Must Triumph-logo

Must Triumph

Philosophy Podcasts >

More Information


15 – Exercise: The First Road to Character

Seneca said thousands of years ago: “Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.” This aphorism still stands the test of time. Physical culture, and eventually exercise, became a tangible and easily understood way to modify ourselves. Prior to all the industrial and technological revolutions, we didn't dissociate ourselves from our bodies. Your sense of self was not secular from your body—they were one and the same. Thus changing our body meant changing our being... Things...


14 – Within Endurance Lives Freedom (FMA Mix)

It's not true what they say about time We can't produce a masterpiece if given enough time We can only create a masterpiece if we can endure the time needed to get good... Things Discussed Related Episodes: Music Chosen by Ross Bugden If you'd like to support my podcast and help me do this full-time, become a patron on Patreon: (a site where you can monetarily support your favorite content creators). As a thank you, you will get access to bonus episodes along...


13 – The Samurai and the Master

When evening came, the tea master along with some of the other servants explored the city. As the party wandered about the city, they came upon two samurai. The tea master and his companions bowed their heads and politely stepped aside into the gutter to let the two warriors pass. One samurai passed without incident while the second samurai remained fixed in his place. The samurai had broad shoulders, mangled hands, skin burned by the sun, and scars across his face. He was a fearsome...


Super Saiyan Preview 2 – Wile E. Coyote & Our Make-Believe Economy

Become a Super Saiyan and get access to all premium episodes!


12 – What Would Naruto or Goku Do: A Nerd Enters a Tournament

I'm going to tell you a story about what went through my mind during the finals of a Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament, but frankly, it's what goes through my mind during any intense situation. To boil it all down into one word, it would be "mindset." Mindset meaning: the established set of attitudes. The attitudes I hold are far from perfect, or even normal, but sometimes abnormal works... Things Discussed Fight Club Books I Recommend: Fight Club: A NovelDavid and Goliath: Underdogs,...


11 – Theodore Roosevelt: Daring Greatly & the Martial Arts Life

For young Roosevelt, it was rough goings from the start, as he constantly suffered from debilitating health problems. At night, he would have sudden asthma attacks so severe, his parents feared for his life. Doctors at the time had no treatment and assumed the worst, that Roosevelt would live a short and unpromising life. Roosevelt's father, Theodore Roosevelt Sr., however, had other ideas about young Roosevelt. These early challenges along with the will of his father shaped Roosevelt for...


10 – Have Gi—Will Travel: A Philosophical Journey

In 2008, I quit my job, traveled the world, and trained martial arts. This was never my plan, but like many great things in life, things work out better when you don't plan for it. You see, when I quit my job and got on the road, I had no idea what I was doing or what was going to happen. No map, no GPS, and no working radio (it broke the first night). But that's what made it memorable. That's why it's called an adventure, not a plan... Things Discussed Office SpaceThe Book of Five...


Preview: Super Saiyan Bonus Ep 1 – Trains, Zombies, Samurais, and Psychos

Become a Super Saiyan and get access to all premium episodes!


9 – In the Case of the Archer: Zen and Tao for the Western Mind

In the pursuit of achievement, we're bogged down by the weight of expectations. Modern money-driven society tells us we are aimless—and that this is bad. They tell us: we must have goals, we must keep score, and we must achieve. But in the case of the archer, an archer can shoot for the pleasure of shooting, yet when given the task of hitting a bulls-eye... things change. She must measure herself. She must win. To be content is to be surpassed. Everyone is an enemy; even her friends...


8 – On Feeding the Gray Wolf

We like to think there's a vent for releasing all of our pent-up frustrations—to reset back to zero. That'd be nice, but in the real world, releasing misery tends to feed more misery. What are we paying attention to? We feed what we put our energy into, and in putting our energy into suffering, we only remind ourselves of the things we wish to forget. Captured in a vicious feedback loop. This is what neuroscientists say. But there's an old Chinese proverb that says it even better: “The...


7 – Charlie Chaplin and the Road to Freedom

In 1940, Charlie Chaplin put aside the Tramp character to write, direct, and star in "The Great Dictator." Rather than his usual slapstick comedy, "The Great Dictator" was a thoughtful political comedy, that not only satirized but also denounced authoritarianism. In the film, the Barber, played by Charlie Chaplin, is mistaken for Hynkel, the great dictator. Hynkel, being an obvious stand-in for Adolf Hitler. Rather than letting this opportunity of mistaken identity slip through his...


6 – Just Go For It

By chance or good graces, I've been fortunate to have met a number of astounding people. (Or perhaps it was curiosity.) Perhaps astounding people abound if we're curious enough to get to know them. My life is my think tank, and whenever I stumble across a person who's strong where I'm weak, I ask questions. From these teachers, I've learned the same lesson over and over again: You have to take chances. Not just once but continuously... Books I Read for This Show: Antifragile: Things...


5 – Bully

I remember in middle school, I was bullied by this kid named Mike. Now here's the thing about bullying, it's a hierarchical system. Seems like we forget that and retroactively reimagine ourselves at the bottom of the totem—the ultimate victim. But how can every kid be at the very bottom? That would make the bottom the new middle. But nonetheless, that's how bullying makes you feel. However, just as I was bullied, I probably picked on kids below me as well, especially underclassmen. That's...


4 – The Stonecutter and the Tao of Rock-Paper-Scissors

Having its origins in ancient China, rock-paper-scissors is a prime example of the cyclical thinking in Eastern philosophy. Rock beats scissors, scissors beat paper, and paper beats rock. Most Eastern (and also native) philosophies have that in common: from Taoism to Buddhism—that life is cyclical. The Western counterparts to Taoism and Buddhism are moralism, dualism, and absolutism. We can see this best illustrated in two variations of the same fairytale: the Eastern philosophical...


3 – Bruce Lee: Being like Water Means Having an Open Mind

To understand Bruce Lee is to know him not only as a martial performer but also as a Chinese-American immigrant living in America during the fifties and sixties. Lee's heritage, cultural clash, and label as the outsider informed not only his thinking but in how he saw the martial arts—which were to Lee an expression of life... Books I Read for This Show: Bruce Lee: Letters of the Dragon: The Original 1958-1973 CorrespondenceBruce Lee The Tao of Gung Fu: Commentaries on the Chinese...


2 – Loneliness and The Little Prince

On the surface, The Little Prince is a book about an aviator who crashes in the desert and meets a little boy. Under the surface, The Little Prince is a meditation on loneliness. When one is alone, functions become friends. Life lessons become characters. Ordinary obstacles become beautiful experiences. And effort, even utterly futile effort, is praiseworthy. Not because of utility but because it uses our time. Without conditions, everything becomes worthwhile. When one is lonely, when one...


1 – Must Triumph: How Much Fight Do You Have Within You

From an early age, I was introduced to "kaizen" (改善), the philosophy of continuous self-improvement. At first, it was only to improve my martial arts, then I applied it to every other aspect of my life. The attraction of martial arts is simple: a small person can beat a big person. It only took me a short time to realize a small person can defeat a bigger person if the smaller person is more efficient. I applied this to everything: to find the best hacks, leveraging the right resources,...


Episode 0: Genesis

Hi. Welcome. This is episode zero of the must triumph podcast. Now, why I made an episode zero is because this podcast needs a bit of explanation. This won't be a generic interview podcast nor will it be an NPR-docu-style podcast. This podcast will be a street-level look at everyday philosophy from the mind of a martial artist... Chapters Music Ross BugdenBensound