James Bond Lifestyle pioneer Paul Kyriazi has died

News recently emerged of the death of the man who popularised the idea of the James Bond Lifestyle.

Paul Kyriazi doing what he loved best

Last week I received an email from a newsletter subscriber telling me of the passing last year of Paul Kyriazi, known best by Bond fans for his James Bond Lifestyle books and audio seminars. It appears to be confirmed by a comment by his sister left on his Facebook page, who on 30th August 2023 wrote:

My brother Paul Kyriazi passed away after a sudden & short illness. When he was 8 years old, he saw the making of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” on Disneyland TV and said, “I want to make movies.” And that’s what he did.

He will certainly be missed for the unique perspective he offered to the Bond community through his Bond Lifestyle seminars and his eternal enthusiasm and positivity. His work inspired fans to not just admire the iconic character of James Bond but to embody the qualities that make Bond such a lasting figure in popular culture.

The Complete James Bond Lifestyle Seminar was originally taught live at The Learning Annex and SpyFest back in 1998 and published the following year as a 90 minute cassette. Paul later expanded it as How to Live the James Bond Lifestyle to an 8-CD box set and to print versions.

Far more than copying the spy’s gadgets or style, he focused on the deeper qualities that make Bond stand out – confidence, drive and the skills to be our best selves. Paul believed that while anyone can dress like James Bond,  what makes the difference is the inner game of 007. In much the same way, Terence Young understood that Sean Connery would only be able to successful project Bond once he had internalised the trappings of James Bond and  instructed Connery to sleep in his bespoke Anthony Sinclair suit so that it became second nature. Paul’s insights gave fans new ways to connect with their 007 beyond the movies and books and almost certainly the person who first coined the phrase “James Bond lifestyle”.

While attending San Francisco State University between 1965 and 1969 Paul’s passion for karate saw him write and direct martial arts shorts. This was a few years before Bruce Lee popularised the genre in the West. After graduating  he served in the USAF movie department for four years, during which time he filmed rocket launches for NASA.

Paul’s career as a movie director spanned several decades, during which he directed a small number of independent films that often reflected his interests in adventure, action, and the martial arts. He also directed an episode of Sesame Street, and appeared in a number of films, including as an uncredited extra in the San Francisco crowd scenes of A View to a Kill.

Films by Paul Kyriazi

  • The Tournament (1972): Paul’s first feature length film sees three samurai warriors travel to England.
  • Death Machines (1976): An early work that showcases Paul’s interest in martial arts, this film revolves around a group of assassins trained to be unstoppable killers.
  • The Weapons of Death (1981): Set in San Francisco, this film features martial artists taking on a criminal gang.
  • Ninja Busters (1984): This comedy action film involves two friends who enrol in a martial arts class to deal with local thugs.
  • One Way Out (1987): A grieving undercover detective with a vendetta, seeks justice.
  • Omega Cop (1990): One of his more recognized titles is set in a post-apocalyptic future where the protagonist, played by Adam West, battles to restore order and justice.
  • Forbidden Power (2018): His last film dives into the realms of science fiction and mystery.

Beyond his work as a filmmaker, Paul produced a number of original audiobooks. He skilfully translated the suspense and excitement of cinema into audio formats, engaging audiences with just as much passion as his visual works.

I first got to know Paul in 2009 when we exchanged emails. He was kind enough to send me How to Live the James Bond Lifestyle to review on CD, and later sent me a copy of the 2015 edition of the book on Kindle. Beyond that he offered support for my book, The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond, despite not drinking; he once sent me – completely out of the blue – a signed photo of George Lazenby; and he supported The James Bond Dossier on Patreon.

Paul lived in Japan for many years and, from what I know of him, must have been well into his 70s when he died. The way he lived his life, very much on his own terms, serves as an inspiration to all who knew him or were touched by his work.

While the audio version of How to Live the James Bond Lifestyle appears to be no longer available, the paperback version is still listed on Amazon:

Amazon UK | Amazon.com

Thanks to David Howcroft.

David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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6 Responses to “James Bond Lifestyle pioneer Paul Kyriazi has died”

  • Michael E Poplawski

    I had the same sort of relationship with Paul. I found his lifestyle book online at the beginning of my return to James Bond fandom in 2003. That book really scratched the itch of lifestyling and caused me to rebuild my wardrobe and add better habits to my life. I also had irregular contact with Paul on FB messages. He always answered my queries and many times reached out to me on my Bond posts. He really kicked this off and will be missed.

  • Neil Thomas

    Great eulogy for Paul. The CD’s are brilliant and he’ll be missed, I’m sure he’ll be having a drink with old blue eyes and Sean as speak

  • Linda Kyriazi

    Thank you for that beautiful write-up.

  • David Leigh

    Thanks Linda, sorry for your loss. Paul was definitely one of the good guys.

  • Mark Clelland

    I bought Paul’s book and a cassette tape of his ‘Clearing the Subconscious for the 00 Agent’ back in the early 2000s. I converted the cassette to MP3 and really got my money’s worth when I got laid-off from a long-term job in early 2003. When I did land a job, it was 600 miles away and fairly miserable. I read and re-read his book looking for a way to get my emotions bulletproof. I emailed him and was surprised how quickly such a busy man got back to me. I later learned he was that way with anyone that had questions, and loved talking with with readers.

    We eventually moved on to phone calls, then something he really enjoyed – video calls. We usually talked that way a few times a year, and when we went to Japan with Martijn Mulder I let him know the dates and we met for a hike to his favorite shrine on a mountain outside of Tokyo. We enjoyed a great day together and then he invited us – and anyone else from the trip – to dinner and the top of a hotel with Godzilla sticking out of it. Luckily a number of the guys went with us and had a great time. I think Paul really enjoyed being the center of attention of Bond fans that had travelled halfway around the world to see HIS country of Japan.

    We stayed in contact and since he was generous with autographed pictures of Bond stars, I would keep my eyes open for special things to send him. I think he really enjoyed the Skyfall Royal Premiere magazine/book that I was lucky to buy several of, but after reading it, he sent it back. Said he didn’t have room in his apartment for many things, and maybe someone else would enjoy it. Speaking of his generosity, I had a friend serving in Afghanistan that I was sending a care package to. I asked Paul if he could sign my copy of his book to put in the care package, and he said he’d be happy to sign it for me – BUT he would personalize a new book for my friend. He knew I had jumped off the Goldeneye Dam and asked to use my picture when he did the SPECTRE version of his book, which I of course was happy about. So he really knew what his readers/fans liked and included everything and everyone that he could.

    I had reached out late in 2023 and never heard back. My son was listening to the audiobook version and was asking me some questions. I told him we could setup a call with the author and get the right answers directly from the source. Now I know why I never got a response. Paul will be greatly missed.

  • Linda Kyriazi

    Thank you Mark for sharing this. Best, Linda Kyriazi