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Monday, December 29th, 2008

Back in Southern California: New City, New Team

How to Make Your Shooter Level Successful

FireBatHero’s StarCraft Victory Ceremonies

Sniper Rifle Armed Robotic Helicopters – America’s Solution to Piracy

How to Make Your Shooter Combat Better

Bioshock: The Most Important Game of the Generation

ESL Global Finals: Korean Team HON Wins Best WoW Tournament Game Ever

Brad Borne’s The Fancy Pants Adventure and Bruce Branit’s World Builder

What’s Bad About Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Multiplayer?

What’s Good About Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Multiplayer?

Akira Live-Action Adaptation Director’s The Silent City

A Real Guitar Hero – Sungha Jung 12 Year Old Prodigy Fingerstyle Guitarist

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Campaign Playthrough Notes

American Badasses and a Russian Who Became a Hero by Doing Nothing

Resident Evil 5 Demo Impressions

Roger Ebert is Right: Games are Not High Art…Yet

Gears of War 2 Through the Eyes of a Game Designer

Crayon Physics Indie Game Released Today and 9 Theatrical Movie and Short Film

Top 5 Greatest Moments in Competitive Gaming (eSports)

What Video Games Taught Me About Life

TapDefense Reviewed Through the Eyes of a Game Designer

Tao of Jeet Kune Do Book Review – The Art of Street Fighting

2 Months: Star Wars Vs. Star Trek, Super Mario Level Mod and Flash Game Sonny

Tony Huynh Recommends

Low Skill Cap and Luck (RNG) in World of Warcraft PVP

Why and How I Broke My Addiction to Caffeine

Best Games of All Time by Genre Part 2

The iPhone 3G & AT&T Service Review

My Student Films 2: EverQuest Documentary and Guilty Gear Isuka Trailer

Pimps at Sea err I mean Age of Booty & Gen 13 Cosplay

Call of Duty: World at War Through the Eyes of a Game Designer

10 Greatest Video Game Designers Part 2

10 Greatest Video Game Designers Part 1

8 Ways to Make Your Goal a Certainty

Best Games of All Time by Genre Part 1

Welcome to 1 Month

Money: What Steps I Have Taken to Save It

My Student Films

Dead Space Through the Eyes of a Game Designer

Best MMA Fights & Genki Sudo: Real Life Video Game Character

8 of the Most Underrated or Overlooked Video Games of All Time

Mirror’s Edge Demo Review

Environmental Heresies – Wired Magazines Contrarian take

Become a Video Game Designer: Everything You Need to Know Part 1

Become a Video Game Designer: Everything You Need to Know Part 2

Bet on the US, I am

Book Review of Craig Thompson’s Blankets

Book Review of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust

San Diego Versus Chicago

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Tao of Jeet Kune Do Book Review – The Art of Street Fighting

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Tao of Jeet Kune Do Cover Image

“Jeet Kune Do is training and discipline towards the ultimate reality in combat.

Jeet Kune-Do is the only non-classical style of Chinese Kung Fu in existence today. It is simple in its execution, although not so simple to explain. Jeet means ‘to stop, to stem, to intercept,’ while Kune means ‘fist’ or ’style,’ and Do means ‘the way’ or ‘the ultimate reality.’ In other words–’The Way of the Intercepting Fist.” – Bruce Lee

The Book
The Tao of Jeet Kune Do is the posthumously published collection of notes scribbled down by Bruce Lee, mostly compiled in a six-month stay in a hospital after having injured his back and later compiled by his wife Brenda Lee into the book you see in the picture above. This book is a culmination of Lee’s lifetime of study in the martial arts spanning numerous styles and forms. Both his library, that contained thousands of martial arts books and his practical experience all come through in this volume.

Bruce Lee’s Tao of Jeet Kune Do is as revolutionary and influential a work to the study of hand-to-hand combat as Sun Tsu’s Art of War is to warfare. Just as the Art of War was encompassing with its detailed analysis of troop movements, supply lines, terrain and troop morale, the Tao of Jeet Kune Do exhaustively explores all that goes into a fist fight, covering cardiovascular conditioning workouts, weights, proper stances, movement, mechanics of the punch and kick, parries, ripostes, feints and cadence.

The underlying philosophy of JKD is to be “formless.” That is not to be limited by a specific style and to take what you find useful and throw away the rest. Thus, JKD is a personal study, as much a philosophy of as it is a style of fighting. Tao of Jeet Kune Do is the definitive guide to fighting and for those who have not read it, it will change your conceptions of personal combat forever.

JKD embodies what street fighting really is. No maneuver is off-limits; this includes eye-gouges, strikes to the groin, shin and throat.

The book prepares you for both mentally and physically for a physical confrontation. It stresses that you throw away styles and use simple and direct movements in offense and defense. The basics are covered in the beginning of the work and continue to steadily progress to more advanced techniques and the intricacies of combat.

“In JKD, one does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.

Before I studied the art, a punch to me was just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick no longer a kick. Now that I’ve understood the art, a punch is just like a punch, a kick just like a kick. The height of cultivation is really nothing special. It is merely simplicity; the ability to express the utmost with the minimum. It is the halfway cultivation that leads to ornamentation. Jeet Kune-Do is basically a sophisticated fighting style stripped to its essentials.” – Bruce Lee

Unique to this book is that when Lee tells the reader how he does a technique it is always followed by an explanation as to why it is the most effective way that he has found of achieving the ultimate goal of winning the fight.

One of the revolutionary ideas Bruce Lee had was that since ninety percent of the punching and kicking was done from the lead hand and leg, therefore a fighter should adopt a southpaw stance to better utilize the strength of their stronger side. JKD boasts one of the best fighting stances in all of martial arts with the on-guard position. It is the perfect balance between attack, defense and mobility.

Bruce Lee’s hastily written notes and caricatures litter the pages and many readers have complained that the work is disorganized and not easily approachable. The reason behind this is that the Tao of Jeet Kune Do was never meant to be a standalone work. Three other books, Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method, Vol. 2: Basic Training, Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method, Vol. 3: Skill in Techniques, Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method, Vol. 4: Advanced Techniques are intended to be read concurrently with it.

I would highly recommend that all people at least take a look at his most approachable work in his series, Basic Training. It is brimming with instructional photographs of the man himself displaying his various techniques and training. While Basic Training is the most accessible work, Tao of Jeet Kune Do is the most important of the series because it outlines the guiding philosophies of JKD, hence my recommendation of this book.

“Too much horsing around with unrealistic stances and classic forms and rituals is just too artificial and mechanical, and doesn’t really prepare the student for actual combat. A guy could get clobbered while getting into this classical mess. Classical methods like these, which I consider a form of paralysis, only solidify and constrain what was once fluid. Their practitioners are merely blindly rehearsing routines and stunts that will lead nowhere.

I believe that the only way to teach anyone proper self-defence is to approach each individual personally. Each one of us is different and each one of us should be taught the correct form. By correct form I mean the most useful techniques the person is inclined toward. Find his ability and then develop these techniques. I don’t think it is important whether a side kick is performed with the heel higher than the toes, as long as the fundamental principle is not violated. Most classical martial arts training is a mere imitative repetition – a product – and individuality is lost.

When one has reached maturity in the art, one will have a formless form. It is like ice dissolving in water. When one has no form, one can be all forms; when one has no style, he can fit in with any style.” – Bruce Lee

See my other related articles also:
Best MMA Fights & Genki Sudo: Real Life Video Game Character
Tony Huynh Recommends
Book Review of Craig Thompson’s Blankets
Book Review of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust

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Tony Huynh Recommends

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

If you are still looking for some gifts or something for yourself, here are my recommendations for games and books that I have enjoyed. I’ll be updating this list from time to time as I think of more stuff to include.

Video Games
Xbox 360 Pro Console
Xbox 360 Live 13 month Gold subscription
Bioshock X360 l PS3 l PC
Gears of War 2 l Read my review
Dead Space X360 l PS3 l PC l Read my review
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare X360 l PS3 l PC
Call of Duty: World at War X360 l PS3 l PC l Read my review
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core PS2 l Wii
Bioshock X360 l PS3
The Orange Box X360 l PS3 l PC
SoulCalibur 4 X360 l PS3
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn
Oblivion X360 l PS3 l PC
Psychonauts Xbox l PS2
God of War
God of War 2
Resident Evil 4 PS2 l Wii
Civilization 4
Chrono Trigger DS
Diablo 2

Fiction Books
Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover
Dune by Frank Herbert
Legend by David Gemmell
Stardust by Neil Gaiman l Read my review

Graphic Novels
Blankets by Craig Thompson l Read my review
Sin City by Frank Miller
Thieves and Kings by Mark Oakley
Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore

Books on Life
Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee l Read my review
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Investing & Business Books
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch
Unlimited Wealth: The Theory and Practice of Economic Alchemy by Paul Zane Pilzer
Art of War by Sun Tzu
The World is Flat by Thomas L Friedman
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Built to Last by Jim Collins

Tony Huynh Amazon Search

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Posted in Books, Investing, Video Games, life, motivation | No Comments »

Bet on the US, I am

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

How could you not be aware of the plummeting US economy? Everyday the headlines of stocks plummeting and new layoffs grow louder. The short-term future may be bleak and I believe that the economy is due for a correction after so many years of prosperity. Despite all the scariness, I am continuing to invest in US stocks and I am not the only one. Warren Buffet, a personal hero of mine, wrote a great opinion editorial over at the New York Times.

“I’ve been buying American stocks…Why? A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful. And most certainly, fear is now widespread, gripping even seasoned investors.”

There are ridiculous values out there right now. Great companies trading at unreasonably low prices.

“Over the long term, the stock market news will be good. In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.”

While nobody can predict the short-term movements of the market, invest in the long-term. I am a long-term investor and I will be putting my bets on the United States.

If you have not read Warren Buffet’s mentor Benjamin Graham’s book The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel (Revised Edition)
I highly recommend it. It is the most influential book of my investing life.

Here are my basic stock investing guidelines:
1. To buy a stock is to buy a piece of a company
A lot of people forget this principle. If you do not believe in or like the company do not buy the stock.

2. Buy what you know
This is the famous investing advice given by Peter Lynch.
Since I work in the gaming industry and spend all my time researching games, it is an area I understand. So I would rather buy stocks in gaming companies that I spend the majority of my time researching instead of a Bio-tech company that I know little about.
This rule also applies to products that I like and use. If a company does not produce a product or service I use, I will not invest in that company.
Check the balance sheets of the stock. I personally never invest in a company that has any debt. Also read their quarterly reports especially the risk segment. If you read this segment and still think that the stock is worth owning then you may have a winner. Learn how to read the numbers and balance sheet of a stock.

3. Do not buy stocks you are not willing to hold indefinitely
“Only buy something that you’d be perfectly happy to hold if the market shut down for 10 years.” – Warren Buffet
I’m not trying to turn a quick buck in stock investing. Again it comes back to whether you like the company enough to own and hold a piece of it indefinitely.

4. Buy slowly
Do not move in on a stock all at once. If the stock continues to go down and you like the stock, continue to buy in. If the stock goes up, I generally do not continue to buy in.

5. Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful
Above all this is what drives my investing.

Disclaimer: Stocks involve risk; I’m only telling how I personally invest. Any investment decisions you make are your own.

You may be interested in these related articles also:
Money: What Steps I Have Taken to Save It
8 Ways to Make Your Goal a Certainty

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Book Review of Craig Thompson’s Blankets

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

I was walking the floors of the San Diego Comic Con when I happened upon the Top Shelf Publishing’s booth. I was in a hurry to reach one of the random panel discussions on the schedule so I picked up a hefty graphic novel with the title of Blankets on it and asked the writer and artist Craig Thompson, “sell me your book in one line.”

He replied, “Neil Gaiman said it best I think, ‘moving, tender, beautifully drawn, painfully honest, and probably the most important graphic novel since Jimmy Corrigan‘.”

“Here’s your thirty dollars,” was my answer.

What I got in return for my money was a heart-breaking, moving, page-turner that had me racing to the end to discover what happens, yet at the same time not wanting for it to end.

Blankets is an intimate autobiographical story about a young troubled artist growing up in a devoutly Christian family. It follows him through the abuse he suffers at the hand of others, his feeling of powerlessness, his loss, his fears, his hope and his first love.

Because this book is based off of actual events the characters never act according to a script and that comes across on the page. The relationships are complicated and three-dimensional. This lends this book its self-effacing, real quality.

We follow Craig through his formative years as a youth in Wisconsin sharing a bed with his brother Phil. Through the hot and humid summers and freezing winters he deals with bullies, vindictive teachers and even molestation from a babysitter. The writer expresses his insecurities about his ability to make a difference in the world around him. He is unable to protect his younger brother and feels guilt over this powerlessness. Craig finds escape through art and religion. On through high school we follow the author as he meets his first girlfriend from Christian winter camp, Raina. Through her we are introduced to her own complicated family life. Raina’s parents are getting a divorce and family problems abound. They find solace in each other. Thompson does not spare us the details in his 582-page tome and as I mentioned before, the novel is not predictable and for me to reveal anymore would be criminal.

What makes Blankets remarkable is Thompson’s mastery over the comic medium. His images and words are haunting and stay in the mind long after you put down the novel. He melds innovative fonts together with art that carries both movement and emotions. I sat there reading and watching the story progress dumbfounded as the artist did things that I have never seen done before. This is an example of a master at the height of his craft. There is one particularly poignant scene that I would like to highlight that illustrates Thompson’s command. This scene occurs when the main character burns his childhood drawings to escape the memories of his youth. Needless to say that Blankets is a work that had a profound effect on me.

See my other related articles also:
Tony Huynh Recommends
Book Review of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust
Tao of Jeet Kune Do Book Review – The Art of Street Fighting

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