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Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (Daddy's Little Ninja)
The mentor does not have to be asian. Think of the Rocky movies. They include the most famous training montage of all time. The climax of him running up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum is an iconic momment in film history.

I would argue that there's a difference between an Asian Mentor and an Irish Mentor. Basically, the Asian Mentor lets you hallucinate and recite circular pseudo philosophy to yourself to magically get out of any situation, or else he lets you get very good at something which is identifiably an asian martial art. On the other hand, the Irish Mentor makes you get really good at boxing, but you're not allowed to hallucinate/philosophize your opponent onto the mat; instead, the Irish Mentor is probably going to let you be extra tough in the context of your boxing match. Perhaps we need rules for Irish Mentor. If you've spent character resources on an Irish Mentor you're allowed to make a Rocky comeback once per campaign in the context of a boxing match. You can fully restore your Stun track one time. It reflects how Rocky can appear to be all dizzy and on the ropes but then suddenly is unaffected and beats the crap out of his opponent with no rhyme or reason.
Daddy's Little Ninja
In Rocky 3 it is a black mentor and in Rocky 4 it is all in flashbacks and Stallone on his own. I just bring up the original Rocky as the ultimate iconic movie training montage.
Micky might be yelling at him early in the montage but the climax, running up the steps in the early, dawn light to look back at his city, Rocky is all alone as he faces into the future, arms up in triumph. Replace those steps with a mountain (as in Rocky 4) and it's got the whole asian thing going for it.
I live outside Philly and it is almost impossible to not to want to go up the art museum steps at a run the first time you see them. (My 80+ year old grand father even admitted to that.)
Your grand father is a hoot. (and yes gang I've met him)

The moment in Rocky is a decisive one and I agree it's the ultimate training montage moment. In any good film there's a moment where the hero does what he needs to do and after that it doesn't matter if he wins or loses, he's done "it."
In a good movie it's towards the end. Like in Robo-cop he spends the film looking for his humanity, and it comes in the last moment- the CEO says "That's some mighty fine shooting son, what's you're name?" Robo turns back, smiles and says "Murphy" he's found himself. In Casablanca it's half way through. then the germans are singing in the bar, The resistance leader tells the band to play the Marcielles. they don't, Rick gives a small nod and the band inspires the place- "nous sont les enfant...".

In most movies the training montague sets the hero up for the moment but it comes later, like in Karate Kid the moment is when in the finals he faces his rival with a crippled leg, they all know he really won fair and respect him but he has to face his own demon and fight on.
In Rocky, that's the moment. He doesn't have to win or lose the fight, but he's trained himself to the edge. The other guy has money and fame, and he's going up against a man who only has himself but has done it all to bring himself to the peak of power
Wounded Ronin
I found the ultimate training montage music:
Wounded Ronin
80s training montage:
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