Tail wags for the kind words.
Some preliminary points:
*"The Dog Brothers" are a band of sweaty, smelly psychopaths with sticks." We come from a variety of teachers, systems and styles.
*"Dog Brothers Martial Arts" (DBMA) has as its mission statement to "Walk as a Warrior for all your days."
*A DB fight is a fight, not a stickfight. We often have situations where one or both fighters are weaponless.
*I certainly would not deserve the sobriquet "the Crafty Dog" were I to comment on other systems/styles! My clear preference is to always acknowledge from whence we receive ideas, techniques, training methods, etc. Guro Inosanto is my role model in this (as well as everything else)
OK, lets look at the matter of Empty Hand, which I have been researching the last year or so. Towards this end I have been traininig and researching certain ideas and theories at the RAW Gym in El Segundo. RAW is a very strong MMA gym. The Head Coach is Rico Chiapparelli -hope I spelled that right- and has many world class fighters such Frank Trigg (way to go last night in the UFC Frank!) Vladymir Matyushenko. Many world class fighters go to train there. It is fascinating and educational to watch them train and spar. Rico has been a great help, and FT and VM give me valuable pointers too.
I train/spar in Rico's class wherein virtually everyone is an active amateur or pro fighter. Some of the guys I have absolutely nothing to offer-- e.g. VM handles me like I handle my 5 year old son. Others I can give a good sweat to
Kali promises the movements of the empty hand are like those of the weapons and at RAW I have begun testing this premise. I fight like I fight with two sticks. This includes the bilateral triangles, attacking the limbs, and other things. This gets some strange looks from people the first time they see me waving my arms around
but I am not without results
especially when my sparring opponent does not overwhelm me with superior youth (typically there are in their 20s and I am 52) and conditioning. It puts a smile in my heart when I pull off these things that are so far outside of the current generic MMA paradigm.
The curriculum I have developed I call "Kali Tudo" (r) The foundation of DBMA KT is Inosanto Blend Kali-Silat which is a very, very broad term. There are hearty doses of Krabi Krabong (the military forerunner to Muay Thai) and BJJ-Vale Tudo and some other things too. It is worth noting that the material is constructed with 360 degree street criteria in mind.
The standing striking skill set is best manifested by someone with good grounding in our footwork and double and single stick approach to DB stickfighting.
I have begun teaching this material in depth to DBMA Guro Benjamin "Lonely Dog" Rittiner, DBMA Lakan Guro Jeff Brown and Chris Gizzi.
Lonely manifests this material in vigorous sparring against quality players with great skill and success.
Jeff Brown is a highly advanced silat man (in many other things too) in his own right (under Guro Inosanto and Pa Herman Suwanda) and as you read this we are looking to get him a fight at King of the Cage to put this material to a sterner test.
Chris Gizzi has what it takes to be a dominating world champion should he decide to go down this road.
We have already shot the first DVD of "Kali Tudo" (r) and will be editing it after the Gathering of the Pack is over (current editing efforts are on the conversion of the first and second series to DVD, and on "The Dog Brothers Greatest Hits.") It focuses on some of the angular crashing striking combinations of the system and some follow ups.
Anyway, it is time for breakfast so I will sign off for now. I will address the question(s) on knife soon.