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Tiger Interview

From Las Vegas, Nevada to Los Angeles, California and even the back streets of Ohio, I have yet to meet or witness a more talented martial artist. Sure, he is one of my best friends, but I keep a talented crowd. That's a smart thing to do. You learn something from them every moment and you can depend on them when you need your back covered! Laughs. I met Tiger at Gold's Gym on Sandhill in Vegas. He was a young punk with a bad hair cut and a weight gain problem. I told him I could fix that and he was interested until I began to charge him. He then told me I would train him for free and there would never be a fee involved unless I wanted both my arms broke. I accepted his offer on the spot. Since then he has gained damn near 50 pounds and is kicking movie star butt on film. Over meals at the 4-Mile Inn on Boulder Highway, he said he would go to LA and get into films. Well, not long ago, he and I sat in a theater in LA and saw a screening of him in his first full length feature. I was amazed. Success at last! It is JUST the beginning however.


DON: That's you on the label of my old bottled water line. It made you famous (right!). Describe yourself.
TIGER: Well, despite my hard exterior I am a soft kind hearted guy, with a good sense of who I am and where I am going.

DON: So you're a wussy who is strongly in touch with his feminine side? What do you do exactly?
TIGER: I am about to demonstrate a patented technique, the Lemmon Drop. I am currently pursuing an acting career, in the meantime I am training a few people here in LA for their own movie roles.

DON: If you and your mohawk could change the world, how would you two do it?
TIGER: With love and compassion.  And a thorough smashing to all that deserve it. (This means you Lemmon.)  HA HA HA! My book Martial Knowledge hopefully will change martial arts.

DON: Wuss. What's with the hair?
TIGER: The question everyone wants to know. What's it to ya pal!!! It's the doo of a warrior. But a doo I must grow out to get more acting gigs!

DON: When you met me you were a rail. 150 and now you are a super star of modern martial arts. What did you do to gain 40 pounds?
TIGER: I guess you could say I got the KNOW HOW.  Back then I just followed the diets and weight training regimens you prescribed for me. I don't think you had a name for it then. Now I harrass you until you tell me what to do next!

DON: Describe your martial arts training 5 years ago compared to now.
TIGER: Now because of acting and commuting from Las Vegas to L.A. it is tough for me to keep a steady training schedule, but my training now as compared to then is a more realistic approach to self defense and true martial arts in general. Five years ago I couldn't hold a candle to what I am today.

DON: You probably started taking karate because a bully from Cobra Kai (in Karate Kid) picked on you. Did you ever go back and kick his ass?
TIGER: No, no, there was no bully. Sure I lost a few childhood fights, but the reason I got into the Arts was because of a Bruce Lee movie and that's a long story, but unlike most I simply started training, caught the fever and never looked back.

DON: I would prefer seeing a movie as we always do over cutting your hair again so don't ask me to help you this time. What was the last movie you saw without me, video rented, cd bought, concert saw, fancy meal ate?
TIGER: The last movie was the 15 Minutes with Deniro, the last video rented was the Prophecy, the last concerts though? I never went to one, except the one time my girlfriend dragged me to see Prince. Now there's a wuss! Oh, no, wait, I saw your friends from Lazy Jane at Pinkee's. Does that count? lazyjane.com right? The last fancy meal, it was with my family and I believe I had veal cutlets.

DON: What was it like filming with Dolph Lundgren and what is it like now being in LA working with people you once emulated?
TIGER: Dolph was real cool, and very quiet so we didn't speak much.  I am all too happy to be here in L.A. finally meeting and working with people I once only saw on T.V.

DON: You weight lift regularly and that doesn't hamper your martial arts. Is it tough to be a martial artist? Do you think you were born for the arts?
TIGER: Yes, if you take it to the level I have or anyone else who has put in the blood, sweat and tears into training, it is very taxing spiritually, mentally and physically.  But if done correctly the rewards are very beneficial and will last you a lifetime no matter what level you take it to. Born to do it? I suppose. You get out of something what you put into it.

DON: If you had 3 wishes they would be what?
TIGER: For no creature on the planet to suffer except Lemmon.  For all on the planet to unite as one (except Lemmon), instead of being separated by social class, gender, race, etc. 3rd, I would wish for whatever I wished for to come true (concerning Lemmon).

DON: Tell me a horror story about street fighting.
TIGER: I have seen a lot but then compared to some things I have heard, I have seen nothing. No matter who you are, you should remain kind, humble and gentle or someone somewhere is going to kick your ass.  I have seen a lot of self proclaimed big mouths be put down to the ground because of who they picked on or the way they behaved towards others.  I have seen guys and girls get hit right in the face with bottles, get jumped in bar fights, guys get slammed right on there heads in the middle of the street, etc. I have seen a lot. I recommend to anyone try at all costs if you can to avoid fighting, but that is my personal choice. if you must defend yourself, take it as a life threatening experience. It may be.

DON: Tell me a story where you used your knowledge to serve justice.
TIGER: I don't know about serving justice, but I got to put into practice (quite often being chief of security in a Las Vegas nightclub) my brains more often than my physical ability. Some of the stories are very long, but let me say that it pays to use your brains more that your fists, feet, knees, elbows, etc.

DON: What happened on that fateful day back in May of 96 with Don Lemmon outside the record store in Vegas?
TIGER: Oh God, ok the short version we were late for a meeting. As we were crossing a parking lot some asshole came out of nowhere in front of us on purpose and parked. In the MIDDLE of the parking lot mind you. So I honked the horn and you began to have a conniption fit, ranting and raving at him, as I drove around and away like any good citizen should (damn you Lemmon). My intention was to ignore him after honking a few times and so I kept driving away to our destination.  The asshole then proceeded to follow us, jump out of his car and began to have his own conniption fit on the passenger's side egging you on for a fight (which at that point you figured this guy is a total geek so you began ignoring him) so I drove on trying to exit the parking lot very slowly. Out of nowhere come like six cop cars.  Anyway they harass us for no reason - THIS IS ALL TRUE FOLKS! They let me, the thug, with the tattoos and piercings and odd hair and loaded gun go free, but took you to jail. Huh.  Imagine that. Anyway two phone calls later they were apologizing out their asses, when they found out who your attorney was.

DON: A gun? What do you think about weapons? Do you own more than one? Is it a stolen weapon? Do you have a license to kill? Is it because you are insecure with your fighting ability?
TIGER: I love weapons, I own many of them, and no, I am very secure with my ability to handle myself in a violent situation, especially one on one.  I believe in self preservation and 99% of the time I have a weapon on me or close by, only as a precaution and to even the score if necessary. Guns are my favorite as it is better to have one and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

DON: Besides the time I was about to put a gun to my own head dealing with some of the guests during the week of filming our one video, ever know someone who shot themselves?
TIGER: Yes, one attempted suicide, one guy who succeeded, and one guy who stabbed himself to death. I think there were a few others, and some were not self inflicted. You were at least kidding. These people had problems.

DON: Don't try suicide. Nobody cares. You body guarded Chevy Chase once. Why?
TIGER: Well I really didn't consider that body guarding, but I was leaving work one night, and in walked Mr. Chase and his group. My boss asked me to PLEASE stay and watch over him and his friends. It was simple. Chevy was great, a super cool guy, and because of that I made a good connection with a director who was with them that night.

DON: Who of your instructors were your favorites and why?
TIGER: In eighteen years of training, I have had a lot of instructors, but the top four are Hilario Cabral, John Natividad, "One kick" Nick Blomgren, and Ken Dinkins.  It is through them that I learned the finer aspects of reality based fighting. But despite all my training and learning I am committed to a continued learning process.  I was just fortunate enough to meet, learn from and train with some good people.

DON: In the name of all that is holy, why in the hell are you tatooed like a circus freak?
TIGER: Tattoo is spelled with two T's Don.  All of my tattoos have deep spiritual and philosophical meaning, I try to judge no one, but my tats are not as bad as some people's are out there.  Hey man despite what everyone may think, I'm just a regular guy pursuing his dream. And YOU have tattoos too.

DON: Not like yours you wuss. And I regret mine. What did you think I would ask?
TIGER: I had no preconceived notions of any of this and don't think I won't kick your ass.

Don Lemmon's Nutritional and Exercise Know How

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