Thank you for the kind words. I have beer reading about DBMA since I was a teenager, (I'm about to turn 30) so to be a member of the tribe, and now a training group leader means a lot to me. When I head off to a Gathering, my wife always says, "DBMA is my least favorite thing that you do (because of the potential for in jury), but I think it's the most valuable." What she means is that DBMA is a great way to try and figure out where your skills actually are and what you can actually do.
I was not athletic growing up at all, and I still have days where I feel like the MOST uncoordinated person in the world. There are SO many great fighters in DBMA, and I am very much a novice. I figure that even if I am the worst fighter at a Gathering, at least I went out there and did my part to test myself and provide an opponent/target for the Brothers.
I had my own preconceived notions about DBMA until a few years ago. I watched the clip, which is still on this site, entitled "Rambling Ruminations." I was struck with how articulate Guro Marc was, especially for someone that I had been led to believe was "crazy."
After a seminar with Guro Marc, there I was, fighting in a Gathering. I did some things that I was pleased with at that Gathering, and I had some REAL holes in my game exposed.
I have really been impressed with Crafty Dog. No a$$ kissing here, but his dedication to helping people truly "walk as a warrior for all their days", and the impact that has on them and the immediate world around them is really amazing. He can be colorful, but any time spent in the presence of Guro Marc Denny will reveal how much info. there is in his mind and his heart, and how much his life's work means to him.
Enough Hallmark Moments. If you are reading this and you have the means and you have ever thought about fighting in a Gathering, you should do it! It's free. It's there for everyone who wants it. It will forever change you. I was scared that I was going to get severely injured and that fear never goes away. Then I arrive. I see Guro Marc and Pretty Kitty. I see some of the folks that I have gotten to know a little through DBMA: the NoHo Gang, C-Bitch (who owes me a knife fight), Dog Ryan (who keeps pointing out that I look like that guy from Metallica), and I meet some of the other folks from around the world who are feeling exactly like I am. Eventually, I get out there on the floor. Sticks clash. We hurt each other, a little bit
, and I leave with a high unlike anything else in martial arts. Again, if you have ever considered doing it, you should fight at a Gathering.