The Pod of Five Rings

The Pod of Five Rings

The Pod Of Five Rings is about one thing and one thing only: "The art of ass kickery". We aren't just talking about low level back alley brawls either. We are talking about martial arts under the bright lights of Hollywood. In this podcast two lifelong martial arts artists and cinephiles (Joe Cebula and Rob Rowland) talk shit about their favorite martial arts films, fight scenes, and life lessons learned throughout.

Episodes

December 16, 2021 109 min
Prepare yourself for the epic conclusion to the legendary franchise. No, there's no Joe Armstrong. No, there's no Sean Davidson. Instead, David Bradley has been recast as Joe Kastle (confused yet?). Together with his side kick Hiro, Joe travels to Venezuela to save a distressing damsel from a band of evil ninja and a maniacal terrorist. Typical stuff for the American Ninja, but does this provide an appropriate conclusion fo...
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The plot of American Ninja IV is the same as it ever was: evil terrorist organization plans to nuke the United States unless their demands are met. Typical bad guy stuff. BUT! What makes American Ninja IV special is the return of Michael Dudikoff as Joe Armstrong, and David Bradley as Sean Davidson. Two American Ninja for the price of one. Will their team up be enough to save the world? Listen and find out.
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November 30, 2021 69 min
An evil organization. Genetically modified ninja army. Curtis Jackson baby-sitting a grumpy white guy. Is this American Ninja 2? NO, but it is American Ninja 3. Introducing David Bradley as Sean Davidson, the NEW American Ninja, this film is arguably the WORST in the entire AN franchise. But, even the worst movie can still be entertaining. Is this film "so bad, it's good?" or "so bad, it's worse?" Join our h...
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November 16, 2021 87 min
Fresh off the heels of their first adventure, Army Rangers Joe Armstrong and Curtis Jackson are sent in investigate the disappearance of Marines at the US Embassy. What they discover is an abomination against nature, and an insult to ninja culture - a plot to create genetically modified Ninja, to sell to the highest bidder.

Not at all shocked to once again be fighting against ninja, Joe and Curtis suit up and prepare to deliver just...
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November 8, 2021 93 min
An ancient art. A hidden army. A Michael Dudikoff. These are the elements that make up the first American Ninja. After uncovering a plot to steal army weapons and sell them to the highest bidder, ex-con turned soldier Joe Armstrong (Dudikoff) teams up with Curtis Jackson (Steve James) to bring down the operation. As he works to stop the evil Black Star Ninja, Joe discovers that he himself is THE American Ninja.

Join us in this first...
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Based on a true story, Yamada: The Samurai of Ayothaya (aka Muay Thai Warrior) is a martial arts spectacle featuring some of the greatest Muay Thai fighters alive.

Betrayed and abandoned in Thailand, former samurai Yamada Nagamasa is nursed back to health and befriended by a group of Siamese warriors. While living among them, he is taught the beautifully brutal martial art of Muay Thai. After he uncovers a plot to incite war between...
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Assassin-for-Hire and Karate Master Terry Tsurugi (played by the legendary Sonny Chiba) may be a cold blooded killer, but he is not heartless. After the heiress to an oil fortune is targeted for murder, Terry agrees to protect her. Earning itself America’s FIRST X-Rating, The Street Fighter is a cult classic that delivers an action packed, gore filled, martial arts masterpiece which rocketed Sonny Chiba to worldwide fame and inspir...
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Every move he makes, another chance he takes - odds are he won't live to see tomorrow. So says the song, and the plot of 1985's 'Remo Williams'. Following Fred Willard as "Remo," we journey into the world of top secret spy organizations (run by Wilford 'Diabeetus' Brimley), ancient Korean killing arts (taught by a white guy) and corrupt American arms dealers, 'Remo Williams' was set to be Am...
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What is "kung fu?" Is it punches & kicks? Joint locks & throws? Swords and spears? Or is it something more? Is it the pursuit of self mastery for its own sake? That is what Lau Kar-Lung's 1978 "36th Chamber of Shaolin" attempts to answer. After his friends and family are murdered by the Manchu, young San-Te joins the Shaolin temple to learn kung fu and avenge his family. But is revenge the Shaolin way?
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August 23, 2021 92 min
At the height of the Cold War, American dominance hinges on establishing a new satellite monitoring base in the remote nation of "Parmistan." To do so, one man must win "The Game" - a yearly competition held by the King of Parmistan, combining elements of acrobatics, mountaineering, fighting, and MURDER. Naturally, there is only one man for the job. Enter Jonathan Cabot, Olympic gymnast and fuzzy sweater enthusiast....
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Nothing in the world can prepare you for MORTAL KOMBATTTTTTT *pause for intense dancing and spinning kicks*

In 1992, the world was introduced to a fighting game which would revolutionize the genre and almost single-handedly cause the creation of the ESRB - the Entertainment Software Rating Board. Bringing together martial artists from all over the world (and elsewhere), and combining fast paced action with raw, gruesome, bloody gore...
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Part Greek Tragedy, part Kurosawa-inspired Samurai film, part love letter to Jiu-Jitsu, 2008’s “Redbelt” tells the story of Mike Terry, a former Marine and BJJ black belt who struggles to keep his business afloat while also adhering to a rigid code of ethics. Along the way, he deals with a morally bankrupt Tim Allen, the death of his best friend and student, a lying wife, and a betrayal of the very martial art he devoted his life t...
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Before the Baba Yaga, before the Crane Kick, before the fists of fury, before even Frank Sinatra was doing Judo flips in his films, there was Orochi. Released in 1925, Bunter Futagawa’s “Orochi” is cited as the world’s first martial arts film. Made during a time when cinematography and editing were in their infancy, this movie made the bold decision to film not JUST a sword fight, but a climactic sword fight involving over 20 comba...
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Combining classic kung fu action with the spectacle of a music video, Barry Gordy’s The Last Dragon is a masterpiece of action, comedy, heart, and camp. This week, hosts @joe_cebula and @rock.n.rowland review this 1980s classic (and oh boy….is it from the ‘80s) and ask…WHO IS THE ONE AND ONLY MASTER?! Sho’Nuff

Follow Rob Rowland @rock.n.rowland

Follow Joe Cebula @joe_cebula

The Last Dragon (1985)
Director: Michael Sch...
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“Ever since I was a boy, all I knew was how to fight. Fight, fight, fight. And when I got tired, I would fight some more.” So goes the life of former CIA operative and Vietnam vet Black Dynamite. After uncovering a plot to fill the local orphanages full of heroin, Black Dynamite (@officialmichaeljaiwhite) declares war on all drug dealers, an action that takes him all the way from the fiendish Dr. Wu and his kung fu treachery al...
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High flying kicks. Death defying stunts. Relentless, Unyielding Violence...

Is NOT what Tampopo is about. This 1985 classic follows Tampopo as she develops from a fledgling, would-be ramen chef to the best in town. Through her sheer passion and desire to create the world’s best ramen, Tampopo finds mentors, partners, and friends who help her develop and perfect her craft. What this film lacks in martial arts ACTION, it makes up for ...
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The fight. Nothing in cinema is more compelling, more entertaining, or more visceral than human beings locked in battle for domination. It is quite literally in our DNA to love combat. To that end, today hosts @joe_cebula and @rock.n.rowland sit down to discuss their FAVORITE (and the best, because our opinions are law) movie fights of all time. Sit back, subscribe, and enjoy!

Follow Rob Rowland @rock.n.rowland

Follow Jo...
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"The sword is the soul. Study the soul to know the sword. Evil mind, evil sword." This is the spirit of Kihachi Okomoto's "Sword of Doom." The story of masterless samurai Ryonosuke, we follow him across Japan as he dominates his opponents and kills without remorse. But this is no hero's journey or glorious legend. Ryonuske is a monster who forsakes his humanity in the pursuit of pure killing mastery. This da...
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Winning and losing are results out of your control. Quitting is a choice. Released in 2021, @spflanery’s “Born A Champion” tells the story of Mickey Kelley, an American jiu-jitsu black belt who suffers a devastating injury and loss in an underground MMA fight. Left to pick up the pieces and trying to provide a life for his family, Mickey must step back into the ring facing a crowd that wants him to fail and an opponent that wan...
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The spirit of martial arts is to endure, persevere, and fight strong. No story encapsulates this more than the origin of Kyokushin Karate and its founder, Mas Oyama.


2004’s ‘Fighter in The Wind’ follows a young Oyama (born Choi Bae-Dal) as he fights to prove himself. Transcending nationalities, borders, and styles, and subjecting himself to the most brutal of training regimens, Bae-Dal aims to become the best fighter in all of Japan...
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