Leap of Fate [Faith?], Anyone?

Leap of Fate [Faith?], Anyone?

Why the title?

Hmm. I’m not really sure.

Maybe  things lately have been just that: close yer eyes, clench them fists and just jump into, whatever it is that is in front of you.

Maybe it’s the decision to go full freelance, not really sure if there are available work for a has-been animator like me, who recently had a gig with book illustration but management screw-ups made me think twice and head on out the open door and run as fas as I can. In the dark. Not knowing the direction I’m running into.

Or maybe, just maybe, I have seen Kuroshio leaping from a corner post and slamming a straight leg down on The Bodyguard during one of the most tiring, nerve-wracking, energy draining, geeking-out thing I have done in recent years since  getting trampled on the floor while playing wrestler at home.

I’m no expert. Keep that in mind. I have met people who can distinctly point out a certain move by Tajiri on Akira. I have known officionados who are devout followers of Mia Yim. Foreigners who have asked about Ray and Leon’s opponent while briskly replying on Twitter. Googled Alia and Lady Loryfor background info. People like Mikers Litton, who graced the occasion by being the commentator, Ouel and Bombay who, true to form, are on site and hands on, even the group they’re in brought Syuri flowers and a cake. Even the folks at WhenInManila.com  with Martin, and Hub pacheco, they know more about wrestling nowadays than I do.

It’s not that I don’t don’t really know anything, I’m just outdated.

But I was with the team that organized the Joshi+Jam Manila event. With just 45 days to make things happen, creating the posters and event name (we didn’t even have a name for the event!), made some hastily done teasers on AfterEffects and Premiere, and from thereon in, it was going someplace, talking to suppliers, and with some help from the younger wrestling fans, things went well, better than I had hoped for.

Up to the point when it was just days before the event, the ring itself was plagued with problems. From the start, ticket sales will be just an afterthought, with us, the organizers focusing on GAB licenses , working permits for the wrestlers, venue arrangements, ticketnet problems with issuing sales against offshore issued credit cards, light and sound suppliers, trucking, food. You know, stuff that happens in the background that keep the machine working without the audience knowing. We got good footage. We got people noticing. But things always seem to go haywire.

Murphy’s Law.

Still, show must go on.

Because, darn it. I could draw and illustrate meticulously. I could create UI. I could whip out motion graphics. Wrestling is something I wanted when I was a kid. I could get this done.

It’s like being an animator for TOEI Animation, doing hard scenes and cuts with shows like Dragonball and Sailormoon, One Piece and a bunch of other popular anime. I swear, the otakus and anime fans know more about the characters and the stories more than us who draw in-betweens and animate the darn thing. And in this case, wrestling fans tend to be know-it-all about their idols.

I have a better vantage point where no fan nor officionado can replace. Our team. We who worked our asses off, often neglecting personal stuff and family affairs, just to get things moving. No fan can tell me I fucked up with the arrangements while I go headbutting with the inept Ynarez staff, or when the ring provider was late in coming. No  other derping moment can replace the fact that I ate and drank and even joked around with Lady Lory and Alia, The Bodyguard and Kuroshio. Even those few exchanges with Rionne McAvoy were fandom fodder.  There’s a big difference between a blogger whose source is only what’s unravelling before his eyes, and not from behind the the walls.  They can rant and rave, they will never guess how it is to be the one turning the wheel. To be that hamster. To be among those who worry and fret about things. From ingress to egress, I was there, talking to bouncers and looking for house staff who are always nowhere to be found. When Tajiri walked in I managed to do my duties, but my will is weak.

By the time Akira and Tajiri locked hands, I was screeching and screaming like I was in the front row (I was doing this while walking the hallways and dugouts). And as the matches progressed, me worrying about the ring giving out under the intense slamming and jumping around. I shuddered, thinking if those fans from Taiwan, HongKong or Singapore got to buy tickets, the whole event would have been louder, raunchier, more animated. But you know what, even with the small audience, I have no regrets. the fans made it happen. They made the event all worth the time and effort, cliches we often hear, but it is what it is.

Two days after Joshi+Jam Manila, dealing with the last thing at hand, I was bushed.

Certainly made quite a number of mistakes with the organization and production. Even with dealing with people, so much to improve as of today.

Again, this pretty much sums up how I deal with real life: I learn as much as I can, deal with the flaws, improvise, improve and then do it again. But with better results.

Kinda like a leap of faith. Or fate. However you might want to call it.

There’s no knowing, or what to expect, until you went through it.

One thing though. I think I fucked up pretty bad with allowing fans to play around with the ring and be present while the wrestlers do a tech rehearsal. Tajiri’s still pissed off at me, I guess.



Time For Some New ‘Old School’ Stuff

I don’t mean to be passive, nor insensitive, at what just transpired here. Far from it. But like many of the most popular social network fodder that is being milked and bilked and squeezed by the so-called netizens of the interwebs, I just had to deviate. I am, after all a real deviant.

So, what now?

A couple of weeks ago, I was introduced to a new friend, Mr.Riki Tamashiro by my friend Weng Shimada. Turned out it was something from my childhood couch potato days – wrestling – that paved the way for our paths to meet. We talked  about this maybe a year or so, but was something  only in passing, that a Japanese firm, Reina , wanted to show the Filipino audience. The idea lay in my mind dormant, because with all the work and my delusions of grandeur with publishing my own comics, I almost forgot I agreed to it even before meeting Riki-san.

But they came, and I, for one am excited about this.

So, does anybody know what Joshin Puroresu is? In other parts of the world people have been following this, in Europe, in other parts of Asia, and of course, Mexico and the Latin Americas. I’m surprised no one here had the idea of making a tv show of ProWomen’s Wrestling here on local tv. We have some serious butt-kicking happening with MMA and the UFC, the drama and humor of WWE, but I think the only thing that comes close to describing Joshin is Rey Mysterio – just for the athleticism, the jaw dropping flying stunts, and …

The Mask.

Oh, there is an entirely different form of wrestling gear when it comes to Joshin Puroresu. Think Lucha Libre and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

But wait!

There’s more!

I needled Riki-san, and he was really glad I asked about stuff. Turns out there is a Filipina blood wreaking havoc with the league,  a real firecracker, and is a champion.

Syuri Kondo, born February 8, 1989 is a Japanese professional wrestler, shoot boxer and kickboxer,  who debuted sometime 2008 as KG, or Karate Girl. No, this fierce 5’4″ & half of martial art skill and devastating kicks is one babe you wouldn’t want to mess with. And she’s a looker too.

I hope a tv network would  carry the matches on local programming. I introduced Riki-san and Weng to one of, I supposed, bigwigs at my tv network, but alas, I think the three of us are disappointed at the treatment. Me, I was aghast at the sheer disrespect of letting a guest, who’s already here, in our country, personally taking the initiative to bring this kind of sportainment that we don’t have. So I guess, I’ll do something about it and ask some friends (I’m not the only one working in the broadcast industry from my college buddies) to connect me with their own people about this.

And if you ever see the name Syuri Kondo, or see the face elsewhere, remember, there are other Filipinas out there who are not just showing off their bikini bods and signature walks, but banging heads and kicking butts inside the ring.

And do expect some Joshin drawing from me. I did a Muscleman animation years ago, time to bring that up somehow. And , lest I forget, these matches held by Reina help fund really practical causes. So if you think re-posting links, and photos of news articles about Haiyan/Yolanda helps, it won’t. So instead of being all keyboard-warrior, why not put together some donaions and really HELP out, okay?

And for some more Joshin Puroresu galleries visit the following links: