Twitchy’s Anime Rocking Chair – Metal Fighter Miku

You can tell how old this ad was. I mean, we’re nowhere near close to having pro fighters with colored hair. Unless you count Masato.

The sound of a creaky rocking chair permeates the room you’re reading this in.  Yes.  Even in the bathroom where you’re probably taking a shit as you read this.  THERE’S A FUCKING ROCKING CHAIR IN THERE TOO RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR.

*ahem*

Babes in powered suits.  It doesn’t get old, does it?  In the mid-90’s the practice was alive and well.  And wouldn’t you know it, they decided to make a sports anime out of it!

Metal Fighter Miku was like the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”, if Sisterhood involved MMA and powersuits.  You had 4 girls that formed a pop/wrestling group called the “Pretty Four”.  Miku was the leader.  Nana was the loli-looking girl with the smarts.  Ginko was the strongwoman who spoke with a Kansai accent.  Sayaka was the most technical fighter out of the 4.   The four girls dealt with issues like boys, dating, singing, squats, and MMA.

Did I mention MMA?  At the time, a form of pro-wrestling was popular in Japan, called puroresu.  Puroresu is the Japanese pronunciation  for “Pro-wrestling”, but it’s actually like modern MMA, with use of strikes and submission moves on top of wrestling techniques.

Oh yeah.

When I first laid eyes on this series I only saw 4 episodes, as that was all my cousin Charlie had on his bootleg tapes.  It wasn’t until comic con 2010 that I was able to finish the entire series.  I found the complete series on DVD.  And boy…was it dated.

Still, this series holds a special meaning for myself, Ferrisb1, and Charlie.  The three of us can still sing the opening.  To this day.  And we each had our own personal favorite.  Charlie liked Sayaka, the purple-haired technical fighter.  Ferris liked Miku.  I…liked Nana.  Guess I’ve got a thing for petite dangerous smart girls.  I never learn.

In closing, I’d like to say that despite the age of this series, it’s a great watch.  It’s fun, doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the action is top-notch.

Charlie, you and Cherie are moving up to LA, so you two take care of yourselves.  The reason that I’m the geek I am now, was because of you.  For better or worse.  I can’t begin to thank you enough, but I suppose that I can start by giving you some props here.  Have fun, be strong, and don’t change….only for the better.  
(Damnit Justin).

-Francis

P.S., here’s charlie.

SWAMP THING

Buakaw Por. Pramuk – a retrospective

“Hey, I’ve got something on my foot, can you take a look at it?”

2012 just hasn’t been a good year for people.  And from the looks of preliminary reports, we can add one more to the list of growing obituaries.  The career of the “White Lotus”, Buakaw Por. Pramuk (Sombat Banchamek).

As some of you already know, I’ve always been a fan of the martial arts.  I started out my martial arts life as a taekwondo fighter, eventually moving on to Judo and Wing Chun Kung Fu in college.  It wasn’t until I my breakup went down that I started Muay Thai and boxing.  My brother and my cousin Charlie (His name is popping up quite a bit) were fans of K-1 kickboxing, so naturally I gravitated towards that at first.  Charlie suggested that I join the “Boxing Club” in San Diego, which I did.  I started learning Muay Thai from Kru Caine Gayle, boxing  from Coach Ron Casper, and training from all the other coaches at the gym.

To supplement my training, Charlie would sit me at his computer and play fight videos from Thailand and Japan.   Buakaw Por. Pramuk was one of the fighters I would constantly watch.  When Buakaw would fight, people would be broken.  Not just KO’ed.  Broken.

Buakaw’s rise to fame was as storied as his accomplishments.  Born in the province of Surin, Buakaw started fighting at the age of 8.  He then joined the Por. Pramuk Gym at the age of 15, and took the gym’s name as his own (Thai custom).

Before I go any further, allow me to list his accomplishments as a Thai Boxer:

  • 2011 Thai Fight Tournament champion (-70 kg)
  • 2011 WMC World Junior Middleweight champion
  • 2010 Shoot Boxing S-Cup World champion
  • 2009 WMC/MAD Muaythai World champion
  • 2006 K-1 World MAX champion
  • 2006 WMC Super-Welterweight World champion
  • 2005 S-1 Super-Welterweight World champion
  • 2005 K-1 World MAX 2005 Finalist
  • M.T.A World Muay Thai Champion
  • 2004 K-1 World MAX champion
  • 2003 KOMA GP Lightweight champion
  • 2002 Toyota Muay Thai marathon tournament 140 lb. class winner
  • Omnoi Stadium Lightweight champion
  • 2001 Professional Boxing Association of Thailand Featherweight champion
  • Omnoi Stadium Featherweight champion
  • Final Record- 203W/51 KO – 21L – 12 NC

Yes.  He won the K-1 MAX championship twice.  That’s how badass he was.  In fact, K-1 had to change the clinch and knee rules since Buakaw kept destroying lives when he fought.

Recently, some details came to light about his relationship with the Por. Pramuk gym.  Basically, Buakaw would fight for the Por. Pramuk gym, and the gym would take the lion’s share of the profits, leaving Buakaw with a pittance.  This went on for a while until Buakaw had enough.  He eventually tried to leave the gym, but his contract was binding.  He just fought under the THAI FIGHT promotion and scored a 2nd round KO against Rustem Zaripov.  Amidst all this controversy and lawsuits from the Por. Pramuk gym, he announced his retirement earlier today.

Buakaw isn’t that much older than me, so I know he’s got some years left in him.  It saddens me to hear about the career of someone as epic as Buakaw being cut short due to lawsuits and legalities.

With the help of Yokkao boxing apparel, he was able to open up a Muay Thai gym in his native province of Surin.  Hopefully he’ll be able to train another champion in his likeness, without all the petty lawsuit bullshit tying him or her down.

Hayabusa ensemble for Comic Con 2012 and beyond

Hayabusa ensemble for Comic Con 2012 and beyond

So I took the plunge and created a polyvore.  There’s no reason why Mixed Martial Arts shouldn’t be fashionable!   This is what I plan on wearing during comic con.  I’ve rocked gear from Fairtex (Muay Thai apparel) these past two years, so I’m going to change it up a bit.  I’m going with Hayabusa this time around because…well, it looks really cool.  And they’re comfortable.

PrideFC – No PRIDE, No LIFE.

Oh man, PrideFC.  Where do I begin?

As you guys already know, I’m a huge MMA fan.  I started watching MMA matches casually at my cousin’s house, and they were usually PrideFC matches.  I didn’t understand just how epic and awesome the promotion was until I bought my own PrideFC DVD’s and started doing my own research (Wikipedia and other internet sites, what can I say, I’ve got some free time).

Most of the MMA events that are going on these days follow the “Mixed Martial Arts Unified Rules of Combat“.  These rules are set up to offer maximum protection to the fighters involved, and with good reason.  Besides winning a match via KO or unanimous decision, one can win a match via submission.  That just increases the ways that anyone can get hurt.  PrideFC….did things just a little bit differently. (Wikipedia, thanks again)

  • Pride allows kicking and kneeing the head of a downed opponent. This is considered a foul in the Unified Rules, which only allows kicks and knees to the head of a standing opponent.
  • Pride allows a fighter to stomp the head of a downed opponent. This is considered a foul in the Unified Rules.
  • Pride allows a fighter to spike (piledriver) an opponent onto the canvas on his head or neck. This is considered a foul in the Unified Rules.
  • Pride does not allow elbow strikes to the head of an opponent. The Unified rules allows elbows provided they are not striking directly down with the point of the elbow.
  • Pride’s matches include a ten minute first round, with two minute rest periods. The Unified rules allow rounds no longer than five minutes, with rest periods not exceeding one minute.
  • Pride’s matches are not judged on the ten point must system, rather judges score the whole fight. The Unified rules call for all matches to be judged using the ten point must system.

There were some opportunities for some real mayhem, as you can see above.   Coupled with an insane production budget, PrideFC put on some amazing events.  Besides the awesome numbered events (such as Pride.31), PrideFC also hosted the “Bushido” tournaments, which really pushed the pace of MMA fights.  Stalling tactics and slow-paced action would be penalized by purse deductions, making for some fast-paced exciting combat.

For American broadcasts and subsequent DVD releases, we were treated to color commentary by MMA legends Bas Rutten and Mauro Ranallo.  For someone that was just starting MMA training, their commentary and insight was nothing short of a godsend.

The people that competed in PrideFC comprise a true “Who’s who” in the MMA world.  Here’s a (really) short list of their fighters.

  • Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
  • Murilo “Ninja” Rua
  • Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
  • Mark Coleman
  • Mirko “CroCop” Filipovic
  • Chuck Liddell
  • Kazuyuki Fujita
  • Shinya Aoki
  • Tatsuya Kawajiri
  • Sergei Kharitonov
  • Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira  (Big Nog)
  • Antônio Rogério Nogueira  (Little Nog)
  • Josh Barnett
  • Alistair Overeem
  • Fedor Emilianenko
  • Alexander Emilianenko
  • Mark Hunt
  • Dan Henderson
  • Don Frye
  • Takanori “The Fireball Kid” Gomi
  • Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva
  • Fabricio Werdum
  • Kazushi Sakuraba
  • Ryan Gracie
  • Rickson Gracie
  • Akihiro Gono
  • Denis Kang

Some of the names stand out more than others I’m sure, but it’s a testament to the caliber of fighters that fought in the Saitama Super Arena (mostly). 

You also had some crazy ring entrances.  Oh yes.  Even featuring current pop stars that wear pompadours.  (Akihiro Gono, you card.)

In 2007, the PrideFC organization folded, due to a myriad of factors.  Its soul lives on in the “Dream” fight organization, as many of the staffers that ran PrideFC joined the Fighters’ Entertainment Group (FEG).  Many of their fighters joined up with Dream afterwards, and their sister group in the US, Strikeforce.

You’re probably asking…what made PrideFC so special that even long after its demise, MMA fans still talk fondly about it?  If you ask me, I think it’s…love.  The people that put PrideFC together had a lot of pride and love for their events and it shows.  You did see the intro sequences for the events earlier on in the blog post, didn’t you?  That stuff was epic.  The PrideFC theme song, Lenne Hardt’s crazy announcing, the fireworks, the fighters, the roaring crowd…it was all so much to take in.   The spirit of PrideFC still lives on, even today.