Bernice - Small Circle Jujitsu



Bernice - Small Circle Jujitsu
O Kohala where the mists of Pololu do hide
Hau blossoms falling upon the stream to ride
Freshets past ginger and fern
To the sea so dark and stern
Where ka makani o Kohala brings sweet rain
Rustling the hala of Niuli’i as if to excalim
We are here! We will always be here!
And so it is -- this land of Kohala -- so dear
Five winters and summers had gone past
Since the queen had met her maker at last
In Kohala a newborn baby first cried
And to this land she was forevermore tied
As a teenage beauty to Honolulu she came
With her reputation of athletic fame
For in Kohala she had rebelled
And so in sports she really excelled
One day at Kalakaua Park she spied
The man she would thereafter be allied
Just to set the record straight
This was in broad day-light
As one glance and smile led to another
It became apparent they were for each other
And so in time they were wed
Four children followed it must be said
Five children in all to be raised
For this she surely must be praised
Indeed -- she was to do it well
Although at times it must have been hell
Standing forever with her man
Devoted she is to her clan
For although one is not always right
Always for them -- she is willing to fight
Today this woman we honor much
For we all have felt her touch
For ever and always her love is there
So to her -- our aloha we do declare
As there is a heaven above
Mom -- we offer our eternal love
Mom -- we wish to say
Have a happy Happy Birthday!
ernice Kenoiaina Jay was born in Niulii, North Kohala on January 11, 1923. Her mother,
Mary, was Hawaiian; her father, Dee Hing, was Chinese. She grew up surrounded by
Hawaiian relatives in this remote region of the Big Island. She attended Makapala school until
about the age of seven, when she went to live on and off in Honolulu. Making the long boat trip
back and forth, with the inevitable sea-sickness, was unforgettable.
As a youngster, she learned the ancient Lomilomi massage from her auntie who was trained in the
Hawaiian healing arts. Great Auntie Maile had knowledge of Hawaiian bone setting and Hawaiian
herbs. Bernice started her serious training at age eight. It was in this period that she learned to
apply considerable pressure at the appropriate spots, for which she was to become renowned.
Bernice also excelled in all her athletic endeavors. She became recognized as an accomplished
softball, basketball and volleyball player. It has been said that she could sink a basketball from
anywhere on the half court line. Strength, speed, skill, and most of all, a desire to win, made her
highly desired on any team.
In Kohala, a brilliant young, vivacious college graduate from Honolulu came to be the new
librarian. This diminutive Chinese girl had finished high school at sixteen and had graduated
from the university three years later. She was to play a part in Bernice’s life that was to perhaps
determine her destiny, for her name was Mew Yung Jay. When in Honolulu, Bernice met Wah
Leong Jay, brother of Mew Yung. They had a bit of commonality that perhaps smoothed the way for
the sometimes extremely shy girl from Niulii.
In time, nature took its course. Upon graduating from Farrington High School in Honolulu, Bernice
married Wally Jay on June 7th, 1941. Both Bernice and Wally were in Kalihi, and so they remained
in Kalihi while studying massage and jujitsu. She was presented her Shodan in 1947 and her Nidan
in 1949, both from Professor Okazaki. Her Sandan followed.
Bernice has four children, Alberta, Alan, Antoinette and Leon. In
addition, she raised her hanai daughter, Winona, during her ‘teen’ years.
Six months after moving to California in 1950, the Jay family found
their permanent residence in Alameda. Raising five children while Wally
worked full-time had its workload and challenges. Wally’s evenings were
tied up as founder and Sensei of Island Judo Jujitsu Club. Their home
became known to countless students for its open door and Bernice’s
welcoming smile. There was always food and plenty of laughter. Aloha
permeated their house. Today, it’s still the same.
In the late sixties, Bernice took a second job at EH Electronics in Oakland
where she rose up the ladder with several promotions after attaining
recognition for her skill in building delicate
instruments. After working seventeen years
at EH, she retired. During these years, she
and Wally travelled the world together,
teaching martial arts. In this regard, she
has travelled all over North and South America, Costa Rica, Trinidad,
Scandinavia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Martial arts
practitioners from all over the world hold her friendship dear.
Today, in addition to her large extended family, she has seven
grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Counting Winona,
there are four more grandchildren and umpteen greatgrandchildren. She is still the active matriarch. While
cleaning the kitchen, she survived two body slams off the
kitchen counter to the floor below while in her 80s. Her
vigor is unquestioned. Should there be any doubt, we
can only hope that you have the opportunity to feel the
results of her massaging thumbs digging into one of
your meridians.
On behalf of Bernice, Aloha to all!
Chicken Lettuce Cups
Peking Duck
Dry Scallop Soup
Vanilla Prawns with Walnuts
Ginger & Scallion Lobsters with Brocolli
Sweet & Sour Pork
Spicey String Beans (mild)
Crispy Chicken
Steamed Live Black Bass
Soy Sauce Cabbage Chow Mein
White Rice
Taro Tapioca
Cake (courtesy of Tuckers Ice Cream)
Dancers **
Alberta Jay Hanohano Olinda
Haole Lehua
Cindy Monroe Wahine Ili Kea
Rosetta Nava Hawaiian Vamp
“She’s so sweet and soft spoken, but you don’t mess with Bernice.”
Kate Pryor
“Bernice is the matriarch of martial arts.”
Richard Bunch
“We love you mother, we wouldn’t miss this for the world.”
Hans Ingebretsen
Special Thanks
*Mahalo to Willy Cahill for the lei
*Mahalo to Tiger Claw and the Oh family for genius & generosity in providing the program
*Mahalo to Millie and her family of East Ocean Restaurant for their help and suggestions
*Mahalo to David Quinonez for the audio system

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