SQUADS & CAPTAINS

The Samurai Brotherhood in Vancouver is currently comprised of six Divisions. Each Division contains several distinct squads. Each squad is led by a captain or co-captains, along with one or two lieutenants, and varies in size from 10 to 20 men on average. Where possible, new men are assigned to squads based on geographic proximity.

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BEAST DIVISION

TIGER SQUAD (MT. PLEASANT) CAPTAIN:

Ben Goresky is an entrepreneur, men’s work facilitator and mentor. As a leader in the brotherhood, he draws on his experience in the realms of addiction, transpersonal therapy and his bachelor’s degree in counselling to support men in improving their relationships, and their success in the world. He offers an integrated masculine approach to 1-1 mentorship, and is also trained to facilitate various types of transformational breathwork. Ben hosts The Evolving Man Podcast on iTunes and evolvingman.ca.

Ben is also the captain of the Samurai Brotherhood’s first online Ronin Squad #1 and Online Division Commander.

TIMBER WOLF SQUAD (DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER) CO-CAPTAINS:

Jeet Mondal has been a member of the Samurai Brotherhood just shy of three years. Jeet graduated from Queen’s University with a dual degree in Engineering and Philosophy. Originally from India, Jeet has had the opportunity to live in the Bahamas, Canada and Australia. Presently, he works as an engineer for a Green Building Consulting company. In addition to being passionate about co-captaining his squad, he is captivated by human movement in all its forms. Originally a breakdancer, Jeet spends his ‘free’ time learning powerlifting, gymnastic rings, partner dance, contact improvisation and, most recently, martial arts. As a squad leader, Jeet enjoys bringing a fiery intensity to his men while compassionately encouraging them to  become the most powerful versions of themselves.

Erin Hunt has been working in the non-profit world for the last 15 years, specializing in database management. Previously he worked in the restaurant industry for 15 years before making the career change to the charity sector. He worked in many capacities in restaurants and learned how important teamwork and working well with others is to be successful. He has been part of the samurai brotherhood for over 3 years – taking up a captaincy role in August 2019.

ELEPHANT SQUAD (KITSILANO) CAPTAIN:

Jordan Gray is an internationally acclaimed sex and relationship coach. His work has been featured in The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, Psychology Today, and countless other publications. He cares deeply about men’s work and transformational work in general. When he’s not coaching clients or writing a new blog post, Jordan loves to take photos, immerse himself in new cultures, and savour slow-motion hang outs with his closest friends.

BEAR SQUAD (GASTOWN) CO-CAPTAINS:

Greg Dion is a restaurant manager by day, and a seasoned ‘side hustler’ by night. With experience in music management, graphic & web design, event management & operations, and sales – and having recently become part-owner of a global travel brand – he is not one to shy away from hard work. A member of the Samurai Brotherhood since August 2016, he has a new found commitment to personal growth and development, and a strong desire to guide other men on their journey to discover a better version of self. He is married to an amazing Australian woman whom he’s been with for 10 years. In his spare time he enjoys cycling, the Vancouver Canucks, and spending time with his dog, Winston.

Lee Hettig has 15 years experience as a Personal Trainer and Clinical Massage Therapist – 10 of those years self-employed, with a particular focus on lifestyle coaching, nutrition, hormonal health, and other aspects of health and wellness for men. Originally from New Zealand, he has lived in Scotland (1yr), London (4yrs), and has called Vancouver home since 2007. He is the owner/director of a retreat centre on the Sunshine Coast, running his own retreat programs, as well as hosting other leaders and facilitators as they run theirs. He has a lifelong passion for mindfulness, spirituality, personal growth, and self inquiry; loves to study psychology, happiness, leadership, and self awareness. His talents are: bringing people together (creating community), listening & holding space, supporting others into self-inquiry, leading people to self-acceptance, and helping others improve their health, fitness, and general well-being.

BADGER SQUAD (GASTOWN) CAPTAIN:

Richard Wong has been a member of the Samurai Brotherhood for over two years. Richard graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Psychology and went into banking right out of school. After joining the brotherhood he moved out of his career in finance and on to his current path. He is currently a partner at Garrison Bespoke Vancouver specializing in custom suits, and is always on the lookout for new entrepreneurial ventures. Through the brotherhood, Richard learned to channel his inner warrior into his life, and looks to share his experience with other men. In his spare time, Richard enjoys keeping physically active through basketball or martial arts.

PANTHER SQUAD (MONTREAL) CAPTAIN:

Manesh Girn is a junior cognitive neuroscientist currently working towards his PhD at McGill University. He has had a passionate interest in areas spanning psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, spirituality, and self-development since his late teens, and has published research articles on topics including meditation, mind-wandering, and psychedelic experience. Manesh joined the brotherhood in January 2017 and was a member of Wolf Squad for just over a year and a half. Upon moving to Montreal in August 2018 he wanted to bring the energy from the Vancouver community with him, and has since created and been running Panther Squad – the first Quebec-based squad. In his free time – when not engaging his academic interests – you can find Manesh playing on his guitar, at the gym, deepening his meditation and yoga practice, spending time in nature, or having a good time with friends.

JAGUAR SQUAD (KITSILANO) CAPTAIN:

Nick Sol is a coach, group facilitator, public speaker and writer based in Vancouver, BC (www.nicksolconsulting.com). He believes that getting to know ourselves at all our depths is an extremely important piece of cultivating self-acceptance and aligning our desires with our reality. Nick has also trained extensively in experiential groups with an emphasis on Jungian shadow work led by Phil T. Mistlberger. His professional work with clients centres around cultivating self-esteem, through which an enhanced belief in ourselves enables us to dig deeper into our life’s work, our relationships, and our lives as a whole. Some of Nick’s greatest influences include Alan Watts, Phil T. Mistlberger, Osho, Werner Erhard, Seth Godin, Neil Strauss and Tony Robbins.

Nick is also a Founder’s Deputy, Beast Division Commander, and captain of Ronin Squad #3.

BIRD DIVISION

CROW SQUAD (DOWNTOWN) CAPTAIN:

Jason Chau was one of the original six members of the Samurai Brotherhood when it was rebooted in early 2015. Born and raised in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, his parents immigrated to Canada after the Vietnam War. He moved to Vancouver to study at UBC and has a BA in Sociology. After traveling Asia and teaching English, he went back to school to study classic 2D animation. A multi-talented individual, Jason makes a living creating web animations, paintings, as well as working in film. He is most excited about empowering others to find and fulfil their creative and personal potential. He’s also a boxer and was the first leader of the Samurai Brotherhood’s Ninja Division.

NIGHTHAWK SQUAD (FAIRVIEW) CO-CAPTAINS:

Chad McFarlin has founded technology companies and produced videogames for Nintendo, Electronic Arts, and Relic Entertainment. Currently, he is enthusiastic about artificial intelligence and is helping companies apply these technologies to their businesses through Tribal Interactive, which he founded in 2010. Chad has been with Samurai Brotherhood since Nov. 2016 and recently transitioned from Red Dragon Squad as a Lieutenant to Co-Captain of Nighthawk Squad. Chad is also on the production team of Young Men’s Adventure Weekend (YMAW), which is a three-day camping trip modeled along the lines of ancient tribal initiations and rites of passage. Chad loves learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and keeps fit with weight training, pilates, and yoga.

Doug McKegney has been doing men’s work for 32 years and has engaged with a wide variety of approaches: Sterling, Robert Bly and Michael Mead, the Mankind Project and Warrior Sage. He is the co-founder of an outdoor service retreat called the Grunt, in which he led groups of 50 – 80 men and boys to build trails for the Western Canada Wilderness Committee and do other similar projects. Doug consults to senior executives charged with leading business turnarounds, integrating acquisitions and implementing new business strategies. His work integrates strategy, system change and the personal development of his clients. Doug particularly enjoys partner dancing, riding horses in the mountains and reading extensively. He works out regularly to stay healthy and was on a Canadian champion rowing crew a few years after the invention of the automobile.

EAGLE SQUAD (MT. PLEASANT) CAPTAIN:

Matt Cooke crossed paths with several men in the Samurai Brotherhood – and women from Rising Woman – at Oregon Eclipse festival in the summer of 2017. Not long after that he found himself in the brotherhood. Circumstance had it that his first Elephant Squad meeting came one day after a long-term relationship of his had ended. This group of men inspired him to make changes in his life, challenged him to step up, and supported him through hardship. Matt now holds the honour leading Eagle Squad – a group of inspiring conscious men. Beyond the brotherhood, Matt is a high school food studies and science teacher. He holds dual bachelor’s degrees in science and education from UBC, and a culinary arts diploma from Northwest Culinary Academy. He is deeply passionate about men’s work and self development. Matt also enjoys spending his time indulging in meals with friends, being active in the great outdoors, and discovering new music.

RAVEN SQUAD (BURNABY) CAPTAIN:

Joel Todd is a veteran IT System Administrator and is experienced as a photographer, Photoshop instructor and personal development Workshop Assistant. Psychology, photography, technology, physics, politics, and how people and the world tick, cover his interests. Joel is encouraged by those making a difference in the world but feels the question ‘should we’ do something rather than ‘can we’ do it needs to become a bigger part of the discussion. Joel’s favorite job is being a father to his young son; it allows him to be a guardian, guide and example to the next generation. He relaxes with music, hiking and nature along with enjoying the vast beer selection Vancouver has to offer.

HERON SQUAD CO-CAPTAINS:

Geoff Mackenzie joined the Samurai Brotherhood in late 2016, where he found something crucial that he didn’t know he’d been missing: the focused, purposeful company and support of fellow Men. No longer a “lone wolf”, and now passionate about integrating all aspects of his masculinity, Geoff is grateful to be co-Captain of Heron Squad, where he can challenge and support his brothers on their journeys.

UK-born and raised, Geoff lived the nomad life in his late teens and twenties: he snowboarded, surfed and learned various yogic disciplines throughout twelve years residing in Europe and Asia. In BC on and off since 2003, he’s starting to feel somewhat settled in Vancouver, where he runs his own daily morning yoga program (www.mysorebc.com) and joyfully rides his motorcycle year-round.

Tai Whyte has been involved with Samurai Brotherhood since October 2015. He has an extensive background as a musician, having traveled and performed around the world aboard cruise ships before finding a sense of community in and among the men’s group and students of Mistlberger’s other offerings. Tai’s diverse interests also include psychology, philosophy and continued involvement in personal development alongside movement, meditation and education: he is an instructor of yoga, meditation, martial arts and music.

FALCON SQUAD CAPTAIN:

Brady Kirk is a long-standing member of the Samurai Brotherhood with more than three years of experience, and has been co-leading the Crow Squad since its formation in July of 2016. He is passionate about the need for men to connect in meaningful ways. Brady has an extensive background in construction and is currently employed with the Engineering Department of the City of Vancouver. In his spare time, he pursues his hobbies in 3D printing and online content creation. Brady is 31 and married.

LEGEND DIVISION

TITANS SQUAD (EAST VAN) CO-CAPTAINS:

Rey Brannen is a serial entrepreneur who has worked extensively in nanotechnology and internet marketing, and he is currently an active commercial real estate and stock investor. His hobbies and interests include men’s work, yoga, judo, lucid dreaming, weightlifting and traveling with his wife. Rey is fluent in Japanese, and is the author of The 7 Laws of Abundance: How to Win At Life and Influence Reality, available at The7LawsofAbundance.com

Rey is also Legend Division Commander.

John Wang is a serial entrepreneur and coach who helps other entrepreneurs create businesses while balancing emotional, mental, and physical health. He founded the Mastery Academy, which helps youths achieve personal and academic growth and get into top universities. He is trained in NLP, dating and relationship coaching, as well as performance and productivity techniques. John has written books on education, conscious dating, and is currently writing a book on men’s group leadership. He is also the founder of the OneKindness Challenge movement, as well as its attached nonprofit organization, the OneKindness Foundation. In his off time, John has traveled to over 50 countries and walks on airplane wings for fun.

RED DRAGON SQUAD (DOWNTOWN) CAPTAIN:

Richard Dalton holds dual bachelor degrees in mathematics and computer science and a master’s degree in journalism, and has been a computer programmer on Wall Street, an adjunct journalism professor at Stony Brook University, and an investigative reporter, tech writer, consumer columnist and travel writer at New York’s Newsday. He founded the Beautiful Minds Radio show, which seeks to de-stigmatize mental illness. Owner of Your Score Booster, Richard created the PointsBooster® test-preparation method, which helps students gain entrance to elite U.S. universities. An American-Canadian whose husband is Colombian-Canadian, Richard enjoys hiking and biking to burn off (some) calories from hamburgers, poutine and chorizo.

Richard is also the captain of The Sacred Band – a confidential, monthly, Vancouver based squad for gay, bisexual, and bi-curious members of the Samurai Brotherhood.

DIRE WOLF SQUAD (EAST VAN) CO-CAPTAINS:

Alexanndre Levan has been in the brotherhood since late 2015. He has worked as a freelance web developer, educational speaker and consultant for over 15 years. He is passionate about sharing his facility to bring wisdom and consciousness teachings down-to-earth to empower those on the path of personal growth and self-understanding. In his spare time, Alex enjoys keeping physically active through martial arts.

Austin Schwadel joined the brotherhood in 2016, starting as a member of Wolf Squad. In doing so, he discovered a new deeper level of relationships with other men that immediately sparked a fiery commitment to mens work. Within the group container he found space to heal old wounds, take ownership of his life and develop a new harder edge. Austin works as a sommelier and loves throwing tastings to educate others on all things wine. Outside of work, Austin pursues activities that get him out of his head and into his body, his favourites include: powerlifting, meditation/breathwork and dance.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION

LION SQUAD (NORTH VAN) CO-CAPTAINS:

Philip Beck started in the Samurai Brotherhood when Lion Squad was formed in September 2017. Philip’s energy and heartfelt presence keeps men in his squad bonded and moving forward in their lives. At an early age Philip knew travel and exploration is an education this allows to him grow and learn. The experience helps him guide other men I their personal journeys. Philip runs his own Adventure Travel business; he has travelled to over 50 countries and when not in Vancouver he is riding his bike in Vietnam or Chile or he could be hiking in Greenland or Nepal.

Born and raised in BC’s lower mainland, Evan Sidwell has been a continuous seeker of truth, understanding, and greatness. This quest has led him to explore locally and abroad, to work at senior levels of business, and into the trenches of Vancouver’s downtown eastside. His focus and passion lie in service of community, both in the Samurai Brotherhood and for all beings. Outside of the Brotherhood and his day-to-day work in startup business development, you’ll find Evan indulging in the abundance of BC’s nature, day-dreaming about the grandiosity of life, with his family and friends, or a combination of the three.

RAM SQUAD (NORTH VAN) CO-CAPTAINS:

Steven Sal Debus is a designer/entrepreneur and business consultant. He’s been a millionaire, bankrupt and everywhere in between. He is always pushing the boundaries and seeking improvement in every part of his life. He found the Brotherhood because he was seeking deeper connection and fulfillment in his personal relationships and the support of a community of like-minded men.

Peter Wahlen is a Registered Massage Therapist and movement teacher. An avid traveler, he believes his adventures out in the world have honed his ability to also travel within the inner domain. He is always seeking to be a better, stronger more giving man and has found in the Brotherhood a group of men dedicated to being challenged in order to bring their best to the worlds of work, camaraderie, and intimate relationship.

MAMMOTH SQUAD (NORTH VAN) CAPTAIN:

Simon Kotyk has been a member of the Samurai Brotherhood since October 2015. He is committed to helping men reach their positive potential in the world. He is a Men’s Coach, blogger (www.simonkotykcoaching.com), and has a deep interest in psychology, spirituality and personal growth work. Simon has experienced some of the more rugged elements of life, having worked on drilling rigs for many years.

Simon is also Mountain Division Commander and captain of Ronin Squad #4.

VIKING SQUAD (KELOWNA) CAPTAIN:

For Brandon Archer, a heart attack in April 2015 was the catalyst for turning towards inner work. Since that time, the exploration of self has lead to many opportunities. Following his true purpose has lead to becoming a Provincial Cycling coach with Cycling BC, growing the largest youth cycling program in BC and now beginning to work with Cycling Canada.  Men’s Work has been part of the journey of self and has opened him to many new discoveries. He wants to share with other men how to find their masculine edge and open them to what they can truly be.

ISLAND DIVISION

PHOENIX SQUAD (NANAIMO) CAPTAIN:

Yonas Jongkind has been training with the Samurai Brotherhood founder, Phil T. Mistlberger, for over 10 years through one-on-one sessions, in-depth workshops and weekend retreats. Bringing a broad range of personal and professional experiences to the Samurai Brotherhood he shares his commitment to personal development and growth with the group. Outside of the men’s group, he can be found running his latest startup, and doing IT and Software projects for a variety of clients. Recently returned from a three year sailing trip in Mexico and the South Pacific along with his wife and 4 kids, Yonas is still trying to figure out who he wants to be when he grows up.

ORCA SQUAD (VICTORIA) CAPTAIN:

Leo Cheung’s path of personal growth began on a bike ride from Vancouver to Mexico and later onwards around the world, studying meditation, western mysticism, eastern philosophy and eventually yoga. He pursued the path of teaching yoga professionally and had the fortunate opportunity to lead teacher trainings, workshops and retreats for many dedicated students. Leo later founded the Modern Yoga Podcast and interviewed senior teachers on topical issues in the industry as a means of cultivating community and providing education to other teachers. His focus now is in building the community of the Samurai Brotherhood, training in leadership development and giving mentorship and support to men involved.

Leo is also the Island Division Commander.

ONLINE DIVISION

RONIN SQUAD #1 (ONLINE) CAPTAIN:

Ben Goresky is an entrepreneur, men’s work facilitator and mentor. As a leader in the brotherhood, he draws on his experience in the realms of addiction, transpersonal therapy and his bachelor’s degree in counselling to support men in improving their relationships, and their success in the world. He offers an integrated masculine approach to 1-1 mentorship, and is also trained to facilitate various types of transformational breathwork. Ben hosts The Evolving Man Podcast on iTunes and evolvingman.ca.

Ben is also the captain of Tiger Squad and Online Division Commander.

RONIN SQUAD #2 (ONLINE) CAPTAIN:

Steve Parr is a business lawyer and practices through his own firm, www.parrbusinesslaw.com. He also founded a vacation rental management company, www.hearthomes.ca, with fellow Samurai Ben Goresky. He’s passionate about challenging men to be successful and leaders in their professional and personal lives. Steve studied and participated in men’s work since 2007 when he published a thesis on the mythopoetic men’s movement. He has initiated with the Mankind Project and the Sterling Institute.

Steve is also a Founder’s Deputy and Bird Division Commander.

RONIN SQUAD #3 (ONLINE) CAPTAIN:

Nick Sol is a coach, group facilitator, public speaker and writer based in Vancouver, BC (www.nicksolconsulting.com). He believes that getting to know ourselves at all our depths is an extremely important piece of cultivating self-acceptance and aligning our desires with our reality. Nick has also trained extensively in experiential groups with an emphasis on Jungian shadow work led by Phil T. Mistlberger. His professional work with clients centres around cultivating self-esteem, through which an enhanced belief in ourselves enables us to dig deeper into our life’s work, our relationships, and our lives as a whole. Some of Nick’s greatest influences include Alan Watts, Phil T. Mistlberger, Osho, Werner Erhard, Seth Godin, Neil Strauss and Tony Robbins.

Nick is also a Founder’s Deputy, Captain of Jaguar Squad, and Beast Division Commander.

RONIN SQUAD #4 (ONLINE) CAPTAIN:

Simon Kotyk has been a member of the Samurai Brotherhood since October 2015. He is committed to helping men reach their positive potential in the world. He is a Men’s Coach, blogger (www.simonkotykcoaching.com), and has a deep interest in psychology, spirituality and personal growth work. Simon has experienced some of the more rugged elements of life, having worked on drilling rigs for many years.

Simon is also the captain of Lion Squad and Mountain Division Commander.

THE SACRED BAND

THE SACRED BAND CAPTAIN:

The Sacred Band is a confidential, monthly, Vancouver based squad for gay, bisexual, and bi-curious members of the Samurai Brotherhood.

Richard Dalton holds dual bachelor degrees in mathematics and computer science and a master’s degree in journalism, and has been a computer programmer on Wall Street, an adjunct journalism professor at Stony Brook University, and an investigative reporter, tech writer, consumer columnist and travel writer at New York’s Newsday. He founded the Beautiful Minds Radio show, which seeks to de-stigmatize mental illness. Owner of Your Score Booster, Richard created the PointsBooster® test-preparation method, which helps students gain entrance to elite U.S. universities. An American-Canadian whose husband is Colombian-Canadian, Richard enjoys hiking and biking to burn off (some) calories from hamburgers, poutine and chorizo.

Richard is also the captain of Red Dragon Squad.

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