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Nā tō rourou, nā taku rourou ka ora ai te iwi 
With your food basket and my food basket the people will thrive 

Research into the whakapapa of physical activity through a Maori perspective provides an avenue for Maori to place importance and value on their health as their ancestors once did. This could be used to guide modern Maori on how pre European Maori used the natural environment to increase physical activity by gaining insight into its traditional origins and applying concepts to support a contemporary approach to physical activity and health. 

Like many aspects of traditional Maori society, this physical, psychological and spiritual conditioning also had a whakapapa linked to atua, tipua and kaitiaki which went as far as characteristics and personality traits of these entities, including the environments in which the belonged, influencing how physical activities were performed. 

As a result of investigation into linking physical activity to atua, an opportunity now exists for Maori in today’s society to revisit the concepts that once connected traditional Maori to their natural and spiritual realms and provided the foundations for optimum health. This highly developed awareness of ones genealogy of body, mind and spirit to the environment is in stark contrast to the situation of Maori today who are now over represented in health disparities and inequalities. 

Dr Ihirangi Heke

Tūmatauenga

Tūmatauenga, the main Māori god of war, is one of the sons of Ranginui (sky father) and Papatūānuku (earth mother). In tradition, Tūmatauenga sought to solve conflict by warfare and was the deity of humans.Tumatauenga (God of war) is integrated through the boxing sessions that take place. Sessions are non violent and have become a great stimulant to release anger and frustration in a controlled environment and also gain the benefits of phitness.

Tāwhirimātea

Tāwhirimātea lived between the embrace of Ranginui and Papatūānuku as did the other children of his whānau. He liked living close to his parents. He could talk to his mother, and get advice from his father when he needed to. Tāwhirimātea didn't mind the difficulties of living in continual darkness, or that space was so confined that he and the rest of his siblings had to crawl to get around.
The cardiovascular system is an integral part of the tinana. When exercises are performed that involve elevating the heart rate and increasing O2 intake and CO2 release, we have a close affiliation with Tawhirimatea (God of wind). Exercises include, running, skipping, cycling and swimming.

Tūmatauenga

Tūmatauenga, the main Māori god of war, is one of the sons of Ranginui (sky father) and Papatūānuku (earth mother). In tradition, Tūmatauenga sought to solve conflict by warfare and was the deity of humans.Tumatauenga (God of war) is integrated through the boxing sessions that take place. Sessions are non violent and have become a great stimulant to release anger and frustration in a controlled environment and also gain the benefits of phitness.

Rūaumoko

Rūaumoko remains in Papa's womb to keep Papa company after her separation from Rangi. Rūaumokos movements in the womb of Papa cause earthquakes and volcanic activity. The earthquakes Rūaumoko causes are in turn are responsible for the change of seasons. Depending on the time of year, the earthquakes cause the warmth, or cold, of Papa to come to the surface of the land, resulting in the warming, or cooling of the Earth.                                                                       Strength training is vital to complete daily tasks such as hanging out the washing or chopping wood. Exercises that utilize kettlebells, powerbags and tyres develop the strength of specific muscle groups. Ruaumoko (God of earthquake) is present when strength training is taken place as the ground shakes as the weight is thrown to the ground.

Tane Mahuta

Ranginui and heir children were prisoners of the darkness. After conferring they (the Tawhito) decided to part their parents so that their universe could be flooded with light. Only Tawhiri Matea disagreed with that decision. Finally Tane Mahuta braced himself between his two parents and separated them.Tane Mahuta braced himself between his two parents and separated them.Outside of the gym whanau can interact with one another in the peaceful settings of Tana Mahuta  (God of the forest). In these wananga, whanau learn how to catch the kai through hunting.

Tangaroa

Māori believe that water is an energy, with many moods. It can be calm and life-giving, or dangerous and destructive. This energy is called Tangaroa – ‘god of the sea’.Tangaroa has plenty of kai to offer the whanau. These wananga aim to help whanau learn to swim but also catch their kai-moana, through fishing and diving.