The Alpha Asian in The Warrior’s Way? An Asian PUA’s Non-Review

by The Asian Playboy on December 3, 2010

Kate Bosworth and Jang Dong-gun kiss in "The Warrior's Way"

Kate Bosworth and Alpha Asian Jang Dong-gun kiss in "The Warrior's Way"

So today marks another foray by an Asian actor (Jang Dong-gun in “The Warrior’s Way”) into the interracial miasma that is Hollywood. Unlike the upcoming movie “Green Hornet” where Jay Chou plays the beta Asian to Seth Rogen’s lead role, the lead role in “The Warrior’s Way” is that of an Alpha Asian.

It even has Kate Bosworth in the first Asian Man White Woman interracial movie kiss in years (assuming they even kiss). That’s a rare occurrence in the media if there ever was one: like a unicorn or a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow is the Alpha Asian Man.

If I sound jaded and skeptical, it’s because I am. Especially when it comes to anything regarding Asian men in mainstream media. I almost never saw any positive and masculine Asian male role models growing up. And if you haven’t figured it out, this article isn’t really a movie review so much as a review of the current state of Asian Masculinity as we approach the closing days of 2010 here in the 21st century.

Asian Playboy in my own Asian Man White Woman interracial kiss: Voted Best Asian Pickup Artist on TWO Continents (As seen on TV)

Asian Playboy in my own Asian Man White Woman interracial kiss: Voted Best Asian Pickup Artist on TWO Continents (As seen on TV)

After an angst ridden college career, I simply stopped caring what occurred on TV and in the movies. So I moved on and started trying to be my own hero (which is like building a sandcastle when the tide is coming in, but that’s another story). Nowadays, when I ask my students who is the most positive and masculine Alpha Asian role model they can think of, they all invariably reply with Bruce Lee!

An awesome role model and Alpha Asian, to be sure with his philosophical synthesis of the martial arts and media prowess, but the man has been dead for like 30 years!!! That’s just sad (and no, Jackie Chan doesn’t and Chow Yun Fat only counts overseas).

And somehow along the way, I- that rapscallion dandy and pickup artist, the Asian Playboy- became that Alpha Asian role model to thousands of other Asian Americans (and Asians in Great Britain to Australia). A heavy responsibility and a role I’m not entirely certain why I was thrust into, but here I am anyways. A servant to a deep cultural need that no one else was fulfilling.

For example, here’s one fanmail that moved me deeply, from Huy (personal details changed):

Dude. I’m a first generation America Vietnamese kid born in the ghettos of Los Angeles. I just graduated now I am proudly serving the nation as a tank driver and American Soldier stationed in [redacted] with the [redacted] division. I just wanted to say that you’re my hero =] you helped me believe that I could amount to something more than nail salons and pho restaurants.

- HUY (Los Angeles, California)

It moves me because I have to ask, who the hell am I to be anyone’s hero much less someone who risks their lives everyday?!

I just teach guys how to be successful with women. I don’t save lives. Hell, William the Better Asian Man is out there saving real lives as a weekend volunteer for the FDNY. I just help my Asian brothers go out there and get laid with just about any women they want out there.

This kid here is actually going to be out there on the FRONT LINES protecting our freedoms with his life and he thinks *I’m* a hero?!

Anyways, I think being a role model to thousands of men around the world in order become their own Alpha Asian has forced me to find other sources of role modeling, from my own mother to the spiritual teachings of the Buddha. But at the same time, looking back on my own formative years, it would have been of great help to see me, my own reflection and values, in others as they would see themselves.

And that’s where the media comes in.

Although I still contend that changing the media won’t have that big of an effect on AMs as many seem to believe, it’s still heart warming to see and has turned what was simply a guilty pleasure into one of my favorite TV shows, Glee, and see Harry Shum playing another potential Alpha Asian, Mike Chang. As his character arc progresses, I see many positive traits that I think other Asian boys, in the cusp of manhood, should emulate in order to be more confident, masculine, sexual, successful and ultimately the Alpha Asian they were meant to be.

While I haven’t seen the movie “The Warrior’s Way” yet (I’ve got my LAST bootcamp of 2010 to run this weekend after all), I do hope to catch it on Monday to properly review it and I do hope it doesn’t suck as so many other movies before it has (like Jet Li’s non-kiss in “Romeo Must Die” with Aaliyah). Yes, it’s another chop-socky, kung fu, ninja movie (like Jung “Rain” Ji-Hoon in “Ninja Assassin“), but I hope there are definite masculine, Alpha Asian characteristics in “The Warrior’s Way” that those of us who didn’t grow up with strong role models we can identify with.

So let me put forward my own list of what I contend are “Alpha Asian” characterstics that I hope to see in this movie “The Warrior’s Way” and other movies and TV shows, whether it’s John Cho in Star Trek to Daniel Dae Kim in the rebooted Hawaii Five-0.

An Alpha Asian Male is:

  1. Athletic: The Alpha Asian plays competitive sports like football, basketball, and other full contact activities.
  2. Creative: The Alpha Asian plays music, writes, draws, and is non-traditional nor a conformist.
  3. Physical: The Alpha Asian understands his body whether it comes from dancing or working out.
  4. Sexual: The Alpha Asian enjoys sex and believes women will enjoy it with him as well.
  5. Cultured: The Alpha Asian understands where he came from and why it’s important.
  6. Multicultural: The Alpha Asian is open to other cultures, whether it’s America to Europe to Ethiopians.
  7. Compassionate: The Alpha Asian is compassionate and caring to his fellow brothers and sisters.
  8. Assertive: The Alpha Asian is a leader and will speak up and act out when appropriate.
  9. Dominant: The Alpha Asian will take charge, from the board room to the bedroom.
  10. Courageous: The Alpha Asian understands fear, embraces it, and then moves forward despite it.

A wishlist to be sure, but here’s hoping that some good can come out of these movies. That some teenage Asian kid, unlike me those many moons ago, will be uplifted by seeing an Alpha Asian role model and push himself beyond his comfort. To be successful not only at school, but in his personal life and life in general.

Because ultimately, the mark of an Alpha Asian- the mark of any real man- is not his college education or his grades. It’s his ability to press on in the face of failure and fear no matter how many times he’s derided and insulted in order to accomplish his goals.

To embody all these 10 Alpha Asian traits that make him truly a man, and not simply a boy.

  • Jesse Charger

    Asian Playboy, you’re a role model to Asian guys. They need to see Asian guys succeeding in this area, and when they see that they’re inspired and gain confidence.

  • Adventure21c

    First of all, get the name right: It’s not “Jay Chou”, but he’s John Cho, a Korean-American actor.

    (By the way, I just can’t help myself dropping by your and Johnny Wolf’s blogs and writing some random comments from time to time. When my projects are going crazy, I do need a mindless break. A bit of addiction I’d might say.)

    Let me clarify a few things about the Hollywood movies. (There are a few other Asian things that can be talked about, but that’s too long.) In the past 60 years or so, or even longer, the Hollywood movie business had an absolute grip in all of Asia. My parents’s generation of Asians grew up watching Hollywood movies, fantasized in the faces of the Western world and faces, and all of Asia struggled to become a bit more like the West. They couldn’t provide their own dreams and directions just like in the past. Economic, political, cultural, and social reforms have taken place all based on the Western civilization–starting first with Japan, followed by Taiwan and South Korea, then now with China. As Japan boldly declared at the end of 19th century when it commenced its westernization, “abandon East, go West.”

    One interesting consequence and dilemma of the conqueror is that, (let’s not kid ourselves here: The West clearly, thoroughly, and unmistakably conquered the East), the conquered culture and people while adopting the conqueror’s ways, they add something of their own. The French went that path when Rome conquered Gaul, and Japan never become a West (they couldn’t of course)–in the end, it was Westernized Japan.

    Now, some 150 years after West’s forced opening of the Asia (starting with Japan and China), the Asian societies are finding their own ways and tastes. The initial feeling of inferiority and inadequate-ness, the compelling need to change and catch up has now subsided, and now they know what they want. and that taste is coming to a full maturity and it’s going to develop further and further. As consequence, lately Hollywood and the Western entertainment media has been losing ground to the Asian, home-brew, movies and TV shows. I even read a few WSJ articles regarding this recently. Obviously, the Asians would rather see their own faces and culture on their own TV and silver screens rather than the Westerners and Western movies now that they have some money in their pocket and affluence in their societies and countries.

    Now, Hollywood being a Western business, they can’t just sit there and lose market share in a vital market, and they’ll try more and more to hold ground if not expand in Asia further. Watch out for more Asian male-lead Hollywood movies. Although I doubt they’ll get it right the first time, or ever get it right at all, but in any case, they’ll try more and more to crack the Asian market which is becoming increasingly independent and localized.

    I’m not crazy about seeing an Asian actor and a white woman kissing on screen–it doesn’t change my life one bit; I still have the challenges I have to conquer and overcome, and as the path of leadership is a lone gunman’s work, no amount of Asian faces in Western movies can make my life easier. But in any case, the forces of the market will ultimately dictate Hollywood’s behaviors. Bruce Lee was an outcast in Hollywood, a reject simply because he’s an Asian. Only when he went back to Hong Kong and made financially-successful movies there, was Hollywood interested in casting him. A fact Bruce Lee was extremely furious about. But in all fairness, an Asian movie studio/company would have no interest whatsoever in investing in white faces–it’s no different for the western movie studios as well.

    In any case, as the Asian economy grows further, Hollywood will have more interest and stake to invest in Asian faces, and as more talented Asians become actors and actresses as more money and prestige would be there, there would be more pool of eligible Asians to shoot movie with. so yeah, expect more of those coming.

    Now, as for the so-called Asian-Americans, an extreme minority of anything that can be safely ignored in everything mass-market oriented, this trend may not help at all, as those movies are for cracking into the Asian market, not for the Asians in a western world.

    Now, as the Asian blood and culture strongly discourages and even prohibits the traits of alpha-male–accentuating harmony and collaboration– the predicaments of the Asian men in the western world still remains: to break away from your root/past and go boldly into the future, or just give up and do nothing like so many before you? The fortunately, the Asians in the past, especially men, all have miserably failed, and the burden of success and change is on the current and next generations of the Asians. If WE don’t do something, nothing will happen. NOTHING.

    When world-class Asian-male leaders emerge in any field as worthy of being remembered in history and being discussed about by posterity, there will be some role models to have around, but we all know how much sacrifice, talent, dedication, risk, and luck that would require. Unfortunately, the whole of Asia produced the grand total of ONE world-class leader in its entire history: Ghenghis Khan. Not Chinese, not Japanese, definitely not Korean–a Mongolian chieftain in the 11th century. And we know the West has had way too many world-class leaders and heroes in every field conceivable.

    A very likely probability from now on? China will mature a bit, but it will, in no way, take over America in any sense. In fact, it’ll become another industrialized Asian nation going downhill, just like Japan and others. Pioneering just isn’t in the Asian blood–the ideal so much valued and looked upon in the West is so much frowned upon in the East: “the nail that sticks out gets hammered first,” the famous Japanese/Chinese proverb goes. The East Asian blood is of incremental improvements and collaborative societies, not of revolutions, legends, heroes and herculean feats.

    So, don’t hold your breath for any significant change unless you’re bringing about those changes yourself. Anything of importance, after all, is too important to leave in the hands of others.

    One solution I’m envisioning is to give a shot at an “Asian-American Movie Studio”. Asian lead roles, value systems of the Asian-American, not of the traditional Asian, at odds with both native Asians and westerners–stuck somewhere in the middle, struggling. A movie business aimed at projecting the idealized images of the Asian-American male and female that 99.9% of the Asians would fail to meet. A denial of the reality at the utmost. An idea that definitely should be given a shot at in creating a successful business out of.


    Would you do a favor and elaborate this: “which is like building a sandcastle when the tide is coming in”? The Asians, especially the Asian-Americans, trying to break into the position of leadership would have to be his own hero and build his own world, and some discussions would be helpful to those getting into and/or walking the path.

    (Alright, back to work. Thanks for a venue to jot down my thought or two on totally frivolous things. Soon, I should start my own blog. But only after this project gets completed.)

  • Adventure21c

    My God! I’m quite a writer! Look at the amount of writing I’ve just posted!

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  • Ry


    “The East Asian blood is of incremental improvements and collaborative societies, not of revolutions, legends, heroes and herculean feats.”

    You sound like you don’t know enough of your history, Adventure21c. That’s just too bad.

  • Adventure21c

    Ry, elaborate this so-called revolutionary achievements by the East Asians.

    China came up with the so-called four major inventions–paper, compass, gunpowder, and printing. Did those inventions transform people’s everyday lives as much as the modern western inventions have? Nope.

    and stop referring and thinking the East Asians as a cohesive group: the Japanese, the Chinese, and the Koreans all think they’re something of their own, and I certainly wouldn’t think a Chinese invention as a Korean or a Japanese invention. They all have their own histories, notions, and values systems–their sub-cultures and languages within the East-Asian civilization paradigm. Learn a thing or two about the East/Pan Asian history and culture. Have you ever even lived in an East Asian country, interacting with them on daily basis for a period of time? Have you studied how Japan and other East Asian countries rose to economic prosperity? Do you know what path the East Asian scientists and engineers walked in the 50′s and 60′s to create the East Asian economy of today?

    No doubt the West was behind China and even Middle-East until the Renaissance. Then it stormed the Earth.

    China was literally militarily conquered by the British and the French in the mid-19th century, the British troops literally marched into Beijing, the two Opium Wars were lost by China in humiliation, Japan suffered the same fate against the U.S.A., Korea was a little pawn in the game of superpowers. Southeast Asia? Vietnam was a colony of China for 1,000 years, then subsequently a pawn of the Western powers in modern time, namely France and America up until all the way to the Vietnam War. Vietnam isn’t even an industrialized nation at this point unlike the East Asian countries. and from what I’ve heard and read, some scary shit still goes on in Southeast Asia, such as in Burma.

    China has been a bully to its small neighboring nations, and Japan was drunk in the power that they didn’t invent–the western technologies and political system–and went on an intoxicated rampage to rape the whole of Asia, claiming that they were the superior race in Asia. Better behavior should’ve been seen, but unfortunately, the Asians never rose to such occasion.

    Japan and Korea was forced to adopt a western government paradigm of democracy, and all three East Asian countries had to adopt the western technologies and economic paradigm, and they’re still not as good, perhaps they never manage to, as seen in Japan and Korea becoming declining societies and industrial base. China worked as a handyman of the West to rise to the status of the #2 global economy as of today. All copycats of the western inventions that fail to be as good as the original, except in “marginal and incremental improvements.”

    This so-called notion of “hero” in East Asia, and all of Asia, is associated with these warlords who’d lead armies and make himself an emperor, not those who’d revolutionize people’s lives. Mao Zedong was such a East-Asian hero, and he couldn’t give shit while the Chinese mass was starving–certainly not the first of his kind. The East-Asian notion of ‘hero’ is certainly not somebody who “boldly goes where no one has ever gone before.” you do that in a traditional Asian society, chances are, you’d get killed fast in an exemplary-fashion.

    Name one revolution and/or herculean feat that really moved the humanity forward. None. Did the Chinese conquer Africa and America? Nope. Did China as a people ever ‘liberate’ the world? Nope. China always has been a minority elite and the mass peasant society, and it still is–don’t try to ride on free credit by associating those few Chinese who really did invent and create the Chinese inventions, thinking that you’re somehow associate with that.

    Study history and facts and think before speaking from vague understanding and emotional knee-jerk reaction. Put in some effort to go beyond what your parents have told you, will ya?

    If you have been defeated, admit it, so that you can truly see why you’ve been defeated in the first place, and move forward for tomorrow’s victory. If your past has been crappy, boldly abandon it, or perhaps abandoning the “tradition” is what the East Asians would never do, would they?

    Revolution is something that changes the lives of the multitude, setting the examples for the rest to admire and follow. Legends are stories of bringing such revolutions. Herculean feats are acts of bring about such revolutions against all odds. Revolutions, legends, and herculean feats aren’t something of military conquest for one’s own personal gain while handing out the empty promise to the masses and the exact same repetition of life, like the countless warlords of China have done. Or some petty inventions that never have been taken to the farthest and lived up to their true potentials. Enough people have enough intelligence in the world: only few put it into any meaningful and tangible action. Now, that is the stuff of the revolutions, legends, heroes, and herculean feats.

    Think hard: why was the whole of Asia defeated in the past 150 years, and why are the Asian men in American still in predicament today, and will continue to be for a foreseeable future? There’s much to be gained by asking and answering that question, instead of vaguely fantasizing and not knowing enough facts about the so-called past “Asian culture, history, and inventions.”

  • The Asian Playboy

    Wow this is monster thread.

  • Adventure21c

    Monster? I’d rather say…elaborate. The way it should be. :)

  • Alpha Asian

    Adventure21c wrote:

    First of all, get the name right: It’s not “Jay Chou”, but he’s John Cho, a Korean-American actor.

    @ Adventure21c

    JT had it right all along: Jay Chou is in the Green Hornet. John Cho is in Star Trek the movie.

  • Adventure21c

    @Alpha Asian

    Thanks for the correction. I had to check out to get that right. I swear, he does look a lot like John Cho, and very similar vibe too.

  • Goldie Ochoa

    Wow this is monster thread.

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