Perhaps the best cigar social app on the planet was brought to my attention in 2013 by a BOTL of mine. “Cigar Dojo” was a ground breaking social app that was meant for the cigar smoker and with the intent of bringing them together. The brainchild of Eric Guttormson, the app was designed with the simple but profound motto “Never Smoke Alone” the app explained itself. For this Cigar Aficionaess it was the perfect app on those evenings when I was sitting on my deck and wanted to Herf with some cool BOTLs and SOTLs.
I joined in August of 2013 and have never looked back. The Cigar Dojo has become a staple in my daily cigar life and has introduced me to some of the finest men and women who smoke cigars across our world. “The Dojo” as we affectionately call it, allows users to post pictures with a comment and then fellow members can “like” and/or leave a comment. Contests are a regular thing with something fun happening weekly. Dojo winds up the week with “Smoke Night Live” and Eric hosts an hour long live feed with special guests ranging from cigar manufacturers, bloggers, sub-groups and any other interesting persona that is associated with the cigar lifestyle.
Sub-groups are an interesting part of the Dojo. They come from BOTLs and SOTLs who may live in the same area, have the same particular interest or some other qualifier that makes them unique within the cigar society. One such group is the Seasoned Samurai. Founded by Jim Herndon (KeikanJim on the Dojo) and implemented with the help of Colin Flint (capt-maduro on Dojo), they set about creating a group of older cigar smokers who had a significant history and plethora of experience with cigars. One qualifier is that you must be 40 years old at minimum. They set out vetting their first picks for the first round of members and as the stars aligned I was contacted for the second phase. Turns out that not only am I the only female type in the group (a second and youngest may be joining soon – she just has to have that 40th birthday!), I am their oldest at almost 58 years of age. I was honored to be accepted almost two years ago and I have had nothing but great fun, great learning and great kindness from this terrific sub-group of the Dojo.
They are my daily companions as I quickly take a shot of a cigar and post it to “Hangouts” where we have our chat group. We check in with each other in the morning and keep tabs on each other’s lives frequently busting each other’s chops, lending a listening ear and supporting one another however we can. We share our joys, our jokes and our sorrows and all through it we share our cigars. Bombs, special packages of cheer and celebratory cigars are shared and many times cigars are sent, “just because.” These guys have truly become my brothers and when I don’t chat with them I miss the heck out of them.
I have been privileged to meet and spend some time with a few of them (and also Eric, his son Jordan and few other Dojoers) who ventured on the Dojo Cigar Safari to DE in Nicaragua this past November, but much like an awesome cigar I am left always wanting more. Since we are from all over the US and England it is difficult to get us all together. We’ve managed some video herfs which have been total blasts but meeting in person is the ultimate cigar Herf dream.
I’m happy to announce that it is happening, at least with a solid group of us, this weekend! As I type this, my brother Jim (KeikanJim) has landed at Philadelphia airport from Texas and is headed my way now. We will hang out tonight, Herf with dragonmick and his ladymick (Mike and Sharon) and get an opportunity to share our Seasoned Samurai experiences tonight on the Cigar Dojo “Smoke Night Live.” Tomorrow we will take the train and head to New York City for a day of Herfing with our brother from across the pond, Colin (capt-maduro), Layne, Gary, significant others, prospective Samurai and various cigar friends. It will promise to be an epic adventure as we share brunch and then spend the afternoon at the Nat Sherman Townhouse Lounge.
Weekends like this are precious. These are the times that the best cigars come out and memories are made that will be forever associated with whatever cigars we are smoking at the time. We will meet not ever seeing each other in person but knowing each other very well. We are brothers and sisters who epitomize the countless class acts that comprise the cigar life. Kind, caring, down to earth and willing to give each other the shirts off our backs if we are able. That is the spirit of the Seasoned Samurai. Fiercely protective of our right to smoke premium cigars; opinionated about the industry and our smokes and humble enough to know how precious life is and how rare it is to have forged some of the best friendships a person could ask for.
We are careful not to forget where we came from though. Without the Cigar Dojo app and Eric’s hard work, we would not exist today. We are a child of the Dojo with Master Sensei (Eric) as our father who encouraged us to get involved, get social and above all else, “never smoke alone.” With a group of BOTLs and SOTLs like the Dojo and the Seasoned Samurai, trust me, I never will!
Stay tuned for more as we hit NYC tomorrow!
Until then, “Stay Smokey and Be Blessed, I know I am.”
aka~ Queen Of Cigars
aka~ ArmyRN (Dojo Name)
NOTE: If you are interested in checking out the dojo app, look it up at the Apple App Store or Google Play for Android. It is listed under CigarDojo or Cigar Dojo. You can also access through the Internet at cigardojo.com
Seasoned Samurai and Cigar Dojo Logos courtesy of CigarDojo.com (Eric Guttormson).