The Moth and the Flame

By Crafty Dog
© DBI

Woof All:

As I sit down to write this, I realize is has been 25 years since a vision came into being over three days in Ramblas Park in San Clemente, CA. It is from this perspective that I would like to share some thoughts as a prelude to the invitation to this year’s “Euro Dog Brothers Gathering of the Pack” in Bern and the “DB Open Gathering of the Pack” in Los Angeles

There is a reason the stick fights with no protective gear in the Philippines were called “death matches”—death and very serious and lasting damage were very real possibilities. We the Dog Brothers are for Life and not for death and destruction, we are for “Higher consciousness through harder contact” ©DBI. As such, “Our goal is that no one spends the night in the hospital. Our goal is that everyone goes home with the IQ with which he came. We fight to prepare each other to stand together to defend our land, women, and children.” ©

Thus we seek a ritual space version of reality, a space which unavoidably has a “moth and the flame” quality to it. Too little reality from too much protective gear and too many rules and we degenerate into martial arts and crafts with delusions of functional competence. Too much reality and we damage each other (or worse). As a result the Clans and Tribes from which we come would have too few people willing to forge themselves into something more and too few left undamaged to step forward when necessary outside the ritual space.

With all this in mind I’d like to discuss the gear and the tools we use.

When the Dog Brothers began, we knew of no one else doing what we were doing. We had only legends and myths handed down through many mouths from the homeland of the Art to guide us. Unlike those who fight today, to a considerable extent we were leaping into a great void, not quite sure of what awaited us.

Naturally as we and those who have joined us have accumulated experience over the twenty five years since then, the fighting and the gear evolved.

HAND PROTECTION: When I began my studies in Kali in 1982 the idea of the hand being a target was a revelation: “Defang the snake and the snake is harmless”. Even a moderate tap on the hand was enough to persuade us that a stick could break a hand a wrist, or even an arm without much ado. Understandably, as we began to spar and then to fight, our choice of hand protection was informed by this understanding; a hockey glove at the lighter end of the spectrum was quite typical.

Naturally this diminished wrist and stick mobility –leading to the hand getting hit more!– and so began the search for lighter and more agile alternatives that still offered some protection. Foremost amongst these have been various models of street hockey gloves—and to this day these are the standard.

Bolder yet, a goodly number of people have evolved to what can fairly be said to be no protection at all from impact. Indeed the only reason for these gloves is to protect the hand from being “cheese gratered” by the fencing masks.

In summary, the current situation is exemplary.

STICKS: When we began, the typical stick in an FMA class was something about which the kindest thing could be said was that it was “a demo stick” i.e. light and fast and often quite short too (some were as short as 24-27”). However as revealed by our sparring in the pre-Dog Brothers phase at the Inosanto Academy that we call “the After Midnight Group” it was immediately apparent that when it came to stopping power, these things were a joke.

And so the evolution to something longer, heavier, and more substantial began. Of course before finding a happy medium it was necessary to go too far  I remember one day in Santa Fe where Eric and Arlan each had a small log. Nothing happened, as each, wisely respecting the power of the other and its potential consequences, warily circled the other until the round was over. I suggested to them that maybe it was time to return to sticks of a size where people were willing to actually engage and they readily agreed.

I would add that there is no fixed standard in this. I remember one day where I was banging sticks with Grand Tuhon Gaje in a drill designed to test and promote power. I was surprised at how slender and light his stick was in comparison to mine as stepped together to begin the drill. I was even more surprised as the contact began and I could barely hold on to mine! He certainly gave me something to think about!

HEADGEAR: This brings us to the matter of headgear. When we first began the After Midnight Group we were using some helmets that Eric had forged. Eric had previous experience using fencing masks, but after an absence of willing play mates he made these helmets. They were very heavy– indeed they were a challenge to neck strength—and they offered complete protection from the impact of a stick , , , and danger of lasting damage to the neck during grappling which we had just begun to allow.

One night one man was using repeatedly the protective quality of his helmet to crash entry head first like a tackling linebacker, not caring that he was taking major shots to the head that would have dropped him but for the helmet. Eric was getting irked and I spotted some old “pre-Ralph Nader” fencing masks on the shelf and pulled them down. Eric put one on and we put one on the would-be linebacker, who instantly lost his desire to be a linebacker—mission accomplished! Also, there was the added benefit of much greater safety for the neck in the stick-grapple.

These Pre-Ralph Nader masks are what we now call “first generation masks”. FGMs were not much more than a screen door shaped around the head. They served to protect the eyes, nose, and teeth (usually!) but did very little to diminish impact. All of us Original Dog Brothers fought in them and no one was willing to “take one” in the head wearing one in order to close to stick-grappling range. Combined with the stick skills that most of us had from our traditional training, much stick skill was shown.

My own experience with the FGMs is there for all to see. I do not like discussing this but I feel I owe my honesty to all of you. In return I ask that you not bring it up in conversation with me.

In the Power tape of the first series there is a fight where Eric drops me with a tremendous power backhand to my right temple. As I rise from the ground to one elbow, you can literally see my left eye spinning.

Here’s the thing: It still is. It was subtle for the first few years but over time it gradually has gotten worse. Most of the time now it no longer is in alignment with the right eye; instead it looks up and to the left—sometimes more and sometimes less, but now it is always there.

This is no small thing.

Not only does it mean that I sometimes get tired and sleepy easily when reading or driving, it also means I don’t pick up incoming as well as I should. Not a good thing for a stick fighter or when I spar MMA! When played lacrosse catch with my son, I sometimes would miss balls in embarrassing fashion. I hate it when I see it in photos and now when I have to pose for a photo (which is often in my line of work) I often squint my left eye so it shows less or I wear sunglasses.

For many years I did not connect the blow to my head and my wandering eye. The only reason I am aware of it now is that I went to an eye doctor about my eyesight and the possibility of eye glasses. The tests drew his attention to just how much my eye wandered and he asked me if I had ever been hit hard in the head.

The next time I saw him I showed him the footage and he had no doubt about that power backhand being the cause. He warned me of increased risk of a stroke due to it. As should ANY warrior, regardless of his health, I have my will in order. Tomorrow is promised to no one.

Since the era of the FGMs, there have been two important changes:

First, the fencing masks have become heavier and more protective to the point where we can speak of Second Generation Masks (SGMs) and Third Generation masks (TGMs).

Second, scientific medical awareness of the consequences has evolved as well see e.g. http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=1315.0 The NFL is undertaking changes in response. So too is our military in response to the tragic consequences of the percussive effects of IEDs and other blasts that our troops receive in our defense. Considerable effort is being put into improving helmets that our soldiers wear, and those that football and other heavy contact sports wear.

One the one hand, it is a good thing that we can swing with full power. It is a good thing we protect the brain more now that we better appreciate the lasting consequences of a good shot to the head. Even with the greater protection of the SGMs and the TGMs people still get dropped (a.k.a. concussions) and lasting consequences still happen. At the “Dog Brothers Tribal Gathering of the Pack” this year we had one man in a TGM dropped with diminished hearing in one ear for a number of weeks after. This is no small thing.

OTOH we have some people, especially in the Third Generation Masks, now willing to take shots on the way in that they would not be willing to take in a FGM. As a result at the Open Gatherings we now sometimes see two fighters relatively unskilled with sticks swat their sticks a bit. Out of the natural fear of a stick fight one then opts for the relatively safety of clinch and ground fighting. He takes one or three to the head, and the two fighters then engage in MMA (often rather badly) all the while thinking “I’m a stick fighter in a Dog Brothers Gathering!”

This sort of fight gives unrealistic feedback to both fighters and to those witnessing the fight. It encourages heavier sticks than a fighter can handle with skill and it discourages the development of stick skills relative to MMA skills.

WHAT TO DO?

First: we need to really work on developing our anti-closing skills. This most certainly includes developing our stick skills!!! In this regard count me amongst those who believe that some of us have thrown out the baby with the bath water with the traditional training that has been abandoned. Watch Eric’s carenza at the beginning of the Power tape and you will see what I mean.

Second: those who take a tap to the face or shot to the head should acknowledge it to themselves, their opponents, and all present that without a mask the fight might have gone differently.

Third: if you are the one who was closed upon despite your delivering stick shots to your opponent as he did so, just say to yourself “In a real fight what a man can take can be quite surprising. Maybe it would not have stopped him even without the mask. I need to work on my power and my anti-closing game more, and my clinch and ground game too. After all, this is why we have no judges and no trophies in the Dog Brothers experience. The whole point is to learn and grow, not to keep score.”

Fourth: Take advantage of events such as one developed and guided by Growling Dog and Dirty Dog of the Toro Clan: “Beat The Crap Out Of Cancer”. These events allowing for a wide range of understandings and intensities and in addition to raising money for good works also allow all concerned to explore and grow under conditions of lesser risk.

Fifth: As most of you have noticed, over the past several years I have been guiding the Open and Tribal Gatherings towards the greater use of knives. One of the main reasons I have done this is to compensate for the TGMs and restore proper balance towards stick skill. Clinch and ground fighting are quite a bit different when knives are in play!!!

With this in mind, some words about the knives themselves.

In the beginning, we used rattan dowels for some “sport knife dueling” as a warm up for the real purpose to the day: Stick fighting. There was a code of “treating it like a rational person would treat a knife” but admittedly there was a bit of cognitive dissonance with this formulation—a rational person in a rational state of mind avoids knife duels! In the real world a bad and/or crazy person may say, in the memorable words of someone with whom I once had a conversation, “I pump him until he’s dead, then I bind my wounds”.

However in our sport knife dueling this tends to lead to a meaningless experience. Both fighters “die”. This has not stopped many people from doing exactly that however!

Thus the search has been on for something more painful sport dueling knives. For a time we tried the Shocknives. Though they remain a valuable tool for anti-knife training they weren’t quite up to the rigors of a Dog Brothers Gathering.

Over time what we came up with was aluminum trainer knives. They have the advantage of really hurting , , , a lot! Hands, wrists, and even arms can be broken. A thrust to the torso or head can be a fight ender. However, there is the risk of penetration, particularly with some of the pointier ones out there. We posted on youtube a penetration that did occur at the DB 2012 Tribal Gathering, but youtube took it down for being too bloody. My explanation that it was to show our people the risks involved went unanswered. Regardless, KNOW THIS, the consequences of penetration could be really severe.

Thus we now offer some “DBMA Sport Dueling Knives”.

http://dogbrothersgear.com/Tools-of-the-Trade/

As always, “This is dangerous. Don’t do it unless you agree to no suing no one for no reason, for nothing no how no way.” These knives have round tips and are thicker—with both qualities having the purpose lessening penetration, but remember “Only you are responsible for you”!

Sixth: As your skills and those of your opponents improve, consider going to an Original Dog Brother and asking to borrow his FGM or find one of your own via one of the websites.

Seventh: Some have suggested going to no head gear at all.

I disagree.

Here is why:

I must begin by admitting that when the UFC came to us to be a special event Eric, Arlan, and I were all willing to go without headgear. The why of this is another conversation for another day, but for now it suffices to say that to stick fight without head gear is not “Friends at the end of the day” fight.

I am aware of three occasions where stickfights were done without headgear.

In two of them, to my eye there was no intention to take full power shots to the head—properly so!!!. The third one (which occurred before the other two) was a tournament in the interior of Negros that I witnessed in 1997. The fighters were all doing real contact stick fighting for the first time and were inspired by their teacher to do it without headgear. One of them took a nasty shot to the cheekbone, quite close to the eye. It swelled up mightily and can be seen in the closing footage of one of my DVDs (Staff was it?)

For me, the message of no head gear is both confusing and unsatisfactory.

If there is no intention to really hit the head, then the truth of what is going on is at variance with what it is taken by others to be. If there IS intention to truly hit the head, then it is not a matter of “Friends at the end of the day.” It is not Dog Brothers. It is Icarus, falling to his death in the sea as the wax on his wings melts from flying too close to the sun.

“The greater the dichotomy, the profounder the transformation. Higher consciousness through harder contact!” © DBI
Crafty Dog
Guiding Force of the Dog Brothers

Out of the freedom that comes from doing comes the knowing

By Guro Crafty

This past week I was sparring with a young MMA fighter. He was twenty three years old, 6’ 4”, weighed 170 pounds and was getting ready for his fourth amateur fight. I am sixty one, 6’ and 195 pounds and my last full-on fight was in the year 2000. In order for the young fighter to be pushed aerobically the coach had another man split the round with me. He would go for ninety seconds, and then I would jump in for the second ninety seconds.

During the course of the first of the three rounds that I went I took a hearty punch to my right eyebrow (I dropped my Dracula elbow a bit during a Zirconia if you must know) and as I was sitting there (well-winded I must confess) after the third round the coach noticed a cut over my right eye due to not enough vaseline. It wasn’t a big deal-indeed in the past I would have kept going, but now I am a bit more cooties conscious than I used to be and so I called it a day.

A gym friend who is a doctor saw it and invited me to swing by his office later in the day to have it stitched up. When I got home I washed up and my wife took a picture (“Ewww!”) and off I went to the doctor where he properly cleaned it out (this is important-there are nasty cooties out there these days!) and gave it the five stitches it required. Later that evening I posted it on DBMA FB and my personal FB page where it received a fair amount of commentary to which I responded—and now I look to flesh out here what I wrote there.

***

Amongst the many things that Guro I. has said to me that have stayed with me over the years is this one:

“It’s good to know where you are at.”

One of the dangers of my line of work is that people are going to be respectful when I am teaching. I get this– I do the same when I am on the other side of the equation!—indeed, one would be an anus to test a teacher while he is teaching! Of course the danger of this is that one can easily start becoming a legend in one’s own mind and miscalculate one’s capabilities upon the intrusion of reality. This would be a serious Darwinian error! It may have been John Wayne who said “Life is tough. It’s tougher when you are stupid.”

I do my best to avoid this in the course of my teaching/training in various ways e.g.:

a) I insist upon honest feeds. For example, as many of you may know in contrast to most FMA systems that lock out the strike responses to which are being taught, in DBMA, unless otherwise specified, the striker should carry through with his motion– just like he is most likely to do in a real fight. Of course the speed, power, intensity will be dialed back to greater or lesser degree depending at what point we are in the development of the response(s) being trained but in all cases the strike(s) should be towards the actual target(s) in a natural manner.

b) I use what in DBMA we call “the metronome method”: constant speed, and equal speed and equal power between the two practitioners.

Nonetheless there is no substitute for action for knowing where one is at– hence Guro I’s words of wisdom– given to us after he left us with jaws hanging after having gone forty five non-stop minutes HARD of Muay Thai on the long bag while in his sixties.

Thus for me sparring such as my session wherein I scored this boo boo is invaluable in “knowing where I am at” as I seek to walk as a warrior for all my days. I do my best to not be stupid about it. I feel no shame in speaking up about places where it is not wise for me to go. For example, before we started I asked my young MMA opponent not to torque my lower back– so when he took me down, he took the bite out of it.

Similarly as my half guard lock down was failing he drove my head into the fence. If I were a young fighter I would have asked of myself to work out my way of the problem. As the old man that I am, with a family to support depending upon the functioning of my body I was unwilling to risk a neck injury and so I simply asked him for us to adjust our position away from the fence.

A major piece of the Dog Brother experience is having a realistic sense of what you can and cannot pull off in real time. My time for full-on fighting for fun may be done, but still I am the Crafty Dog.

There is an additional strand present here in this little story.

In this particular case I was working Kali Tudo ™ the sub-system I have been developing for several years now as part of the DBMA concept of “consistency across categories”. KT is , , , different and needs continuous research. It fascinates me in a profound way to see just how deep The Art is and how true its’ promise of the empty hands being the having the same idiom of movement is. In that the vision here is mine I would be the one most suited for doing the work, but for my age. Of course I have would love to be thirty years younger and getting in the cage for real, but that will have to await another lifetime.

Still, by getting in as I do not only do I get honest feedback as to “where I am at”, but I also continue to develop KT not only out of my students’ experiences but also my own experience– for out of the freedom that comes from doing comes the knowing –and I become a better teacher and can stay relevant longer.

Remember too that in the logic of DMBA our motive is only secondarily to improve results in the cage. Our primary mission is to use the cage as a laboratory and training medium to adrenally prepare ourselves for the interface of gun, knife, and empty hand so that we “Die Less Often”; we seek the advantage that comes from having one operating system for weapons, empty hands, and the blend of the two. Fewer choices means faster reactions and when it comes to DLO having consistency across categories means fewer choices when time may mean the difference between living or not. I have the honor of working with people who put their lives on the line in circumstances of Die Less Often. They are The Protectors—something I suspect each of us aspires to be as we live our respective lives—and they deserve that I know what I am showing them.

Of course there is also the inner glee that comes from still being competitive. As the country music song says “I may not be as young as I once was, but I’m as young once as I ever was.”

The Adventure continues!
Guro Crafty/Marc

Walking As Warriors For All Our Days

Walking as Warriors for All our Days
by PG Crafty Dog/Marc F. Denny

Recently I happened to run across a “Rambling Rumination” I wrote many years ago (15?) titled “The Tao of the Dog and the Why of Dog Brothers Martial Arts” http://dogbrothers.com/the-tao-of-the-dog-the-why-of-dog-brothers-martial-arts/

Though the essence articulated therein remains with a consistency of which I confess to being rather proud, there have been important evolutions since then.

The focus on Real Contact Stick Fighting has expanded to more fully express what brought me to the Filipino Martial Arts (which we here at DBMA call “Kali”)– as expressed in Guro Dan Inosanto’s book “The Filipino Martial Arts”. The book began with wonderful stories of old Filipino masters, Manong John Lacoste in particular, who “walked as a warriors for all their days”.

Just like Kali, DBMA now has three distinct areas:

1) Weapons– Real Contact Stick Fighting
2) Empty Hand — “Kali Tudo” ™
3) Street–the interface of gun, knife, and empty hand that we call “Die Less Often” ™

These three areas are guided by my understanding of “the Dog Brothers Philosophy” so that just like Manong Lacoste and the other Filipino masters who handed down the Art to us we too can walk as warriors for all our days.

By definition this is a continuous path; there is no “I used to do that when I was younger” or “I’m too old and too busy for that now” — it is who we are and what we do.

If this is who you are and what you do, then in our service to you on your path we offer the following:

FIRST:

DVDs and Downloads: When we began there were no DVDs, there were VHS videos. The internet was unknown to most. The instructional video market existed through advertising in the magazines with Panther Productions being the dominant force.

Then, as now, those offering their videos were faced with the difficult conundrum of how to price their product in a small market? High prices meant fewer sales, and given the size of the market low prices could only stimulate sales but so much.

At Dog Brothers Martial Arts our solution was this:

First, to offer a superior product. Instead of a 35-40 minute poorly shot and poorly edited video of a teacher teeing off on his cooperative students in front of a rice paper panel, we shot professionally and “what we taught we showed fought.” The length of each video was invariably well over one hour, with 70 or 80 minutes being quite common. The content was not limited to things physical– the psychological, the emotional, and in a sense, the spiritual aspects were part of the mix.

Second, we kept our prices as low as we could. We wanted you to get a lot of “bang for their buck” and to know that if something has the name DBMA on it you can rest assured that it is a serious offering that respects the value of your time and money– and will be something to which you return as time goes by and find things you may not have noticed the first time around. We believe this is why all our offerings, old and new, continue to sell– even our first series, which came out in 1993!

We believe this is why we last and grow while others fade away.

In continuation of this philosophy, with the declines over the years in the cost of cameras and edit technology, and the fact that with the advent of downloading meaning that we no longer have to make DVD masters and bear the cost of carrying inventory (not to worry we still will be offering in the DVD format!) we are now able to lower our prices across the board.

Basically, what previously sold for $40 will now sell for $30.

SECOND:

The second thing DBMA offers you is the “Dog Brothers Martial Arts Association”, which is now a major focus for me http://dogbrothers.com/join-dbmaa/ The DBMA Ass’n is a wonderful vehicle to deepen in your understanding and growth in DBMA, particularly if you find yourself without a local DBMA school, instructor, or Training Group.

With the Ass’n, much of the content from the public DVDs / downloads that is available to the public is automatically available as is all new material released to the public. Exclusive “members only” content is also included. This material is intended to serve as a “force multiplier” for your training.

I am on the forum virtually every day and our members are an varied and interesting group who bring much to bear to the value of the Ass’n. There are many more things, but mostly what I would say is “Give the Ass’n a try for two months and we will have you hooked!”

THIRD:

Seminars, Training Camps, etc: There is nothing like hands on interaction to synergize with the training you do via the Association and the downloads/DVDs!

FOURTH:

Personal Training with me. Come to Los Angeles (Hermosa Beach) and work directly with me. Hermosa Beach is a very pleasant part of Los Angeles and many people bring family members along and make a family vacation out of it. The year round climate in Los Angeles is quite pleasant and can make for a very agreeable change during winter for those of you who live in colder climes. Please do NOT feel you must be advanced for this training to be worth your time or mine! I greatly enjoy helping real people become real in their skills in short order. Please do NOT feel I teach only fighters! Remember, DBMA is about our “Walking as Warriors For All Our Days”!

The beginning of a new year is a good time to begin new Adventures so that at the end of the year you can look back and see just how far you have travelled. The longest journey begins with the first step.

The Adventure continues,
PG Crafty/Marc

Let’s Roll

Rambling Rumination: “Let’s Roll!”
by Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny
(c) 2016

I:
We all know of the “well-regulated militia” of our Second Amendment. It is very much worth noting that in the usage of when the Bill of Rights was written, “regulated” did NOT mean “regulations”. It meant “smoothly running”. Thus, an accurate watch could be said to be “well regulated”.

At the time of the writing of the Second Amendment, fresh from the memories of the standing army of the British, our Founding Fathers did not envision a standing army. That is why we have the Third Amendment (no quartering of troops in our homes) and we have a Second Amendment. The security of our country against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, resides with “We the people”.

In times of danger, those subject to being called up were expected to show up WITH THEIR GUNS to fight in defense of our country. In my clear opinion, this means we were expected to have guns suitable for a foot soldier. In those days it was a musket. Today this includes the technology of our time: semi-automatic rifles which are often misnamed by those who would disarm us and those who have been deceived by them as “assault rifles”. To say otherwise would be as logical as excluding radio, TV, and the internet from the First Amendment.

(Though the appearance of each can be similar, the difference is this: A semi-auto such as a civilian may own, requires one pull of the trigger for each shot. An assault rifle of a soldier includes an automatic function whereby bullets come out as long as the trigger is held down.)

This makes perfect sense.

A militia that would have to have foot soldier arms distributed by the government before it would be ready to fight when the nation was under attack would not be “well-regulated”; it would run quite poorly; it would be a fustercluck.

ll:

Some argue that now that we have a standing army, we no longer need a militia, and that the Second Amendment is a atavistic echo of a time gone by.

Let us be perfectly clear. “Enemies both foreign and domestic” includes our government should it ever seek to slip the bonds of our Constitution and take our freedoms. Remember this well: the American Revolution ignited at the battles of Lexington and Concord when the British came to confiscate our guns.

It was thus then, and it is thus now.

Some argue that this is foolish. “Look at the military power of our Government!” they say. “Do you think you can fight that?”

The answer to this argument has two parts.

First, I challenge the assumption implicit in it that our military would turn upon us.

Second, thanks to our Second Amendment, we are no less well-armed than the Taliban or any of a number of other guerrilla movements which this same power has failed to defeat.

III:

This is not to say that there are not to be any sort of laws or regulations.

Our State governments are “the laboratory of democracy” where all this is to be sorted out.

Open carry? Concealed carry? Minimum age? Training required? Criteria for extinguishing Second Amendment rights?

All these are things to be worked out by the States under their Tenth Amendment rights under what is known as “the police power”.

lV:

Of course when it comes to interstate travel or foreign threat, there is a proper constitutional role for the Federal government.

For example as I type these words there is vigorous debate over whether people on the “No Fly” list should be allowed to purchase guns.

At first glance, this looks obvious– “Of course not!”– but the problem is this and it is a profound one: The No-Fly List is a secret governmentally generated list with no Due Process concerning who is put on it and no Due Process for getting off it.

This is a formula for massive mischief!!!

In that flying is not a constitutionally protected right, the No Fly List passes muster as far as flying goes, but in sharp contrast our Second Amendment rights (and implicitly our Ninth Amendment right to self-defense) are fundamental constitutional rights and by definition losing these rights requires proper “Due Process” by Constitutional standards.

This is not a line to be crossed in the passions of the moment– passions often fomented by those who seek to disarm us!!!

As can be readily imagined by anyone who has dealt with governmental bureaucracies (in my case it was as a lawyer in Washington DC), many of those on the list are put on by mistake. In my readings of those who have done serious work looking into this, I am consistently running into the number of 35% of those on the list not belonging there. This means literally hundreds of thousands of innocent people are on the list!!! — which if I have the number correct is the better part of one million names.

It may be due to a name similar to a suspect, or even a name spelled similarly to a suspect or some innocent behavior.

Senator Ted Kennedy was put on the list and so was Congressman John Lewis. Of course they were promptly removed but so too was standout reporter Steve Hayes because he bought a one-way ticket to Turkey where he got on a cruise ship. Despite his public recognition as a reporter, he spent many Kafkaesque months trying to get off it to no avail until anchor Brett Baier spoke to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson ON THE AIR about his case.

Obviously none of us has the political muscle of a US Senator or Congressman or an anchor who can shame the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security!

The truth is simple and clear: The No Fly List has no Due Process for our fundamental Second Amendment rights and until it does (For quite some time Republican Senator Cornier has had a bill which has been rejected by the Democrats) the No Fly List is an insufficient basis for extinguishing the Second Amendment rights of nearly one million Americans

An additional point: Right now our executive branch is led by those who see the problem as “extremism”– be it Muslim, Tea Party, Christian or otherwise.

Indeed, as best as I can tell an unspoken reason for the determination to not identify the danger to our country as Islamic Fascism (or some other similar name) is to not “let go to waste” the opportunity to disarm as many as of possible political enemies of the the current administration , , , but perhaps I digress , , ,
V:

At the end of the day at Dog Brothers Gathering of the Pack one year after 911, I spontaneously spoke of 911 and how the only thing that worked on that day was not the government or the police.

Saved By The Militia

Two planes hit the World Trade Center. One missed the White House and hit the Pentagon. The last plane, Flight 93, presumably was headed for the Capitol building and it was “we the unorganized militia” on Flight 93 who answered Todd Beamer’s call to action “Let’s roll!” and took that plane down.

VI:

As you can see from the article accompanying my impromptu talk, Title 10, Section 313 speaks to the “unorganized militia”.

Here is my understanding– whether the various state governments do their part in maintaining the apparatus required to have a “well-regulated milita” or not, the militia continues in “unorganized” form.

THE FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTIONAL UNDERSTANDING THAT DEFENSE OF THE NATION IS IN OUR HANDS REMAINS. IT IS NOT EXTINGUISED BY THE FAILURE OF THE STATES OR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO DO THEIR PART.
VII:

Once again we see the wisdom of our Founding Fathers unchanged by time or technology. Indeed it is precisely due to technology that our enemy is now able to bypass our military and our police.

Ben Franklin warned us “Those who give up their liberty in search of safety deserve neither.”

Still many people call for what amounts to an end of privacy of our personal communication (Fourth Amendment, Ninth Amendment) even though “encryption” and the “dark web” increasingly make such surveillance superfluous.

No longer is there a need to plot, plan, and direct as was the case with the attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001. Now there is only the need to inspire the “radicalized” to “go operational” in lone wolf actions with guns or, in their absence, bombs.

We see this again and again, be it the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston, the jihadi hit team in San Bernardino, or now in Orlando.
VIII:

So, what are we the people to do in such moments?

First and foremost is to “man up”. Be Odysseus in Cyclops’ cave. He did not pray for Cyclops to eat him last– he came up with a plan and acted! While Cyclops slept, he speared him in his one eye and came up with a clever plan to escape with the sheep and by so doing saved not only himself but his crew.

(If you don’t get this literary reference, it is from Homer’s “The Odyssey”. Read it– and demand a refund from whomever claimed to have educated you!)

If you and others are being held as hostages in a bathroom until it is your turn to die as we saw in Orlando, DO SOMETHING. Rip the seat off the toilet and have someone throw a garbage can as the killer comes in while the one with the toilet seat conks him over the head and everyone swarms him. If you are to die, DIE FIGHTING.

Fighting will be a lot easier and more likely to be effective if you are armed (guns and knives both have their place) and properly trained in their use.

Yesterday I received a call from a Green Beret in 5th Group Special Forces I had worked with some ten years ago. We chatted at length and shared with me something he had written about all this.

This man has been places and done things for us. It is my honor to do my part in spreading his word forward.

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Minimizing Active Shooters in Public Spaces

Two of the most notorious public active shooter examples, the Ft. Hood and Pulse Night Club shootings, illustrate the case of a lone gunman taking down numerous victims in very public places. Both involved semi-automatic firearms which required reloading, the AR-15 as the primary weapon in the Pulse shooting and the M9 Beretta in the Ft. Hood case.

In both instances, the moment shots were realized for what they were, had swarms of people overwhelmed the gunmen, it is arguable that not more than one magazine would have been fired, in the case of the AR-15, 30 rounds of ammunition; in the M9 Beretta, 15 rounds.

This is an argument to consider for it is almost certain that future acts of this kind of public terror will occur.

It is worth putting the theory into practice, wherein, in controlled environments, in training, the theory of swarming such gunmen can, at least, be put to test. Not to do so, without any other counteractions against such shooters in place, is irresponsible.

Now, it is highly understandable that from an instinctual life preservation basis, especially one’s own, it might well be argued that against such intrinsic value, the need to flee against someone with a gun may generally be what naturally occurs; however, these are not natural situations. The alternative, now twice registered, needs to be evaluated, e.g. mass casualties from numerous reloads in the aforementioned cases, where numerous people were, indeed, available to swarm the shooter.

What such action takes is a presence of mind, pre-loaded, which this letter suggests, wherein, before one ever goes into a mall, bar, or other crowded venue, where they know guns are not allowed, the idea of swarming an active shooter become commonplace thinking, as much commonplace as, say, it would be for anyone hearing someone scream FIRE in a crowded theater would cause everyone to immediately leave without thinking.

It is, to say the least, the last thing someone would naturally do – to run to shots that are being fired; yet, the argument remains – massive casualties occur in these situations when magazines are reloaded. There is an interval space wherein a swarm of unarmed individuals can overwhelm someone’s attempts to reload a weapon.
I would hope that increased concealed carry for responsible gun owners along with better staffing of armed security guards at public venues might now, gain traction; however, much stands in the way of such practices.

In the interim, maybe just increasing national consciousness and remembrance of what Todd Beamer inspired when he yelled, “Let’s Roll” on United Airlines Flight 93 during the attacks of 9/11 might be enough to minimize the next threat.

Let’s hope and pray we don’t have to go there; but, at the same time, let’s not allow wishful thinking to rule the ground of our being.

We cannot always be armed, everywhere. Such is the case going to watch your favorite sport in many venues. If an active shooter situation were to happen in such a place isn’t it high time we begin to ask – is it worth letting another active shooter the opportunity to reload?
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In closing, I offer that “Let’s Roll” be our American battle cry whenever the fickle flying finger of fate reaches out and touches us.

If you think this missive worthy, please pass it forward.

The Adventure continues!
Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny
www.dogbrothers.com

The Tao of the Dog & The Why of Dog Brothers Martial Arts

written by Guro Crafty

I am often asked about the our name, “the Dog Brothers.” It can be explained on many levels, but one of my favorite ways of looking at it can be found in a newspaper article by one Jeff McMahon:

“Most actions of men can be explained by observing a pack of dogs. Not wild dogs, just neighborhood dogs who all scurry under the fence on the same night and set off together to reclaim a glimmer of the glory their species possessed before domestication.”

I think that’s right. The dog is the interface of man and the wolf and we can connect so strongly because our dynamics are so similar. Even as we change the wolf into the dog to suit our purposes, we still need its glimmer as wolf. In some breeds, and in certain individual dogs, the glimmer is brighter than others, and that is why you see an Akita named Zapata in our logo.

I know the Dog Brothers have a good reputation for airing it out pretty well, but we know what we do is well short of combat, death matches of yore in the Philippines, or a policeman going into an abandoned building after a bad guy. It is important not to take oneself too seriously, and I like the way the quote captures a certain perspective on the Dog Brothers. We are not wolves, we are but human dogs.

Still, it is important to be aware of something else too. Yes we are but a pack of dogs, and just like dogs we have territory, and hierarchy, and squabbles over the , , , females. But there is something more. Just like dogs, there is the bond of the pack.

The bond and aggression go hand in hand. ALL animals with individual relationships (wolves, monkeys, geese, dogs, humans etc.) also have aggression. Animals lacking the ability to discriminate between other members of their species, e.g. minnows, do not. The presence of aggression does not always mean that there is a bond with other individuals, but a bond with other individuals always means there is aggression.

Aggression is an instinct, even as sex is an instinct. And just as a man eventually will have a nocturnal emission in the absence of sex, so too aggression will discharge eventually even in the absence of “legitimate” cause. Thus all efforts at eliminating the causes of aggression can be seen in scientific terms as inherently doomed efforts to prevent a instinctual discharge by means of eliminating its typical eliciting stimuli. To the extent that the efforts to eliminate the eliciting stimuli succeed, the discharge of the aggression becomes less predictable and often more dangerous. Skill in aggression will be needed from time to time, especially by those lacking skill and will. The solution is to ground aggression in a ritual expression that also prepares it for functional application.

Aggression has three purposes in nature. First, to spread a species out over territory so as to not overload an eco-system. Amongst humans this is called “war”. Second, for rank within the hierarchy of a social group. All social groups have hierarchy. And third, for reproduction. Classically this means two males fighting over the female, but it also means the female defending her young. If there is no social unit, e.g. Siamese fighting fish, it does not matter that the loser dies, only that the winner breeds. In contrast, in social animals, there is a strong biological benefit if the second and third types of aggression do not damage the loser. This is so that the social unit, (the pack/the tribe), which exists precisely because of its survival value, remains strong.

Most martial arts are usually of the second type of aggression, with overtones of the third: Young males competing. In contrast, the Filipino Martial Arts originate in the first form of aggression, in war. Thus there is a quality of cooperation in the learning process of the FMA that can be distinctive.

How so? If, as a tribe we are going to defend our land, women and children, it is in our respective individual interests that the other warriors of the tribe become good fighters as well. If I push you too hard and break your spirit, it does not serve my interests. If I push you too little and you are soft, it also does not serve my interests. And vice versa.

Dog Brothers Martial Arts is the name that I put to the system of many styles that I have evolved out of what my teachers have taught me, the fighting experiences of all the Dog Brothers and my teaching. Why give it a name? Because to call it something else would be inaccurate. It is its own unique thing.

Why a “system of many styles”? Because fighting is like the children’s game of “rock, paper, scissors” and no one style is for all situations and opponents-not even Top Dog’s style-and in my opinion he is the best stickfighter of our time. Bruce Lee spoke of “No way as way”, and similarly, Sugar Ray Leonard once said “You don’t beat the man, you beat his style.” In other words, you beat him where he has a way. Thus, we seek to specialize in generalizing; the goal being that no matter the situation, we have a game to play instead of a way. DBMA draws upon all the Dog Brothers and those with whom we have fought, and those with whom we have trained. And it is a system because I think we have a coherent way of imparting certain knowledge, understandings, training methods, skills, attributes and techniques towards certain goals.

Many martial arts discuss how there are different mindsets/qualities with which one can defend/fight. Often the names are a bit poetic; Fire, Water, Wind, Rock, Earth, etc. but the point is made that the more realized the fighter is, the better his ability to fluidly shift between them. To be able to do this in the intense adrenal state of a fight is an subtle and evolved thing. Paradoxically, the mental state of Play is the state where this happens best. The further one can enter into the dichotomy of Fight and Play simultaneously, the better. The best fighting is done where the fight is play. Thus, in DBMA we say “Do not have a Way as you Play. Fight the Way you Play. Let your Fight be Play.” To experience this is transformational.

“What Is Play?” in evolutionary biological terms is an interesting question in its own right. It is a state in which deep learning takes place and the training methods of the FMA are of a high order in creating it and teaching it as part of the learning and training process. The competitiveness natural between men can easily kill Play. Abecedario, numerado, sombrada, and carenza are methods with a thousand faces and all help create Play. The process of learning in the FMA way develops powerful understandings and skills for dealing with people outside of a fighting context.

The three FMA teachers from whom we draw most are Guro Dan Inosanto (Inosanto LaCoste Blend) Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje (Pekiti Tirsia Kali) and also Punong Guro Edgar Sulite (Lameco Eskrima). We draw from other FMA teachers and systems too. And we draw from outside of the FMA as well, usually within the framework of the Majapahit Empire.

What’s that? Centuries ago, political boundaries were different and the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Indo-china were part of what was known as the Majapahit Empire. Martial arts from this part of the world tend to have, to use a JKDC term, “common thread” with each other, i.e. there is a shared internal coherency. Thus we can draw from Krabi Krabong from Thailand and it fits. (In this area our lead man is Ajarn Arlan “Salty Dog” Sanford.) We can take from Silat (Pendekar Paul Dethouars) or Bando (Dr. M. Gyi) whatever fits, and so on. We also take from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (the Machado Brothers), because it works, because little of FMA grappling (dumog, buno, etc) has made it to the US, and because chauvinism is counter-productive to the search for Truth.

Most martial arts are basically young males competing. Though we certainly have that too, the idea of DBMA is of a lifelong martial art. Although the Dog Brothers are known for “Real Contact Stickfighting”, DBMA uses the vehicle of learning to fight this way as a means of creating a man who can walk through the entirety of his life as a warrior in his world today.

NOT EVERYONE SHOULD DO REAL CONTACT STICKFIGHTING AND ONLY YOU DECIDE THAT. IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU ARE A KITTY IF YOU DON’T. Whether you do or do not, our mission is for you to learn to fight well for real. Someone with this training should be able to handle himself proficiently in real time with sticks, clubs, knives, staff, improvised weapons and empty hand in all ranges. He should have skills and intelligence for multiple player situations. He should have a clear sense of what he can and cannot do, and be able to assess situations and people well. He should be seasoned in handling his adrenaline and know for what he fights and for what he does not. He should be fit and healthy. This is whether he is a younger man, a middle aged man, or an older man.

And for each of these there is short, middle and long term training, which should be done together in an ever changing blend. One should not try to live permanently in the testosterone frenzy of getting-ready-for-a-fight training, but one should always be of a level of fitness able to apply maximal effort without notice. One needs to train for now and for over the years. This promotes physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual health as well as fighting skill.

To last over the years, one needs to be intelligent-the secret of life is to get smart faster than you get old. If we try to always operate in that young male testosterone frenzy, just like Bruce Lee we’re not going to last very long. In training, there must be the “three Fs” (Not those! Baaad Dogs!) Fun, Fit, and Functional. To be functional, we must be fit and healthy, and what we do to be fit and healthy must be fun to do or we will not do it. Now, “fun” can be a superficial word, but what we really mean is with joy in life-but that would have ruined the alliteration.

The Knowledge that we study of another time and place must serve this time and place. There is the martial and there is the art. As Wild Dog’s daughter Keelin once said to me “Art is the repository of the human wisdom which cannot be expressed in words.” Both the martial and the art are necessary, just as the yin and the yang are necessary to the Tao. The further one can go into each simultaneously, the greater the dichotomy, and the deeper the transformation. Higher Consciousness through Harder Contact.

Woof,
Guro Crafty

Kali For The Cage – Black Belt Magazine Cover Story

written by Guro Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny

Kali Tudo

ONE

Those motivated principally by young male ritual fighting will always be a large percentage of the martial arts world. A very large percentage of them will cease to train as they achieve whatever competitive level that they will and face the prospect of decline.

In contrast, Dog Brothers Martial Arts (DBMA) has as its mission “To Walk as a Warrior for All Your Days”. In our vision, The Path of the Warrior is a path Of Life, and it is For Life. As such, it must embrace all facets of Aggression — not only young male ritual hierarchical fighting.

Read moreKali For The Cage – Black Belt Magazine Cover Story

Birmingham Seminar

written by Krishna Godhania

Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th May. Venue – Newman College, Birmingham, England.

Guro Marc Denny (aka Crafty Dog), the driving force behind the Dog Brothers Martial Arts Association, held a unique two day seminar on his concept of the 7 ranges of stickfighting. Hosted and organized by Pangulong Guro Krishna Godhania, the seminar gave a rare opportunity to train with a modern master of the Filipino Martial Arts. This chance was taken up by world champions and beginners alike and proved an education to all who attended.

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The Laboratory For Stickfighters

written by Burton Richardson

The Dog Brothers have taken theoretical stickfighting and thrown it right into the laboratory using themselves as the guinea pigs.
Science is a fine discipline. The quest for truth guides the scientist to look for new ideas that can tackle old problems. Years of schooling in the basics give the researcher the necessary knowledge to delve deep into his subject and produce new theories. Many martial artists take this same approach toward their respective arts. We train in the basics and eventually reach a level where new combinations, attacks, or defenses are discovered. In the realm of stickfighting, this has been happening for hundreds of years.

Read moreThe Laboratory For Stickfighters

What An Experience

written by Burton Richardson
Martial art is a strange endeavor in our modern society. We strive to better ourselves and understand the art better, but we have one restriction that no other artists have to endure: we are forbidden to truly express the art to its fullest extent.

The arts that we practice are about subduing a violent opponent through various methods under the most stressful conditions when our very life is at risk. Now this is a situation that we are supposed to encounter in the first place. Urban problems do make it more likely that we will find trouble, but most people will go through a lifetime without facing death at the hands of another.

Read moreWhat An Experience

Mad Dogs And An Englishman

written by Paul Taylor

“Mad dogs and an Englishman beat the living daylights out of each other in the mid-day sun.” Apologies to Noel Coward for the misquote, but it seemed so apt.

IN September, 1998, Richard Killick flew to L.A. to fight at the tenth anniversary meeting of the infamous Dog Brothers. In doing so he became the first person from the U.K. to be invited over to participate in the “gathering of the Pack”.

The twice-yearly gatherings are seen as the ultimate test for the serious stick fighter and boast some of the very best exponents in the States. October’s event, held in Hermosa Beach, saw thirty-five such fighters take part and over three hundred spectators.

Read moreMad Dogs And An Englishman