Greetings — or as we often say around here — Woof!
A question we often get is the simple yet profound “I like what I see and want to get involved. Where do I begin?” This question is asked by beginners, and by those with experience in other systems.
The answer has five basic parts:
FIRST: Join the DBMA Association. Our online training library is an immense resource that you will use frequently. Everything is organized for you in one place and very easy to locate.
Certainly you may decide to pick and choose lessons according to your interests. We have put considerable effort into our videos both being accessible to the less experienced and having substance for the more experienced. Although we also have also designed most of our courses to be able to “stand alone” so that the experienced can pick and choose those courses which address subjects of particular interest to them, our intention is that there be a cumulative “the sum is greater than the parts” quality when all the lessons are studied and trained.
Our website has a considerable amount of information as does our Martial Arts forum.
SECOND: If you wish to “begin at the beginning”, the questions remains as to exactly “Where to begin?” Avoiding fortune cookie witticisms such as “At the beginning, Grasshopper” or “The longest journey begins with the first step”, for most people we suggest the following progression to establish a good foundation upon which to base one’s subsequent development:
- The six DVD series “Real Contact Stickfighting” featuring Eric “Top Dog”
Knaus and the Dog Brothers. Although we released this series in the fall of 1993, that it continues to be a solid seller 15 years later is a remarkable thing and is a great testament to the extraordinary performance of Top Dog.Extraordinarily graceful for a true heavyweight (6’4″ and 220 pounds) and the “Fighting Force” around whom the Dog Brothers first coalesced, this series is focused on solo training. TD shows a movement, the viewer trains a round with him, then there is a fight– as we saw in Dog Brothers Martial Arts “If you see it taught, you see it fought”. To be able to install stick skills modeled on the dominant fighter of his time is a great way to begin.
- “Krabi Krabong” by Ajarn Arlan “Salty Dog” Sanford” : Krabi Krabong is the Thai military weaponry system from which the ring sport of Muay Thai descends. Dog Brothers co-founder Salty Dog traveled to Thailand many times to train and become certified by the legendary Buddaiswan Institute as an “ajarn” (teacher/guro) in KK and used it to change the face of Dog Brothers fighting.This is where your two man training begins. Although anyone with a background in Muay Thai will find this material particularly accessible, the material is primal and power crazed– always a good thing to have for true fighting skills!– and readily learned by all. This is where you learn to step through with power and establish the foundations of what we call “bilateralism”– the ability to fight with either side forward, which will be very important down the road as you develop your skills for operating in “360 degree” situations that might arise in the real world. The drills are actually rather simple, which means that in short order can be trained with power, speed and aerobic intensity. As always– “If you see it taught, you see it fought”– plenty of good fights showing what you are learning in action.
- “ Combining Stick & Footwork” by Guro Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny. Real fights move! One of the most important fighting attributes in real fighting is to be able to hit and block while moving. Building on the what you trained with Ajarn Salty in the KK DVD, Guro Crafty introduces the triangular footwork of Kali and the basic stick combinations from the Lameco system integrated with footwork and shows how to attack and defend knee attacks. Two man drills done in rhythm allow you to develop your coordination and honestly assess the efficiency of what you are learning.
With these in place, you will be ready to begin exploring the other DVDs.
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The Adventure continues,
Punong Guro Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny