My coaches…as manga characters?

As thanks for putting up with my shenanigans and turning me into the kickboxing-obsessed otaku that I am now, I decided to ask good ol’ lenejenius to whip me up a piece.

From left: Coaches Caine Gayle, Artem Sharoshkin, Joshua Vongsvirates, Shannon Gugerty, and Jessica Lopez. I'm the one that's beaten up.

From left: Coaches Caine Gayle, Artem Sharoshkin, Joshua Vongsvirates, Shannon Gugerty, and Jessica Lopez.
I’m the one that’s beaten up.

So if you’ve been wondering who’s responsible for what you see today, look no further.  It’ll be even better if you join the boxing club.  Serious.  Tell them I sent you.  And that you saw the picture.

 

OtakuFIGHTER: The Meaning

A loooong time ago, back when I was a college student trying to figure out his path in life, I met someone that changed my life.  Her name was Mae.  She urged me to not go down the path of full geekery and forsake a normal social existence in pursuit of the otaku life.  For the most part, I did.  I mean, why should there be one or another?  Just because I’m a huge anime/manga/videogame nerd doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy combat sports.

I did adopt this mask.  I wasn't born into it.  That would be weird.

I did adopt this mask. I wasn’t born into it. That would be weird.

On the contrary, those two seem to go hand in hand.  Combat Sports and the Otaku Life both require huge time commitments.  During training sessions, I usually go for about 3 hours, with a mix of drills, bagwork, cardio workouts, weights, and being kicked in the legs by Coach Caine.  I’ve got the bruises to prove it.  I miss the days of me vegging out and watching anime for hours on end, and then following it up with some Dynasty Warriors gameplay.  (BTW, Dynasty Warriors 8 is pretty hype.)

There are times when I feel that my otaku-soul is fading away from me.  For example, a couple weeks ago, I literally went 2-3 weeks without playing any videogames.  Seriously.  My PS4 lay dormant.  Work and training had left me without the energy to pick up my controller and play.  Didn’t even have the energy to download some anime.  (I’m behind on Mahouka Kokou No Rettousei.)

mahouka-koukou-no-rettousei-3869381

Of course you want a slightly yandere imouto that can freeze people.

I can only hope that by writing on our website that I can maintain some semblance of my otaku self.  Just in case you’re wondering, I’m about to put my body through some crazy shit.  This fall, I’m going to be fighting in our gym’s next “Fight Night” event, in an exhibition kickboxing fight.  3 rounds, 3 minutes of kickboxing action.  Of course they’re exhibition rules, but it’s still full contact.  I’ve also got some more runs lined up for later in the year as well.

So to that end, I’ve begun a brutal training regimen at The Boxing Club.  Generally my sessions begin at 4:00 PM, where I do a Power Boxing/Kickboxing class for bagwork and cardio exercises.  The stuff that follows afterward varies, and this is what goes on.

Fight Night Spring 2014 029

He’s trained many a fighter. And a few skaters too.

Monday: 3-4 mile circuit run in La Jolla.  I run outside the gym, down Nobel St., down to La Jolla Village Drive, and back to the gym.  With an elevation mask.
Tuesday: 1 hour Spin Class. With an elevation mask.
Wednesday: Muay Thai
Thursday: Spin or Muay Thai
Friday: Muay Thai or Personal Training with Coach Caine (Sparring, Padwork, technique drills)

I’m also taking steps to include classic boxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu into my training regimen.  Plus cutting out booze and trying to eat clean is part of it too.  Trying, anyway.  Lord knows that Convoy Street is a cruel, tasty mistress.

You’re probably wondering “WHY THE HELL ARE YOU DOING THIS TO YOURSELF!?”.  The answer’s simple.  I’m having fun.  When I run down La Jolla Village drive with my training mask on, I’m having fun in my own weird way.  Even with the weird looks.  When it’s all said and done, I want to be the guy that can say, “Yeah, I fought in a ring.  It was pretty cool.”

Maybe then I can put that in my comic.

-Francis

OtakuFIGHTER: Fight Night Spring 2014!! (Part 1)

Yesterday marked the first Fight Night event at The Boxing Club, and naturally, I was on hand to take pictures.  And that I did.

Mind you, I’m still getting used to this whole camera thing, so my pictures didn’t turn out so well.  Oh well, practice is practice.  I’m going to put a few of my fave pictures here, and at the end, there’s gonna be a dropbox link for the entire picture dump, so you can post the pics wherever you want, just as long as you keep the SSB logo intact.  Don’t be a dick and crop it out.

And in a few more days, Brian’s gonna have his pics from the event up, and they’re better than mine. 😛

Fight Night Spring 2014 001 Fight Night Spring 2014 010 Fight Night Spring 2014 012 Fight Night Spring 2014 013 Fight Night Spring 2014 015 Fight Night Spring 2014 016 Fight Night Spring 2014 017 Fight Night Spring 2014 024 Fight Night Spring 2014 029 Fight Night Spring 2014 031 Fight Night Spring 2014 035 Fight Night Spring 2014 159 Fight Night Spring 2014 359 Fight Night Spring 2014 361 Fight Night Spring 2014 416 Fight Night Spring 2014 445 Fight Night Spring 2014 655-001 Fight Night Spring 2014 787

Fight Night Spring 2014 1086

The entire dump can be found here MAKE WITH THE CLICKING FOR GREAT JUSTICE!  DO IT NOW!! 

Big ups to TBC for putting together an awesome show, and even bigger ups to the people that participated.  I’ll be joining you guys soon enough.

 

-Francis

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

otakuFIGHTER_093

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.

 

What’s your reason to train, to fight?

John Wayne Parr is one of the greatest farang nak muay in existence, and his words ring true as to why he fights, despite his age (and I think he just won another championship).  I took this anecdote from his facebook page, where he talked about his reasons to fight.

“…..I fight for me, I fight for my family, I fight for my legacy.

But people don’t understand the addiction of the applause, the standing ovation while trading toe to toe, the high fives back to the change room. After winning by knock out your adrenaline is so high your walking on a cloud and you can’t sleep for a week. For that split moment in time your in the magazines, on the tv, people nod at you on the street as a sign of appreciation.

But they also don’t understand the cold shoulder you receive after telling people of a loss, or the “I’m sure you did your best” sympathy comment. You plead your story to friends how it was a close fight, but your friends have already judged you after they hear the word loss. The strange looks you receive in the hospital room waiting to be stitched or X-rayed. With black eyes and a swollen face, people look down at you thinking:

“You are probably not educated enough to hold a real job”.

The highs of the sport are the ultimate rush, yet the lows are painful hospital visits, confidence(spelling?) crushing that you sometimes never recover from. 

I am fight sports, I am more addictive then heroin. Once you try me, you will never forget me. You will always want one more hit for the rest of your life to feel me in your veins.

He could fuck Crocodile Dundee up.  No doubt.

He could fuck Crocodile Dundee up. No doubt.

In the end, people always have their rationale to fight.  It varies from person to person, but in the end, all that matters is that you put your own effort forward and start training.  No excuses.

SSB vs. MUSCLEPHARM:ASSAULT?

As some of you already know, I’m in the middle of getting back into Muay Thai/MMA.  Since I’ve been out for about a year, I needed a little help getting back into the swing of things.  When I first rejoined, I decided to take a Muay Thai ALL LEVELS class at my gym…and I got my butt handed to me.  HARD.  Not only was I rusty, my body just couldn’t move as fast as it once did.  That and I had weighed in at 195 lbs.

Since then, I’ve made adjustments to my diet.  Not only am I trying to eat smaller meals more frequently, I’m also trying to adjust my protein intake. I’m also trying to get the proper amount of sleep. I’ve got some isolated whey protein mixes which I’ve been drinking.  I also decided to give something different a try, for once.

It tastes like really clean gatorade!

It tastes like really clean gatorade!

Yep.  I’ve started taking MusclePharm’s “Assault” pre-performance amplifier.  It’s got a mix of vitamins, creatine, and a bunch of proteins in a proprietary blend that’s supposed to act as an energy booster/fat burner/muscle builder.  The directions are simple.  1/2 scoop of this stuff in cold water 20-30 minutes before a workout.  Like my caption says, it tastes like really clean gatorade.

I managed to find the nutritional information for this powder as well:

I love how they put their proprietary blend in its own section.

I love how they put their proprietary blend in its own section.

So the million dollar question on everybody’s mind is, “does it work”?  That’s exactly what I’m going to find out.  I’ve started taking this stuff before my workouts, so we’ll see how my body turns out at the end of this “experiment”.  Right now, I can say that it does help during my workouts, which are pretty damn intense already.

And I weighed in at 191.5 lbs. this morning.  Yay me.