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Le Samourai

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About Le Samourai

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    Honolulu, HI
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  1. I'm going to be radical and say just chuck it all. There are more fulfilling ways to spend your time. It is quite possible to be perfectly happy without TV, a smartphone, a tablet, streaming service, video games, etc. I know that because I don't have TV, a smartphone, a tablet, streaming service, video games, etc. and don't feel like I'm missing anything. Quite the opposite. The world has so much more to offer than what is available on electronic gizmos.
  2. Congrats on taking this big step! Training in martial arts can be a life-changing experience with lasting benefits. In general, the style can often be less important than the school and the instructor. It's important to find a teacher who is openminded and will accommodate any physical issues you have. Some have a "the art comes first, the student second" that I find rather irresponsible. Some thoughts on the styles you mention… * Wing Chun is a fun art, though some people find the basic stance a bit hard on the knees. * Karate: It depends a great deal
  3. Boxing is a great way to get in shape and—when coupled with some basic grappling skills—a good foundation for self-defense. To answer your questions… Gear: Both Ringside and Combat Sports International offer a wide variety of stuff at reasonable prices. I'd avoid any gear made by Everlast. Their quality has gone downhill over the years. Workouts: Conditioning is your friend! Seriously, boxing can be exhausting. Sprints, burpees, jumping rope, and jogging are all beneficial. Don't neglect old-school bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and pull-ups, which in my experience transl
  4. Books read, March 2016. FICTION The Bards of Bone Plain by Patricia McKillip Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins by Emma Donoghue NONFICTION When Buddhists Attack: The Curious Relationship Between Zen and the Martial Arts by Jeffrey K. Mann Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded--and What We Need to Do to Remake Them by John Perkins Superpatriotism by Michael Parenti Crime Signals: How to Spot a Criminal Before You Become a Victim by David Givens GRAPHIC NOVELS Saga, Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaugha
  5. Books read, February 2016. FICTION The Promise by Robert Crais Walking Dead by Greg Rucka (reread) (and has nothing to do with zombies) A Wild Swan and Other Tales by Michael Cunningham NONFICTION Zanshin : Meditation and the Mind in Modern Martial Arts by Vince Morris You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day Slavery Inc: The Untold Story of International Sex Trafficking by Lydia Cacho (my review) GRAPHIC NOVELS Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  6. I have an ongoing series of posts about this on my blog. Most of my inspirations come from novels or films. Covered so far... John Rain, from the novels by Barry Eisler Quiller, from the novels by Adam Hall The Crow, mostly Jay O'Barr's comic but also the film Man on Fire, the book by A.J. Quinnell Atticus Kodiak, from the novels by Greg Rucka and of course, Jason Bourne (cinematic version only) I still need to write a post about Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, two characters created by Robert Crais. That one's been hard to tackle because Elvis and Joe have probably influenced and inspired me m
  7. I've practiced Kali for close to 15 years. Just swinging the sticks can really improve coordination and speed. Try checking out some of the Sinawali drills posted on YouTube and elsewhere. A few of them are actually pretty good. If you can find a partner to go through the patterns with you, that would be even better. Good luck, and mabuhay!
  8. Unless you have been diagnosed with celiac disease, there is no reason to give them up. There is a substantial body of evidence pointing to the benefits of a diet rich in whole grains and legumes.
  9. Welcome! I practice Kali, Jeet Kune Do, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Silat. I know a bit of Wing Chun. Of those, my passion is for Kali (aka Escrima aka Arnis).
  10. My reading in January definitely tended towards philosophical matters. And for someone who is not an Aikidoka, I read more than a couple of Aikido-themed books. Even the two fantasy novels by Elizabeth A. Lynn—a Shihan and 6th dan in Aikido—feature a fictional version of the art. FICTIONChalice by Robin McKinleyWatchtower by Elizabeth A. LynnThe Dancers of Arun by Elizabeth A. Lynn NONFICTIONPeace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat HanhWhat Makes You Not a Buddhist by Dzongsar Jamyang KhyentseThe Official Prisoner Companion by Matthew White and Jaffer Ali
  11. I very much enjoyed 'A Darker Shade of Magic'. Very interesting setting and characters. The sequel, 'A Gathering of Shadows', comes out in February.
  12. I was recently asked what movies I've seen in the theaters more than once. Off the top of my head and in alphabetical order… The Bourne Trilogy Bram Stoker's Dracula Casino Royal The Crow The Dark Knight Die Hard Fantasia The Illusionist John Wick L.A. Confidential The Lord of the Rings (Ralph Bakshi animated version) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Lost in Translation Miami Vice Mulholland Drive Natural Born Killers Pulp Fiction Quantum of Solace Ronin Rushmore Skyfall Spartan The Star Wars Trilogy (original) Terminator 2: Judgment Day Three Kings Titanic True Ro
  13. I went vegetarian 9 years ago and vegan two years ago. My only regret is not doing it sooner. For me, the decision was purely one of personal ethics. To quote George Bernard Shaw, "Animals are my friends... and I don't eat my friends." Even though I didn't go plant-based for health reasons, I do find that I am much fitter as a vegan than I ever was as a omnivore. The transition to veganism is much easier when you have some good cookbooks and decent culinary skills. I highly recommend checking out the 30-Minute Vegan series by Mark Reinfeld. Lots of tasty, easy recipes, and you can go a long
  14. Le Samourai


    I eat oatmeal pretty regularly. My favorite is Bob's Red Mill Scottish oatmeal. I tend to have it one of two ways: 1. With a cube of 85 percent dark chocolate and a teaspoon of creamy, unsalted peanut butter. Or... 2. With raisins and a teaspoon each of tahini and brown rice syrup.
  15. This may sound paradoxical, but while I've never practiced the martial art of Aikido (I'm a Kali-JKD guy), I do in many ways practice the philosophy of Aikido. Allow me to explain: I have read several fine books on deeper aspects of the art, such as 'Aikido in Daily Life' by Koichi Tohei, 'Aikido and the New Warrior' by Richard Strozzi-Heckler, and 'Aikido for Life' by Gaku Homma. They have had a definite influence on the way I conduct myself and especially how I deal with conflict. So why haven't I trained in Aikido? To be honest, I like the intensity of Kali and JKD. However, the older I g
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