Kai Kara-France has been training fighters in Tahiti - and he found out more about his whakapapa while he was there.
"Just being there was very special for me," Kara-France told Te Ao Toa on his return to Aotearoa.
"Where I was staying was a mountain lodge, my friend set it up. His aunty was the owner.
"Just by coincidence, they whakapapa back to Waikato. They're Tahitians but they have family in and are connected to the iwi Tainui, which is my iwi," he said.
"They mentioned to me, they said, 'You know, the Tainui waka was made in the forest where you're staying.'"
Kara-France says it felt as if he was exactly where he was meant to be.
"It's all surreal and it's all really connected, and it was like I was meant to stay there and hear these stories," he said.