Haumea F. Lefiti, also known by his students and friends as Tiny, was born in Hawaii in 1930, and died in 1973 in Huntington Park, CA. He spoke Japanese, Hawaiian, Samoan and English fluently. In his early 20’s he joined the US Marines during the Korean war, and fought for his country.
At one time when attacked by the communists he was separated from their troupe. Tiny roamed the hills trying to find his group. It was 80 days before he was reunited with the American troops. During the 80 days he survived on plants and wild life, with nothing to drink except snow water. He was also active in many battles and fought to attain ‘Pork Chop Hill.’ He received many medals.
Tiny lived most of his young life in Hawaii where he learned karate. While he was serving in the marines he was stationed in Korea where he learned kung-fu. Later in Taiwan he learned ‘Splashing Hands’ from a famous general. Before he left Taiwan he asked his teacher where he could finish his training in Splashing Hands. His teacher gave him a letter to give to Master Ark Yuey Wong asking him to accept Tiny as his student. At first Master Wong refused claiming he knew nothing of the style. However, with Tiny’s persistence he was finally accepted.
Tiny’s life was wrapped up in kung-fu but he was also skilled at teaching character building attributes along with kung-fu. Tiny expected his students to be honest, patriotic and to have respect and love for all people. He always stressed that the strong should always help the weak, that one should always be modest about one’s abilities and never be the one to start a fight, but also never to run.