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The Real Ronin: An Interview with Tu Lam

As if Alex’s return wasn’t enough for the Warcom to turn the tide of battle, they enlisted the services of the One-Man Army: Daniel “Ronin” Shinoda.

Daniel “Ronin” Shinoda is a fictional badass, but the man who inspired him, Tu Lam, was a real Special Forces Operator that conducted numerous operations, as part of the United States Army. Today, Retired Master Sergeant Tu Lam shares his skillset with clients through his company, Ronin Tactics Inc. The name was inspired by the Bushido Code that help him find his inner peace.

Activision Games Blog (AGB): First, how did you come to the United States from Vietnam, your birthplace, at the end of the Vietnam War? It has been 41 years since I left Vietnam. During my infant years, my family and I struggled. The fall of Saigon in 1975 was a huge impact toward my family. In 1979, my family escaped on a boat overstuffed with other fleeing refugees. My family and I were terrified at the unknown.

AGB: How and why did you enlist in the U.S. Army?

TL: My family settled in a little military town in Fayetteville, NC, and we started our new lives living with my Aunt who was married to an American Special Forces officer.

We eventually moved out when my mother remarried, also to an American Special Forces soldier. My stepfather was an amazing soldier who taught me the meaning of being a Commando.

AGB: Speaking of Ronin, what does Ronin Tactics Incorporated, your company, do?

TL: Ronin Tactics Inc provides tactical hand to hand and weapons training to our clients. Weapons training in firearms, edge-weapons, and commando tactics. Our tactical training offered to civilians are also very popular and requires us to travel often.

AGB: What’s the simplest way to describe ‘Bushido’, a code of honor that inspires you, your company, and especially how you train others to become warriors? The code means to “Readily accept death,” to lay down one’s life for the service of their daimyo (powerful Japanese feudal lords). In order to lay down one’s life, they must believe and live by a code. The Bushido Code was born out of Neo-Confucianism during times of peace in the Edo period (1600-1878).

TL: Infinity Ward reached out to me to collaborate both my motion capture and my edge weapons and gun movements.

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Apr 29, 2020 at 13:07

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