8 Sep 2017

Professional wrestler Tama Tonga stays true to his roots

10:00 am on 8 September 2017

The Tongan-born American professional wrestler Alipate Leone, also known as Tama Tonga, says Tongan values have kept him in line during his career.

 Tama Tonga

Tama Tonga Photo: Supplied/ Tama Tonga

Leone travels between his home in the United States and Japan where he is in his seventh year with New Japan Pro Wrestling.

He said he was impressed that New Zealand was celebrating the Tongan language this week and said the values that stem from it are with him every day.

"You know what in Japan, it's that respect for each other and especially the younger group, their respect for their elders. It was real easy for me as a Tongan American to come live here and live by their rules because their way of life, it was a real easy transition for me."

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