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Topics - Crafty_Dog

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Martial Arts Topics / A sociological study of the Dog Brothers
« on: November 06, 2021, 09:52:03 AM »

Martial Arts Topics / Rambling Rumination: The Altered Space
« on: March 25, 2021, 09:48:17 AM »

March 22, 2015
"The Altered Space" (c)
Crafty Dog
Woof All:

A Dog Brothers Gathering is an experience that takes us into an "altered space" where deep lessons are absorbed and consciousness is moved forward.

How long we choose to remain in this space is up to us and what an interesting choice that is-- for it is clear from the effort we invest to get to this space that this space is deeply important to us.

This is where we learn just which self it is we truly wish to defend-- whether what is learned can be articulated or not.

As we sometimes riff, "Intelligence is the amount of time it takes to forget a lesson."  To forget a lesson is for Life to teach it to you again--as many times as necessary for you to get it.  Learning takes but an instant, it is the NOT learning and the NOT remembering the learning that consumes so much of our time!

For Life to give you new lessons, you must remember the previous ones.

So instead returning to our lives outside of this space as before with the time inside this space but a fleeting memory we choose to remember that which we have learned of the higher consciousness that can come from harder contact.

"Higher consciousness through harder contact" (c) DBI
Crafty Dog

Martial Arts Topics / Rambling Rumination: First Lessons
« on: December 16, 2020, 02:23:59 PM »
Just using this as a place to work on a new Rambling Rumination until I have access to my own computer:


Woof All:

In a superficial way, I've been around firearms for a while now (since about 2004?) and have had some training with some instructors of note, but given that I lived in Los Angeles there were practical barriers to putting in the proper training.   The tendency has been that good lessons tended to gradually vaporize in the absence of proper follow up.

Today I began my firearms training with Sean O'Dowd.

Over the years I have had a number of "first lessons" with a variety of instructors of note and as I was driving home I found myself reflecting on just how influential first lessons with great teachers can be.


In 1989 at a Pekiti Tirsia camp in Tennessee Guro Inosanto introduced me to Punong Guro Edgar Sulite, who had just arrived from the Philippines, and suggested I train with him.

We met at my house in Hermosa Beach.   My first lesson with PG Edgar consisted of two parts.

Knowing of my path with the Dog Brothers (then in a very early stage of development) he read my way of looking things and so he put the Lameco handguard that he had designed on me.  For those not familiar with it, it is both very protective and allows for complete wrist mobility.  The sticks we used were sort of padded and the sparring called for hitting the hand only.

I had never experienced anything like it.   He had crisp, utterly non-telegraphic striking from stillness unlike anything I had ever experienced.  I was utterly dominated.  Despite the strong protective qualities of  the hand guard and the padding on the sticks, my hand was to be swollen for a couple of weeks after.

With that settled, the lesson moved on to beginning the striking patterns he called "Eskrima 1-12".  Later on, when I asked him why he did not call then "Lameco 1-12" he answered "Oh, everyone has these" but somehow the only other system I have seen that did was Kali Illustrisimo, a system of  major  influence on him, so when I teach them in DBMA (I teach only the first five) I name them Lameco 1-5.

For me what made them different was that though like the four PTK power strokes I had learned from Eric (the hourglass that formed tape one of the first Dog Brothers tape in 1993)  they were both vertical and horizontal instead of the diagonal with which most FMA systems begin, they taught going from the horizontal to the vertical with remarkable efficiency, and they integrated footwork (the Ilustrisimo Cross Step) from the very first strokes of the stick. 

Though he did not seem to be moving that fast, somehow I struggled to keep up.  I experienced that, unlike him, my feet were slower than my stick.  Over time I came to understand that this played a major role in how had so decisively handled . 

Those who have trained with me will recognize deep themes from my teaching about "the one for one relationship" between feet and weapon(s), the emphasis on the vertical and horizontal plane of motion and the articulation of the diagonal as a combination of the two, and the use of the Ilustrisimo Cross Step in both stick and empty hand fighting-- all these were present in my first  lesson.


Though we had no idea of what we were doing and though it was well before the UFC Revolution of 1993, from the days of the pre-Dog Brothers "After Midnight Group" at the Inosanto Academy (1986-88)  we allowed grappling.  Propelled by underground video, rumors of Gracie Jiu Jitsu had floated around for a few years, and under Yorinaga Nakamura Japanese Shootfighting was beginning to make an appearance.  Inosanto Academy friend Chris Haueter, who over the years has risen to 5th degree BB under Rigan Machado introduced me to the five Machado Brothers in the summer of 1990.

The classic BJJ teaching progression begins with countering the mount position, but my immediate problems were Salty Dog Arlan Sanford, whose strength greatly exceeded mine, grabbing me by the head and throwing me down and Top Dog Eric Knaus bowling me over with a flying roof block and fang choking me out of a head lock (kesa gatame) on the ground.

To be continued

Virtual Class will meet as usual at 12:00 CA time this Sunday.

This week's subject is "Clubs, Bats, and Related Items for Dealing With a Cranky Crowd of Scurrilous Scum"

Contact Ashley Sage for sign up info.

Martial Arts Topics / I get tased by Southnark 2007?
« on: June 22, 2020, 03:41:19 PM »
Woof All:

Here for the first time in public, is me getting tased by Southnark Craig Douglas, I'm guessing circa 2007.

The context is a "bunch of reality based self-defense instructors under one roof in one weekend" context.  (Craig Douglas, Gabe Suarez, and many others).  At group dinner Craig asked me if I wanted to go for the taser ride.  I said "Sure, but not at dinner" so the next day he sought me out with a bunch of people in tow to see how I would respond.   The results are as you see here. 

Old technology, so sorry for the low quality.


Martial Arts Topics / Rambling Rumination: Going Nitrous
« on: October 07, 2019, 09:01:35 AM »
First draft-- this will probably get some tinkering , , ,

Woof All:

One day back when we were working together at the RAW Gym in El Segundo (a world class MMA gym in those days) in the mid 2000s, (so I would be in my early-mid 50s and still pretty close to the fighting shape of my DB years) I was watching my friend Chris Gizzi (the Green B1ay Packer linebacker you see in "Kali-Tudo 1" who is now the strength and conditioning coach for the Packers) work with a San Diego Charger lineman (6'7", 290 lbs) to help him get ready for Camp.

Chris called me over and said to the man "Marc knows kung fu."

Uh oh , , ,

Some friendly banter ensued and somehow we wound up doing a bit of friendly slap boxing. Obviously the man could have splattered me; fortunately he dialed down to where I could play too. I pulled off a really slick move (the one I focus on in Kali Tudo-3) and he complimented me. "I've never seen that before. Let's do some more." Then he timed me with a cross like I have never been timed and I complimented him.

"That was a Lennox Lewis cross." (LL was a heavyweight boxing champ for a time).

"Pray tell, what makes it a LL cross?"

He shared the answer with me.

Afterwards, Chris asked me how I thought I would do in a real fight with one of his NFL buddies. I hemmed and hawed, and Chris said to me "A lot of these guys are from really tough backgrounds. They may not have formal fight training, but they've been in lots of fights. They are great athletes who are real comfortable with contact. They will "go nitrous" at you for about forty five seconds and then they will gas out. The question is whether you can survive the forty five seconds."

A few weeks later Chris was working with another of his NFL buddies. This one was about 6' and 260 lbs. Again Chris playfully set up a friendly engagement. We agreed that I would not be able to stop the man from tackling me (Duh!!!) and agreed to assume I would survive the tackle by guiding him into my guard (in the real world not a given!), so the game began with us with MMA gloves on and him in my guard.

As Chris had predicted he surged forward with moderate contact simulating continuous violent punches. I could feel that, as Chris had predicted, he had no martial arts training so I was able to walk on my upper back and shoulders by pressing on his head and traps so as to keep his head low on my body. Almost nothing landed. After about forty five seconds he gassed and I began simulating some elbow spikes on his head. We smiled and shook hands and from the sidelines Chris gave me a wink.

As I got up and walked away one of the pro fighters in the gym gave me a little fist bump of respect-- the old man had represented the gym well-- a moment I cherish.

Over the years since then (15?!?) I have reflected on this matter of "going nitrous" and its role in fighting. About ten years ago, I started working on my 100' dash at the football field at the high school at the end of the block where I live.

At first I was stunned to realize how many years it was since I had explosively exerted myself. At first, my times were hideous (22 seconds or so). Gradually I worked down to being consistently in the mid to low 15s, with one glorious day where I hit 14.24 (ideal conditions: Chinese massage two days before, really good night's sleep, great bowel movement that morning haha, etc).

Then hip arthritis became a problem and to avoid injury I stopped sprinting. Eventually after a few years of this, in December 2017 I had the hip replaced. Amazing! Wish I had done it sooner!

When it became time to sprint again (spring 2019), my first time coming back I was at 18.10. A pleasant surprise-- not as bad as I had feared it would be-- and in a month I was down to 16.40. I had visions of getting back into the 15s in fairly short order.

Then a long term issue caught up with me. Apparently my right shoulder issues were due to the development of a rather substantial bone spur and in June at the DBMA Camp it finishes fraying its way through the supraspinatus tendon. #$%^#$%^!!! Very painful @#$%@#$%!!!

Having trained my way out of many injuries over the years, it took me about six weeks to realize that whatever it was it was something I was not going to be able to fix on my own and I went to see my surgeon who promptly diagnosed it.

Surgery was August 16 and this was followed up by six weeks in a high tech sling and a lot of pain. (God bless percocet and prunes!) The sling came off about two weeks ago-- what a blessing to be able to move my arms in natural counter balance to my footwork! With this, I returned to my basic agility drills at the football field.

Last week I worked up to lightly sprinting, and this week I did it for time. I did not push myself, the shoulder is still tender and I did not want to irritate it, but even so I hit 19.04. Given the seriously diminished level of activity for the last few months, actually I was rather pleased.

The point is not to impress with my times-- for they are not impressive. The point is to stay in touch with and develop as best as we can our ability to "Go nitrous". If we compare ourselves to others as we get older it can be easy to become demotivated as we fall into the mind trap of young male hierarchical competition , , , and quit.

Around DBMA we say "If you ain't the lead sled dog the view is all the same. No one beats everyone all the time. Everyone looks at someone's butt sometimes. So be not humble and be not proud; respect others as you respect yourself."

In DBMA we define our mission as "To walk as warriors for all our days". One piece of that is to know what your nitrous burst is. Without knowing that it can be hard to assess well your best course of action in a given moment.

I remember watching Guro Inosanto go really hard on the Muay Thai bag for 45 minutes non-stop some years back (his Academy on Rayford in Playa del Rey). We watched with jaws hanging. I went up to him afterwords and he said to me "It is good to stay in touch with where you are really at."

Exactly so!

And so I continue my 100' dash work. At the moment I am confident I can get back into the 16s and aspire to the 15s. I aspire to to getting to where I feel like working the 220 and the 440 as well.

I am just an old man having a good time , , , and if I should ever have to "pull the trigger and go nitrous" I will know what I can do.

The Adventure continues!
Crafty Dog Marc Denny

Martial Arts Topics / Kali Tudo 4 available now!
« on: September 09, 2019, 10:24:55 PM »

Martial Arts Topics / Irish Interview
« on: February 19, 2019, 07:58:47 AM »


Interview with Guro Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny of Dog Brothers Martial Arts.
Part 1:

HENRY:   First of all Marc I would like to say thanks for taking time out of your schedule for the interview and also thanks to Guro Liam McDonald for hosting these wonderful series of Seminars.  Hopefully I am going to discuss with you where the Dog Brothers are now and where they are going forward.  The Dog Brothers are pretty much recognised in the Martial Arts world for Full-Contact sticking fighting and the creed of “Higher consciousness through harder contact” ©, but one of the most recent evolutions I would like to talk to you about would be the DLO or “Die Less Often” material, and I was wondering if I would like to talk about its origins.

MARC:   Sure.  I’d like to begin by distinguishing between the “Dog Brothers” and “Dog Brothers Martial Arts” (DBMA).  The Dog Brothers are a band of sweaty, smelly, psychopaths with sticks dedicated to the proposition of “Higher consciousness through harder contact”.  I am the “Guiding Force” of “The Dog Brothers”.   Dog Brothers Martial Arts is the vehicle through which I do my teaching and is a separate thing.  I earn my living through Dog Brother Martial Arts.  In “the Dog Brothers” nobody pays any money, you don’t have to train DBMA, it is open to all people who have good spirit and heart.

In Dog Brother Martial Arts, DLO is one of three main categories. The first category is what we call “Real Contact Stick Fighting”, the distinction between “real contact” and “full contact” dating back to Tournament Eskrima, which was having these tournaments with padded sticks, padded people, padded everything.  We use the term “real contact” to distinguish from “full contact”.    As best as I can tell the organizers of the Full Contact eskrima tournaments chose the term in an effort to capture some reflected credibility  from the “Professional Kickboxing Association”  which was the first step beyond the tournament era of karate . They used boxing gloves with kicks above the waist only.  Anyway,  the first area is the “real contact stick fighting”.

The second area of DBMA is the empty hand and our sub-system that we call “Kali Tudo” ™.  With American pronunciation rhyming “Vale” and “Kali” the name becomes a bad pun on blending “Kali” and the Brazilian term “Vale Tudo”  (the latin root being “Valid Total” i.e. “Anything Goes”).  Vale Tudo is what was done in Brazil before the UFC and in the early days of the UFC. Vale Tudo is the crucible in which Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was forged.   I respect Vale Tudo greatly incorporate those parts of it which meet the criteria of our third area in DBMA, which I call “Die Less Often” which is why the word “Tudo” appears in the name.

My impulse to develop “Kali Tudo” had its origins in a pretty big brouhaha in late nineties on the internet which crashed into Guro Dan Inosanto’s forum.  There was a group of people who were part of the “Live” movement that said the Filipino Martial Arts were a bunch of “Dead Patterns”. 

Some people said to me that there was a group talking “smack” about Guro Dan’s teaching on his forum, So I went over to see what was going on, I looked at it…How to put it..mmm…Yes there are people who knew these patterns that do not fight, absolutely true.  But my thought is that unlike America if we look to the Philippines these patterns and training methods were not practiced by people who didn’t know anything about fighting-they already had the fighters understanding be it from stick fighting in the cockfighting pits on Friday night,  from real fights, or from war itself.

Let me give you and example with regard to war: Grandmaster Leo Giron saw a lot of close quarter life and death combat with the Japanese soldiers in the jungles of Luzon, during WW2.

As a matter of evidence of what I’m saying I would draw people’s attention to our DVD “The Grandfather’s Speak” wherein there is a 28 minute piece on Grandmaster Giron based around with an interview I did with him in his basement in the early 90s -- there’s some remarkable footage in there as well. He spoke of General McArthur and being in part of the “Bolo Battalion”, 1st and 2nd “Bolo Battalions” which were formed in California from the Filipino Community living there. He was trained I believe in Australia, and then because he was originally from Luzon he was sent to Luzon.  It was like something from a WW2 movie: the submarine comes up at night; the rubber dingy rows ashore; and so forth.  He was part of a squad which was sent to observe the Japanese and to report back to General McArthur and to harass the enemy.   As part of harassing the enemy, there were in many engagements at close quarters in the jungle.

At night they would have a bolo in one hand and a revolver in the other hand.  As much as possible they did not want to use the gun, because the flash from the muzzle could give away their positions.  They would much rather the Japanese stumble around in the dark jungle at night while they killed them with the bolos.  In the interview GM Giron tells of how they had a “triangular three man formation” where the best man points at the Japanese line.   The Japanese officers would say “The enemy is over there somewhere.  Go get them”.   The Japanese had long rifles and with long bayonets

HENRY: Yeah, I’ve seen some of them (the bayonets) almost half the size of a katana; a lot of reach with it as well.

MARC:  Yeah, it must have been scary to have that charging at you in the heavy jungle at night!  GM Giron said “Well yeah, there was this one time I miscalculated on my parry with the bayonet, see this scar here on my palm, and so I cut his arm off at the elbow” (smiles) and the idea was that even with the forward momentum even though he hadn’t finished the kill, is that he would send him to the man behind either to the right or left to finish the kill.   In my opinion this man has earned his opinions, and simple fact is that the methods he taught as part of Largo Mano Arnis were methods he used to sharpen his skills between engagements.   I can’t picture telling such a man that he practiced “dead patterns”!

He wasn’t looking to go out on a mission all “banged up”.  Having weaponry fighting as part of the training method would have meant his trigger finger could get “dinged up” or worse-these are training methods for men who were already warriors-- this is the bottom point.

On the other hand, as the Art came to the USA (principally via Filipino agricultural workers in the central valley of California, centered in Stockton) a lot the people who were attracted to the Filipino Martial Arts were not really the fighting end of the spectrum.   People in the USA who wanted to fight were in boxing, kickboxing, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu etc. so a lot of the people doing the art when it first arrived, I’m speaking about the Americans, wanted to play these drills and games.

With the Filipino culture being the way it is, nothing was forced upon them; after all “Why would anyone want to get hit with sticks right?” (Smiles, laughs)

So it was in this context the Dog Brothers came into being.   We had read the stories about war and about the death matches and were wondering what really happens.   We wanted there to be Truth in our Art.

 So with that as a background, let us return to the brouhaha on Guro Dan Inosanto’s forum.   I said all of the best fighters in the Dog Brothers have this training and that is the simple fact of it.  People who try to bypass this simply fight on athleticism and just didn’t reach the higher levels.

 We had been approached by the early UFC when it was still “Eight men enter, one man leaves” about being a special event between the semi-finals  and the finals, but when they really saw what we do, they turned us down for being “just too extreme” so it was hard for the other folks to say we lacked fighting credibility.

The conversation went back and forth and somewhere it was part of the conversation, the matter of the assertion that the movement of the hands are like the movement of the weapons came up, and someone said “Why don’t we see this movement in the Cage or the UFC?”

Now, I had been following the UFC since its beginning;  I had started Machado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 1990-- about three years before the first UFC.  When Eric (Top Dog) and I worked with one of the SEAL teams in 1991 in the run-up to the Gulf War, we took Rigan Machado with us.  In short I was aware of what was about to happen.  In the aftermath of the UFC going to a format where judges were required I was razzing Art Davie about some of the judges they were choosing.   He agreed and said to me “Hell, you guys are already doing this with sticks, you’d make a better judge.”

“So, Art, make me a judge.”

And so he did!

And that was how I became a judge at UFC 10 (Mark Coleman took the title from Don Frye)  I have a story sitting in the bar with Tank Abbot the night before UFC 10.  Scary Guy!!!

The point being from the beginning I have had a pretty rounded sense of what that type of fighting is about.  I have always respected it.  I know how good these people are!

I know some people tried answering this question of “Where’s the Kali?” with “I’d pluck his eye out, I’d grab his throat.  This is too deadly for a combat sport!” but in my opinion that answer tends to be an evasion of the truth.   In short, it seemed fair to me to ask why we were not seeing this in the cage.

It would have to be modified in certain respects to stay within the context of the evolving rules of MMA, but to my way of thinking if we could not a form of modified Kali that did measure up in the context of MMA, then there was a problem with the claim.

So I decided to begin researching this.

.  At this time I was about 52 but I was still in pretty decent shape (I had fought  Dog Brothers until I was 48) so I started training at a gym called the R.A.W Gym (Real American Wrestling) with Rico Chiapparelli, Vladimir Matyushenko, Frank Trigg,  and a young Lyoto Machida.  Rico was two time world wrestling champion under Dan Gable, Vlady had been wrestling champion of Russia and went the distance with Tito Ortiz for the UFC title, Frank Trigg went three times for the UFC middleweight title, and Lyoto was up and coming.  In other words this was a very serious MMA gym, with serious amateur as well as professional fighters.

Given my age the fighters adjusted their level of physicality to me, they were very good with me.  But at the same time it was active play, so I began doing these strange things in sparring, so when you first go out there and start doing these weird movements the whole gym stops and looks,…you see some expressions saying “I didn’t know they still made idiots like this” and you know if you go out and look like a fool they will be telling stories about you for the next 10, 20 years!

But fortunately there were some moments which seemed to go pretty well and I became encouraged and began exploring further.   This was the beginning of ”Kali Tudo”.


One of the main reasons “Kali Tudo” seems important to me was what it offered for the third area of DBMA:  the interface of Gun, knife and Empty-hand, which we call “Die Less Often”.

Most young males who come to martial arts are looking to compete (young male ritual hierarchical combat), whereas my motivation originated in growing up in New York City.  I remember those three guys who smashed my bicycle, or when three junkies were trying to corner me on the subway in the Bronx after dropping off Yolanda. This was more my motivation for the martial arts-- street assaults with the possibility of uneven numbers, and this  what brought me to Kali.

In those types of situation there is typically not enough time to discern whether that hand coming at you has weapon.

I experience that in the spring of 78 when I was down in Mexico with a friend.  We were travelling near Chiapas which is close to Guatemala ande picked up two American girls with blonde hair.  Some of the local Mexicans were excited by these girls, wearing no bra’s underneath their shirts, we got into trouble, we went to the police they ran away and could do’s a great story. There were broken coke bottles, if you don’t know what to do you don’t know what to do…  We wound up spending three exciting days in the State Prison

Henry: Yeah, the “Fog of War”…

Marc: Indeed!  Fortunately everything worked out in the end.   In these kinds of situations you can’t say “Oh this is a fist so I am going to do an empty-hand response” or “Oh he’s got a coke, bottle, a knife, car antenna so I’m going to do a different response.” 

In my opinion there is a profoundly important advantage of having one idiom of movement whether there is a weapon or not.  This thought has been my central drive towards developing “Kali Tudo”.

 Furthermore I think It offers real advantage to serious MMA players.  Of course you have to have the other skills too in the game (ground work etc.), but having tested this idiom of movement in the adrenal state they can go on to use it in Die Less Often situations.


This, at long last brings me to the answer to the question of why we have not seen Kali in the Cage-- you will only do in the adrenal state that which you have tested in adrenal state. For those who have seen our DLO DVD Vol 1, there is a scene with a BJJ black-belt watching knife versus empty-hand scenarios working, then he came up to me and said “couldn’t you just use a double leg take-down?”

 “Well”, I said “Lets find out”.

The camera recorded his liability waiver and my permission to use the footage, and there he is with his t-shirt emblazoned “Tap or Nap”.  So we went into the scenario with the knife, he executed a magnificent double leg takedown-he also got stabbed 8 times in the neck with the training knife.  It makes you wonder how anyone could be so clueless, actually watching the scenarios and it still occurred to him to do the double leg takedown and the answer is this…that is what he had tested in the adrenal state and he was supremely confident in this, and this I believe people will do what they have tested in the adrenal state even if it’s a different context.

HENRY: Yeah, I have the DVD at home and one of the things I like about it is the whole problem solving approach, where you look at something in the “true light of day” and then try to assess the problem and if the crap literally hits the fan you have a follow on strategy or an exit strategy .

MARC:  Yes, exactly!  Sorry for jumping around so much, but to summarize, people will do in the adrenal state what they have tested in the adrenal state, so if someone has great Kali skills and has not tested them in the adrenal state they will not use them in an adrenal situation, that’s the first part of the answer.


Still, we have a bunch of people who have fought Dog Brother Gatherings and fought in MMA, but when they fight in MMA they are using their Kali movements.  If we are to be honest with ourselves we must say this presents the question “Why?”

In my opinion, the answer why is that they fought single stick and single stick movements make a lot less sense in a mixed martial arts fight than double stick movements.

In my particular case starting around 1995 I shifted from being a single-stick fighter to double-stick, I think I was much better as a fighter and much more successful as a double-stick fighter, so I had tested double-sticks in the adrenal realities in the Dog Brothers fights and had hit people with it. So, I Started experimenting in the RAW Gym and it continued forward using those same movements with my arms and hitting their arms as a way of getting to them.

One of the things which I think DBMA has developed and which many people see to find value is the art and science at getting to the true range at which a fight begins, entering into the inner ranges.  In the science of closing are the certain thought processes integrating the ranges, triangles, the theory of the 7 ranges and so forth.  Basically I was using that in the context of Kali Tudo.  I started sharing that info, with people who started reporting back this guy is giving me problems.   Of course you can use this to help you prevent someone closing on you too.

HENRY: Yeah, following on from that regarding range, I recently came across some footage from an old film from the 1980’s called “Surviving edged weapons” with Tuhon Leo T. Gaje and Guro Dan Inosanto, and talking about the 21ft rule, a lot the interrogation which you demonstrate with Gabe Suarez involves within speaking range, has the emphasis changed or Police officers or LEO’s more willing to accept these tools to their “Tool-Bags”, i.e. the idea of the use of empty-hand before deploying the weapon? Are they becoming more open to these ideas.

Marc: well first of all I’d like to state tangentially myself and Gabe Suarez are no longer involved with each other, which has been the case for 4 years now. Currently, I have recently teamed up with a man by the name of Frankie McCrae (Raidon Tactics) who until recently was the advanced firearms instructor for the special forces at Fort Bragg.

Frankie has seen a lot of action in this world within recent years.  We’ve been exchanging.  He’s taken stance I’ve been using for shooting (even though I’m a poor shooter). You’ve got the isosceles stance, the weaver stance, “Hell” he said “Why not name it after you?”  So he named it the “Crafty Dog Stance”. So he’s now using it in his pistol shooting classes as he feels it offers better recoil absorption, things for work when a person is in combat e.g. access to his rifle, knife, etc.

Just getting back to the 21ft rule and trying to solve the knife and drawing the gun, in DLO Vol. 2 that was one of the themes, you can see you cannot solve the knife attack and draw the gun at the same time. You’re either drawing and moving but there comes a point if you’re too close for that, you simply have to solve the knife attack, to the point where you have sufficient angle, you can’t do both at the same, its problematic.

HENRY: just going back to the Kali-Tudo, is there any up and coming MMA stars training with you for this or do you have a stable or group of fighters from DBMA working on this?

MARC: I’m working with a number of people.  Right now, I’m working with Pedro Munhoz.  and

Also I have a bunch of my guys which have done very well and been successful in the amateur contests.  In the Kali Tudo DVD 3 the guest instructor is Kenny Johnson, who is the wrestling coach to BJ Penn, Anderson Silva, the Noguiera Brothers, and others.  These are all top flight class names in mixed martial arts.

The way the connection with Kenny came about was that I knew Kenny through the RAW gym and running into each other at Rigan Machado’s place.  (I received my BJJ brown belt from Rigan)  I was having problems with two wrestling issues.  There was a positions which I was working with which I had learned from Rico Chiaparelli and, people were getting squared up on me and also my underhooks were really bad, I said “hey Kenny, can I get a private with you and see if you can help me with these position that are difficult for me.  In the context of this lesson and what resulted he was very interested in what I was doing.

So this is a guy moving with Athletes of the level I just named, and he felt that he was very intrigued, so that’s how we began collaborating and I brought him in on Kali-Tudo 3 because one of the potential weaknesses of the Kali Tudo is that it’s so strong on the high-line is that we might be vulnerable to somebody who drops and shoots on the low-line, and If I wanted our people to have good sound foundation in basics such as the sprawl and so forth, and in making sure that they would not get into trouble against this particular type of counter.

I would like to point out that we use more than the sprawl for countering the shoot.  Sitting with me here at the moment is Dog Matt Tucker, I was just showing him the Kali Tudo response to the “drop and shoot” but that has not been revealed yet to the general public, it’s actually from Lameco Eskrima. People on whom I’ve done it have been very surprised.

So getting back to the question, are there any upcoming players?  Kali Tudo has merit, but is it or Kali a complete MMA game?  No it is not.. you need to have what I call the “Joe Generic” MMA game, you need to able do Muay Thai, you need to able to do the basics of Greco-Roman and  wrestling, the basics for Jiu-Jitsu, you need all of these other things too.  But if you have those basics I think it can add in a lot MMA.

End Part 1

Martial Arts Topics / DBMA Christmas Sale
« on: December 16, 2018, 02:10:42 PM »

Martial Arts Topics / 2007 Article: The Seven Ranges of Stick Fighting
« on: October 17, 2018, 12:43:40 PM »

The Seven Ranges of Stickfighting by Guro Crafty

In the United States today, and perhaps in the United Kingdom as well, most Filipino Martial Arts systems and styles teach the concept of range by breaking it down into the three ranges of Largo, Medio, and Corto.  These are usually translated as long range, mid-range, and close range. Some systems prefer one range, some prefer another, some prefer to work all three equally.  For example the very name of the Lameco Eskrima system  was derived by taking the first two letters of each of these ranges: LArgo; MEdio; and COrto.

Largo is usually defined as the distance where you can strike your opponent's weapon hand or he yours. Medio is usually defined as the distance where you can strike your opponent's head or body and your live hand (the empty hand when fighting with single stick) can check/trap the opponent's limb. Corto is the distance where the butt of the stick and the live hand can strike the opponent's head/body.

For most teaching purposes here in the US these ranges suffice. Yet it is known that some systems in the Philippines organized around more than three ranges. Unable to imagine anything else, the general assumption here in the US seems to have been that these ranges must be subdivisions of the basic three and as such, possibly too nitpicky.

Those of us a bit longer in the tooth may remember a cover story in Inside Kung Fu on Guro Dan Inosanto in the early 1980s in his capacity as a teacher of Filipino Arts. In the article, there are fotos of him demonstrating much more than the three generic ranges. Similarly, in my very brief but valuable to me training with Grandmaster Ramiro Estalilla of Kabaroan Eskrima I have been exposed to a concept of range very different from that of the three generic ranges.

I mention these examples because I wish to make it clear that although the Dog Brothers Martial Arts expression of seven ranges may be distinctive, and, we hope of value, there is no claim to be the only one with more than the three basic ranges, nor is there a claim to be better than those with three.

In our first series of videos "Real Contact Stickfighting" featuring Eric "Top Dog" Knaus, our best fighter and in my opinion the best stickfighter of our time, I organized the tapes around a concept of "If you see it taught, you see it fought." We did the fights in those tapes several years before the UFC. At that time, most of the FMA being taught in the US had drifted away from the "martial" and more towards the "art" end of the spectrum. I believe that this was necessary for the art to take root in the US. As my teacher has pointed out when he talks to us in class, most Americans will not last under the teaching style of many of the teachers from the Philippines.

But what happened when our tapes came out and I began to travel around a bit was that I became aware that many people had concluded that because they did not see the "artsy stuff" in our fights, that as far as application went everything they had been taught was malarkey. Many of those who brought considerable training skills to their fighting without much success also blamed their training. Many people concluded that this was also was the Dog Brother message. Although I readily understand how some people came to such conclusions, I feel that these conclusions are mistaken, especially that regarding the Dog Brothers message.

All of what we call "the first tier fighters" of the Original Dog Brothers (Top Dog, Salty Dog, Sled Dog, and myself) have considerable training from some of the finest Filipino teachers in the world: Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje of Pekiti Tirsia, the legendary Guro Dan Inosanto, and the late Punong Guro Edgar Sulite in particular. The message of the first tape series was directed at what we perceived to be the weak link of most FMA practitioners in the US at the time that we made the videos (1992) which was a lack of hard work on the basics done with a fighter's understanding.

This matter of "the fighter's understanding" also explains the matter of skill in training not necessarily yielding skill in fighting. In the Philippines, people understood the meaning of the training because they had at least SEEN stickfights-often on Friday nights after the cockfight pits, there would be stickfighting after the cockfights were over. Just as someone can practically benefit from training in Muay Thai without getting in the ring for a full bore Muay Thai fight, so too in the Philippines training in the art could benefit those who were not actually fighters/warriors.

In contrast however, when the art came to the US, virtually all practitioners had never even seen a stickfight, let alone been in one. Football (i.e. American football) players benefit from walking through plays, but if you went to somewhere they had never seen football (Outer Mongolia?) and had them walk through some plays from the Denver Broncos playbook and said "If you are ever in a game, then this is what you do," then that first game may not go too well. We need to remember that THESE TRAINING METHODS WERE DEVELOPED IN THE PHILIPPINES BY THOSE WHO ALREADY WERE WARRIORS TO TRAIN WELL AND SAFELY. HERE IN THE UNITED STATES MANY HAVE TRIED TO USE THEM TO DEVELOP WARRIORS, WHICH IS AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT TASK, AND BLAME THE METHODS INSTEAD OF OURSELVES WHEN WE STILL CAN'T FIGHT.

Thus, in organizing the first Dog Brothers' video series, I made a deliberate decision to organize the material principally around solo training and communicating something about the essence of fights with sticks. This does NOT mean that the plethora of two man training methods of the various FMA are not relevant. It just means they weren't in the videos!

But still I thought about why people can have good training skills but not have them appear when they fight.  What I realized was that most people train in two man drills and that the drills are principally in either Media or Corto range yet WHEN THE FIGHT STARTS IT STARTS OUTSIDE OF LARGO and most people, beyond trying to be quicker and/or more powerful, haven't a clue as to what to do out there or how to get to the ranges where their skills lie IN COMPOSED BALANCE. Thus, often little or none of their cultivated skills show up in their fighting. This thought was the beginning of the understanding that led to the seven ranges.

So lets look at them. Two of the seven ranges lie outside of largo-medio-corto, and two lie inside. These ranges do not bump up against each other like bricks, instead, rather like the links of a chain, they overlap. Understand too that this is all only "a manner of talking" and should not be taken too literally. To use the JKD metaphor, once the canoe gets you across the river, you do not need to carry it on your back as you continue on your way. Fights are dynamic and in application the ranges blend freely.

SNAKE RANGE: As I have studied and been hit by Top Dog over the years I have come to appreciate that he has a unique way of moving before contact is made, both in stickwork and footwork, that distinguishes him from all other fighters I have seen, even ones trained in the same system as him (Pekiti Tirsia).   

Recently I have come to attribute this to his time in high school playing the sport of Lacrosse.  If I have my history right, Lacrosse was an already well-establish sport amongst the Iriquois Confederacy at the time that the English first arrived in North America.  In a rare moment of historical accuracy in a Hollywood film, this was acknowledged in one of the first scenes in the movie "Last of the Mohicans" wherein at a settlement the Native Americans can be seen with sticks with a small net/basket at one end playing a game in the field.

The game today is played principally in the schools of the northeastern states of America, but in the last few years it is beginning to spread further.  Indeed I am delighted that here in Southern California that there is a league in which my seven year old son has begun playing.

In its modern sport incarnation, the players wear a helmet with a mask that is something like a hockey helmet.  There is upper body protection similar to, but decidedly less protective than that of American football.  There are elbow pads and gloves similar to those of "street hockey" (i.e. dramatically lighter than ice hockey).  The game allows strong frontal checking and use of one's stick to strike the stick of the man with the ball so as to knock it out of is basket.   The protective gear is for the errant strikes that are a normal part of play.

Thus players with the ball learn "to cradle" a continuous movement of the their stick to protect if from being hit or if it is hit, to protect the ball from being knocked out of the basket while running/crashing through the opposing team towards the goal.  Cradling is also used to fake defenders into committing too soon, thus enabling passes to team mates or shots on goal on other lines.  The speed of the game at the high school, university, and now professional level needs to be seen to be truly appreciated.

My theory is that the evasive and crashing running of Lacrosse done in conjunction with the cradling motions of the Lacrosse stick, is the origin of Top Dog's distinctive stick movement.

Anyway, I like putting nicknames to things, and to the sinuous, flowing quality of Top Dog's stick movement, I put the name "the snakey stick". This has nothing to do with "snake disarms"-- this is the Filipino Martial Arts after all and consistent use of terminology is prohibited!

In DBMA, we define "The Snake" as "the skill of moving your stick to protect your hand, hide your intent, create your opening, and mask your initiation." Although the starting point is based upon what Top Dog does, we also draw upon the movements of several other quality fighters as well. No one structure, even that of "the best", works best for everyone and no one structure solves all problems.

The material of Snake range in our curriculum also includes how to analyze and solve your opponent's structure. If you can quickly recognize your opponent's structure and already know its basic strengths and weaknesses, you have less choices to make and hence can react more quickly and confidently.

It is also important to remember that there are times in a fight, as well as situations in the street, that one wants to avoid engagement and to keep the opponent(s) away. This development of this skill is also part of our curriculum for Snake range.

WEAPON RANGE:  Weapon Range is still outside of largo. It is the range where the weapons strike each other.  The shorter the weapons, e.g. folding knives, the less relevant this range. In your basic stickfight, depending upon the dynamics this can be an important range in the hands of a fighter who understands it, but even then not necessarily so. However, when the weapons are longer it is likely to be essential. For example, when two men of roughly equal skill face of with staffs, it is probable that the weapons will make contact with each other before anyone is actually hit.

Within Weapon Range there are three basic sub-categories: meet the force, merge the force, and follow the force. Most readers probably understand meet the force, and some will already appreciate that a follow the force is not so likely on an initial strike of an exchange, but may be unfamiliar with what we call "merging". My awareness on this point was triggered by Grand Master Ramiro Estalilla, whose very interesting Kabaroan system has many longer weapons, some of which are sometimes thrown.  Simply put, a merge is, as we use the term in DBMA, where the force of my strike on my opponent's weapon is approximately at an angle of 90 degrees to the line of force of his strike, i.e. halfway between meet and merge. The purpose of a merge is to knock your opponent's weapon off course and disrupt his control of it so as to create an opening for your follow up strike. There are even angles where disarms can be accomplished by mere impact on the weapon. A scientific understanding of this range can open the door to a composed, balanced entry into the hitting ranges (largo/medio/corto). This is very valuable.

Now lets take a look at the ranges inside of Largo/Medio/Corto

CLINCH/STANDING GRAPPLE: Exactly as it is named, this is where both fighters are tied up while standing. As defined in DBMA, Corto can be a similar distance, although it is usually a little bit further, but it has a very different dynamic; there, apart from the possibility of trapping, the fighters are not holding on to each other. Here, by definition, they are.

In Real Contact Stickfighting almost all entries to the clinch/standing grapple are on the high line. To try to shoot low from the greater distance of a stickfight is to expose the top or back of one's head to a full force stick shot. Because of the requirements of coming in with one's head protected, the arm positions of the tie-up are often somewhat different from emptyhand standing grapple. There are important differences in the dynamics as well, as anyone who has gotten cracked in the head with a punyo (butt strike), thrust in the belly, whacked in the third leg with the stick, "fang choked" with the stick, or thrown with the stick can attest. Furthermore, in a stickfight it is not uncommon for a standing grapple to open out back into the striking ranges. These differences do not change the fact that the skills of a stickfighting standing grapple must be on top of a good base-you ignore the emptyhand standing grapple game at your peril.

GROUND GRAPPLE: Again, the name is self-explanatory. DBMA Stickgrappling is like a game of pinball when three balls are released at once. If you pay too much attention to one ball, you lose track of the others and down the chute they go. Similarly, in stickgrappling there are the three simultaneous games of Kali, empty hand, and stickgrappling-and just like that pinball game you can rack up some really big points if you can keep track of all three.

For example, if the man is in your guard and seeks to post as an initiation to a pass of your guard as he would in empty hand, play Kali and just crack him in the elbow with your punyo and bring him to you, where you can play stickgrappling and choke him with the stick. A stickgrappling guard can be very aggressive.

In stickgrappling in is very common for one or both fighters to be disarmed or to lose a stick and then regain it by picking it up from where it lies. Thus there is a often dynamic where only one fighter or the other has a stick. Ambidexterity is also highly useful. And, as in the standing grapple, ground grapple often opens back out into the striking ranges too.

As a teacher as well as a fighter, it has been my experience that this concept of seven ranges is of great practical use. A fighter trained in these additional ranges will have both the skills and understanding of these ranges. He will not be baffled at how to get to where his Largo-Medio-Corto skills apply. He will have a more composed mind and clearer sense of mission of how to get into these ranges technically and with the composure necessary to make his opponent feel "the wrath of the rattan." Similarly, when the fight gets tied up, he has the skills and understanding to respond more fluidly and spontaneously

Stay tuned!

Martial Arts Topics / DBMA Videos
« on: October 02, 2018, 01:00:56 PM »

Martial Arts Topics / 2018 Euro Dog Brothers
« on: August 17, 2018, 01:32:35 PM »

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Martial Arts Topics / Moral Issues in Teaching Knife
« on: February 27, 2018, 11:38:10 AM »
Woof All:

With my development of the Chupacbra knife system, and the current conversation about the moral environment that produces people such as Nikoas Cruz, these issues come to mind for me , , ,

PG Crafty

Tuhon Bill McGrath

Something I wrote in 2004-- it is rough and unpolished:

Secrets and the Umali Affair
By Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny (c)

Part One:


A few years back a man known for manufacturing sharp knives and I were chatting on the phone. He asked why I didn't teach "the good stuff" for knife the way I did for stick. I hemmed and hawed and finally replied that knife was about killing. "So what?" he asked, "Anyone who wants to kill can just get a gun."

I had to admit that this was true. Yet although I had no good response I was not persuaded. Holding a conclusion that one cannot justify is usually a sign that additional thinking would be a good idea.


The idea of "secrets", of holding back certain knowledge and/or certain training, is as old as the martial arts. The martial arts have a long history of secrecy and none more so than the arts of the Philippines- known variously as Arnis, Eskrima and Kali amongst others (our group uses the term "Kali"). The extent of this secrecy and the seriousness with which it was taken in the Philippines is beyond what most people appreciate outside of the Philippines-- even FMA practitioners.

There are three basic reasons for secrecy in the martial arts.

One reason is to keep the knowledge and skills from those who might use them against you and yours. In the Philippines with its history of centuries of tribal conflict in the island archipelago this value runs deep and is still taken very seriously. Another reason would be to maintain the advantages of your martial art system/style in the martial arts world. The third reason is to keep the knowledge and skills from those who might use them inappropriately or even wrongly. Given the weaponry focus of the various arts of the Philippines, this too is taken very seriously in the FMA.

Yet the notion of secrecy in the American martial art context is being strongly challenged and often discarded. Even in the various FMA systems this is true, albeit less so.

Why is this trend away from secrecy taking place?

First, it needs to be plainly stated that the justifications for secrecy can be used as a cover-up for a lack of merit of the teacher and/or the material.

It also needs to be plainly stated that one powerful force in this regard is competitive pressure. This may have been of little relevance in cultural contexts where teaching martial arts as a profession was little known. But in the modern cultural context if others are sharing "the secrets" then this can often threaten a teacher with a loss of students and income if he does not do so as well.

Putting these two points aside, let us turn to the problems with secrets.

A "secret technique" is often an untested technique. Even if the technique was used in the past successfully, the current context may be quite different. Even the present teacher may not have experience with it. Even more likely is that the student/practitioner may have no experience of it save with a cooperative partner in the calm of a martial arts class. Such a technique often fails in the moment it is most needed.

In a world where those exclusively from secrecy-oriented traditions seem to do badly "in the cage" against those who vigorously and openly test their techniques and skills, why would anyone accept "proving his loyalty" for years before having the secrets shared when they don't seem to manifest in real time pressure of the cage?

In a world of guns it can seem silly and irrelevant to keep secret the knowledge and skill of one's martial art training from others. Any idiot can buy a gun and pull the trigger so why would it matter to show someone something that would require time and effort to master? In a world in which a terrible array of misdeeds are readily perpetrated by people devoid of any training whatsoever, why would it matter what "secrets" are shared with whomever?

And some reason that even though there are some bullies drawn to martial arts training, that the more realistic and rugged the testing of skills, the likelier these people are to either outgrow their immaturities or to leave the training altogether. From this some reason there is no real need to screen students or have secrets from them.

In an Internet forum I saw some proclaim doubt that there are any secrets at all beyond hard work and learning to execute well what is already available to be known by any and all. An arm bar is an arm bar and it is done well or it is not done well. I was surprised to see a Filipino FMA teacher who I knew to be of good level express agreement. I contributed to the discussion my experience as a student of the late PG Edgar Sulite who told me the story of his experience with a secret training method which he stopped doing because it made him too likely to "go off". The gist of the reply of the Filipino teacher was that along the lines of "Ohhhhh. You're talking about THAT stuff."

It is interesting to note that at the moment he had sincerely written of the non-existence of secrets that there was another part of him that knew from personal experience that they existed.) He went to say that he had experienced such things from his father, but that he had gone on to a different way. His students faced immediate dangers now and that he wanted to enable them as quickly as possible. If I may paraphrase, he said that secrecy was rejected because of the "urgent need of prompt results".

These are all very good points and I would submit that some of them are proven by Dog Brother experience. Indeed, since Eric (Top Dog- the Fighting Force) Arlan (Salty Dog-the Silent Force) and I (the Guiding Force) co-founded the Dog Brothers in 1988 we have experienced time and time again those whose secret trainings the crucible of a Real Contact Stickfighting revealed to be impractical and useless in their hands. And we have experienced that the more rugged the testing, at least in the context of the Dog Brothers' tribe's culture, the less likely the acting out of bullies--either because the bullies outgrow the inner problem, or because they are unwilling to put themselves in front of others who possess the skill to do to them what they know that they are capable of doing to others.

And yet , , , I continued to have this sense of unease about teaching knife.


The Umali case of recent fame in the New York City area, reified my previously inchoate concerns.

Say nabbed suspect tried to kill himself

Isaias Umali is under arrest for the murder of New York bouncer Dana Blake.

Cops arrested an out-of-work accountant trained in lethal knife-fighting techniques yesterday in the murder of an East Village bouncer who died enforcing the city's smoking ban. Isais Umali, 31, was taken into custody at Queens' Mary Immaculate Hospital - where he was recovering from self-inflicted slashing wounds to his throat and wrists. Police sources said Umali attempted suicide Monday - a day after he allegedly delivered a fatal stab wound to Dana Blake's groin as the hulking bouncer tossed the suspect's friends from a birthday party for smoking.

In the chaos after the stabbing, Umali fled from the Avenue B lounge Guernica, ditched the murder weapon and went to his fianc?e's apartment on the upper East Side to get rid of his bloody clothes, said NYPD Chief of Detectives George Brown.

"During the fight, Umali pulled out a knife and stabbed Blake," Brown said. "When Blake fell to the floor, Umali ran from the club, walked south and entered the subway station, discarding the knife along the way."

Umali's friends - Jonathan Chan, 29, and Ching Chan, 31, children of the leader of Chinatown's organized crime's Ghost Shadows - were arrested by patrol cops after Blake collapsed. They were splattered with the victim's blood. Their sister, Alice Chan, 33, was arrested the following morning. Her blood-soaked clothes were seized by cops. But all three were freed Monday night after prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney's office said they did not have evidence linking them to the fatal stabbing. That sparked outrage from cops and friends and family of the victim - until yesterday's arrest of a new suspect.

Trained in martial arts

Many of the party attendees - including the Chan brothers and Umali - are trained in the Filipino martial art of Eskrima, which uses precision knife blows and deadly weapons to fight enemies. Detectives plan to interview a Manhattan martial arts expert who trained Umali how to kill with a single knife wound, sources said.

"Someone trained this guy [Umali] to hit someone in a fatal spot to kill them, and it worked. We want to find him," one police source said.

Umali's involvement in the bloody slaying became clear late Thursday, when a tipster called the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline to turn him in, according to authorities. Sources said the anonymous caller is believed to be his guilt-stricken fiance, who had bought Umali new clothes before he returned to his parents' home.

"I was just trying to help out my friends," Umali wrote in a suicide note found by his parents, who were there when their son began slashing himself inside his Hillside, Queens, bedroom, according to one law enforcement source.

Brothers not cleared

Umali's arrest does not completely clear the Chans, police told the Daily News.

"The Chans are definitely still under investigation," said one high-ranking police source. "They still have problems."

But the Chan brothers' lawyer, Ivan Fisher, said Umali's arrest "vindicates" his clients.

"I feel that the recent development strongly supports the accuracy of what my clients have been saying happened here from the beginning - that they had nothing whatsoever to do with the wounding of Mr. Blake," Fisher said.

Umali and the Chans were among 19 people at a birthday party in the hip bar Saturday night spilling into Sunday morning. The skirmish between Blake and the Chan brothers began just after 2 a.m., when revelers at the party for a woman identified as Catherine Leonardo repeatedly lit cigarettes in the bar's downstairs club in violation of the city's new smoking ban. After a heated argument with members of the party, Blake, 32, grabbed Jonathan Chan and tried to eject him from the bar. As the 6-foot-5, 320-pound bouncer shoved the Wall Street banker out the door, he was pounced on by Chan's siblings, police said.

Umali then allegedly entered the scrum, stabbing Blake - who died 11 hours later.

Umali was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon and arraigned on two counts of second-degree murder at Manhattan Criminal Court. He was brought into court wearing a blue hospital shirt and gray khaki pants, bandages swathing his throat and wrists. Criminal Court Judge Deborah Kaplan ordered Umali held without bail and on suicide watch. Umali's attorney, David Krauss, said his client is "traumatized" by the slaying. "He's traumatized by the whole thing," Krauss said. "It's sad. Sad all around. For him and his family."

With Greg B. Smith
Originally published on April 19, 2003

Like the famous parable of the each of the seven blind men grabbing a hold of a different part of an elephant and describing it differently so too reactions to stories such as this one. Although I may make reference to many parts of this elephant, my central focus in this article is the matter of who and what to teach and how to do so.


I trust you the reader noticed that the police are looking to talk to Umali's teacher. And those of us here in America may well wonder about the prospects of a civil lawsuit against him in our increasingly Kafkaesque legal system. Even in victory the expense of defense leaves one financially and emotionally drained and devastated. You may say that there should be no claim against Umali?s teacher.

I agree. In order to be free, we must be responsible for what we do. And to hold responsible those other than the doer of the deed is for all to become "unfree". I want to make this point strongly as I enter into a brief discussion of legal matters here. I am not suggesting that you buy into other people's efforts to dump responsibility for the actions of others onto you! The overlap between law and morality and higher consciousness can be substantial?as can its divergence. To be a purist and ignore the law while being guided solely by morality and consciousness may sometimes leave oneself vulnerable to being eaten alive by criminal and or civil charges. And to simply accept the law as one's guide in some cases may be to become a sheep to be castrated and sheared by "The Matrix" (term used here not in its mathematically precise sense, but in the cultural sense used by the movie of this name). If and when the law, especially as created by plaintiff lawyers and activist judges, seeks to neuter our rights as a free people to self-defense (Constitutionally found in the Ninth Amendment of the Bill of Rights) we must exert ourselves in our republican form of government for respect of our freedoms.

That said, herewith a summary of legal issues I found on the Internet at
(URL now gone) by PA attorney Peter Hobart, who describes himself as a "prosecuting attorney", which I understand to mean a plaintiff attorney-- and to my 20-years-out-of-the-practice-of-law eye it has a bit of the orientation of that perspective. That said, I think it may serve here to give the laymen reader a sense of the questions that can arise:

Martial arts teachers? liability:

Under the Theory of Agency, the principal is liable for unlawful acts which he causes to be done through an agent. There are three possible ways in which a martial arts instructor might be held liable as the principal for the unlawful acts of his students, as agents. First, if the instructor appears to ratify or approve of unlawful conduct, he may be held liable for the commission of such acts. Thus, a dojo which encourages the use of excessive force, or lethal force in inappropriate situations may be seen to ratify and approve of unlawful conduct. Similarly, an instructor who continues to teach a student who has abused his knowledge may be held responsible, if not liable, for subsequent torts.

Second, an instructor may be held liable for having entrusted a student with ?an extremely dangerous instrumentality?. "[W]hen an instrumentality passes from the control of a person, his responsibility for injuries inflicted by it ceases. However, when an injury is caused by an exceptionally dangerous instrumentality, or one which may be dangerous if improperly used, a former owner or possessor may ... be charged with responsibility for [its] use...." The implications for instructors who teach potentially lethal techniques is clear.

Finally, an instructor may be liable for harm to the student or other parties as a result of negligent instruction. Anyone who holds himself out as an expert capable of giving instruction is expected to conform to the standards of his professional community. Thus, any instructor who, by his own negligence, fails to provide, teach and require adequate safe-guards and supervision, may be liable for any resulting injury.


Having mentioned the legal issues, they will now be ignored.

From a moral and consciousness perspective, how can those who teach or share best do so to minimize results similar to this tragic case?

===================================== (no longer valid0


Isaias Umali, 32, of Jamaica, is charged with murder in the death of Dana Blake, who was stabbed in the upper thigh with a six-inch knife.

Blake's femoral artery was severed in the April 13, 2003, attack at the trendy club, Guernica. The incident allegedly began after an argument over smoking just two weeks after the city ban went into affect.

Umali is trained in kali, a Filipino martial art that includes knife-fighting techniques -- "including specific areas of the body where you can stab someone in order to cause his death," Assistant Manhattan District Attorney David Lauscher said in his opening statement in State Supreme Court yesterday. The prosecutor said Umali even demonstrated to his friends the move he used to kill Blake.

Martial Arts Topics / A bit of Dog Brothers History
« on: February 24, 2018, 04:39:50 PM »

Woof All:

Just ran across this from 20 years ago-- the Fighting Force himself speaks:

Know that Fu Dog and I are in the process of organizing a hosting a seminar of Top Dog at Fu Dog's school in Moreno Valley sometime in early April. Stay tuned!

 Crafty Dog

Martial Arts Topics / 2018 Dog Brothers US Open Gathering
« on: February 07, 2018, 06:10:47 AM »
Woof All:

Currently we are in discussion as to whether the Gathering will be held on Saturday 9/22 or Sunday 9/23.




    I will be hosting Lloyd de Jongh of Tripwire Knife in Los Angeles April 21-22. The details (location, exact price, etc) are being worked out. Here is his description of what he will be doing in the Chicago on the preceding weekend (April 14-15) and part of a symposium in the Bay Area on April 28"

"I will be contrasting the Piper System with the Tripwire System movement and methods. Content will be an analysis of criminal use of the blade from a South African perspective, assault and ambush to counter-assault and counter-ambush interventions, fighting back from structural disadvantage/behind the attack curve, prison and street-style assassination, street assault and non-Western movement vs conventional technique and expectations. This video is from ~2009, it showcases Piper System movement and the empty hand "Form Style". It is from my older generation of material but may be illuminating: - Piper Demo + HoF.mp4?dl=0

Martial Arts Topics / Akita Tactical "Things tactical and practical" (tm)
« on: January 18, 2018, 01:08:10 PM »
Woof All:

As some of you may have heard, with my partner Kevin Carr as Chief Design Officer, we have founded "Akita Tactical" with a mission of "Things Tactical and Practical".

We start with knives, both fighting and kitchen, but coming soon will be some ingenious holsters and knife sheaths and quite a bit more.

Our website is now open! Go to and sign up.  We should begin taking orders in about two weeks!

"Things tactical and practical!"
Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny

PS:  see e.g.

Martial Arts Topics / Rambling Rumination: That is the Mystery of it
« on: December 13, 2017, 02:30:30 AM »
Woof All:

Here is something I wrote many years ago -- my notes do not show exactly when--

Rambling Rumination:  "That is the Mystery of it"
(c) Marc Denny

I usually do my squat routine at a gym on the beach in Hermosa Beach called “The Yard”.  Last week when I was there we were in the midst of several summer-like days in the mid-eighties. The Hermosa Beach pier is but a block and a half away and so I walked to its end.  With the warmth of the sun on my skin, good waves for the surfers, and a school of nervous mackerel made skittish by a couple of dolphins, the feng shui was quite nice. 

I sat there a while shirtless in the warm glow of the afternoon sun and entered the altered space.  As we get older, we begin to notice how where we are is a result of what we have done with where we have been.   So, how on earth did I get to where I am?  Tis a mystery to me!  As the line in a Grateful Dead song says “What a long strange trip it has been!”

Often we seek simultaneously to become both more purposeful in how we live and more humble about thinking that we know what we are doing.   In my humble opinion, whether we realize it or not, ultimately for all our plotting and planning there comes the time to put our Word to something and, as Juan Matus would say, to “act with abandon” , , , and turn it all over to our Creator.  Vaguely remembering a line from a movie, “Things will work out.  We may not know how—that’s the mystery of it.” 

So in this season of hibernation I wish you some time to rest and recharge, I wish you some time to reflect on where you’ve been and where you are going, and I wish you time in connection with the Consciousness of our Creator.

The Adventure continues!
Crafty Dog

Martial Arts Topics / DBMA Tactical:
« on: October 19, 2017, 11:44:17 PM »
DBMA Tactical Seminar: The Chupacabra Knife Game and Gun-Knife Integration

Featuring yours truly and a mystery gun instructor who must remain anonymous.

WHO: Military and LEO only, active or retired. If this is not you but you are well known to me and there are spaces available, you may be considered.


Bay Area, CA.
 Day One: San Rafael (near San Quentin)
 Day Two: Private Gun Range in Point Reyes, Marin County.

 $200 one day
 $300 two days

A first run "Akita" knife from Akita Tactical will be available for inspection.

If you are interested, please email me at

Martial Arts Topics / MOVED: Myanmar (Burma):
« on: September 14, 2017, 11:08:22 PM »

Martial Arts Topics / Dog Brothers 2017 Opening Gathering of the Pack
« on: August 10, 2017, 08:04:58 PM »
US Dog Brothers Open Gathering of the Pack, September 24th.

Fighters, get your registrations in! If you email it in, please remember to include your name in the Subject Line!

Dog Brothers, make your nominations, if any, on the Tribal Forum


Martial Arts Topics / DBMA Ass'n Camp June 9-11, 2017
« on: April 15, 2017, 04:42:28 PM »
DBMA Association Camp June 9-11! Featuring Top Dog, Lonely Dog, and yours truly.

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