We interrupt our regular Whimsical Wednesday fanart day for a special post. Fanart will be back next week.
The reason being is that two years ago Alex O’Loughlin was making many ladies happy when he and Egan Inoue hosted the second Women’s Self Defense seminar at Egan’s gym. The seminar raised over 14k for the Kapi’oloni Women’s Hospital in Honloulu. Each class was sold out and nobody complained that they did not get their money’s worth. Actually it was quite the opposite as Alex was hands on with everyone there.
For the anniversary of the event, we thought it would be fun to provide some attendees’ view of the day so we tracked down as many as we could that were willing to share their story and/or pics of the day. We even have some never seen before exclusive pics for you. A few of the sources either wanted to stay anonymous (which we did) or asked us to keep the pics isolated to the site. We know better than that so we said we would do what we can. Therefore, we ask that those requests are honored. Share the link if you want but please not the pics alone.
With that being said, it was a fun project to work on so hope you enjoy it, too.
Training with Alex and Egan was an incredible experience. The self-defense class was very organized and incredibly informative. It was so much fun to meet Alex and see what a down to earth person he is. He went over all the moves slowly and methodically. He practiced each move with us individually. The group setting was small enough so that we really were able learn and remember the moves. I still practice some of the moves today to keep them fresh.
Egan’s studio is also very nice and clean. His staff was amazing and very helpful. He invited us back to a kick boxing class which I went to the following Saturday. His techniques and class were fun. If I lived in Hawaii, I would definitely train at his gym.
Sunday the 3rd of May was a day I’ll cherish for the rest of my life. I had waited for an opportunity like this since I heard about the first self-defense seminar in 2013 and when I found out it was happening again I already knew nothing would stop me from going.
I went inside and as the participants were arriving this tall bearded guy dressed with black shorts and a black t- shirt suddenly appeared. My heart leapt when I realised it was the MAN himself. Let me tell you right now that he is even more gorgeous in person than on the screen. Alex looks younger and more boyish than McG, his features are softer and more relaxed, he smiles a lot, cracks jokes all the time, and he genuinely seems to have a good time.
My first partner was Monica, a nice German lady and I remember Alex coming over to us once to help in perfecting the first technique. He explained what needed to be done as it was a little tricky. He was decisive but kind and I already started to feel more at ease in his presence.
Egan soon told us that Alex would test us while we were all in a big circle and one by one we were thrown in the “lion’s den” (pun shamefully intended). No pressure, just me in the middle of a circle of 20 plus people doing a test with the man I had dreamt of for the past 3 years and a half. Let me tell you, the man didn’t hold back in grabbing us producing few bruises on my wrist. He wanted to make it as real as possible so he grabbed tightly and he might not know his own strength as he is strong.
Note, that I did both seminars as I had come such a long way, I figured, why not. At the end of the first seminar we gathered for the pictures and since at that time I was still a good girl I only had the one with both Egan and Alex, even if I wanted one with just Alex as well. At least I managed to tell him “I came all the way from Italy for this” (yes I know technically England but I didn’t have the time to tell him the full story of my life so I kept it simple) and he seemed very surprised and asked “where in Italy? ” He was genuinely interested. I also told him that I had a couple of things to give him and he said “sure, what about before the next seminar starts”?
Something I really like of Alex is that he pays attention to what one says to him and he remembers afterwards and his memory seems to be really good. The time in between the two seminars was the best ever. I showed him my first gift, two keyring ornaments, one a seal with a navy cap (yes, a navyseal 😉 ) and a packman in cargo pants. When he saw the seal he said “oh I get it” but about the other he seemed perplexed and asked “why am I a packman?” So I explained about Danno calling Steve that and it made him laugh, which is a wonderful view and sound.
Time comes then for the second seminar and this time Anne was my partner. We didn’t get to be taught by Alex until the second move which was some sort of heap throw which to be honest I struggled to perform. So while Anne and I were struggling on the floor with the exercise Alex passed by and asked “who can’t still do it?” And of course the meaning of Carpe Diem never seemed so appealing and I said something like “I still don’t know what to do with my legs” So he observed my very shabby technique and said “your hips are not in the right position” and he laid on the floor on his side and said “it has to be like when you are sleeping in bed, show me!” At that request I turned towards him and since I was laying on the floor too I got to stare into those mind bogging eyes from as close as it could ever get and froze for a few seconds but since we were surrounded by at least 8 people watching I reluctantly had to turn the other way and finally managed to perform the technique in a way that was satisfactory to him. He is such a good teacher, he perfectly understood where my issue was and worked on it until it was clear to me what I was supposed to be doing.
Then not yet happy I asked if I could have another pic all together with him, me, Egan and Anne and they very kindly agreed. Finally before getting away, now that my cheeky self was completely unleashed I turned to Alex again and said “hey don’t forget your bag” (my prezzies) and he assured me saying “don’t worry I won’t, where is it ? ” So I showed him and finally walked away, as happy as ever to have had this amazing opportunity to get to meet and know a bit better Alex the man: funny, friendly, caring, the most genuine person you could ever imagine.. It was a truly amazing experience that made me love Alex even more and be proud of supporting such a good hearted and genuine man.
2015 May 3 was a great day for me. It was the second day of my trip to Oahu which I got as a present for my birthday. It was a lucky coincidence that it fell on the seminar fell at the same time. I could spent some time with Alex at the Self Defense Seminar so I signed up.
The whole seminar was excellent and we had so much fun at the fights with Alex. After the photoshoot I even got to have a nice talk with him.
I was partnered with Manu and since she was doing the second class I stayed and watched that class too. I wanted to watch Manu and of course see more of Alex. Since that day , Manu and I are still friends and I support her with my posters on her Five-0 blog.
I often think back to this day. It was the best day of my life — with Alex.
The self-defense seminar with Alex and Egan was a memorable experience. A friend and I attended it together and in some ways it seems like yesterday but when asked to remember it all for this write-up, it can be a blur. Thankfully, I have many pics to help fill in the blanks. Here are a few.
I remember the important things such as how nice Alex, Egan, and the staff there that day were and the time we got to spend talking to Alex. We spent some time with him before the seminar as well as after and got to talk about everything from cigars to family and a lot in between. That time is what stands out the most.
During the actual seminar, there were many occasions to learn hands on from Alex. He was joking around and having fun with everyone. He is even better looking in person if you can imagine that and his eyes are very warm and intense at the same time, when he looks at you. This was a great experience and will go down as one of the best. Most celebrities will never allow this much access to them, but Alex is not like most celebrities. (lucky for us) He is humble and real and showed it that day.
When I got asked if I would like to write about my personal experience at the self-defense seminar with Alex two years ago, I instantly agreed. Because I love reading other people’s stories and how they met Alex, so I thought I would share mine as well!
I currently live in Switzerland, but back when the self-defense seminar took place, I worked in Los Angeles. So, as soon as I read about the seminar, I asked my boss for time off and signed up. I booked my flight, airport shuttle and accommodation and was ready to go! Well, kinda. They postponed the entire thing by one week and I had to reschedule everything. I don’t think I’ve ever been on the phone with an airline for that long. But that’s not what this is about. Anyway, on the day of the seminar, I took a cab to Egan’s training center in Honolulu. And, because I am who I am, I completely miscalculated the time it would take the cab to get there. Therefore, I was almost too late, which is a sin if you’re Swiss. Swiss people are always on time!—At least that’s what my mom always tells me. Thankfully, I got there before it started. I was a jittery bundle of nerves when I entered, for obvious reasons, and for the first couple of seconds all I could think was, “Don’t throw up on his feet. Don’t throw up on his feet!” I was given a form to fill out then. To this day, I have no idea what I actually signed, but I was too nervous and excited to care. Sue me! Like I said, I was cutting it pretty close what time concerned so a lot of people were already there. And through the crowd of people talking, I heard one voice that instantly stood out. It was male and had an Australian accent. I thought to myself, “Don’t stare, play it cool.” Yeah, as if that worked out. Of course I had to stare!
After signing the form and getting changed, I joined the other ladies on the mat in the center of the room. We were told about the basics and what we were about to learn. Again, I don’t really remember what was being said. My mind was a little… preoccupied. After some exercises, we learned how to break free if someone grabs your wrist. It was a lot of fun and the girl I teamed up with was really sweet and we laughed a lot. All the while, Alex and Egan were walking around and helping.
Next, we had to show off what we’ve learned. We all stood in a large circle and Alex played the “baddie”, grabbing our wrist and not letting go. And I’m pretty positive I wasn’t the only one tempted to not break free. Because, what sane person would deliberately run away from Alex O’Loughlin?!
Then, we learned how to throw someone off if you get knocked down and the person sits on top of you. And, let me tell you, Steve McGarrett might makes this look like a walk in the park, but my training partner and I had some serious problems with it! Somehow, we were unable to throw each other off and the only thing we did was roll around on the mat in an awkward heap of tangled arms and legs. Lucky for us, Alex came over and helped us out. He gave us some tips and tricks, repositioned a few arms and legs and—Voila!—it worked! (But not before he told me I’m doing the “lazy moves”. Yeah, sounds like me…) I almost broke my back when my partner first threw me off because I got slammed down so hard I actually couldn’t breathe anymore, but I’m sure it looked totally badass *wink*
When the self-defense seminar was over, we all had the chance to take a picture with Alex and Egan, which was really sweet! Alex also signed a lot of stuff people brought and patiently answered questions. He told us about his experience with Donate Life, Taylor’s Gift, the 14-hour days on the set of Hawaii Five-0 and that he has to go back to work in two months to shoot season 6. I have to say, this experience was one of the best of my life! Not only did I have a lot of fun and met some amazing people, but I also learned some things that could possibly save my life one day. I have a lot of respect and admiration for Alex for using his celebrity status to do something as honorable and good as this. You can tell that charity and also his fans mean a lot to him. You know how people always say you should never meet your idol? Well, in this case, I’m really glad I did.
Alex took the time to answer questions and sign the certificates, among other things. And I took a picture because I’m sneaky! Here it is.
The majority of the pictures were originally taken by Kelli Bullock Photography and purchased by the individual attendee who provided them to us.
Here are a few just of Alex also provided to us by a couple of the attendees in the post.
Thanks to all those that shared their stories and pics with us. It is always wonderful to hear more validation of what an amazing guy Alex truly is from those that have met him and spent time with him.