EP208 : Fight for the Light!
Original series
EP210 : Around the Whirlpool
Machoke, Machoke Man!
Tanba Gym! Wrestling Match!!
First broadcast
Japan August 2, 2001
United States September 7, 2002
English themes
Opening Born to Be a Winner
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター (Whiteberry)
Ending 前向きロケット団!
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 藤田伸三 Shinzō Fujita
Storyboard 菊地一仁 Kazuhito Kikuchi
Assistant director 大町繁 Shigeru Ōmachi
Animation director たけだゆうさく Yūsaku Takeda
Additional credits

Machoke, Machoke Man! (Japanese: タンバジム!まっこうしょうぶかくとうたいけつ!! Tanba Gym! Wrestling Match!!) is the 209th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on August 2, 2001, and in the United States on September 7, 2002.

Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details.


Ash and his friends are in Cianwood City with Janina, an apprentice at the Olivine Gym. Janina picks up medicine for Olivine Gym Leader Jasmine's ailing Ampharos and returns to Olivine while Ash plans to challenge the Cianwood Gym. Before he does, though, he goes to investigate a man and a Machoke who are sparring on the beach. The man happily orders everyone to the Cianwood Gym—he's none other than Chuck, the Cianwood Gym Leader!

Ash's challenge is accepted and a 2-on-2 Gym battle begins. Chuck starts with a Poliwrath; Pikachu should have the advantage as an Electric-type, but it's defeated by Poliwrath's physical strength and Double-Slap attack. Ash counters with Bayleef, using its type advantage to beat Poliwrath, so Chuck sends in his Machoke. In the meantime, Team Rocket sneaks into the Gym and gobbles up an unattended meal. They're spotted by Chuck's wife, who mistakes them for students and assigns them to chores.

Back at the battle, Bayleef doesn't appear to be making headway. It uses Vine Whip to grab Machoke's arms, starting a tug-of-war, and Ash wants Bayleef to tough it out for a face-to-face battle with Machoke. Machoke reels Bayleef in, but Bayleef turns it around and knocks out Machoke, winning Ash the Storm Badge! Since Jasmine still isn't ready to battle yet, Ash takes up Chuck's suggestion of a detour through the Whirl Islands. Chuck's wife gives them a free ferry pass and our heroes are on their way!


After Ash and his friends arrive in Cianwood City, they make a stop at the local pharmacy where Janina picks up the medicine to help Sparkle back in Olivine City. The pharmacist informs her that an express ferry to Olivine City will get her back before nightfall. Later, Ash and friends watch from a pier as Janina leaves aboard the express ferry.

Sudden noises catch the group's attention, and it turns out to be a man training alongside his Machoke in some intense sparring exercises. The group rushes to the man’s aid after he hits the sand from a Submission attack. Though the man appears fine and goes on to hug his Machoke in a tearful embrace for its great effort. The man spots Ash and deduces that he is a Trainer wanting a Gym battle, to which Ash agrees. With a twinkle in his eye, the man has Ash, Pikachu, and the others to march double time over to the Cianwood Gym. Machoke is the first to arrive at the Gym, followed by Ash and his friends, and lastly the man who instantly falls onto his knees in exhaustion. Ash wonders how much further it is to the Gym, and the man points to the building in front of them. Then all of his students and Fighting-type Pokémon come running out of the entrance to meet their master. Ash realizes that the man is actually the Cianwood Gym Leader, Chuck. Soon, everyone sits around a dining table for some nutrient rich food. Chuck's wife, who is busy bring out more dishes, approaches Ash and asks him if he is here to battle for a Storm Badge. When Ash says yes, she says that he should have no problem beating her flabby husband, though Chuck retorts the insults.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket walk along a road exhausted from their trip on the boat anchor and with no food to eat. Meowth senses the aroma of food, and soon he and his teammates follow after it.

Back at the dinner table, Misty says that the food was delicious while Brock reveals that the meal was actually Pokémon Power Food, used to strengthen Trainers and Pokémon alike. He comments on the students' dedication to training. Chuck breaks the silence, ready to have the Gym match for the Storm Badge. Everyone makes their way to the Gym floor, where the referee announces the conditions of the Gym match. Chuck declares that he is using his Machoke and Poliwrath before calling on Poliwrath first. Ash selects Pikachu for his type advantage, and orders a Thunderbolt attack, which Poliwrath dodges. After two miss, the third Thunderbolt hits Poliwrath. Ash orders Pikachu into a Quick Attack while Chuck tells Poliwrath to focus its energy. The Quick Attack has no effect on Poliwrath and Pikachu ricochets onto the ground. Chuck orders a Double Slap attack which knocks Pikachu out of the battle. Chuck starts to cry and acknowledge that even tough guys do the same. Ash thanks Pikachu for doing a good job and tells him to get a little rest.

Team Rocket reaches the Cianwood Gym and upon seeing an open door, they invite themselves inside and begin eating the leftovers of Chuck's meal. As they shovel the food into their mouths, Wobbuffet bursts from his Poké Ball and lifts the pot up to his mouth and starts gulping down food, not sharing it with the other Team Rocket members.

Ash prepares to make his second choice and decides that Bayleef will perform well against Chuck’s Poliwrath. Chuck orders Poliwrath to use Water Gun attack, which Bayleef dodges. Bayleef retaliates with Razor Leaf attack, which connects. Ash has Bayleef tangle Poliwrath up with a Vine Whip before slamming her opponent to the ground. Chuck orders Poliwrath to focus its energy, but it appears unstable on its feet. Bayleef delivers a solid Body Slam, and as the dust settles Poliwrath is unable to battle. From the sidelines Misty and Brock are impressed with Ash's battle strategy, adding that Pikachu helped wear Poliwrath down. Chuck goes teary-eyed again and compliments Poliwrath for a well fought battle. Chuck turns his attention to Machoke and says that the time has come to battle. He orders his Machoke to attack him with a Karate Chop to psyche both himself and Machoke for the round ahead. Ash follows suit and Bayleef use Body Slam onto him, and the resistance exercise helps build their focus.

In the dining room, Team Rocket are sprawled onto the floor with their stomach fully satisfied. Chuck's wife enters the room and asks if she can help them, and this leads Team Rocket to perform their motto. However, she interrupts and thinking they are new students, she orders the trio to perform several of the domestic chores. The trio are resistant, but they accept the tasks after being promised an afternoon snack of steamed dumplings.

Ash’s Gym match against Chuck resumes. Machoke attempts to attack Bayleef with many Karate Chops, with Bayleef avoiding them as best as she can until she is struck onto the ground. Chuck crosses his arms and orders Machoke to do a Cross Chop attack. Ash orders Bayleef to use her Vine Whip attack and she wraps the vines around Machoke's arms, preventing the Cross Chop attack. A tug-of-war ensues where Machoke pulls Bayleef's vines like a rope, but Bayleef resists. Ash and Chuck order their Pokémon to focus their energy to gain the upper hand. Brock suggests the idea of Bayleef putting slack in her vines for Machoke to lose its footing, and Misty reminds him that strategy is needed to win this matchup. Ash dismisses their advice and it set on making the round a face-to-face confrontation. Machoke soon reels Bayleef in and rolls into a Submission attack before throwing Bayleef into the air. Ash uses the added height to his advantage and orders Bayleef to use Vine Whip. Bayleef tangles Machoke in her vines and tosses her opponent directly into the battlefield. A follow-up Body Slam leaves Machoke bruised, but it manages to get up. Ash orders a Razor Leaf and this time Machoke hits the ground and doesn't get up. The referee declares Bayleef and Ash as the winners of the round and Gym match as a whole. Ash is proud of Bayleef, and in response she gives him a show of her Body Slam. Chuck compliments Ash and Bayleef’s strategy before presenting his opponent with the Storm Badge. Ash, Pikachu, and Bayleef celebrate their victory with a dance.

At night, Ash contacts Janina on the videophone. Janina informs him that while Sparkle is feeling much better thanks to the medicine, Jasmine still needs some time before she resumes her Gym Leader duties. Ash fully understands the situation and thanks Janina before hanging up. Chuck and his wife overhear the news, and they suggest the group travel to the Whirl Islands. The group decides to travel to the Whirl Islands after learning that the archipelago has mysterious Pokémon. Chuck's wife gifts Ash a card that will pay for the group’s ferry passage. Meanwhile, Team Rocket happily sit outside while eating popsicles after a hard day's work.

The next day, Ash and his friends board the ship bound for the Whirl Islands. Chuck, his wife and Machoke wave goodbye to the group as the ship sails away from Cianwood City. During the voyage the group's attention turns to what the Whirl Islands may be like. Misty is looking forward to meeting many cute Water-type Pokémon. Brock hopes there are many cute girls waiting for him, while Ash and Pikachu are looking forward to meeting the mysterious Pokémon in the Whirl Islands.

Major events

Ash holding the Storm Badge
For a list of all major events in the anime, please see the history page.



Pokémon debuts



Pocket Monster TV


Who's That Pokémon?

Who's That Pokémon?: Ampharos (US and international), Machoke (Japan)



  • After Pikachu was knocked out, Ash and Brock both said that Bayleef was Ash's only Pokémon left that had a type advantage over Poliwrath. However, Ash still had Bulbasaur with him at this point in the series. In addition, Noctowl's Psychic- and Flying-type attacks both would have been advantageous over both Poliwrath and Machoke.
  • In the Brazilian Portuguese dub, Brock states that Poliwrath is a Water/Fire type. This is incorrect, as Poliwrath is a Water/Fighting type.
    • Furthermore, when Bayleef is being hit by a flurry of Karate Chop attacks, he incorrectly explains to Misty that Machoke is using Submission, a move that would only be used later in the same battle.
  • Brock states that Submission is Machoke's most powerful attack. However, Machoke's Cross Chop has the Base Power 100, while Submission's Base Power is only 80.
  • When the students come out and say "Welcome back, Master!" and "Yes!" to Chuck, the Pokémon alongside them appear to be speaking along with them, even though they are not supposed to speak the human language.

Dub edits

  • In the English dub, Chuck's wife calls him flabby, while in the original Japanese version, she just tells Ash to defeat her husband.
  • While talking about the food they were eating, Brock called it Pokémon Power Food and the health benefits of it in the English dub, while in the original Japanese version, he only explains the health benefits of it.
  • The scroll behind Chuck on the Gym battle field has its text erased in the English dub the first time its shown. Later in the episode, the text is still there.
  • In the English dub, the snacks were called steamed dumplings, while in the original Japanese version, they are called steamed buns.
  • When the battle between Machoke and Bayleef begins, Chuck orders Machoke to attack with Karate Chop and Ash tells Bayleef to dodge in the original Japanese version. In the English dub, they both tell their Pokémon to focus.

In other languages

EP208 : Fight for the Light!
Original series
EP210 : Around the Whirlpool
  This episode article is part of Project Anime, a Bulbapedia project that covers all aspects of the Pokémon anime.