Egan Inoue was born and raised in Manoa Valley. He started training in Shotokan Karate at the age of three. He studied karate for many years under the late Shoso Narikawa (his grandfather). During his elementary years he began playing baseball and basketball. He continued playing both of these sports through out his high school years. At the age of sixteen he began playing racquetball competitively. By the time he graduated from University of Hawaii Lab School in 1983 he was the state champion in racquetball.
After graduation he attended University of Hawaii for two years while playing on the pro-circuit part time. At the age of 20 he decided to pursue a professional career in racquetball. By 1986 he had won his first world title in racquetball and was invited to be a part of the US Olympic team. He traveled on the pro-circuit for the next four years and went on to become a two time world champion when he won again in 1990. He started a racquet company that year called E-force which quickly grew to be one of the leading racquetball manufacturing companies in the world. An injury forced him to quit the pro-circuit in 1993 and that same year he decided to sell his multi-million dollar company and leave the world of racquetball.
During the time he was playing competitive racquetball he also diligently studied the martial arts and was awarded black belts in Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Shotokan Karate, Jeet Kun Do, Japanese Jiu Jitsu and a brown belt in Judo. He was introduced to the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu towards the end of his racquetball career. Upon his retirement from racquetball, he started training competitively in Jiu Jitsu. As a blue belt he won all the tournaments he entered in the states of Hawaii and California. This prompted him to enter the world championship in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. The odds were against him since there had never been a non-Brazilian competitor to win in the sport of Jiu Jitsu. He prevailed and came back to America with the Jiu Jitsu World Title in the Blue Belt division in 1996. He returned back to Brazil the following year as a purple belt and won the unlimited weight class (absolute). He originally opened Grappling Unlimited in 1995 as a training place for jiu jitsu competitors.
Egan’s start into MMA was more of an “accident” than a planned career path. His younger brother Enson had begun fighting in Japan a few years earlier and was quickly on his way to becoming the Shooto world champion. In 1997 Enson had a major fight lined up with an opponent from Australia. One week before the fight Egan received a phone call from Enson asking him to stand in for him since he was unable to fight due to a staff infection. Egan agreed to take the fight and flew to Japan to enter the MMA ring for the first time. He won the fight by
submission in the first round.
Egan’s MMA career led him to fights in Pride, Shooto, Superbrawl and Luminex Cup. He enjoyed a successful career with five world championship titles.
During his MMA career Egan realized how important having an education was for his future. He went back to college and finished his degree. He then began working full-time for Merck Pharmaceuticals as a medical professional.
In 2003 he retired from fighting to concentrate on his main priorities…his family. He went through a very difficult custody battle for his children for the next few years. He was falsely accused of domestic abuse by his ex-wife and had to undergo a very public criminal trial. He was acquitted on all counts by criminal and family court. He was also awarded sole custody of all three of his young daughters. He is now happily remarried and devotes much of his time to training, surfing, community service work and spending time with his family. He now has 5 kids!
In 2008 Egan decided to challenge himself and enter the ring again. He wanted to test his skills at the age of 43 against a much younger, successful, opponent. On May 16th, 2008 Egan successfully defeated his 23 year old opponent in only 59 seconds. His return had been controversial because many people felt that his age and five year hiatus from the ring would translate into a failure. Egan once again proved that with hard work and dedication he could defy the odds.
He has successfully opened gyms in Manoa, Kailua, Waipio and Downtown Honolulu. His classes at these gyms are a fun, effective combination of his training techniques from his professional sports career. His goal is to provide the people of Hawaii a friendly atmosphere to improve their fitness, train in MMA bootcamps, give children a strong foundation in life and learn life saving techniques.