FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Shayden Terukina, in blue, threw Michael Nakagawa to the mat on his way to the 112-pound title at the states last week.
Less is more for Terukina
The Kamehameha wrestler's no-frills diet included one gratifying state championship steak
Less means no iPhone, no cell phone, no MySpace.
It also means no steaks. No mac salad. No ice cream.
Instead, Shayden Terukina chooses more training, more learning and more simplicity, and it's those ingredients that led to a state wrestling championship in the 112-pound weight class on Saturday.
Not bad for a 14-year-old freshman wrestling on the big stage at Blaisdell Arena.
"He's a great kid with a good work ethic," Kamehameha coach Chris West said. "He's always positive and at such a young age, he's really mature. Never gripes or nothing. An awesome kid. I'm just lucky to have him for another three years."
THE IDEA WAS to have Shayden pose with his dad, Darryl, and uncle, Benjamin, for what would be a nostalgic photo. Darryl won two state titles and Ben won three when the brothers attended Campbell High School in the 1980s. Add Shayden's gold medal and a shot of the trio would equal six crowns for one family -- perhaps unprecedented.
But the idea never materialized. For all the pride that Darryl has in his eldest son, an equal amount of humility has already taken root. So there is no group photo. Just the the son following instructions, and the father watching the results. In fact, when Shayden won his crown on Saturday, dad, uncle and even grandpa were way up in the loges.
There was no hysterical screaming, no barrage of complaints against officials from the ground floor -- far too often the norm at championship tournaments. The Terukinas sat at a distance, eyes piercing and focused.
Dad exercised all the common sense in the world, emphasis on "exercised." Three times a week, he and Shayden ran hills together after practice. Twice a week, weight training.
This season, Shayden finally outran his old man. Dad trimmed 20 pounds. They both won.
WHEN RAINA Cabanilla met Darryl, they were kids themselves. By high school, they were sweethearts, and Raina went along when Darryl took a teacher's advice and followed his wrestling dream to Skyline Junior College in the Bay Area. He became a state champion, but the dream ended there.
"I didn't have the brains to get into a four-school school," said Darryl.
Shayden was born in California, but Darryl and Raina brought their child back to the islands.
Darryl worked for UPS and eventually became a lifeguard, but his mission was to train his children.
"People don't believe me, but I trained my baby from the day he was born," he said. "Roll him around, keep flipping, and they learn to resist, as young as they were. They learn which way to turn. Instinctively, they roll the other way."
So, in a modest plantation house, in the heart of old Kunia, father and son did things the old-fashioned way.
MOM RUNS a tight ship. With three of her five children at Kamehameha, the schedule never seems to slow down.
"I'm the mom that transports these kids all over the place. I can't keep up with them. Judo, football, wrestling, soccer, and we work full time," she said.
Raina was a cheerleader back in the days when cheerleaders showed up at wrestling meets. Today, she can barely remember when her living room was, well, normal.
"One day I came home and my furniture was out of the living room. One couch was in a bedroom, a chair was in another room. There was no TV, no nothing in the living room. Judo mats all over the place," she said.
Mom rolled with it.
"The kids roll around all the time," she said.
The younger children -- Shyani (12), Blaysen (10), Zayren (9) and Kysen (6) -- are following in Shayden's footsteps. Shyani, like Shayden, is in judo, but her best sport is soccer. Judo has been a foundation and steppingstone.
For Shayden, judo is history, both on the mat and with his dad.
"At first, I kinda liked judo," Shayden said.
Darryl drove his son to Salt Lake Judo Club for his lessons.
"We heard that their club was very good at technique, and I always look for technique," Darryl said, noting the judo background of his high school coach, Jake Kawamata.
Unfortunately, 9-year-old Shayden got bored.
"You gotta be committed. There's times he didn't want to go. I would literally have to yank him out of the car. He'd be crying. I told him, you don't understand now, but you will later. I would grab him by the (uniform), tie his belt and tell him get to practice," he said.
NOW, SHAYDEN understands what his father's plan was, but he says he didn't cry once he hit 10. "When I was 7, 8, 9 years old, I used to cry," he said. "One time it worked."
Darryl is glad he rarely budged.
"My dad was the same way. He was an old-school guy. You do something, you do it 'til it's done, not halfway," he said. "Or you get dirty lickens back then."
Discipline, he added, is something parents need.
"Kids are like electricity and water. They take the least resistance. You gotta stay on 'em. They don't know better. That's why you're the parent. Now my son understands," he said.
Shayden plays soccer in the offseason and doesn't do judo, but the basics are in his DNA.
"He knew this would help me with my wrestling, eventually," Shayden said. "He just kept pushing me to do it. As I got older, after I started wrestling, I felt judo helped a lot with my moves and my hits."
It's easy enough now. During the week leading into the state championships, both Darryl and Ben could advise Shayden on his moves, like giving his shots a full commitment. It worked at states, where Shayden's shots led to more takedowns.
"Now, it's easy to teach him wrestling," Darryl said.
WITH A 3.3 grade-point average and a state title, Shayden has earned a break now and then. Dad brought him a steak dinner after the championships and Shayden devoured it in 3 minutes, right there in the parking lot at Blaisdell.