Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Mandie Taketa Interview
I get the feeling I could interview Mandie Taketa about fifty different subjects and they would all be entertaining interviews. But this is about Mandie and her competing. In her first year in 2010 she entered 12 competitions...... yes I said 12 in her first year. And she did very good in doing them. She says she knows she has more to learn and improve on and I am sure she will learn and improve. I know she will because she obviously works hard and has fun and enjoys doing it.
Q:First, Mandie, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
A: Thank you! I'm so honored. I hope that I am not too uninteresting. That's a double negative, right? I'll do my best. : )
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I was born and raised in Honolulu Hawaii. I received a full dance scholarship to the University of Hawaii, but opted out after a year to pursue a dance and acting career in Los Angeles. Its been 15 years since then. I have been blessed to support myself in the arts, but the job I am most proud of is being the mother of my 7 year old daughter, Maile. She inspires everything that I do.
Q: Before the gym were you an especially athletic person? Play any sports or anything?
A: I have always been a competitor. Ive been doing martial arts since the age of 5. March will make 30 years of martial arts experience. My father was my Sensei. I was a serious competitor and referee for about 15 years. Ive also competed as a dancer, as a national gold medalist "flyer" in acrobatics, cheerleading, and paintball. I'm a certified yoga instructor and physical therapist. I guess Ive always been really active.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: A bet. My younger sister entered Figure in 2009 for the first time. Shes a mother of 3. She asked, "if I come in top ten, will you compete in Bikini?". Tito Raymond helped me lift my first weight in December of 2009.
Q:Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you started to see results?
A: Honesty, the weight-training thing is not something I picked up easily at all. Its learning another art form. Its still not easy for me.
The hardest part is getting up and going to the gym. Life as a parent and artist keeps me pretty busy and tired as it is.. Sleeping in my spare time always seems so inviting.I don't think I noticed major results for about six months. By then, I was already competing nationally, and I learned that dieting played a huge role in achieving change. For the first time, I had to eat more, and more, and more. I'm happy about that.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: February 6 was the first competition of the year. Even though I wasn't fully prepared, I entered. My Dad always said, "You learn more from losing, than you do from winning." I came in 2nd place and qualified for nationals. Beginners luck!!!
Q: Is competing something your family and friends supported?
A: In martial arts, yes.
My family never showed up to any of my competitions. This was hard for me at first.
No... It still is.
I competed 12 times last year under the impression that practice makes perfect--I was WRONG. I don't know, I still have a long way to go.
Ive had the support of my daughter (who thinks I should have won every competition), my boyfriend, and my trainers. Oh! Facebook provides for a very supportive fitness community.
Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you about it?
A: At first, I felt totally dorky wearing a bikini on stage; Ive never had my physique judged before. I kinda felt like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality. It feels much safer to hide behind a Gi and a Black Belt.
Q: Can you share your contest history.
A: 12 Competitions!!!! Qualifiers and National competitions combined. I have some 1st place trophies, some in the middle, some not even ranked. Lesson learned from all. I think I keep getting better; the process has been good. The process makes it a sport.
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: I love my back. I have 60 hours of tattoo artwork covering my whole back. Someone told me it was distracting and I should cover it up. I did for 11 shows. In December at the Excalibur in Culver City, California, I decided to just be myself and left it uncovered. I came in 1st!!
I feel like I brought my best package. Myself.
I was myself on stage for the first time... I trained super hard for it as well.
Even though it wasn't a national competition... It was a personal best.
Q: Do you have a part you most like to train or favorite exercise?
A: Booty, booty, booty. I'm Asian, it needs work : )
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like and how do you alter it for contest prep?
A: Following the guidance of my first trainer Tito Raymond, you should never be far from you competition physique, he said. I train with my MMA trainer, Ronin Boushnak, a few times a week, and I commute to San Diego to train with the Pro Body Consulting Team.
As a mother, its my responsibility to be a good example. My daughter eats what I eat. My contest prep diet is not much different from any other time of the year... Without the occasional red velvet cupcake.
Q: When someone sees your physique or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction? More positive or negative?
A: The most common reaction is, "I never pictured you to compete in bodybuilding...its so pageantry for you."
More positively, people cant believe that I'm a mother and that I'm turning 35 in March.
I'm a black belt, people don't say negative things to me. ;)
Q: When they see it that first time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: For the people who don't do this sport, they think I starve myself. If I don't eat every three hours... I get so hungry, I seriously feel like eating my arm.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thing you wish people understood?
A: Bikini is HARD. I hear lots of competitors talk about Bikini like it is a default category. Maybe its because I am new to this sport, but I train, diet, limp around sore, budget my time and money, and sweat just as much as any other competitor.
It pisses me off!
Everyone has there own struggles and life stories. As competitors, we should support each other for having the balls to get on stage in the first place.
Q: What is the best and worst part of training for you?
A: The worst part is starting the workout. The best part is finishing. I set short term goals for myself. Ha! Everyone always looks so "official"... In the gym and onstage. I do my best not to get intimidated.
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: I haven't had the chance to get to know very many competitors. There are so many that I aspire to look like...
The one competitor that sticks out right now is Missy Coles. Besides the obvious... She is truly graceful. I did a photoshoot with her for Adell Adell Bodies. She is so humble, and supportive (I have heard this from other competitors as well). I think its the attitude that makes a true athlete.
In the ring, I'm a true Machida fan. I love his footwork, shifting, and he has a pretty fast jab and reverse punch. Kick ass.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Spam, fried eggs and rice (I'm from Hawaii, remember), but as soon as I get off stage and get into the car, I go to the closest Italian restaurant. Garlic bread, sea food linguini, wine, cheese, tarimsu with ice cream..
Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: Do it for yourself. You dot need to win to feel accomplished. You don't even need to compete. Having the self discipline alone is huge.
Q: Do you think it is becoming more accepted by society to see women training as hard as men in the gym ?
A: I would like to think so. I fell lucky to have started at a time when other women have created a comfortable training environment before me.
But honestly, I didn't care or even think about it.. The unhealthy society can say what they want.
My mother was sick from the time she turned 30. She had an oxygen tank for 11 years until she passed. We should ALL celebrate good health.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: Mommy-Daughter time.
And a mojito by a sexy pool when my daughter isn't there..
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Mandie Taketa.
A: Get my daughter ready for school. This is actually my favorite part of the day. I audition for film when I'm lucky, do motion-capture for video games when I'm lucky, I'm a physical therapist and personal trainer so I have clients of my own.
Everyday is different.
I like it that way.
Q: Describe Mandie Taketa in five words.
A: Intuitive. Passionate. Pisces. Dragon. Hungry.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I can be sadomasochistic. I did six 10 hours sittings for my tattoo. My tattoo artists name is Sado - go figure.
Q: Any set plans for the near future as far as competing or anything else?
A: I cant see myself not competing. Ever. Life would be so boring.
I'm entering bikini at the Arnold Classic in March.. If it were a day later I could have entered masters! I turn 35 years young in Ohio! lol.
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: I'm sponsored by Adell Adell Bodies bikinis. They made a bikini that made my butt look rounder, my waist look smaller, and my boobs look bigger. Other than that, everything else is mine : )
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Mandie Taketa the athlete and competitor?
A: Of course I am looking for sponsors!!! This is an expensive sport. I had no idea when I first started.
They can reach me at actressmodelmandie.com. Or, they can call me at (818)406...just kidding. No I'm not...but really...
The sponsorship would get "me". I'm a "do or die" kind of girl. I feel my biggest strength is loyalty and perseverance. Sponsorship would be amazing.
Q: Mandie, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you so much for the interview. I guess I should have added talkative to the 5 describing Mandie Taketa Questions. This was fun!