Through his cousin Nu’u Fa’aola (University of Hawaii/NYJ/Miami), Puni was able to establish contact with Pacific Island athletes who would become athletic powerhouses in their respective sports: US Olympic Volleyballer, Allen Allen (aka: A-Bomb), Dan Saleaumua(NFL), and Jesse Sapolu (NFL) to name a few and begin the foray into what would be his calling: Athletic Training/High Performance training, Sports Medicine and eventually Sports Management.
During the 1990’s Puni trained, consulted, rehabilitated and placed through training, athletes in universities affiliated with the PAC 10, WAC, MWC and BIG 12. Other athletes who have trained with Puni have also played professionally for the NBA, MLB, and NFL, in the United States and on the international front, rugby in New Zealand, American Samoa and Samoa. Puni was also privileged to have one of his clients earn a Super Bowl ring in 1997. He garnered valuable training experience from various coaches and trainers and sports medicine experts around the country: University of Mississippi, Mississippi State, Oregon, Oregon State, USC, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Tennessee-Martin, and others.
Puni worked as an exercise specialist for Castle Medical Physical Therapy Clinic in Hawaii in 1990. After completing his degree in 1996, he worked as a Sports Medicine and Athletic Trainer and Instructor with the S.P.O.R.T. Clinic in Riverside, California since 1994, under Jim Clover. He also worked with regional orthopedics and physical therapy clinics, sports medicine clinics, semi-pro football and rugby teams, Mixed Martial arts (UFC/Gladiator Challenge), various Hollywood celebrities, Health South Training Center/Kerlan/Jobe/Los Angeles Lakers Training Center (2001 to 2004), U.S. Olympic Women’s Volleyball tryouts at San Diego State University, as well as international sports (Rugby Federation and FIFA).
He has tested, trained and consulted for athletes of all levels: high school, college, professional as well as Olympic (Mark Hall – UFC, Allen Allen – U.S. National and Olympic Volleyball player 1988 to 1994, Kurt Barber – NY Jets/Denver Broncos, Willie Roaf – Offensive Lineman, Kansas City Chiefs, and played in 2004 Pro Bowl and Leon Hall – Vista HS/Michigan/NFL), to name a few. Puni worked with athletes on both sides of the 2004 Rose Bowl Championship game between the Michigan Wolverines and the University of Southern California Trojans. Other consultations included athletes with scholarships to Colorado State University Rams, University of Southern California Trojans, University of Arizona Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Nebraska Cornhuskers, and the Michigan Wolverines to name a few.
Puni also taught Sports Medicine Technology for the US College of Human and Health Services, and was an Athletic Trainer at Cathedral City High School, Norte Vista high school, and finally Bloomington High School, Bloomington, CA, under legendary Head Coach, Don Markham.
In November 2004, Puni realized a longtime dream to move to American Samoa to open the S.P.O.R.T. Clinic and bring his years of experience and wealth of knowledge in his field to the people of both Samoa’s and eventually the South Pacific. During this time he was a consultant and trainer for the national teams of American Samoa and Samoa, and worked directly under New Zealand ALL BLACK great, Michael “the ICEMAN” Jones with the Manu Samoa, Samoa’s national rugby team.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education Health Exercise Science and Athletics from La Sierra University in 1996, with an emphasis in Sports Medicine. He is working on finishing his MSc in Sports Management at American Sports University in San Bernardino, where he currently works as Athletic Director, and head Athletic Sports Medicine Trainer. He will also work towards a Masters Degree in Kinesiology/Adaptive Physical Education at the University of Hawaii in 2010. Puni also has over 25 years of Martial Arts experience, holding a 4th Degree Black Belt in Sin Moo Hapkido, with training directly under Grandmaster Ji Han Jae (from Bruce Lee’s 1978 movie, Game of Death) and a First Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. He also holds international and national certifications and offers courses for these certifications.
Puni may be contacted via his cell at 951-323-3592, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on his academy can be found at http://www.aspcsports.com/. A truly outstanding individual and one dedicated to your success.