The Warrior Teacher #AskWednesday

Welcome back to #AskWednesday!

Today, we’ve got Lynette Carpio-Serrano. We went to the same high school, took up the same bachelor’s degree, and then worked for the same college radio where her monicker, Glitch, came from. We were even in the same archery class and I know for a fact that she got high grades for her precision in shooting arrows. I was secretly envious.

I mean, I knew she was already brainy, and she sang beautifully with the school chorale, but she was great with arrows, too?!!! THEN, she’s blessed with that wonderful radio voice…So. Unfair. #BitterMuch…Kidding aside, she is currently helping shape younger minds as a faculty member of the UPLB College of Development Communication.


Lynette doing intense Muay Thai training. Copyright © Augusto Lee Mendoza

This is Lynette, in her own words: “I write. I take pictures. I teach. Occasionally, I kick and punch. Lately, I’ve been making comic strips.” (2011) She’s added “kick and punch” in her wonderful resumé. And that is why she is here, to share a bit about her love for Muay Thai. (BTW, will add another pic soon so you can see her better, he he) I never would have guessed she’d take Thailand’s hard-style martial art (MA); heck, I never would have guessed she’d take any martial art at all! But in this brief interview, she proves me wrong…

1. What made you decide to take up martial arts? Who or what made you decide on your chosen MA?

My love affair with Muay Thai started way back in 2010. I only tried it because a bunch of girl friends from Baguio invited me to join them. I wasn’t expecting to have fun, and I never really saw myself as someone who would learn to love martial arts. The training was difficult, but something in my head clicked.

So I came back a couple more times. Then I signed up for a monthly membership and started training two to three times a week. When I moved back to my hometown, I wanted to continue training. I asked around and found a gym with a Muay Thai team that offered training. That’s the Pugilist Muay Thai – Biagtan. I’ve been practicing on and off since.

 2. Why choose Muay Thai in particular? What do you like about it or get out of it?

It was completely by chance that I tried out Muay Thai. I guess it could have been Tae Kwon Do, or Judo, or any other martial art. I tried it out of curiosity, and realized that it was good exercise (it combines cardio, strength and flexibility). It’s also a good way of clearing my head and managing stress.

It’s brutal–I’ve lost count of the sprains and bruises I’ve had to recover from (but thankfully no broken bones)–but it’s also taught me that physical stress can be a productive thing. It  can make you stronger and faster.

3. What does your MA require of its artists? What separates it from others?

I think it requires the same of its practitioners as other martial arts: discipline, humility, and a willingness to push yourself to your limits. What makes MT different from other martial arts is, they call it the art of eight limbs: we’re taught to kick, punch, and also to use our elbows and knees to strike our opponents.

4. How has it helped you? Have you been able to use your knowledge/skills? In what way?

I’ve always been a pretty clumsy person. MT has improved my body coordination and sense of balance. It’s also raised my tolerance for pain. But if you’re wondering if I’ve ever had to hit or kick someone in self-defense, thankfully, no. It’s helped me in other ways though: it’s good exercise, and it’s good for my mind.

MT was also helpful because I was physically fit when I got pregnant. Although I had to stop because of doctor’s orders. I didn’t have such a hard time shedding the post-pregnancy baby weight. Went back to MT when my little boy turned two, and now I’m getting stronger and more agile again. (Ed. That’s good advice. I actually want to do the same and train for MT, but some things I don’t have right now. I haven’t hung up the gloves yet, though, figuratively speaking…)


Science or art? You decide

5. Other people say MAs are violent. Has anyone ever said that to you? Do you agree? If yes, why do/did you continue?

You don’t have to know a martial art to be violent. I guess what I’m trying to say is, knowing MA doesn’t automatically make a person violent. If anything, it teaches you discipline and respect for other people. It also teaches you to control yourself. If you’ve been on the receiving end of punches, kicks, and strikes, and if you see the kind of damage they do in the ring, you know it’s not something you take lightly.

6. Are you trying out other MAs? Or any other MA you’d like to try? Why?

At the moment, no. MA training takes time, and at the moment, I have to balance taking care of my family, work, etc. I try to train a couple of times a week, but there’s just not enough time to learn a new MA.

That dance at the start is the Wai khru. Now, I know it’s an exhibition, but that girl is still bad***!!!


According to Lynette, Muay Thai is about “discipline, humility, and a willingness to push yourself to your limits”…I think this guy here is Muay Thai artist and Ong Bak movie star Tony Jaa based on the look


Thank you so much, Lynette, for granting us an interview!!!

For more interviews, just do a search on “#AskWednesday”. Do check them all out!

The TKD Princess #AskWednesday

As I mentioned two weeks ago, every two weeks, it’s going to be #AskWednesday, when I post interviews I’ve done and other interviews I find interesting on the Net. I am not looking for just a particular type of interviewees or writeups or topic. It’s going to be stuff and people that interest me because, hey, that’s what my blog’s about. I never always stick to just one topic because not every reader likes this or likes that–I’d like to make, at least, one person go away smiling or feel it wasn’t a waste of his/her time.

martial-artsFor this week, I am posting a loooooong-overdue interview that I did a few years back with the intention of posting here. It was to be about three different martial artists I know. Can you tell I like martial arts (MA)? One of them, I think he said yes, then later on ignored my questions. Another answered me very well, but I had a hard time translating his deep Filipino words, I wasn’t sure if I got them right (we’re both Filipinos but he’s not Tagalog like me so I didn’t want to misinterpret his Tagalog). I will try to review/re-edit then ask his permission to post one of these days.

Today, I introduce to you my long-time friend, “TKD Princess”. I wish I could tell you her real name, but she specifically told me she didn’t want it revealed and I respect her decision and reasons. I call her that because she is a Tae Kwon Do (TKD) artist. I’d rather not mention what belt color to keep her anonymous. TKD, by the way, is Korea’s well-known MA. Sorry, no personal pics.

Here goes…


Okay, this looks a lot more like me than my friend, LOL!!!!!

1. What made you decide to take up martial arts?

I always wanted to learn a martial art, that began when I was six years old, but my parents didn’t allow it and back then, there weren’t clubs available. I also understood their concern, too, since I was always sickly, so years had to go by before I was physically able to take up one.

2. Who or what made you decide on your chosen MA?

No one in particular influenced me to take up TKD. I eventually gravitated to TKD on my own since there wasn’t a club then that was teaching Kung Fu, which I wanted to learn when I was kid. I was entranced by all the Saturday afternoon Chinese movie specials, TV series, and movies revolving around a particular martial art form.

I bought a lot of martial arts magazines before so it helped me get acquainted with the style techniques–I read interviews from instructors overseas and on what activities a dojo or club usually got involved in.

3. Why choose TKD in particular? What do you like about it or get out of it?

I chose TKD because it was the only available MA being taught in town that time. I didn’t like going very far to learn a martial art and I was starting to get drawn to this type, anyway. I also felt I was going to be happy learning this one. I think, any form of martial art, in my case, TKD…I like how it taught me to calm my chaotic mind. The training helped me improve my concentration, discipline, endurance, stamina, perseverance, integrity and awareness.

4. What does your MA require of its artists?

It teaches indomitable spirit, develops fair play, trains one to be a good leader, gives a sense of balance between oneself and the environment. Yes, it’s a philosophy that I noticed when learning the forms – the TKD basic tenets.


I know the original Karate Kid was a guy, but don’t do a Ghostbuster-a-bustin’ on me and ask me why I preferred showing Hilary Swank instead

5. What separates it from others?

I believe each martial art is different when it comes to forms, styles, and sparring rules. TKD employs close fists and flying kicks. Karate, I believe is open-hand, and I don’t know what else. I think you need to ask a Karate practitioner. What separates TKD from others could be the belt levels and the complexity of the styles and forms. I haven’t studied a different form to compare, but I heard Karate has more complex forms, but I’m not sure.

6. How has it helped you? Have you been able to use your knowledge/skills? In what way?

The results of the training helped me keep watch of my diet, focus on the importance of regular exercise,…it was a confidence builder…[it] improved my perseverance  and developed in me an indomitable spirit should situations just had to hurtle the wrong way for me. I hope in the future, I won’t be using my skills in street-fighting.

7. Other people say MAs are violent. Has anyone ever said that to you? Do you agree? If yes, why do/did you continue?


The balance of Yin and Yang

No one said that to me. I don’t agree, but it certainly falls on the choices of the individual. Did that person just enter a martial art school just for bragging rights to his friends, to make him feel superior amongst his friends?

It is sad to hear that an individual uses the skills learned for violence against others. This is not coinciding with the spirit of a martial art. TKD develops integrity, humility, courtesy, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit. I continued with TKD because I wanted to fulfill a childhood dream of mine.

8. Are you trying out other MAs? (please specify) Why?

I only took TKD.

9. Any other MA you’d like to try? Why?

I would like to try Wushu or Tai Chi because they’re soft-style martial arts, quite different from TKD which employs hard-style martial arts.

10. What made you continue or stop doing Martial Arts?

I unfortunately stopped training when I started working full-time. It was, I think, a wrong move for me and I wish I had continued even if just by going through the forms and kicking forms for regular exercise maintenance. So now, I’m starting the slow process of getting back to it. [Ed. Since this interview was done a few years back, we’ll have to find out if she has gone back to training]

11. Any tips and advice for aspiring martial artists?

If one plans to learn a martial art, it would be best to check out the nearest gyms in the area that are offering different styles or whatever is available, choose the top three martial arts you feel you’d like to learn, and then ask if you can be permitted as an observer during their routine workout.

Get acquainted with the training session because it helps in conditioning you mentally before getting into the training itself. It also pays researching online for the martial arts you want to check out. It helps getting used to seeing people tumbling on the floor, going on weird postures while executing forms, etc., just to lessen the self-consciousness or awkwardness. Of course, before executing a simple form, the instructor will always start from the basic. YouTube can be an avenue for you to view forms, workout routines and competition circuits.