Character Spotlight: Sheik

Sheik Quick Nav Links
Character Spotlight: Sheik
The Sheik Workout

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Hello and happy Wednesday!  We are here with our next character, Sheik from the Legend of Zelda (and Super Smash Bros.) series!  First off, a quick reminder:  Character posts are going to be split between Wednesdays and Fridays now, and the first post will be a character overview and skills breakdown, with workouts being posted on Friday.  This is the first post for Sheik, so we’re going to talk about her skills here today, and her workout will be up on Friday!

Yes, her.  I know there’s some debate among the Zelda community, but we’re going to assume for our purposes that it’s just Zelda there under that cool ninja outfit.  If you’d like to think otherwise, that’s okay by me, everything should still apply.  I just like the Zelda series having a strong female protagonist.  =P

Anyhoo, Sheik is a member of the Sheikah tribe, basically Hylian ninja, and she frequently assists Link in The Ocarina of Time.  She also regularly rips people’s faces off in the Smash Bros. series (I was a Sheik main for basically the whole Melee era…).  She’s nimble, agile, and lethal – a Rogue Assassin in all respects. We’re going to take a look at some of her attributes from Ocarina of Time as well as Smash Bros. to put together her skill breakdown.  Let’s jump in!

Sheikah Combat

Okay, this is the part where I normally recommend learning the character’s martial art of choice.  However, with ninja-like characters, this is a difficult option.  There’s a LOT of controversy over ninjutsu as an actual historical martial art, and while there’s definitely plenty of schools that teach it, even the oldest organization, bujinkan, has had its historical legitimacy questioned.  So, that said, if you’re looking for something ninja-like, a Bujinkan or Quest dojo would probably be your best bet.  Barring that, you can check out any other schools that claim to teach ninjutsu, but if they start claiming super ancient lineage or supernatural powers that’s when you want to walk right the heck outta there.

Japanese weapon arts are probably your next best bet, like kenjutsu, kendo, and kobudo-type arts.  Aikido could also be a decent choice.  Beyond that, Japanese karate and judo will give you a good Japanese combat education.  Finally, you have Okinawan karate styles, but you most likely will not be learning any real sword skills, as those were learned mostly by Japanese samurai.

Throwing Needles

Sheik’s got throwing needles galore in the Smash series, and they’re relatively easy to procure in real life, as well.  You could also make some yourself by grabbing a few nails and grinding down the tips (though they probably wouldn’t be as well balanced).  Though not terribly practical in a self defense sense, they are LOTS of fun to play around with.  Here’s a couple video tutorials to get you started:

Manriki Gusari

Sheik also wields a chain whip in Smash Bros., the real-life analog for which would be the manriki gusari.  While a bit shorter than Sheik’s chain, the manriki is a vicious weapon.  In addition to being wielded as a spinning whip of doom, it can also be used to entrap opponents hands/weapons, or execute chokes.  Like throwing spikes, they are also pretty easy to come by, or make youself  Here’s a couple videos to get you started with the manriki gusari:

When practicing, I would definitely recommend using a training manriki to start, made of string and maybe something heavier but soft on the end, and then graduating to working with the real chain. Don’t underestimate the damage you can inflict on yourself with one of these suckers!

Disguise

**spoiler alert**  Sheik is Zelda in disguise.  **/spoiler**

Yeah.  Sorry I had to break it to you.  ANYWAY, disguise is an art in and of itself.  It’s fun to mess around with, though you may not get TOO many chances to put it into practice.  Here’s some tips:

Change Your Shape

This can be accomplished a variety of ways, and it’s one of the first things to take a look at when you’re developing a disguise.  Loose clothes over extra padding can make you look overweight.  A tied-up sleeve with an arm tucked into your shirt (need baggy clothes and/or a really slim arm to pull this off) can make you lose a limb.  Shoulder pads and tight bindings can make you look more slim, or even help you pull off a different gender.  Play around with it!

Change Your Hair

Hair color, hair length, wigs, fake beards, and shaving can all play parts here.  Keep in mind, working with your existing hair is going to be cheaper and easier than working with wigs and fakes (you can spot these a mile away).  Just keep in mind that hair changes alone are usually not enough to pull off a disguise (you friends don’t forget who you are when you get a hair cut, do they?)

Change Your Mannerisms

You need to really change your habits to pull off a true disguise.  Sheik was a believable disguise because she was flipping and jumping all over the place, while Zelda was very much the “proper princess.”  Start walking with a cane, change your accent, develop a tick, or a different method of walking.  Shake it up!

Sheikah Agility

I’m going cover this more in the workout section, but obviously Sheik is a very agile individual.  This, of course, brings us back to our old friend, le parkour.  Rather than type up the same post again, I’m going to direct you to The Skills of Faith to start your learnin’.  Additionally, we’re going to be going over some cool agility drills in The Sheik Workout on Friday, so look forward to that!

That’s it for today!  I’ll see you on Friday with The Sheik Workout.  Until then, live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!

Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace

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Supercherries

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So, back while I was working on the relaunch I was sending out surveys for people’s opinions on color schemes I screwed up and added an extra field.  This field populated with the default content on SurveyMonkey – fruits!  So I said whichever fruit won the fan vote, and that winner is…

cherriesSUPERCHERRIES

Fun cherry fact:  I like cherries, but I cannot stand anything artificially flavored to taste like cherries because to me it always tastes like cough medicine.  Same thing with mint flavored stuff and toothpaste.

MOVING ON.

Cherries are an awesome little fruit, packed with a whole lotta goodness, so let’s take a look at the basic stats, first:

Amount Per 1 cup, without pits (155 g)
Calories 77
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.5 g 0%
Saturated fat 0.1 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 5 mg 0%
Potassium 268 mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 19 g 6%
Dietary fiber 2.5 g 10%
Sugar 13 g
Protein 1.6 g 3%
Vitamin A 39% Vitamin C 25%
Calcium 2% Iron 2%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 5%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 3%

As with all fruits, there’s a good amount of vitamins and such in there, particularly A and C.  Good stuff.  Unlike many fruits, they’ve also got a little protein in there, and not too much sugar!  Vitamins and protein not enough for you?  Let’s see what else cherries offer to “sweeten” the deal (ohgodthatpunIamsosorry)

Reduce Soreness and Muscle Pain from Exercise!

In a study among long distance runners, drinking cherry juice every day helped to significantly reduce soreness after a race, vs. the placebo “cherry flavored drink” (that probably tasted like cough syrup).  We do a lot of fitness type stuff around here, so that is AWESOME.  Get in some cherries or cherry juice on a regular basis and you can cut down on soreness (along with the usual remedies like getting enough sleep, stretching, and anti-inflammatories).

Fight Cancer!

(because &!*% cancer).  Cherries, like cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, and other nifty foods are full of antioxidants like flavonoids and their ilk.  These are special naturally occuring chemical compounds that help to fight free radicals in your body.  Free radicals can damage cellular structures, leading to an increased risk of cancer and other nasties, so YAY CHERRIES.

Help you sleep!

Cherries have been shown to have small amounts of melatonin in them, which can help to regulate your body’s natural circadian rhythms.  That’s good news for insomniacs like me!  If you, too, have a problem making yourself go to sleep at night, or wake up in the morning, then try a serving of cherries or cherry juice in the morning, and another at night.  Sleeping is awesome, and most people should be doing more of it.

Fight gout!

Have gout?  No?  Well skip this one.  BUT, if you do have gout, you will be happy to know cherries have been shown to help reduce pain for people suffering from it.  There’s also some evidence the same compounds reduce pain related to arthritis, as well!

How to Get Your Cherry On

So, you know cherries are awesome, now how do you get your daily cherry in.  EAT CHERRY PIE ALL DAY ERRY DAY!  Actually, no, don’t do that.  While it would be delicious, you would also probably get very fat very quickly.  We generally try to avoid that, if possible.   My personal favorite is just to buy a whole bunch of them fresh, and snack on them whenever I feel like it.  They take a little extra time to eat if they still have the pits in, which means you probably won’t overindulge on them too much, and they are freaking delicious.

Barring that, cherry juice was used in the majority of the studies referenced here, so you can try that, too!  Just make sure you get 100% cherry juice or cherry juice from concentrate, and make sure there isn’t added sugar.  Be sure to note, though, that having just the juice is going to limit the amount of fiber you get (that’s usually in the skin).  Also, make sure you watch your serving sizes.  It’s way too easy to drink way too much juice, and we don’t like liquid calories around here!  >:O

So, that about covers us for our cherry binge.  See you on Wednesday!  And keep an eye on the Be a Game Character social media channels and forums between now and then.  Might be some interesting stuff to see…

Until next time, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome.

Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace

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The Skills of Batman

Batman Quick Nav Links:
The Batman Workout
The Skills of Batman

The Skills of Batman

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Okay, before we begin, a slight disclaimer:  Batman is quite possibly the most overpowered character in existence.  His plot armor is so strong that SUPERMAN has died more times than him.  His skillsets accumulated across all comics and storylines would be literally impossible for any one person to possess. WITH THAT SAID, we are going to be approaching this from the strictly Arkham game continuity.  We’re going to stick close to his combat style, capabilities, and resources possessed in the game cannon, and try to steer clear of delving into the comics/movies TOO much. So, without further ado, let’s jump in!

Martial Arts

The combat in the Arkham games is fantastic, and very unique.  Batman uses brutal strikes, quick counters, and bone-smashing disabling moves to neutralize opponents in combat.  There’s a definite rhythm to the fights as well, and some of the moves used in combat are actually pretty practical.  As always, I seriously recommend you pick up a martial art in real life, and if you’re looking to emulate The Bat’s combat style, I have a few suggestions…

Muay Thai Muay thai has experienced a surge in popularity with the rise of MMA as a sport, and for good reason.  This style features lots of nasty close combat techniques utilizing elbows, kneed, and shins to deal maximum damage in a fight.  Quite a bit of Batman’s standup fighting in-game is similar to muay thai moves, so this is an excellent art to look into to emulate him (also just an excellent art in general).

Krav Maga Another rather brutal style, Krav Maga tends to focus quite a bit on debilitating injuries and quick dispatching of opponents.  It’s an excellent style for defense against weapons, and some people would say it has some of the best real-world self defense applications out there.

Brazilian Jujitsu Now, spending any amount of time on the ground in a fight against multiple opponents is NEVER a good idea (think about all those times you went for a ground finish in the game only to have an enemy you forgot about run up and punch you in the head unexpectedly).  That said, BJJ is GREAT for joint manipulation and locks, chokes, and leverage maneuvers.  In a 1v1 fight, its ability to go to the ground and win is almost unparalleled. I will definitely be doing a “Fight Like Batman” video at some point, but until then, get yourself down to a martial arts school and get yourself some real learnin’!

The Suit

Let’s be honest, in the Arkham Games, half of Batman’s superiority is from his suit and gadgets.  That’s okay, they’re AWESOME!  Let’s take a look at how we might go around making a “bat-suit” of our own…

Suit:

Helmet: Black SWAT 3A Rated Helmet - $290
Chest: Ballistic and Stab Resistant 3A Vest - $695
Arms/hands: Reaktor Hard Knuckle Gloves and ExoTech Elbow and Forearm Protection - $75
Legs: ExoTech Leg/Crotch and Shin Guards - $120
Feet: 5.11 ATAC Shield Boots - $150.99
Gear: MOLLE Modular Vest - $45.49
Now, granted, you’ll look a little more like Bane from Dark Knight Rises, but you can honestly jazz this all up with a decent over and undershirt, a good cowl, and look relatively close to the part.  You’ll also feel freaking indestructible.

Gadgets:

Grappling Hook - $51
Grappling Hook Launcher - Asst. Parts Cost
Taser Knuckles - $29 (illegal in some areas)
Handcuffs - $30.98
Shuriken – $7.45

So there’s a start.  Granted, Batman has a few more gadgets in the game that are a bit difficult to make work with real-world physics (looking at you, gliding cape and line launchers), but we could make a pretty good analogy for “Bat-guy” here. Total cost: $1525.00  (or so) See?  You don’t even have to be Bruce Wayne to afford the whole getup!  (note:  please don’t buy all this gear and go out and try to fight crime.   Bullets hurt a lot more in real life).

The Man

Batman is driven by a singular desire for vengeance-fueled justice, and bound by a duty to protect his city from supercriminals.  This kind of drive has created a human far beyond the usual limits of a ‘normal’ person.  Looking to turn yourself into Batman?  Here’s a daily schedule for you to try out.  Even if you aren’t mourning your parents, this will still turn you into a tough-as-nails superhuman.  (I’m also assuming you’re stuck with a day job, like myself.  Adjust your schedule accordingly) Check it:

6AM – Wake up, jump straight into a cold shower
6:10-6:20 Warm Up
6:20-7:20 Work Out
7:20-7:30 Cool Down  OR Yoga
7:30-8:00 Breakfast
8:00-5:00 Work (stop for lunch halfway through, get in a good snack mid-afternoon)
5:30-6:30 Martial Arts Practice
6:30-7:00 Dinner
7:00-9:00 Learn New Skills (research, tinker, build, read, learn a language, etc.) 9:00-9:30 Meditate
9:30-6AM – SLEEP.
Seriously, try to hammer out a solid schedule for yourself like that.  As advised in The Four Week Reset Button(join the mailing list to get it for free!), you should definitely move into it in steps, but you will turn into a seriously impressive human being following a schedule like this.  Give it a shot, eh?  (maybe we’ll make it a challenge month or something sometime soon).

Anyhoo, I think that’s enough Batman for one post.  I hope you enjoyed it!  I’ll see you again on Monday, with a new Grab Bag post!  Until then, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!

Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace

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