By Kolby Chang
Instead of just showcasing vehicles to would be buyers this past Saturday afternoon, the Scion showroom in Tamuning played host to a different type of event complete with music, wrestling mats, mixed martial arts demonstrations and a custom designed Scion XB.
“We wanted to re-launch the brand with a nice collaboration with a certain lifestyle. That’s where Spike 22 came into play,” said Atkins Kroll Director of Marketing Sammy Sotello.
Sotello is aware that MMA is popular among the island’s youth so he knew he had to do something that resonated with them. That was when Sotello said he reached out to his friend Melchor Manibusan and asked if the Spike 22 gym founder could customize a vehicle for the launch event.
In addition to launching the vehicle, Sotello wanted to do something positive for the community so he decided on putting on an anti-bullying seminar as well.
“Scion is a very youthful brand and it appeals to the young kids and that’s where bullying starts,” Sotello said.
Manibusan said he was on board from the get go as he got a chance to exercise his creativity by customizing the interior of a Scion XB and was able to do something that benefited the island’s youth.
“[We] got to showcase the vehicle and to showcase our skills and at the same time help other people,” Manibusan said.
So for one afternoon spectators got to a chance to witness local MMA standouts such as Ryan Bigler and Kyle Aguon demonstrate how their techniques can be used for self-defense against a potential bully.
The combat athletes also gave the audience a firsthand look at what boxing, wrestling and jiu-jitsu are about by doing some sparring while Manibusan encouraged the audience to ask questions about self-defense.
Spike 22 representative and wrestler Joey Lopez also spoke of the benefits of training.
“In order to wrestle you need to eat right, you need to sleep right, you need to be disciplined enough to work out. You need to plan your schedule so when you’re really keyed in on competing and representing the island the last thing you think about is being mean to people,” Lopez said.
Manibusan added that he aware that there are some bad apples amongst the bunch and the average person might look at an MMA fighter or wrestler and assume they are a bully but he wants to change that perception by continuing with anti-bullying seminars.
“We’re totally against [bullying]. We’re all for the sport. We’re all for health and safety. I have kids and I don’t want my kids to grow up around that,” Manibusan said.
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