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1  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Keep the tires rolling on: April 03, 2008, 09:35:02 AM
Some time has passed and I thought I'd share some emerging experiences.

The tires continue to be the target of not only stick-strikes and delivered kicks, but of stares from passersby whenever Boomvark and I throw them around.

This week we tried a new approach to hitting the tires. Rather than striking them while the tire is hung on a post (static target) we began to roll the tires along the ground, to create a moving target. The idea was to incorporate footwork and positioning, distance, timing and power - and it worked.

When the tires roll, you have to keep up; I used a side stepping movement that positioned my strong side toward the rear of the tire as it rolled away from me. A good solid shot by a zippy forehand slash delivers enough energy to keep the tire rolling along, but in the grass it will stall quickly and begin to topple over.

Rapid, continued power shots are needed and redondos came naturally. Continuous body repositioning and relaxation movements are needed.  I'd add a forward or side kick to mix things up and help keep the tire rolling; punyos and thrusts were also very effective. Quite a fun day!

Some notes:
1. Thicker sticks were more effective at delivering more energy (and more forward momentum). We tried a longer, 1" han bo with little effect but the Top Dog model and another 1-1/4 x 31" rattan log I used really drove the tire around well.

2. As we approached the end of the space (about 100 feet or so) I tried stabbing the stick into the hollow center then hauling it up into the air and tossing it - much like a farmer would use a shovel to throw a clump of dirt. This action caused some wear and tear to my sticks (I have some 'beater' sticks I don't mind roughing up) but it was an excellent drill. I did this upon reaching the ends of each run, and it was a fast way to reverse direction. Talk about a burn...

2  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Thoughts on Dog Brothers 'Power' DVD on: March 12, 2008, 06:21:07 AM

Located two tires; one on the anemic side, the other is what I'd call nominal. Toted both back to my bars and slapped a bike cable through them to discourage any would-be "Code Enforcement Personnel" from dragging them off.

(Later - same day):


Fingers rubbed raw from the 'Tire Discus' drills.
Gloves or finger tape might be in order for me if I'm going to continue tossing these things around. The inner edge of the tire was the most focused friction point as it launched. So if any avid shooters are reading this, be aware that if you throw some tires around, you might not be topnotch for your IPSC events the day after. These tire discus drills made my trigger finger very sore, but otherwise were fantastic!

Felt a burn in the biceps and lats...thoroughly. I managed to get about ten throws per arm before I felt like a fish out of water; not very encouraging, is it? Well and truly, tire discus drills burned me down pretty quickly.

When I changed back to using my stick, it felt like a feather; this is a rattan log, 31" x One and a quarter inches. What a great lesson!

Thank you, Dog Brothers.


3  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Decompression music - what's in your list? on: March 11, 2008, 03:06:14 PM
Towards the end of the day, I enjoy the soothing sounds of some new (to me!) artsits in the 'ambient' genre.
One of my personal picks is a gent by the name of Robert Rich.
If you haven't heard of him, but enjoy the ambient genre, this artist has quite a background along with an education level that explains a few things about the complexities and subtleties of his work. He's also been around for a long time.

Most of his work is available through iTunes. Note: this is not meant to advocate or promote Apple, iTunes or iPod. It's simply what I happen to have and use for my own personal entertainment presently.

To siphon off the day's static, I put my headphones on -sometimes as I lie in bed- and dial up Mr. Rich's playlists. His sounds, along with deep breathing, truly put the meaning of relaxation back into my vocabulary; and it had been quite a while before finding this artists' body of work that I was able to relax to such a level (without being asleep).

If decompression by way of ambient music is something you might be interested in, here are my personal favorite albums by Robert Rich:

Trances and Drones.
Yearning  (Woodwind, strings, very Asian sound).
Calling Down the Sky.
Echo of Small Things.
Desert Triptych (This is for brave souls, be warned).
A Troubled Resting Place.
Inner Landscapes.

I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me. Certainly these sounds have become one of my favorite tools readily available to promote mental fitness.
There are, of course, other genres that are not what I'd call 'Decompression,' which I use during workouts or drills, but I will post my thoughts on those in the near future.


4  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Thoughts on Dog Brothers 'Power' DVD on: March 11, 2008, 07:54:05 AM
Bryan - thanks for the encouraging words.
My working hours sometimes occupy considerable amounts of useable daylight, and my drills sometimes suffer. It was a point of motivation to know that other people are also doing the same or similar routines to enhance their own lives and take accountability and responsibility for their own advancement.  Again, thank you for the positive thoughts; they help.

I wonder how many other solo trainees are out here?

You know...

This thread gave me an idea I'd like to share.

Remember that scene in the Power DVD where Eric is tossing that tire through the air?

It occurs to me that there is a settlement dump not too far from base and during my time on island I've seen glimpses of old tires lying around in there. Not that I'm advocating digging around in the garbage piles for old tires, or mucking about in search of some grimy old tire. But I would bet money there's one in pretty good(?) shape without any funk on it that I could tote back to base for use in my workout area (to toss around as shown in the DVD).

I could also tie a second tire around the base of a tree, at shoulder height for duty as a static striking surface.

Alright; this is me getting into my truck, heading for the dump in search of The Tire...

Stay tuned...

5  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Thoughts on Dog Brothers 'Power' DVD on: March 08, 2008, 01:27:11 PM

Since you asked - I'd be happy to share some more thoughts on the topic of solo training, although I do consider myself a true greenhorn, and no expert at anything.

The mechanics of my drills are very simple; I interpret what I read or watch on DVD and try my best to improvise, visualise and execute. I would say that there are three phases of this distance learning process - at least speaking personally.

1. Self-motivation.
2. Academics (books, on-line videos, DVD's).
3. Practical application (drills, sparring, workout regimen, dietary, etc.).

Where I live, it is hot all year round, and quite humid. Sometimes the climate makes for a strenuous workout/drill session and I always make sure to bring enough water to hydrate me for an hour or two. If I consume my water supply, I don't last much longer outdoors; the sweat is flowing so well that at times it feels as if the water goes from the bottle, down the throat, and out the pores in seconds.

Without water, I don't drill. I carry my supply in a 1000 ML/32 oz lexan bottle.

There is a location I return to when drilling. It is in a grass field, much like a public park. Sometime long ago the military installed these 'heart trail' workout stations and connected them with a path. They are largely unused and the paths have been reclaimed by the grass; but there is one station that I return to. It consists of four horizontal metal pipes mounted in posts of differing height. From here I can do pullups, pushups, stretches etc. The posts even make a nice pell I can strike at, push against, use for reference, etc.

I also take a yoga mat with me; it's very handy for stretches and ab workouts, and even makes a nice bundle for my tools when walking to and fro.

To strike something, I use an improvised 'bag' - nothing more than an old fender I found on the beach months ago, washed up after a storm. A fender looks like a big teardrop of soft orange plastic the size of a basketball. It is filled with air, and its purpose is to cushion a boat between the sides of the dock when a mariner ties his vessel pierside. This fender had sea growth all over it when I acquired it, so a little work was needed before I could use it as a bag.

I hang my stained fender from a tree limb or off one of my 'bars' with a short length of cord. Since it's made to withstand the crushing force of a boat smashing it between the hull and the pier, this fender makes an excellent striking surface. When it swings, pendulum-like after each strike I deliver, this motion translates into a timing tool, since I have to anticipate and time each strike. There is no recurring monotony here; I must recalculate and adjust between each and every strike. Each swing of the fender as it returns toward the plumb is slightly altered.

If it is too hot, or I am sunburned, or losing blood by the pint to the bugs, I will retire to the coolness of the gym, a short walk away from my 'bars' - and usually I am greeted with a host of confused stares as I make my way past grunting ironheads who see a skinny bald guy enter 'their' gym with a bundle of blunt weapons tucked under one arm, and a dirty orange fender hanging in the other arm. But they never give me any problem whatsoever, even if I start swinging a bokken or stick at imaginary targets. A few of them have even expressed an interest in learning; but I tell them all the same thing - that I am no instructor of any kind, and I am only just starting to learn myself. For some reason this hangs them up; I give them book and DVD suggestions and am cordially polite.

Getting a routine was the easy part; choosing what I wanted to learn - now THAT was tough. There are so many different MMA's and forms to choose from! Without any previous exposure to the world of martial arts, I had no idea what any of these strange-sounding names embodied as a martial style. What was Sambo? How is it different from wrestling, or BJJ or aikido? What is Kail? Arnis? How are they different from any other stick-fighting MA? I was flummoxed at first, and even a bit discouraged. It seemed like these dozens of names and styles only served to confuse and dissuade me from picking one.

Fortunately for me, a coworker and long time pal of mine became critical in the selection process. I had someone to bounce ideas off of - and this fellow is a tenacious researcher. If he didn't know the answer to my question, he'd dig it up in time and get some straight talk looked up. Without this man's perspective as a sounding board, I'd probably still be scratching my head and wondering which !#@$*%/ MA I wanted to learn.

It was important to have someone to bounce ideas off of; a coworker, a family member, etc. Even a forum such as this was helpful, but having at least one real person to speak with, to share ideas with, truly motivates me and keeps the days from growing stagnant. It serves as a constant catalyst to the first phase, Self-Motivation. Together we come up with all sorts of ideas on how to train, what to eat, how we are sore from the previous day. We motivate each other simply by seeing in someone else the effects of martial accountability. Neither of us are spring chickens, by the way. It's been very encouraging. Two disabled vets on a comeback trail, so to speak.

Each of us sees a little more honing, a little more learning, each day. Pounds of fat are melting off, old joints are getting limber, slabs of muscle are sheathing the frame. Old habits are vanishing and being replaced by a new perspective.

Once the motivation was cultivated, the process of selection was easy. I chose CMIA because of the practicality of using a cane; the movements are VERY easy to bring into Arnis or other stick-styles. The choice of Sambo was in case an opponent got inside the reach of my cane, or in case I do not have a stick to use. Sambo is the backup, the close-in stuff that I wanted in reserve. CMIA is the primary, the long-reaching style that meshes well with almost every other stick-form. CMIA was my springboard that launched me into the reality of stick work.

And I ended up here.  grin

I wish I'd known about Dog Brothers before!
As it stands now, I'm seriously contemplating membership as a DBMA student, as it would be an easy intermeshing system; but since I've taken the plunge with the other two styles I feel I need to grasp these first - because it took me so long to choose them! - but I forsee good things with Dog Brothers.

Hope this helps - and thank you for asking me to post more on this subject. It's become quite a strong supporting element in my life and I enjoy learning all I can and sharing it with others very much.

Be safe,



6  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Thoughts on Dog Brothers 'Power' DVD on: March 07, 2008, 08:03:01 AM
Rory -

I just watched the Power DVD myself - and I know the drill you speak of when Eric throws that tire and runs up to it again. I also know what you mean about solo training; I'm in a isolated locale and there are NO schools of any type, anywhere near me. All of my training is done via DVD, distance learning or by reading; Christensen's work has been just the ticket for my location and I highly recommend any of his books.

Right now I'm working on Sambo and the CMIA system with Canemasters. For Sambo, I have to rely on a DVD - and it's tough because there are not many who volunteer to be my wrestling/sparring partner. So most times it's just me with wrestling shoes and sweats rolling around on the matted floor in the gym, by myself, with my imaginary opponent. But it's all I have to work with for now. Which reminds me: I need to order a kurtka (payday!).

For CMIA, I have DVD's and books but I've worked out a special circumstance training schedule with one of their instructors in Florida. Every few months, when I return home I'll call him and ride out to spend a day or two demonstrating what I've learned on my own. If he's satisfied, he shows me the next series of moves to work on for the next few months on island. Then I return to him after I feel I have them ingrained, moving on to the next movements, and so on.

The Power DVD translated excellently when I used my cane, but I found myself VERY SORE after trying for the magic 50 rep mark. Tried the power backhand slash and forehand slashes with a cane and bokken and Eric's drills and stances were very effective with both. But I noticed something with the cane that is a problem.

When Eric demonstrated the forehand slash, he carries it through into two additional spins; one originating at the side of the left shoulder, and another as the arc is defined away from/in front of the body. Well...the crook of my cane would come awefully close to my jawbone when I tried that follow-through spin. I have to pay close attention or I risk gouging my neck,face or ear with the tip of the crook. 

I'm learning more every day however, and that is what this is all about, isn't it? So far it has been a sobering journey.

Only recently have I been introduced to the Dog Brothers by a fellow MMA enthusiast (also the owner of the Power DVD)/  I am finding all sorts of knowledge here that I wish I'd known about years ago!

7  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question on: March 06, 2008, 12:13:48 PM
I have an experience I'd like to share - although it is ancient history now, principles maybe viable with the appropriate sifting tools applied. I hope this helps.

There was a bully after me; my mom warned me of the "No Fighting Even In Self Defense" policy and I respected her and did not fight at school. Said bully kept peppering me with insults, harassment and threats for a few more months until one day my 'Full Level' was reached and I aimed a steadfast gaze his direction and said "after school when we get off the bus, we wait until it drives off, then you and me are going to go round and round."

Sure enough, after school, off school property and in a private neighborhood area, I and the bully squared off and had a most memorable rumble. It was the only fight I'd ever been in during my time at school, but I came away the winner. Funny thing: after the fight, this bully and I became friends. Isn't that ironic?

The school system never became aware of our little soiree' and the lesson was burned into my innermost recesses: the school was not being a part of the solution, to my lasting chagrin.

I'm not suggesting that all bullies are to be handled the same way - my experience was in the dim past of my middle-school years in the early '80-s, and school system life is dramatically changed from the way it was when this situation afflicted me. But I'd wager the same thing happens to this day; kids getting shoved around until they reach boiling point, and the perspective of the school system equally myopic.

8  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Survialist issues: Hunkering down at home on: March 06, 2008, 11:40:32 AM
Salutations everyone.

This subject is often discussed in detail between myself and a coworker. We share the common ideal of wanting to survive through unforeseen events, from something as simple as the common flu to much more threatening circumstances. An excellent source of information can be found with Ron Hood's gang at:

In particular, he has a series available called the Urban Master, which outlines survival in the cities and 'burbs when staying put in the home is paramount. If you are looking for a DVD on the subject which has plenty of sterling info, this is one I'd recommend highly.

Hope this helps!

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