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Tech and tuck: IT guy likes to mix it up when he's done working

Jamarkus Anderson, top, grapples with Joey Denick at Amir Academy of Martial Arts in an advanced fighters class.
Jamarkus Anderson, top, grapples with Joey Denick at Amir Academy of Martial Arts in an advanced fighters class.
Published Oct. 18, 2018

Jamarkus Anderson is a husband and father. He likes anime, superheroes and movies. He says he doesn't drink or smoke, not a party guy. A first impression paints a picture of a man who is soft-spoken and thoughtful but also silly, friendly and outspoken about issues that matter to him.

By day, Anderson, 43, is an IT technician. He tinkers with computers and printers, listening to people's problems on the phone and in person. "If it has two buttons and a light, I'm your man," he said.

Like any job dealing with people, IT is an exercise in patience. Sometimes, wires get crossed.

"I deal with a lot of different people and a lot of different personalities," Anderson said.

That's where Anderson's second job comes in.

In the evenings, after he's made printers print again and unlocked passwords, Anderson dodges punches and kicks, does hundreds of squats and rolls around on the floor looking for the move that will make his opponent submit.

Anderson is a mixed martial arts fighter, a third-degree black belt who has been practicing for over 10 years.

He now also teaches younger students at Amir Academy of Martial Arts in St. Petersburg, where he still trains under the guidance of Amir Ardebily, himself a seventh-degree black belt.

Martial arts is an ongoing learning experience, a cycle that never stops, Anderson said.

The fight never gets easier, he said. The fighter just gets stronger.