#otakuFIGHTER No. 5 – Huge! The San Diego Half Marathon!


Ever since 2008, Coach Caine has been one of the motivating factors for me.  I started out training in his Power Boxing/Kickboxing classes, eventually jumping into Muay Thai.  I can still remember my first day at Muay Thai.  He had the entire class leg kick me 10 times each.  There were at least 10 students in the class, and yes, my thighs were purple.

When I rejoined the boxing club back in 2013, on my first day back, he told me to jump into the ring for Muay Thai.  It hurt.  Still, I came back for more, and since Christmas, he’s been making me run for a solid 3 miles after every class I take.

Today, after my class with Coach Artem, he came up to me and asked me if I ran my miles.  This conversation happened:

“Francis, did you run your miles?”

“Yep, though I cramped up towards the end.”

“Good.  You’re gonna be running a half-marathon with me within the next 6 months.”


“Yep.  Half marathon.  You’ve got this!”

Later, he showed me the San Diego Half Marathon website.  And guess what.  He told me to run it with him.  And you know what else?

I just registered for it.  And with that, I’m runner #5869 in the San Diego Half Marathon.  I’ve never done a half-marathon before, but I’ve got a month and a half to prepare.  EVEN MORE CARDIO.

I’ve also created a team.  We’re gonna be “SSB”.  Representing hard.  Plus I was sorta limited by the character requirements so….

Anyway, this is it.  If you wanna join us, here’s the website:

SD Half Marathon

OtakuFighter No. 4. Music!

When I train at The Boxing Club, I usually don’t have time to listen to music.  That and I don’t bring my headphones into the ring for obvious reasons.  During the workout portions where I’m by myself, I usually have a playlist of songs that I listen to.  Right now it’s mostly J-Rock.  Or is it…?

babymetal throws up the horns

BABYMETAL, what happens when AKB48 and Slayer have weird freaky sex on the Warped Tour.

I’ve been hooked on this group called BABYMETAL, one of the subgroups of the J-pop group Sakura Gakuin.  It consists of Suzuka Nakamoto (SU-METAL), Yui Mizuno (YUI-METAL), and Moa Kikuchi (MOA-METAL), and a really really dope metal band.  You’re probably asking why Japanese Pop would be thrown together with hard furious metal, and believe me, I was asking myself the same damn thing.

I decided to just let it go and have a listen.  And I was hooked.  These are the BABYMETAL songs that are in my iPhone right now.

“Megitsune” (Vixen)

“Catch Me If You Can”

“Ijime, Dame, Zettai!” (No More Bullying!)


“Iine!” (It’s good, right?)

“Uki Uki ★ Midnight”

And since I’m the otakuFIGHTER, I’ve gotta have some anime music on rotation. Obviously.

LISA – Crossing Field (Sword Art Online Opening 1)

Metal Figher Miku’s Opening “Kaze Ni Naru Made”

Hironobu Kageyama – “WE GOTTA POWER” (Dragon Ball Z’s 2nd opening)

Kana Yazumi – “Be Strong” (History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi’s 1st opening)

Featured slider Image can be found here.

All other images are clickable and go straight to the original source.

#otakuFIGHTER No. 3 – The training environment is important!

I’m quite sure I’ve mentioned it past entries, but just in case you’ve forgotten, I train at The Boxing Club in La Jolla, CA.  The trainers there are all friendly, though they can be pretty strict.  At times, they remind me of the masters at Ryouzanpaku, of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple.  And they’ve all got their own personality quirks and traits that makes each coach unique.



Yeah, I don't see a difference.

Yeah, I don’t see a difference.

What my gym has in common with the Ryozanpaku dojo is the effort, time and care that they take into making fighters out of everyone that walks through the doors.  Not once have my coaches ever made me think that I wasn’t capable of pushing myself to my limits.  Though I can’t say that my coaches have ever tied me over an open flame or made me walk on my hands…wait, Coach Caine did.


Anyway, for me to be an #otakuFIGHTER, I had to find a place to train and get stronger.  I found my Ryozanpaku dojo.  And I’m glad that I stuck with it.

#otakuFIGHTER No. 2 – Training for a Joe Higashi cosplay.


Currently, I’m trying to burn off the fat and build some muscle for next year’s comic con.  I’m gonna be cosplaying as Joe Higashi from the Fatal Fury/KOF series.  Just in case you needed a quick reminder:

And since this requires me to be shirtless, I’ve gotta do this right.  I’ve already increased the intensity of my training sessions at The Boxing Club.  I train for 4 days a week, and this is how it usually goes down:

My training sessions at The Boxing Club usually come in 3 parts.

Part 1. Muay Thai – As I’m training in the art of Muay Thai, class becomes really important.  My coaches and training partners all help to improve our technique, speed, and strength.  The conditioning drills and workouts are very intense and challenging.  Sparring…is a whole other beast.

Part 2: Running – Coach Caine (featured in the previous entry) makes me run an additional 30 minutes after EVERY CLASS I take.  The run is done at a medium-to-high pace, and serves as my stamina/cardio training.  This is the hardest part of my training sessions, and it usually leaves me pretty winded.

Part 3: Weights.  I use the various exercise machines to build muscle strength.  Depending on the day, I work on different muscle groups.

I aim to take at least 3-4 weekday trips to the gym.  My Saturday workouts are different.

Part 1: Spin.  My spin coach is a beast.  Taking a spin class should not be taken lightly.

Part 2: Power Kickboxing/Bagwork.  The Boxing Club’s power kickboxing classes are a fun combination of aerobic exercise and striking technique.  I use this class as a means to fine-tune my striking combinations and distance judging abilities.

Part 3: Weights.  Again.

Diet?  I’ll cover that in the next entry.  For now, enjoy this video of Joe beating Shin Akuma in CVS2.

#otakuFIGHTER No. 1. Yours truly.

From its inception, SSB existed as a geek anomaly.  Refusing to be tied down to the constraints that held down normal geeks, SSB was a webcomic, then a geek website, and now, an all-encompassing site that covers not only geek shit, but other subjects as well.

And so I ask you, what defines a geek?  A obsession with certain types of fandom that borders on the insane?  I’d say so.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that a geek has to be physically weak (contrary to popular belief).

With that in mind, I present to you the newest segment of SSB, #otakuFIGHTER.  Every month, SSB will feature an #otakuFIGHTER in their element.  Be it Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kyokushin Karate, Krav Maga, Boxing, or even Taekwondo, #otakuFIGHTER will bring you the hardest hitting, the fastest punching, and the geekiest fighters we can find.  And who better to start this all off…than yours truly.

As some of you may already know, I’ve been practicing Muay Thai on and off for the past year or so.  This year…I’ve been taking it up a few notches.  What you’ll see in the gallery is a glimpse of how I spend my Friday afternoons.  I usually have a padwork session with Coach Caine Gayle of The Boxing Club, in La Jolla.  That’s followed by a Muay Thai class, and usually a run immediately afterwards.  The other days are spent in much the same fashion, afternoons training…until traffic dies down and I can go home.

I’m still very much a geek, and everyone can attest to that.  Like I said, being a geek/otaku doesn’t automatically mean you have to be fat.  Because fuck that.  I ain’t about that fat life.

Salam Alchi, our gym’s manager and the rest of the staff are also making sure I eat right and not get too crazy.  It’s working…I think.

So before I go any further, I’d like to thank my coaches Caine Gayle, Artem Sharoshkin, Shannon Gugerty, Jessica Lopez, Brian Blake, and Joshua Vongsvirates.  Salam, Tiffany, and Anthony all get special mentions for keeping The Boxing Club running smoothly :).  Also, a special shoutout to my #otakuFIGHTER crew, Brian Bacsal and Ivan Li for the pics and for watching me get my ass kicked.


A whirlwind of emotions

From the untimely death of Paul Walker, to the life-or-death battle that MMA fighter Shane Del Rosario is going through right now, the world just seems to be full of twists and turns.  And all we can do is keep moving forward.

While many people are quick to dismiss Paul Walker as “just another hack celebrity”, for us gearheads, Paul really embraced automotive culture, especially the Nissan Skyline.  He really was a gearhead, and he cared about sharks.  As a teenager that just got his license when Fast and the Furious came out, I sorta identified with the guy.  Except the part where I was white and handsome.  I grew with the movies, and to hear about his fiery death saddened me.  I felt like I lost a part of me.

Shane Del Rosario’s battle is far from over, but there are some signs of hope.  Following his massive cardiovascular collapse and resuscitation by teammate Ian McCall, his brain is showing signs of activity Turns out that one of my coaches knows Shane on a personal level, so it really hit home.  Plus the fact that he’s actually YOUNGER than me…well, that’s the two of the one-two punch.

Then it hit me.  Both the automotive tuner world and the MMA realm are fraught with danger and bodily harm.  Is it enough to dissuade me from stopping either activity?

Probably not.  I’d rather not live my life in fear.


The bond between MMA fighters goes beyond the octagon.

Jose Aldo and Chan Sung-Jung recently fought for the UFC featherweight championship this past saturday at UFC 163. It ended when Chan Sung-Jung’s shoulder got horribly dislocated during an errant punch.

Jose Aldo didn’t escape unscathed, his right foot was broken in the bout as well. However, there was no ill intent towards either fighter, as they both showed true class before, during, and after the event. This picture…


This is why I love MMA. There’s an unspoken bond and mutual respect between those that fight, sweat, and train day in and out.