Tu Lam

functional fitness, hiit

Colorado Springs, CO

Tu Lam has served 23 years with the U.S. Army, serving 18 years with the Special Forces Green Berets. Fitness as in intelligence is the hallmark of any Special Operations warrior. Without fitness, a warrior cannot perform and navigate through the complexities of war. Combat fitness cannot be replicated through free weights and cardio machines found in a conventional gym. Combat fitness is to be able to perform at the highest levels while facing extreme mental and physical stress, lack of nutrition, rest, water…etc. It is to perform as a professional athlete while in a fight or flight situation in some of the most hostile conditions in the world.
  • Founder, CEO Ronin Tactics, INC.
  • Consultant, Firearms, and Edge Weapons Instructor
  • Co-Host History Channel TV Show “Knife or Death”
  • Playable Character “Ronin” on Modern Warfare /Call of Duty

Tu’s field tested gear SWIPE RIGHT TO SEE MORE

10 MINUTES WITH TU

Q: WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR TWENTY-YEAR OLD SELF?

My twenties were my years of “Fire”. I was on the Special Forces A-Teams and was a student of life and the martial arts. I’ve dedicated many hours in understanding martial arts in the form of combat. I’ve spent many years practicing the movement of body and weapon. In my 20's I’ve always felt; no matter the skills or hours I trained, there was always something missing. If I were to tell my 20-year-old self any wisdom, it would be the wisdom of “Balance.” You see, the martial arts teach us that. My extreme focus on the studies of combat in my 20’s and the energy it brings did not allow me to be balanced.
Therefore, as a young warrior I saw the world through the eyes of Fire (火). Never truly seeing the beauty in the world. Now, looking back I would have tempered my study of fire with practicing spirituality. I would have dedicated more time to the practice of peace and happiness. -A warrior is the two-fold way of pen and sword.

Q: WHAT’S THE ONE WORKOUT YOU ALWAYS DREAD? WHAT’S THE ONE WORKOUT YOU ALWAYS LOOK FORWARD TO? WHY?

I dread my High Intensity Training (HIT) days. These training sessions challenge my muscular and cardio endurance to the point of failure. Below is how a (HIT) session would look like. I do this once a week or increase sessions as needed based on my fitness goals.

Q: WHAT LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM FITNESS THAT HAVE SERVED YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE?

Fitness is a choice and it’s a way of life with a commitment to a life of discipline. Fitness teaches us that pain is needed for growth, it teaches us to push “One more time” when the muscle is at complete failure. Through pain comes growth. Fitness has taught me discipline, commitment and sacrifices to a greater version of myself. Fitness teaches us to push through pain and discomforts knowing on the other side are growth.

Q: WITH ANY NEW MODALITY YOU GET INTO, HOW DO YOU APPROACH IT IN ORDER TO MASTER?

I started my martial arts at the age of 8. My path as a warrior allowed me a deeper meaning in the teachings of the martial arts. But if you are to ask me what is the teachings of the martial arts? To me, it has taught me the correct process on how to study a subject. So, within any new modality, I start by understanding the purpose. By understanding where you wish to go; you can now begin to map out a route to get there. Mastery in any subject is a commitment each day to that skill. Skill is developed through the daily practice of forms and education. Commit a life to a set of skills and you will become a master in these skills.

“A thousand days of training to develop, ten thousand days of training to polish. You must examine all this well.”

Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings, 1645.

Q: WHAT IDEA, PERSON OR BOOK HAS BEEN THE MOST INFLUENTIAL IN YOUR LIFE? WHY?

As a soldier, I have seen the worst in humanity and as a human being, I have made my share of mistakes as no one is perfect. I’ve sat in darkness for many years; lost and searching once again for my own truth. You see, it was the words of Miyamoto Musashi a Ronin that reminded me of my strongest strength of all.  

“There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”

Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings, 1645.

It was through these words that I worked on myself and somehow through my path of peace, I have helped many others.

Q: WHAT’S ON YOUR FITNESS BUCKET LIST?

I’m in the process of redeveloping my speed and agility. This will require for me to study under performance coaches. My fitness and strength training will have to change to maximize my speed and agility. Once I learn this form of movement, I seek to put this understanding of performance into speed in a gunfight. I guess you can say I’m developing my own bucket list things to do these days.

Q: DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE FAILURE? HOW HAS THAT SET YOU UP FOR LATER SUCCESS?

As a human being I have made my share of mistakes and I have dealt with my share of failures. If you were to ask me, what is your favorite failure? My biggest failure was in myself. You see, if a warrior is willing to fight evil than they must travel to where evil lives which is darkness; wonder there too long and lose yourself in the process. So, my biggest failure was living a life as a person I hated. I saw only the worst in the world and others. Blaming others for my lack of strength.

I got tired of hurting, so I decided to work each day on becoming the person I wish to be. I’ve changed my fitness, diet, practice, and mindset with discipline. I changed my negative mind of hate and judgments and replaced it with compassion and kindness. Through discipline I’ve found my success, which are in business, love, family and God. -It’s how we face our failures that will decide change in ourselves.

Q: WHY DO YOU PRIORITIZE FITNESS IN YOUR LIFE?

Fitness is movement and movement is life. If you don’t use a muscle or flex its range of movement, then in time the muscle will become soft and weak. I start my day each morning with fitness. I spend 5 hrs each morning working on righting myself before my day. Win the mornings and win the day. Win the day consistently and win the game of life.

My mornings:

4:30AM -Wakeup, Hygiene

5-6AM -Prayer, Gratitude, Meditation

7-9AM -Mobility, Strength, Cardio Training

9-9:30AM- Hygiene, breakfast

9:30- Entrepreneur company with my wife

The days start with you. Right your mind and body in the mornings and win the day.

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