Behind the Mask

Behind the mask…
Throughout the years people have asked me about the mask I used to wear, before my fights, when I would walk out. Here is what the mask means to me…
We became a group of friends that pain, passion, loyalty, and hardships of life brought together through martial arts. There is a bond that is formed during training, shedding blood together and pushing each other to our own personal limits. The dynamic team became brotherhood.A connection very few find in their lifetime.
In July 2009, we were devastated by the untimely death of one of our best friends Mike Maestas. Mikey had a unique connection to all of us. He had something inside that none of us could get a handle on, but we all wish we had . It is said that bright stars burn out fast . Mike Maestas was here and gone in a flash. We wanted to somehow keep his strong spirit close to us. This is where the image of the “mask” was born.
Mikey wore the mask as he walked out before his fight just as his favorite underground hip hop M.C. “MF DOOM” when he performed.
The mask was a metaphor for change. It represented a character. The person inside we have to become before we go to battle. A focused entity of pure thought, soul, instinct, and our own destiny. In that moment, we are in the moment. Nothing else matters. We are alone, but we are free.
The HIP HOP SUN MASK represents truth, loyalty, integrity, strength, and honor. Characteristics Mikey, and the rest of our group of friends and teammates believe in and stand for. All though not all of us listen to hip hop, Mikey would randomly text us hip hop lyrics, or the words “HIP HOP SUN!”.
With those words and Mikey’s spirit,
a legend was created.
If you stand for what we stand for, then we stand together.
Hip Hop Sun


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