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Thursday, Dec 8, 2022
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Speech Not Trumped

Republican communications strategist and consultant Richard Grenell had an unenviable task at the recent state GOP convention in Burlingame: speaking immediately after Donald Trump.

But instead of being a nerve-wracking experience for Manhattan Beach-based Grenell, 49, the fact that Trump preceded him turned out to be a big boost.

Tapping on his experience as a national security consultant for Fox News, Grenell had expected to give his rundown of where the Republican presidential candidates stood on national security issues at a breakout session in front of a few dozen people.

But thanks to the huge interest in the convention spurred by Trump, more than 125 showed up to hear Grenell that Friday evening just minutes after Trump finished speaking.

“I was pleasantly shocked that the same people who were on their feet during Trump’s speech were also interested in a national security policy discussion,” Grenell said.

And it wasn’t just delegates and committed Republicans who attended Grenell’s talk. The national media were there, too.

“That was the most surprising thing,” Grenell said. “Most years, you just have a handful of reporters covering the state GOP conventions and virtually no television coverage. This time, everybody from the media was there.”

Karate Flip

Incapacitating someone with a single blow and litigating complex business disputes don’t seem to have much in common, but Alan Weil, a partner at Century City’s Kendall Brill & Kelly, might persuade you otherwise.

Weil, 67, is a sixth- degree black belt in the Shotokan karate discipline. A practitioner since the mid-1970s, he now helps run the nonprofit West Los Angeles Karate School in Brentwood and teaches classes twice a week at UCLA. After four decades practicing law and karate, he contends they are built on similar principles.

“The mental focus and strategic decision-making at play in both disciplines have a lot of interesting parallels,” he said.

Weil’s initial attraction to karate was partly based on how people deal with conflict – something he was learning about as a young attorney when he picked up the sport – but he admits there is a very visceral element to it as well.

“At a physical level, I love the athleticism of karate,” he said. “It’s an explosive, athletic activity where you develop your body as a weapon. The ultimate goal is to take down an opponent with one punch or one kick.”

Staff reporters Howard Fine and Henry Meier contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Jonathan Diamond. He can be reached at jdiamond@labusinessjournal.com.

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