A hearty woof to all:
I came late in life to the martial arts, around 30 years old.
Growing up in New York City as I did when I did meant having a variety of
experiences that would shape my life in martial arts. The nature of these
experiences was not of the young male hierarchical sort that motivates so
many in martial arts. These were incidents of uneven numbers, sometimes
with criminal nature.
For example in the summer of 1977 (which would make me twenty five years old
at the time) I was in a wild fight in a small town in southern Mexico
wherein four locals armed with bottles and car antennaes tried to drag off
the two American girls who were with a Mexican friend and me. Assisted by
my forethought in having a particular belt buckle with me we were able to
keep the four would-be rapists at bay, but when we ran to the police station
for help the only policeman on duty ran away. We barricaded ourselves in
the station as the four banged on the door. We were climbing out the back
window when the police arrived in force. In the comedy of errors that
ensued the police threw us into the local prison (and I mean “prison”, not
“jail”) for three days. During those three days while we were negotiating
our release, various mini-adventures in the prison yard ensued.
It is in this background that my choice of Guro Inosanto’s Kali Academy in
Torrance, CA with Kali as my core martial art in 1982 is to be understood.
I met Eric Knaus around 1986 and we took our hard sparring to the Inosanto
Academy, which by then had moved to Marina del Rey. In 1988 Eric and I,
soon to be joined by Arlan Sanford, started the Dog Brothers. After a year
of preparing Eric for the camera in 1992 Eric and I shot the “Real Contact
Stickfighting” series, which I edited while recuperating from a series of
surgeries to fix a knee badly injured in a freak BJJ training accident.
Upon their release in 1993 word began to spread of Eric’s phenomenal
performance, the Dog Brothers fights therein, and what some people have come
to call “the Dog Brother philosophy”.
The Dog Brother philosophy operates on many levels and resonated deeply with
many people. For many for them (most?) actually doing real contact stick
fighting was not the point-- and for others the fighting WAS the point, and
they began doing something most of them never would have predicted that they
Similarly, surprising myself, my training began including teaching people to
fight at Dog Brothers Gatherings. By 1995 things evolved to where what I
was teaching could not be fairly called anything except “Dog Brothers
Martial Arts” (DBMA). Without having intended to do so, I had “founded” a
Top Dog is one hell of an act to follow; to this day I sometimes pop the
first series in and watch in awe. I think I was more surprised than anyone
when we shot the first DVD featuring me (1997?) -- although if I remember
correctly it took me a year or two to screw up the courage to actually
Many DVDs have followed since then and, as witnessed by the “Die Less Often”
and the “Kali Tudo” series DBMA has grown from a system focused upon “Real
Contact Stickfighting”, to one “In search of the totality of ritual and
reality” © DBI.
With this growth has come growth in the numbers of people to whom we are
relevant and out of this growth has sprung the Dog Brothers Martial Arts
Association (DBMAA) and the DBMA Training Groups (DBMA TGs). The DBMAA and
the DBMA TGs offer a way for people to get involved with the system if they
do not have direct access to a DBMA Guro/teacher.
What we have not had until now is a DBMA School Program. This is not to say
that I have not had inquiries in this regard over the years, for I have.
What I did not have though was a sense of how to go about it.
Now thanks to years of some 15 years of teaching privately, backyard groups,
classes, seminars, DVDs, and law enforcement and military units I think I do
have a sense of how to go about it and so I hereby announce the formation of
the Dog Brothers Martial Arts School Program (DBMA SP)-- which for legal and
tax reason will operate as DBMA SP Inc.
There is also the matter of with whom to do it. Just as DBMA is not “the
Marc Denny style” and we have DBMA DVDs by other instructors, I am not the
right teacher for all people and all circumstances. For the DBMA SP there
are skill sets that I lack. For example I know next to nothing of the
business side of running a martial arts school. I can be the wrong teacher
for many women students; and, as deeply as I believe in their importance and
the importance of initiation and related matters, I am utterly clueless when
it comes to teaching adolescents and children.
This brings me to DBMA Guro Matt “Boo Dog” Booe, who under my guidance will
be handling much of the DBMA SP. I’d like to tell you a bit about him:
a) First and foremost, he “gets” the Dog Brothers philosophy;
b) When it comes to fighting he is one of the best of the active
fighters of the Dog Brothers—and though he does not fight professionally in
my opinion he is of pro-level in MMA and instead limits himself to training
and sparring with elite level MMA fighters;
c) He “gets” the underlying logic of DBMA mission to "Walk as a warrior
for all our days" and contributes to the material of DBMA. Indeed, he will
be the featured instructor in “DBMA Kali Tudo 4” which will be shot after
our movie (working title “Tao of the Dog”) finishes post production.
d) He does know about the business side of running a martial arts school
e) He has extensive experience teaching adolescents and children.
The DBMA SP is responsive to many types of people. In no particular order:
a) the martial arts student/practitioner who is looking to have fun, be
fit, and be functional should Life spring a dangerous surprise upon him;
b) those looking to prepare and test themselves at a “Dog Brothers
Gathering of the Pack”, perhaps even to become a Dog Brother some day;
c) Families: children and adolescents with or without their parents;
d) Mixed Martial Arts: Our "Kali Tudo"(tm) program;
e) Our “Die Less Often”(tm) program; of particular interest to law
enforcement, those in security related jobs, and those wanting to be
prepared for serious reality problems.
As with everything we do in DBMA, the business side of things is simply to
enable us to pursue our life in martial arts, walking as warriors for all
our days. As always, there is to be a real relationship between you and
us. As a family man, my willingness to travel on for DBMA SP seminars on
top of my other seminars is finite. There will come a time when we are
unable to accept more schools. Tomorrow is promised to no one.
Due to my proclivity to get distracted by training and teaching instead of
the details of business the official website is not yet up but the DMBA SP
is already up and running; the first seminar for Pete Juska’s school in
Chicago will be the first week of February. Those wanting to be sure of
being the first to be considered should not wait for the official website
but instead should click on the button for the DBMA SP at www.dogbrothers.com
and fill in the info there and Guro Boo Dog will get in
touch with you.
Walking as warriors for all our days,
Guro Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny