Leilani fell in love with judo in Japan at age 7 and began competing in Junior US Nationals at the age of 8 amassing a collection of gold medals. With the Junior US Nationals occurring three times a year, she has won over 20 Junior National titles. Leilani has also won over 10 Junior International titles. At the age of 13, Leilani won her first Senior National medal. After graduating from high school and thus from junior competition, Leilani decided to focus on school and began attending the University of Washington graduating with a degree in Political Science and Sociology.
Since graduating, Leilani has developed an interest in sports, health, and nutrition and is currently working as a personal trainer in Colorado Springs. In the future, she plans to go back to school to receive a doctorate in physical therapy. Leilani has since returned to full-time training and year round competition where she is part of Team USA Judo and is striving to compete in the 2016 Olympics. She trains two to three times a day, six days a week to achieve this goal. In 2013, Leilani won her first world cup gold in Apia, Samoa and is looking forward to further improvement and success in the years leading up to the 2016 Olympics.