • Leadership development: Teach leadership skills through the lens of traditional Hawai’ian philosophies
  • Social agency support: Teach self protection skills and the values, principles, and philosophies of Hawai’ian traditional culture and customs
  • Community capacity building: Support intergenerational transfer of knowledge, family and community support structures, and relationship building in the community


DATE: Beginning Fall 2021 for 24 months

LOCATION: Honoka’a High & Intermediate School HUB, Pa’alaea Garden, Honoka’a, Hawaii County

PROGRAM FEE: $20/person with 20% discount for families/groups of three or more

MAXIMUM PARTICIPANTS per workshop: 28 beginner level; 12 instructor level


How do we measure success? Says Honoka’a High & Intermediate School faculty member, Ki’ilani Spencer, “We will know we are successful when those hard-to-persuade students and families willingly participate and are visibly transformed with confidence, able to protect themselves, their families, and their communities with pride. From that position of strength, success in many other areas will be easier to achieve.”

Our discussion of this pilot project has generated enthusiasm among faculty at Honoka’a High, who are thinking hopefully about the benefits of such a project and are ready to launch the workshops as soon as possible. “Our students need to learn this,” says Coach Daphne Honma, counselor to grades 7 and 8 and athletics instructor. U’ilani Macabio, a faculty member in foreign languages and geography, agrees. She says, “Our families are excited and ready to participate.”

Success is also measured by those who are committed and equipped to teach NMSD and the philosophies that inspired it (Aloha, Lua, Hula, Ho’Oponopono) to the larger ‘ohana once this project is concluded.

Measurable Outcomes

The primary expected measurable outcomes for the two-year project are:

  1. 50-60 persons trained from novice to beginner/intermediate level in NMSD
  2. 10-12 persons trained from intermediate to first-level assistant instructor level in NMSD
    (this number depends on how many students achieve certification)
  3. A community
    1. safer from predation
    2. trained with Aloha to negotiate life’s challenges
    3. enthusiastic and more knowledgeable about Native Hawai’ian traditional martial art


3 Beginners Workshops
Year 1
3 Beginners Workshops
Year 2
3 Train the Trainers Workshops
Year 2
Total Funded Unfunded  Total Funded Unfunded  Total Funded Unfunded 
Instructors’ Fees $13,680 $6,000 $7,680 $13,680 $6,000 $7,680 $13,680 $6,000 $7,680
Instructors’ Expenses $4,968 $0 $4,968 $4,968 $0 $4,968 $4,968 $0 $4,968
Project Director $3,000 $0 $3,000 $1,500 $0 $1,500 $1,500 $0 $1,500
Space $2,000 $2,000 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Equipment $1,800 $0 $1,800 $600 $0 $600 $1,400 $0 $1,400
Learning Materials $1,805 $0 $1,805 $120 $0 $120 $1,670 $0 $1,670
Communications/Publicity $3,000 $0 $3,000 $2,700 $0 $2,700 $2,700 $0 $2,700
Other (insurance, snacks) $2,580 $2,580 $0 $2,580 $2,580 $0 $1,620 $1,620 $0
Project administration $1,710 $1,710 $1,757 $1,757 $1,992 $1,992
Total $34,543 $10,580 $23,963 $27,905 $8,580 $19,325 $29,530 $7,620 $21,910


Click on the Donate button at the bottom of this page to support this project. Please indicate that your gift is in support of the Natural Movement Self Defense project. We thank you for your generous contribution.



Kumu (Teacher) Ramsay Taum, creator of the NMSD program, will lead the workshops together with his daughter, Remi Taum Kawood. Mentored and trained by respected kūpuna (elders), Kumu Ramsay is an award-winning practitioner and instructor of Native Hawaiian practices: Hoʻoponopono (stress release and mediation), Lomi Haha (body alignment) and Kaihewalu Lua (Hawaiian combat/battle art). Learn more at ramsaytaum.com. (In the photo at left, Kumu Ramsay Taum is on the right with the late Lua Kumu Olohe Solomon-Kaihewalusolo, founder of Lua Halau o Kaihewalu.)

Remi Taum Kawood, has been training in NMSD with her father, Ramsay, for more than a decade and will provide additional instructional support. Born and raised in Hawaii, she currently lives and works in Fairbanks, Alaska, where she is the co-owner of Kawood Media. (Remi is pictured with her father, Kumu Ramsay, above in the second photo from the top.)

Honoka’a Intermediate & High School is located in the center of Honoka’a on the Hāmākua Coast of the Big Island of Hawai’i and situated on nearly 7 acres. Established in 1889, the school is part of a complex that includes Waimea Elementary, Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School, Honoka’a Elementary, and Pa’auilo Elementary & Intermediate. It serves students in grades 7 through 12 in the communities of Waimea, Kawaihae, Ahualoa, Honoka’a, Kukuihaele, Pa’auhau, and Pa’auilo.

Olohana Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based on Hawaii’s Big Island since 2008. Olohana focuses on building community capacity, cohesiveness, resilience, and emergency preparedness around projects that intersect food, energy, water, and knowledge systems. Olohana serves Native and underserved peoples in Hawaii, the U.S. mainland, Alaska, U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. Pacific Islands, and Micronesia. The age of our demographic is wide-ranging, from student-age youth to elderly. While our focus is on Native peoples, the target demographic spans race, ethnicity, religion, and cultural background. Olohana does not work in isolation but with an extensive network of partners and collaborators. Olohana means “all hands working together.”


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Top two photos on the left from Heirs To Our Oceans, SEAL 2021; credit Chris Shaeffer.