Ok Ripped Fam. We’re back again, but this time we were lucky enough to sit down with Coach Mark for a brief interview. After watching him train and teach kickboxing, I was convinced of his skills without a doubt, — but what was the story behind this man? Often times we see coaches, their disciplined demeanor, great physique and it can be totally intimidating. Am I right? Still, it’s important for us to remember that even our coaches are only human, and after all, everyone had to start somewhere. So without further delay, lets’ get into it!
Me: Hey Mark! Great to chat. So tell us, where are you from originally?
CM: I was born in Cagayan de Oro City and stayed there until I graduated grade school. Afterwards, I moved to Cebu for high school and then to Manila for college (however I didn’t finish my degree).
Me: What happened? Is that when you got into fitness? Or how did you get into fitness/boxing/mma?
CM: During grade school, I was already a fan of martial arts .. joining different forms and kinds of practices. When I was in high school, we had taekwondo as our physical education and suddenly at 19 I met TONG IL MOO DO martial arts where I am a 3rd degree black belt holder right now.. that was the start of my career as a trainer/fighter.
When I got my black belt degree I was assigned to different places in the Philippines and was promoted to 3rd degree as required for international instructors. From there I was assigned to Nepal and Thailand.
Me: Wow, that’s awesome!!! How does holding that kind of ranking and skill make you feel?
CM: Hmm it still has the same feeling as a beginner learning something new.. hahaha.. nothing changes.
Me: You must have an increased feeling of confidence and strength though, no?
CM: In strength yes, of course. I feel like I’m untouchable by the help of God of course. The confidence level is the same as usual, maybe.. but in the way of teaching, I’m super confident.
Me: I bet! I understand you teach self defense as well. How do you see that affect your students (once they learn)?
CM: They become more humble and confident, because martial arts is not all about fighting it’s also a self discipline.
Me: That’s really interesting. By the way — what kind of things do you enjoy outside of the gym?
CM: Playing guitar, singing, reading business books.. hahahaha
Me: Ahaha, that’s pretty amazing! I wouldn’t have guessed. I personally like to cook which leads me to ask, do you have a strict diet?
CM: Nowadays I don’t have a particular diet because I’m always dripping sweat — I just eat whatever I want. But before, if i have competition, I’m very strict with my diet.
Me: oh? What does that look like?
CM: I just ate a whole apple within a day prior to my weigh in.. i just divide the whole apple to 4 pieces.. hahaha
Me: Oh man — that’s wild! That’s all?
CM: Usually I’m doing the keto diet. So basically a calorie deficit.. and during training I always wear a sauna suit.
Me: Woah, that’s serious. So how do you keep muscle then?
CM: I actually don’t do body building much. However I maintain my physique by lifting, but not in a building routine.
Me: Hmmm. Ok, well if you had to recommend a 5 minute routine to people (for maybe if you have a busy day and not so much time) what would it be?
CM: (laughs) There’s no such thing really as a “five minute workout” because you need to take time to warm up and cool down! But if you include that, sure I have a recommendation. It’s the same routine I just did over the last few days while away on holiday, (minus the weights).* See below.
Me: Yeah, I feel like that kind of stuff is helpful to keep people on track cause It’s so easy to make excuses like, “I’m too busy” or “I’m on vacation”. And then you just fall behind. Is there a piece of advice you would give to your students if they ever feel like giving up?
CM: “Just remember why you started, and the time you put into it.”
Wise words from Coach Mark and great to get to know a little more about him. Next time you see him, don’t be shy to say hello! Once again, Mark specializes in boxing, Muay Thai, Mixed Martial arts, circuit training, strength and conditioning, weight loss programs and body toning. Simply message us on Facebook to book an appointment for any of these services.