Behind The Brand: Ronin Tactics

Behind The Brand: Ronin Tactics

Welcome to our newest blog edition of Behind The Brand!

This week features a name and face we're sure many of you have heard and seen before - We are so thrilled to be able to share his story and the inspiration behind his brand with you, and hope you enjoy this week's read!

Tu Lam, the Creator and CEO of Ronin Tactics Inc., has an impressive and diverse resumé - After escaping Vietnam just prior to the fall of Saigon (his home city) at the age of 5, Lam went on to graduate high school in North Carolina and enlisted in the Army right after high school. He then served 23 years in Army Special Forces and has deployed to over 20 different countries during his service, including war zones and terrorism-struck territories, and was responsible for gathering intelligence that would lead to many successful direct-action operations. 

Among Lam's many accomplishments post-service, he's been featured as the character Daniel "Ronin" Shinoda in the iconic video game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare', he has also co-hosted of The History Channel's 'Forged in Fire: Knife or Death' television series, and now through Ronin Tactics Inc., Lam and his team of retired high-level veterans offer advanced training in hand-to-hand combat and aggressive shooting and weapons handling skills.

Along with his already-impressive resumé, Lam adds the 'x-factor' that makes him a rarity in today's society. He believes in something greater than himself, something that very few others understand is deeply rooted in intention and spirituality, and he exudes that belief in everything he does.

Lam is your true modern day Samurai; an edged-weapons master with a background in advanced martial arts and a philosophical approach to tactical fighting and weaponry make Lam the undeniable expert in the Bushido Code, and also the perfect person to be at the helm of his company, Ronin Tactics Inc..

Industry Threadworks has been proudly working with Tu and his wife Ruthie for over 6 years now - ITW's Founder, Ryan Williams, met Tu at SHOT Show in Las Vegas, and the two recognized a parallel mindset in business. Both leading veteran owned, solutions oriented companies, and having like-minded ideologies, the fit between ITW and Ronin Tactics was perfect.

Getting to know our clients on the Production side of their businesses is always an exciting ride, but we love to get to know them on an even deeper level - We are stoked to share our detailed interview with Tu Lam and his company, Ronin Tactics Inc..


ITW: What is/was the inspiration behind the creation/formation of Ronin Tactics?  
TL: "After I retired from the Special Forces (23yrs of service) I’ve battled with the mental stress from my 15 yrs of combat rotations and post war trauma. It was a very hard time for me, and I hit the lowest point in my life.  It was at this point that I came across an old book named “The Book of Five Rings (五輪書)” by Miyamoto Musashi, words written by a Rōnin in a Buddhist Cave in 1645 in Kumamoto, Japan. It was within his writing that I came to realize the strength I needed to move past the energy of war and transcend into the warrior teacher that I needed to be in this evolution of my life.  At this point, I’ve refocused on the true meaning of living and rededicated my life to a life of strict discipline.  I’ve closed myself off to the world and focused in on spirituality and God. In this process of retraining my mind, I’ve rebuilt my body in health and fitness, walking away from all the negative people that were toxic to my well-being.  It was in this process of self-growth that I became a Rōnin. (Masterless Samurai) So I guess you can say that the inspiration behind the creation of Ronin Tactics is internal growth as a warrior and human being."

ITW: What does Ronin Tactics stand for? 
TL: "A Rōnin means drifter, wanderer, masterless Samurai. During feudal period (1185-1868) Japan, a Rōnin status was extremely dishonorable. I guess you can say I called myself a Rōnin at that time because I was ashamed of the person I’ve became. I feel sometimes the lessons of war can be so extreme that it can take us away from the person we wish to be.  As I worked on myself in spirituality, fitness and marital arts, the word Rōnin took on a different meaning.  To me a Rōnin is an individual that is brave enough to walk away from everything they have known so that they can find their true self.  A true warrior is selfless, always seeking to serve a purpose greater than themselves.  In this process, my wife and I travel around the United States to help educate and teach the good to defend themselves from the evils of the world. In doing this we have taught over thousands of military personnel, law enforcement officers, first responders and law aiding citizens to better protect themselves, their families and communities.  As a Rōnin, I provide service by not only teaching the mindset behind a higher form of living but I also teach the tactics and lethal aspects of killing so that the good can prevail over evil."    

ITW: What does Ronin Tactics offer other than gear? 
TL: "We offer tactical training ranging from basic to advance weapons training in firearms, edge weapons and hand to hand combat.  We also teach specialized tactics to military and law-enforcement personnel from my experience from the Special Forces. These tactics can range from Close Quarters Battle (CQB), Vehicle Tactics, reconnaissance, Hostage Rescue…etc.    

We [also] design and manufacture tactical gear to military, law-enforcement and civilians from around the world. My gear designs come from my 23 yrs of Special Operations experience and have worked on major projects with the History Channel, Infinity Ward (Call of Duty) and Springfield Armory. I also model for Gatorz eyewear and ten thousand apparel to help market their brand.   

I find myself traveling a lot these days to give back by public speaking at majority charity events to help raise awareness to better support our struggling veterans. We speak and teach at major training events to help support our law enforcement officers so that they can better protect their communities."   

ITW: What should your customers feel when wearing Ronin Tactic’s gear? 
TL: "Love for God and Country, Pride in family and community, Warrior and the path to higher purpose. Ronin is masterless, and it represents the strength to walk your own path. -To endure."  

ITW: We know you are featured as a character in Call Of Duty, how did that opportunity come about?  
TL: "My wife and I often get requested to travel around the United States to teach the art of combat Budō (武道) to major police departments. In this process, we’ve posted a lot of our training videos on YouTube (Ronin Tactics Channel) and social media. It was around my 4th year of doing this was when Infinity Ward reached out to us and asked if we can fly to Los Angeles to discuss future projects. They wanted to utilize my gunfighting skills and martial arts movements into motion capture. After meeting with the IW team we agreed to scan by body and use my gear and they found it fitting to name my avatar “Rōnin”." 

ITW: Can you give us an overview of the types of events and training Ronin Tactics offers? 
TL: "What we teach really depends on who we are teaching, the level of experience of the class and specialized training requested from military and police units. Our instructions range from basic to advance firearms training, long gun precision course, Close Quarters Battle, Hostage Rescue, vehicle tactics, edge weapons and hand to hand."

ITW: Where do you hope to see Ronin Tactics in 5 years’ time? 
TL: "I would like to see our in-house manufacturing capabilities continue to grow and I would like to continue to research and help develop our company to grow so that we can better serve our international customers.

[I'd want to] continue to work with our partnered companies like Springfield Armory to launch our own brand of firearms within their line of weapons.

I am currently writing my book and will be traveling with a major publishing company’s media team to further promote our book and brand.

I would like to continue to help our struggling veterans with lining with organizations to better find medical treatment, housing, jobs and support groups for them. I would like to continue to travel around the world for public speaking and help serve and teach so that we can better our country and Americans."

ITW: What advice can you give to those who are just starting out with their brands? 
TL: "In a world where many seek to just duplicate what already exist, seek to be original. Have faith in yourself and express yourself. Stay true to who you are and what you believe. Have a clear vision of your brand and which category your brand falls within the industry. Study and gain intelligence within this industry and dissect the intelligence to develop a course of action or game plan to successfully integrate your brand within this space.

Understand your audience and how you wish to interact with this audience. Know your brand identity and your overall strategy. Be creative, visual and allow your personality to shine through.

Set goals and be willing to work harder than anyone you know."

Thank you, Tu Lam, for your time sharing your insights and perspectives with us. We are proud to work with you and your brand, and when ideologies like this come along, we are even more appreciative to be in your circle.

Thank you, readers, for stopping by and we hope you enjoyed this week's read!

If you’re looking to learn more about Ronin Tactics Inc., be sure to check out the following links:

Instagram: @ronintactics

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