Jason Momoa took a break on May 28, 2017 from filming Aquaman to show up at a friend’s MMA gym in support of Mark Hunt. Momoa appeared at the Heartbreak Conditioning gym in Australia where Mark was visiting. Mark is a mixed martial artist from New Zealand who competes under the name of “The Super Samoan.”
The haka was composed especially for the gym and is only used on special occasions, according to the gym’s founder and current owner, Cole Te Tuhi Puru. The haka is called Haka Manuka Whakawaha, which loosely translates as, “to carry the challenge.” The manuka is a stick that is laid down by a challenger when they encounter someone new. Whakawaha translates to English as the verb “carry,” or “pick up.”
The haka is a traditional Maori war dance that is usually performed before a battle. However, it can also be used to pay respect, whether it is to a distinguished visitor or as part of a funeral. Haka are also performed in schools as part of graduation ceremonies as an acknowledgment of a great victory. In modern times, haka are used to show the importance of a given situation, and how much it means to the attendees and the performers.
You can see Momoa in the second row, sporting the blonde highlighted hair that he has while filming Aquaman as he performs the haka with the rest of the gym attendees.
Who the Heck is Jason Momoa
While you may know who Jason Momoa is now because of his turn as the King of the Horsemen in HBO’s Game of Thrones in 2011, but Momoa has been in the acting and modeling business since 1999 when he was 18.
Born Joseph Jason Namakaeha Momoa on August 1, 1979. Momoa enjoys an ancestry of native Hawaiian on his father’s side, and German, Irish, and Native American from his mother. He grew up in landlocked Iowa and went on to study marine biology in college there for a short time.
He eventually dropped out and moved back to Hawaii to reconnect with his father. While there, he became a model, going on to be Hawaii’s Model of the Year in 1999 and translated that into an acting role on Baywatch: Hawaii from 1999 until 2001.
It wasn’t until 2005 that Momoa burst onto the scene with a role as the taciturn Ronon Dex on the Sci-Fi spin-off Stargate: Atlantis. He gained a significant and diehard fan base that followed him from project to project. He stayed with Atlantis until the series end in 2009.
In 2011, Momoa came to the forefront of the world’s imagination when he played the horselord, Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones. As part of his audition, Jason Momoa performed a haka instead of just doing the assigned script, which was Khal Drogo just saying no over and over again. According to the Huffington Post, it was the haka that convinced the showrunners D. B. Weiss and David Benioff to give Momoa a callback and have him come perform it again.
Although his character only lived for one season, his mark was made and he found himself on the cusp of superstardom. A series of smaller projects followed, from The Red Road on SundanceTV, to his current television project, Frontier, airing on the Discovery Channel and Netflix.
Oh yeah, he’s also going to be the star of his own movie in 2018’s solo outing for the underwater king of the ocean in Aquaman, as well as part of the ensemble cast in Justice League, due out in November, 2017, as Universal Studios looks to build on the potential of DC comics’ rich lore and fans.
Jason Momoa is married to Lisa Bonet, the actress best known for her role on The Cosby Show. They met in 2005 and were married in 2007. The couple has two children, a daughter born in July of 2007, and a son born in December of 2008.
[Featured Image by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images]