So, You Want to Be a “Kali Tudo” ™ Fighter? © DBI 2014
by Guro Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny
There is a country music song with this refrain ““I ain’t as young as I once was, but I’m as young once as I ever was”. I like these words quite a bit; they serve me well as a credo, a battle cry if you will, for walking as a warrior for all my days.
In my humble opinion, as we get older when danger and challenge present themselves to have an inner place to go to where we are “forever young” is key. To my way of thinking this requires not only having developed peak performance (or, as my friend Chris Gizzi would call it “going nitrous”) it when one was younger but also keeping it alive and well—which requires assessing one’s peak level from time to time. This can mean including one hundred yard and/or quarter mile sprints in one’s training regime. It can mean rolling BJJ vigorously. It can also mean sparring real contact stick fighting or sparring MMA or doing Force on Force training.
Of course, the trick is to do so without getting seriously injured. The theme here is closely related to our discussion in the Rambling Rumination titled “Odin’s Eye”http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=2342.0
In my case, there is an additional temptation due to my development of the DBMA subsystem “Kali Tudo” ™. As many/most of you already know, Kali Tudo is where we adrenalize weaponry idioms of movement for empty hand so that we can have “consistency across categories” when it comes to the “Die Less Often” reality of real world problems. After all, we do not want to lose time identifying whether the threat is unarmed or armed and selecting an operating system accordingly; we want the faster reactions times and the more-likely-to-be-responsive responses of having one idiom of movement for weapons/anti-weapons, and empty hand.
Unlike my teaching real contact stick fighting being informed by my Dog Brothers fighting, I do not have any cage fights to back up my development of Kali Tudo because I began developing KT when I was already too old (52?) to actually cage fight. Although I think my adrenal state experience in RCSFg informs my sense of reality rather well, naturally there is room for error were KT to lack flight time in the MMA context.
So where is the evidence for KT? When I developed the Dos Triques subsystem for Real Contact Stick Fighting, I KNEW it would work and Porn Star Dog and others were there to provide the proof—but what and who do I have for Kali Tudo? The DBMA credo is “If you see it taught, you see it fought”—the fact that “I” believe in it is not enough for the system to be accepted by most people.
There is some evidence for KT.
I have worked with various students such as Pete “C-Smiling Dog” Juska and am proud to report that Pete now holds an amateur MMA title in the Chicago area and that in his last fight used his KT to devastating effect—leaving his opponent badly knocked out an unsound response to Pete’s KT hand/arm game.
I have also worked with RFA Bantamweight Champion Pedro Munhoz. Pedro has officially endorsed KT but as a 9-0 champion being spoken of as likely to be invited to the UFC. However, with such an opportunity in the air understandably he has decided to stick with the training that brought him this far.
There is also a high level UFC fighter with whom I have been tantalizingly close to working, but either I am travelling or he is travelling or getting ready for a fight.
This is a start, but I want more, much more. Most people want proof first, few are those who are willing to be the ones to provide that proof and unfortunately, at sixty one years of age, I cannot be one of those to “prove it” in the cage. Yes, many people (I like to think most people, but perhaps some of them are being polite
) who have interacted with me personally are persuaded, but still if I want to produce fighters who fight successfully in the cage with KT—and to be the teacher/coach who can produce such fighters, I need to continuously research so I can continue to grow this system into its potential and leave it with established fighters before I am too old.
And so it was against this backdrop that recently I began sparring MMA using “Kali Tudo” once again for the first time in several years. Essential to my willingness to do this was that I had built myself into the best shape I had been in for many years—witness the publicity photo currently up at www.dogbrothers.com
Also, essential to doing this was choosing the right context. As John Machado would say “You have to respect Nature” and the nature of things is that giving away 25-40 years and going against the level of fitness and athleticism of today’s MMA fighters would be to pee into the wind were they to go full tilt boogie against me.
For me the right context has been to play both under the guiding eye of Pedro Munhoz and in the MMA fighter class at the UFC Gym in Torrance under the guiding eye of Kristoff Soszynkici (6-3 in the UFC-- also you saw him the bad guy opponent for the finale fight in the movie “Here comes the Boom”)
In the case of Kristoff’s team, my function was to help young fighters get ready for a fight. Thus I was one of three fighters tag teaming the man being readied—i.e. I would be in for only one minute of a three minute round. This certainly helped compensate for the difference in our aerobic levels!
I went in with the mission of testing certain techniques and tactics-- and the training methods I had used to install them. Specifically, I went in with the idea of testing:
a) The Zirconia Dracula;
b) Dracula Fang;
c) Bolo Game, (especially Bolo Loop #2 and bolo against the shoot)
d) Kalimba Game;
e) The blending of Bolo Game and Kalimba Game that we call “The Time Machine”.
Here is what I can report so far:
* The Zirconia Dracula definitely requires “going nitrous”. If one is husbanding aerobic fitness, which given my level of fitness compared to my sparring partners I was, then one is going to tend to not make it across the gap. Indeed one may find oneself impaling oneself on a stiff jab and getting a cut over the eye! Notes to self:
* more Vaseline,
* more aerobic fitness (including FARTLEKs);
* more attention to setting up and choosing the moment to pull the trigger;
* it was good to experience the Dracula in protecting the nose and the jaw—it works!
* more research is needed on which is the best angle for that forward diagonal step.
b) Dracula Fang: DF tends to weird opponents out. They tend to stay away. This is what Pete Juska reports as well from his fights—indeed his dramatic KO came from Dracula Fang causing his opponent to try shooting from too far away. When they don’t run away, it seems quite solid.
c) Bolo Game: Against the people with whom I was playing I can say that THIS WORKS!!!! REALLY WELL!!! First it seems to do well with both deterring and stopping the grappler’s shoot (see additional comments in Time Machine commentary). Secondly, on opponents who do not skitter away, BL#2 to Sector 3 seems to be a rather high percentage combination.
d) Like the Zirconia, the Kaliba Game requires a willingness to burn some oxygen. As mentioned my fitness level required caution in this regard and so I did not get to test out KG to my satisfaction.
e) Time Machine (the blending of Kalimba and Bolo games) WORKS!!! The only drawback for me was just how much it makes people skitter away. Yes there area solutions for this in KT, but they require greater parity of aerobic fitness than I had with my twenty six year old opponent. That said, if the opponent is not skittering away or wants to shoot the floreti concept of the bolo hand means that we never need to overcome inertia and can let fly whenever our opponent seeks to drop and shoot. I had one perfectly timed bolo where I had to really go soft lest I really stun my sparring partner—after all my job was to help him get ready, not rock him.
Unfortunately in one session last month I was doing so well (lots of success with the bolos of Time Machine Game, and I even got a “head and arm” throw from sprawl!) that my young opponent felt I was up to receiving a vigorous throw wherein my arms were tied up. I had a pair of bad under hooks and he clasped his hands together and did a hip throw so that we landed on the top of my left shoulder, resulting in a Level 2 AC joint separation that will require several months of proper healing time.
Naturally I have gotten quite a bit of “Marc, you’re getting too old to be playing like this anymore” commentary, and just as naturally, I resist
Amongst the things we say at the beginning of a Dog Brothers Gathering is that “Only you are responsible for you” and I committed an error in not reminding my enthusiastic young sparring partner not to throw the old man too hard—so naturally I am tempted to say to myself that next time I will remember to give such cautions.
Really though, this is not the moment for deciding—the time for deciding will be when I have recovered (and the doc says I should have essentially 100% recovery).
It is such as awesome feeling to PLAY and to explore the ideas of Kali Tudo (a man can go a long way on the shouts of the young fighters watching and shouting “Go old man!”) but obviously sooner or later the day will come when I will become Odin gambling his one remaining eye in search of further knowledge and by so doing risking going blind.
That said, though it is INCREDIBLY frustrating to have built up to the level that I had and to have it taken away by the injury, I do not regret it-- for I have learned so very much. I am incredibly jazzed!
As proud as I am of Pete, this is still not as much as I would like. Behind closed doors I can show the footage of me training Pedro Munhoz, but I do not know that it would be appropriate to go public with that. And I have my gym stories. But this is not enough to leave a lasting legacy for this Kali Tudo system in which I believe so much and wish to have outlive me.
Frankly, I WANT MORE
So let the word go forth—Guro Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny is looking for MMA fighters (amateur and pro) as well as martial arts practitioners to train in Kali Tudo. Kali Tudo is not instead of what you already do (well, we may look to throw out a few things , , , ) it is IN ADDITION TO what your already do.
Kali Tudo’s strong points are:
1) Its striking game at distance;
2) Its striking game to maintain distance and to prevent clinch and takedowns;
3) Its striking game to close to clinch
In all three of these there are specifics for tall fighters looking to take advantage of their reach and for short fighters looking to solve longer reached fighters.
4) Its striking game in clinch with some interesting wrinkles when it comes to throws
5) There are also some interesting wrinkles when it comes to guard and anti-guard games.
Although having a FMA weaponry background is helpful, it really is not necessary. I now have things to where I can teach strong material right away to people with no weaponry background whatsoever. I am at a point in Life where I am all about building the next generation, building those who will manifest what I have learned for themselves in their own way.
Remember all of this is in the context of DBMA’s mission statement “Walk as a Warrior for all your Days”. Towards this end, we seek to have one idiom of movement for weaponry, empty hand, and the blend of the two—what we call “Consistency across categories”. Kali Tudo is where we adrenalize the movements for empty hand application, not only for the world of young male ritual hierarchical combat of MMA, but more importantly for the interface of gun, knife, and empty hand so that we “Die Less Often”.
The Adventure continues!
Guro Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny