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Messages - sting

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Martial Arts Topics / Re: Working out question -Abs
« on: December 28, 2007, 03:28:05 AM »
A mirror is probably the most important training tool.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Suppliments: Legal and Illegal
« on: December 09, 2007, 03:22:15 AM »
If it works for you, use it.  I tried some supplements in the mid 90s and found they were just mentally addictive.   Since then, I haven't used anything regularly other than the occasional scoop of protein power. Consider saving some cash and effort if you're willing to research the substances.  These supplement companies prey on young men that are unable to understand the technobabble on the packing.  For example, most of the fancy protein powders are just baby formula additional flavoring and coloring.  However, they're real.

The problems with most of these "supplements " is that the products purchased usually don't contain the advertised amount of the substance.   Since they produce dubious effects, it's hard to verify .  A little reasearch is easy on the web.  Amino acids don't have a long shelf-life.  How can you tell if the Arginine you're buying is just out-of-date powder?   The same papers that talk about the release of growth hormone by taking Arginine/Orhithine also show curves of how much more is released during proper sleep and with weight-bearing exercise of the larger muscle groups, such as the legs.  Glutamine is probably the biggest rip-off,as well as being potentially toxic. Vitamins are difficult to absorb when injested without other combinations of minerals, so you're better off eating real food.  The "joint stuff" made the headlines a few months ago in that testing of various popular brands showed they contained much less than the advertised amount, with one brand containing zero condroitin.   

My relative Dr. Bertrams Zarins is a renowed orthopedic surgeon in Boston.  He has headed up the medical teams of the Bruins, Patriots and Celtics as well as some time on the US Olympic team.  My mom asked him about the "joint stuff."  He said it probably has no effect, but use it if you believe it helps as it doesn't do any harm.

Probably the only sports supplement, other than protein powder, that works is creatine.  I tried it for a month.  In one week, your muscles swell up with water but don't get stronger.  I noticed zero change in my endurance on a heavy bag.  If you read the literature, the small gains were to be had by athletes already at the elite level.   The rest of us just get heavier due to water retention, everywhere except in the wallet.

Anyway, your gains have to do with your perserverance and level of effort.  The protein powder is a cheap form of protein.  If the other expensive supplements really keep you going, use them, as they probably don't do any harm even if they don't do any good.  And, I'm pissed that I

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Suppliments: Legal and Illegal
« on: December 07, 2007, 02:36:03 PM »
Many supplements are fake but work to some extent as they contain an important additive: steroids.  The Yohimbe bark extract scandal of the 90's comes to mind.  These days, customers are less inclined to buy a plant extract from a far away land when presented with higher tech pharmaceutical extracts, such as human growth hormone, aka HGH.  The real stuff costs a few thousand for a month's supply of injections.  That doesn't seem to stop purchasers of low cost GH mouth sprays.  Most of this stuff is apparently worthless as it is pig growth hormone, if these potions contain any signicifcant amounts at all.  So, how do these potions work?  Steroids !

Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Dog Brothers Tribe
« on: November 28, 2007, 12:31:02 PM »
Congratulations, Lonely Dog !  Post some pictures or videos when you get a chance.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fall Gathering! Fighters thread
« on: November 15, 2007, 10:30:50 AM »
I like the wall for the added variety.  Walls are a part of our modern world.  If the wall isn't possible, pushing one of those dead cars in the OP warehouse onto the mat would make for a very interesting Gathering. 

Martial Arts Topics / Re: November 18, 2007 Dog Bros Gathering of the Pack
« on: November 09, 2007, 08:40:15 AM »
Tom, your double nunchaku fight with Meynard was awesome.  I don't know if it should be kept "real", as you did, or if you're be willing to put on a black Ninja outfit and throw some stars and smoke bombs when you backup.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: November 18, 2007 Dog Bros Gathering of the Pack
« on: November 07, 2007, 08:42:50 AM »
Sending fight reg.form tomorrow. I doubt I will fight this gathering but, I will register now just in case I change my mind at the last second.  :|  DT

It's hard for Marc to run an event when he has to consider a bunch of "maybes" among his list of registered fighters.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: November 18, 2007 Dog Bros Gathering of the Pack
« on: November 04, 2007, 09:33:14 PM »
For the pictures, thank my brother Indris, the fellow with the black Norton shirt.  He has photographed the last few Gatherings.   It was a little harder for him this time as he had less freedom due to the professional camera crew, but he managed to take all of the action shots without a flash, although he started the event with one mounted on his camera.

Hey guys,

I'm not fighting this Gathering.  My son Bolveys Kotaro Klimanis was born on 09-26-2007, so I'm just happy I can get enough sleep to make it to work.  Though, there is a chance that I may fly down for the day for media support, either photo or video.  Indris hasn't finalized his plans for media support, so I'll pester him. I know it's been a while for the June 2007 Gathering Pictures, but Indris submitted them a couple of months ago.  I see that Cindy posted one to the Gallery section, so cheer her on for the rest.  Indris wasn't allowed to use a flash due to all of the video recording for the Nat Geo Dog Brother documentary, so the pix aren't as good as those for previous Gatherings.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: When you don't feel like fighting...
« on: October 28, 2007, 01:57:32 PM »
I've always known that I've never been at the same aggression level as some of the other pack members, but there has always been that drive to train and do the best I could, even if I wasn't that guy out there mixin it up as often as some the old-school guys that really go for it, but it was always a ton of fun, and I really loved it.   

Woof Dan,

I remember the first time I saw you fight at the RAW gym in an unarmed vs. stick fight.  Your monkey-like movements and aggression impressed me.  I can't believe I'm actually reading about your questioning your ability to fight.   

Crafty sees more of the pre-Gathering jitters than anyone.  And if it helps, I go through the same process from time to time, as well as oberving it my my Go Shin Jutsu Kenpo club ( a hard-contact unarmed style) as well as in the guys that fight in my garage.  The level of internal doubt rises as you believe that they are training more than you are, and you assess your injury load.  When I count up my injuries, I always keep in mind that everyone else goes to the Gathering with a similar list of ailments.  Some people come up with a last minute illness - real due to the stress of training and travel or imagination caused by doubt.

In any case, I always treat the Gathering with complete respect because it is a unique event.  And it's better to fight in youth and watch in age than to never have fought at all.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: Fall Gathering!
« on: October 18, 2007, 10:25:02 AM »
Don't fight rubber.  Fight with an aluminum blade, but not with any of those cheap steel kung-fu blades with sharp burrs.  The "Fighter" from is an excellent knife .

Great to watch.  Love the editing.  It's like watching an instructional movie.

What's the purpose of the mosaicing?  Are they to obscure the techniques for this promo clip or will they will in the final DVD.  Either way, they leave space for the imagination.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Suppliments: Legal and Illegal
« on: October 06, 2007, 05:53:29 PM »
Pretty much anything will work as long as you truly believe in the substance.

Though, I have to say that the additional green house emissions from soy-based protein powder shook my faith in short order.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Some Jun07 Gathering Pics
« on: September 25, 2007, 12:52:11 AM »
Here are five images from Indris's camera :

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Thom Beers Interview WJFK RADIO Sept. 07
« on: September 24, 2007, 01:48:07 PM »
Now that was a fun radio show.  They are pumped about the Dog Brothers documentary, and we're just as eager to see it.

I respect the length of the two minute fight, and sometimes, I'd like a little more time at the Gathering. 

Though, I'll step up to defend shorter rounds.  I don't think that 60-90 second rounds are for wimps, although they do remove the advantage given to a fighter with more endurance.  It's just a different fight.  With a shorter 30-90 second round, the entire fight is intense because it is withend in the capacity of the unconditioned fighter. There is less circling /waffling at the beginning and end to save energy, and fewer fights with both fighters hugging each other on the ground for 30-60 second waiting for the bell.  At my own garage club, I shortened the rounds from 120 seconds to 90 seconds to 60 seconds over the years and noticed that the action improved, even for conditioned fighters.  A useful comparison can be made between running a 100-220 yard dash and a quarter mile.  Since they tax energy systems differently, they are run differently.

I've straightened out the schedule for the show, and it's available on cable and DISH satellite.

I'll post a link to the show afterwards.

This is *not* the eagerly-awaited Dog Brother National Geographic episode of the HUGE June 2007 Gathering.  You may notice some familiar faces in the Taboo show:  "Baltic Dog" Gints, "C-Devil Dog" Milt Tinkoff and "C-Space Dog" Rog Tinkoff, which are considered to be a Northern California clan of the Dog Brothers.

Here's a TV show on weapons fighting the Indonesian Sumba tribe and a San Francisco Bay Area tribe .
Videotaped in High Definition, so look for the HD channel.

National Geographic Taboo
Season IV, Episode 5 "Proving Ground"  (Eastern time)  (Pacific time)

This is the Pacific Time schedule, so add three hours for Eastern Time:
Wednesday  August 22, 2007, 7 pm and 10 pm
Saturday      August 25, 12pm
Wednesday  August 29, 2007, 3 pm

In some cultures men prove their manhood by enduring pain. Get a pass into an American Fight Club, where some successful, educated males engage in physical combat to test their manhood, using anything to attack - blunted knives, chairs, sticks, even soda cans. On the remote Indonesian island of Sumba, hundreds of men take part in a time-honored event known as the Pasola. Facing off in two teams on horseback, they charge toward each other hurling spears.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Professor Max Pallen at the Gatherings
« on: July 03, 2007, 01:30:15 PM »
(Hey, is the original poster Mickey Lopez ?)

I'm sure quite a few of us were there, but I'll start ...

I attended the Dog Brother training camp in the summer of 2002.  Everyone had a great time, and I have to say that the camp was an excellent immersion into the Gathering culture.   That was my first Gathering, so understandably, it was scary to get to befriend people that would be bashing me at the end of the week.  I had met Max Pallen before at the "Gathering of the Eagles 2" Kenpo convention in 2000, so I would have noticed him if he had participated in the full camp, although there were many spectators in the periphery and I missed a few of the sessions towards the end of the camp.

Max Pallen fought at the Summer 2002 Gathering, and he has all of my respect on many counts, the most salient being :  1) He is the head of an eskrima system and was willing to put his reputation on the line by fighting publicly 2) He fought with no hand, knee or elbow protection.  3) He was 61 years old and was willing to figtht men in their 20-30's .  4) He fought two stick fights 

Our luck is that his fights appear on some recent dog brother DVDs.  They are important to watch for his post-fight comments.   I hope someone will speak up as to which, although I'll get to checking my DB DVD collection someday ...

As an aside, he is my inspiration for shedding padding.  I figure that young men shouldn't be shown up by a 61- year-old.  Though, I have to say that you need *some* hand protection or your fingers will shred from errant strikes to your opponent's mask or teeth if you plan to have several fights.  One of my Gatherings was cut short by a tooth-to-fist gash which, according to the hospital staff, can lead to limb and life-threatening infections. 

Martial Arts Topics / Re: New All..
« on: July 03, 2007, 09:14:43 AM »
Yes, "Grandfathers Speak 2- Sonny Umpad" was an excellent glimpse into one of the San Francisco Bay Area's most reclusive eskrima masters.  I hope that his students make the effort to preserve any footage of their late teacher and continue his art.  Both Grandfathers 1 and 2 are unique compilations of the masters.   Add them to your collection.

- Gints

Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: June 28, 2007, 03:14:30 AM »
Congratulations to all !

Could we forget Kitty Linda Matsumi ?

Martial Arts Topics / Radzik Dariusz from Poland ?
« on: June 26, 2007, 01:30:56 PM »

Awesome Gathering experience.  I'll post on the Weapons and Kajukenbo Cafe fora shortly to help spread the word.

Does anyone have an email address for Radzik Dariusz  from Poland? We exchanged email, but I've misplaced his info.  Pleaase let me know:



Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: June 20, 2007, 07:56:13 PM »
  I feel the shocknives rather well through a shirt.  So much so that I couldn't tell the difference.  I think no gloves should be mandatory.  I didn't wear any when I did Shocknife vs. EH or cattle prod vs. cattle prod and I strongly advise not using them (Tom, I can still remember where you hit me with the cattle prod on the left hand!).


Ryan, that's good to know about the conductivity through the clothing.  Your no gloves rule is a good idea, and I liked that you did that.  but as we all know, those fencing masks are not knuckle friendly.  Tape around some knuckles is a fine  yet incomplete remedy. it would suck that someone's fights were cut short by a bad finger cut.   One of my recent gatherings (June 2006) was cut short from a gash on the fingers from a tooth .  I decided to do that stick fight without any gloves, but that is not a great idea for the first fight.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: June 19, 2007, 02:38:41 PM »
I'm thinking when people see and here the electricity crackling  :-o  that behavior will get more realistic  :evil:

Yes, those blades make a great sound.  I think they're pretty good and only wish they were a color other than black so it would be easier to see them.  The black plastic gets lost amongst the black mats and generally black attire.

What do you think about exposing more skin for shocking purposes , such as ditching the shirts ?  I'm not talking about fighting in Speedos.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: June 19, 2007, 02:10:21 PM »
A few opinions on aluminum blades.

As Corey points out, most metal training blades are pointy, so the choice of the model is important.  For longer blades, I've found that a point is less of an issue than for shorter blades, mostly due to increased difficulty of keeping a longer blade stable on a thrust.  The real "killers" have turned out to be some extra pointy  Spyderco replicas. Ouch !  Just put one in the hands of a first timer, and you'll have a chance of feeling a full force #3 thrust.  Consequently, on request, Bob Burgee made me some great mirror-polished short blades with a near semicircle in place of a point.  In generla, aluminum blades are completely unsuitable for sparring unless you have a full face mask, such as a fencing mask.  The grill spacing of the WEKAF helmet won't stop an Edges2 Fighter or other long/thin blades from reaching the face, and particularly, the eye.

The appearance of the sparring blade, I believe, is an important component of the experience.  We don't pick up a hair brush for blade practice, so realistic construction is obviously important.  There is something scary about the flash of metal, and that fear is important to the sparring experience.  I think that fear of metal is also expressed by choosing plastic.  Sharkees are great for regular practice as they are simply safer and cleaner than aluminum.  Nonetheless, I think the aluminum models (I like the Edges2 Fighter) help with edge awareness, and the narrow/flat construction offers better feedback that will help avoid the "blade smacking".   I've seen a lot of blade sparring , and it's common to see someone holding the aluminum training blade backwards, with the unground edge used to make cuts.  If a reflective plastic process existed that could compete with the cost of a grey plastic, more practice blades would be made this way.  Granted, there are some training blades that are made to appear as if they are not real.

The Gathering is a showcase for weapons fighting, and thus we also have a responsibility to properly communicate the expernience over photos and video.  The uninitiated can easily recognize the power of the stick.  The rubber or plastic knives don't do a good job of communicating the experience over video.  "When I saw that black piece of rubber coming at me, I peed in my pants."  If the audience is unable to recognize or even see the knife, then it will be difficult to communicate our real contact fighting.   Aluminum blades look real on video, and both the fighter and viewer experiences are a bit more genuine.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: June 19, 2007, 01:41:59 AM »
Now that we have three Shocknives, I'm looking at all knife fights using them.    Thoughts?

I really like the idea of the Shocknives.  Although I'm game for trying them, are they that much better than shiny aluminum knives?  I'm all for eliminating the use of the rubber, wood and plastic knives, and I echo the sentiment that the knife fights are kinda of a warm-up fight in which no fighter should be injured such that he can't do other bouts.   Does the tip/point of the Shocknife deliver a decent shock?  From this photo, the shock knife looks like a plastic knife :

While I've seen some panicked writhing from the shocks, overall, they look like plastic knife fights.  Somehow, that just doesn't look deadly.   I'd prefer a mix of polished aluminum and Shocknives.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: June 15, 2007, 07:33:56 PM »
Hey Tom,

Talk to Crafty about this.  On my end, I've only processed those that appear in the Gallery, so you wouldn't be getting photos that are as crisp and clean as those.

Honestly, the shots that are in the Gallery are the cherry picked shots of the Gathering.   Indris takes about 1500 photos.  About a third are very similar, as he's using a camera that does 8 frames/second, so we just pick the best.  Another third are out of focus, "ass shots"/back shots or just plain ol' uninteresting.  Then, the real sorting work is to reduce 500-600 decent shots  to a better set of a manageable 150-200 shots that cover each fight.  This takes days and lots of patience.  Some fights are just more interesting than others, so you'll see the occasional string of good photos from those.  Some great action is lost when the video/photographer cross over, or while the photographer moves to another position for a better view.  Since the photographer tries not to obscure the audience, a lot of action that looks good to the audience will be missed.

I do have some biases during the sorting, such as *against* rubber or plastic knives (especially black) , *for* good stick fighting action, *for* unmasked fighting and *for* moves that others do not do.  Such choices are necessary for a good gallery.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: June 15, 2007, 06:08:53 PM »
Certainly you won't follow me around and be my personal photographer :-P let alone everyone else.
Like I said, all I'am really intrested in is the "family photo" type shots of fighters and elders ect. It will also be a great and possibly rare oppertunity to get all the elders together in one shot.
I'am thnakful that Guro Crafty is allowing personal cameras for this reason.

Tom, you've summarized why it's important to have al of those cameras.  People take many great shots, and those should be allowed.  So, I'm not in any way trying to squelch the fun of ambience photos. 

 I'm just a broken record on the issue of the fight photos.  If there is a need to reduce the number of flashes during the fights, I think that it's reasonable to limit the number of fight photographers.  In any case, a flash covers a single video frame.  For the fight footage actually included in the show, it is possible to replace those single "flashed" frames by repeating the previous frame. 

See you at the Gathering.  Rog and Milt would have liked to fight you.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: June 15, 2007, 02:53:24 PM »
I think Tom is right. The studio lights should provide good to moderate lighting for snap shots.                     P.S.  Note to lighting guy:  Don't be thrifty, turn on a 750 !!  :lol:

The studio lights are adjusted to provide proper illumination at video shutter speeds, which are typically 1/60 or 1/30 second, depending on the camera.  I shoot at 1/90 (480i  and now 1080i)  for my garage fights, but I have a ten light banks. My brother Indris needed the flash even for the previous Gathering covered by Original Productions.  In still photography, anything below 1/200 second shutter speed yields blurry photos when the subjects are moving.    

Hey guys, I'm with you.  I've been working on this action photography situation for a few years because I was sick of taking and seeing mushy indoor martial arts pictures.  The proof is in the Gallery starting with June 2004.  If it were possible to use less/zero flash or a compact camera and deliver great pictures,  I'd do it.

My brother Indris is there to photograph the event.  If you want any kind of picture, just ask him, pose and run.   A lot of pictures don't end up in the Gallery, but all you have to do is email me for any and every "buddy shot".   Marc has control over the fight pictures, so you'll have to ask him for those.  It takes me days to sort through 1500 photos for the best 150-200 that represent the event, as well as color correction, cropping and other picture adjustments.  We're there to photograph the event and let it live on through images.

As for limiting photographers, we really don't want to do that.  The issue is that flashes pollute the video as well as the underground atmosphere.  Imagine watching an hour-long DVD movie with several thousand flashes, although at sporting events.   That is one reason why many prodcations limit the use of a flash.  The main reason to limit the number of photographers is to reduce that flood of flashes on the video.  If a lot of great photos were taken, then it would be worth it.  So far, next to zero have been submitted to the DB Gallery. Make sense ?  


Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: June 15, 2007, 02:24:42 PM »
I think Tom is right. The studio lights should provide good to moderate lighting for snap shots.                     P.S.  Note to lighting guy:  Don't be thrifty, turn on a 750 !!  :lol:

The studio lights are adjusted to provide proper illumination at video shutter speeds, which are typically 1/60 or 1/30 second, depending on the camera.  I shoot at 1/90 (480i  and now 1080i)  for my garage fights, but I have a ten light banks. My brother Indris needed the flash even for the previous Gathering covered by Original Productions.  In still photography, anything below 1/200 second shutter speed yields blurry photos when the subjects are moving.

Come on, guys.  I've been working on this action photography situation for a few years.  The proof is in the Gallery starting with June 2004.  Think about it another way:  if it were possible to use less/zero flash or a compact camera, don't you think I'd do it?

My brother Indris is there to cover the event.  If you want any kind of picture, just ask him, pose and run.   A lot of pictures don't end up in the Gallery, but all you have to do is email me.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: June 15, 2007, 12:48:52 PM »

Cameras---i have found that flash cameras have been distracting at the gatherings and impart a carnival/paparazzi atmosphere.  modern electronics certainly allow flash free photos and this should be considered.

Most of that is definitely due to my brother's photography to cover the Gathering.  He is equipped with a top of the line Nikon professional camera (D2H) ,  and a rare fixed focal length lens that is the best available for lower light photography.  In other words, if better photo equipment existed, I'd own it.   Even with that gear, some flash is required even to get a barely acceptible 1/200 to 1/250 shutter speed at f/2.2 or f/2.5 .  With a doubling in the camera's sensitivity, I'd go for f/2.8 or a higher shutter speed before reducing the flash level.  The major problem is combining fast action with the low lighting of most indoor facilities.  At the last two Gatherings, my brother and I replaced the RAW gym lights with new, high quality fluorescent bulbs that had a slightly higher light output. 

Perhaps another take on the flash pollution is the number of cameras.  Do we really need so many people taking pictures?  Almost none of the pictures will be any good, and almost no one submits them to Cindy or Marc for contribution to the gallery.  What do I consider to be a lousy Gathering photo?  A blurry action shot with a greenish tinge.  That is what every compact "Point&Shoot" and any DSLR with the "kit" lens will produce.  Perhaps we could choose a handful of people to provide additional coverage.

Overall, I agree with the sentiment that flash photography changes the feel of the event.  However, I think the photo gallery is one of the best ways to showcase the event.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: June 14, 2007, 05:03:40 PM »
The mats look pretty good.  Here are some comments by Prof. john Bono from the kajukenbo cafe forum on the differences between Swain and Zebra from :

:Zebra and Swain are very similar except the backing has better grip on the Zebra to the floor, rubberized and the top coat/outerskin on the Swain tends to be very abrasive on the skin.  My Chiro office is about 1 mile from Swain went there many time trying and looking at mats, but there follow through with customer service leaved much to be desired.  I compared the 2 side by side since the price was the same.  Zebra has a warehouse here in the bay area now, one of my students just bought mats from them.  The 1 inch mat was the best combo for hard stand up and ground work.  the thicker grappling mat, was a back killer if you are into boxing or Thai.  It just gave to much and presented foot supination, which leads to knee and ankle problems. I do have one thicker one for throwing drills we just drag out on the floor.   You could always come try mine and some one with Swains.  The main thing for me was the skin loss during heavy grappling, I like the smoother cover....:

Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: June 14, 2007, 03:59:52 PM »
Sweet mats !  What color ?  Grey would probably be the most useful for video/photo to reduce color casts from reflective light.  Also, grey or black would give it that "underground" feel that the RAW gym exuded.  I really liked the feel of the RAW gym.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: June 07, 2007, 06:39:54 PM »
I'm all for the move towards unspecialized footwear.  I've worn wrestling shoes for past Gatherings, but since I don't train with them, they are really quite foreign to me.  An issue with the wrestling mat is the sticky surface, so any shearing action on your foot will tear off some skin.  I was reminded by this a couple of weeks ago when I grappled barefoot on a mat.  Two weeks later, the shredded skin is making healing progress.   I would have done this Gathering barefoot were it not for that lesson, which has a great probability of reducing your fight count.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: sparring/fighting with bladed weapons
« on: June 02, 2007, 12:32:34 PM »
Nothing like a little controversy to stimulate conversation.  Lots of good points raised by Maija, and to try to comment on each would require days.

Some clarification is required on registering the knife as a threat.   For the very reasons a knife is deadly, it is difficult for the mind and body to respond to it in a manner that is adequate to neutralize the threat.   I think the reason for this is simple:  the knife is difficult to see because it is usually small (unless viewed on its broad side) and moves quickly even in the hands of an untrained wielder.   The response to a knife seems very different from larger weapons, such as a stick or shinai.  All of this is obvious to anyone reading on this forum, but I typed it anyway.

Regarding knife playfights ending in a clinch, a minority seem to end this way, largely because one party is bladeless (dropped their weapon, never had one, ...)  or just scared.  Since very few of us have ever been in an altercation with a knife and even fewer in a real knife duel, it is difficult to speak with any authority on the matter of realism. 

There is a lot of criticism regarding the apparent lack of skill in actual knife sparring or stick fighting that is seen at the Gathering.  An interesting answer offered, for example by DBMAA on their video tapes, are that the techniques are much faster than can be seen.  This is strikingly similar to all of the golf, baseball, etc. sports training advice given by trainers that are judging important motions only by their pre and post movements.  In this era of high speed imaging, we have newer tools.

Knife dancing is a favorite topic of mine, as is stick twirling.  Largely, those that do better in knife playfights are the superior athletes with at least a few rounds of playfights behind them.  Most of the knife training I've seen among my travels in martial arts circles is just too slow or unrealistic.   A decent explanation for why this elaborate training isn't seen in knife playfights is that the muscle movements aren't actually trained.  The motions are similar in appearance, but not similar in function. Analogies can be made from other training:  practice pitching a baseball at 20mph for years and then expecting a 100 mph pitch to emerge when needed, jogging around a track for five miles and expecting to finish a 100m dash in 10 seconds,  lifting a bag of 16oz potato chips 1000 times and then expecting to be able to lift 1000 lbs once.  Add your own here.


Martial Arts Topics / Dog Hig (Graeme), send me an email
« on: June 02, 2007, 11:48:14 AM »
Hello Dog Hig,

This forum gives me an error (Max PM limit reached) when I try to reply to your message using the message box.  Please send me an email :

aka Baltic Dog

Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: June 01, 2007, 06:05:17 PM »
Great!  Also, I hope there is enough circulation, not just A/C, to allow for adequate oxygen.  The larger crowds will consume that quickly.  With the limited circulation in the fencing masks, oxygen-starved fighters will offer less fight.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: sparring/fighting with bladed weapons
« on: June 01, 2007, 06:02:53 PM »
I wouldn't worry about it too much as reflexes, blade awareness and grip are trained.  Fighters that attack with abandon aren't much worse than the knife dancers that circle about with menacing knife flows that produce zero engagements because they never saw or made an opening.   I've fought with people at the Gathering that have the blade edge pointed in, just check the Gallery pictures, so there are plenty of basics to learn under the stress of a bout.  I think the best lessons are learned from fight 1st time fighters, be they untrained or overtrained , as they probably represent the greatest threat and highlight the simple fact that the human mind is unable to register a blade as a threat.

The current guidelines set forth by Crafty are adequate: test your knife skills in any way you can, but when the fighters clinch and stab each other, just end the round.

Minor improvements would be to fight with cleaner blades to avoid injecting the bacteria living on dirty aluminum training blades.  No one should be walking away from a gathering with Hepatitis B or tetanus.  Clear plastic car door protectors are great on longer blades, a suggestion made by Bob Burgee og .  Also, those plastic, wooden and rubber blades are just silly-looking.  The aluminum blades carry a risk of hand breakage, but that is minimal from what I've seen.  The shine of metal adds to the realism, both for the fighters and spectators, the latter of whom learn by observation.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: May 29, 2007, 07:06:57 PM »
I vote for the walls.  The walls of the R1 gym provided much needed variety to the fights in addition to enforcing a boundary.  In their absence, the fight moderator (Crafty Dog?) will need to stop and start fights that are prematurely interrupted by excessive boundary violations.

Great news on Mr. Jacksons's allowance of cameras.  As before, I think it would be a good idea to limit the number of cameras at the event.  This reduces the number of stray flashes as well as the chance that people walk away with unauthorized video clips, as pretty much every compact camera has a video mode that can record many, many minutes of video on a single flash memory card.

Cool.  Looking forward to this event.  Crafty Dpg landed the documentary of a lifetime!


Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: May 28, 2007, 10:03:07 PM »
Thom has emailed me that regular cameras are OK!!!  8-) :-D 8-)

Woof Crafty,

What's a regular camera?  I'm planning to bring Indris down to provide the same photo coverage as in years before.  That requires a "special" or irregular camera, as in a top of the line Nikon professional camera.

Please keep us updated,


Martial Arts Topics / Re: DB in the media
« on: May 25, 2007, 05:03:23 PM »
Will you be bringing a vacuum cleaner (or anything else intriguing) to the Gathering?  If so please post on the Gathering thread.

Hi Crafty,

I'm just worried about surviving the Gathering, but I'll think about it.  Most of the stuff we play with is kinda embarrassing, so I don't know if you want to have any part of that.  Though, I have learned that fighting with chairs is really dangerous.  The stakes created when chairs are smashed are frickin' dangerous.  I know to watch out for that stuff, but I wouldn't trust someone in a frenzy.  I think we were using the Ikea Terje for $12.99, as I have exhausted the supplies at Goodwill and Salvation Army.  At one store, a tough sales woman was unwilling to break a dining room set and sell me the two remaining chairs, even though I confessed I bought the first two chairs the previous week.

Ikea Terje

Perhaps the Ikea Bollo for $20 would be a better choice.  $40 for a chair fight.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: DB in the media
« on: May 25, 2007, 04:05:13 PM »
Thanks for posting, Crafty.

Here's another from this morning :

"Office workers starting disturbing 'fight clubs'
May25, 2007

Groups of office workers are battling each other with sticks, chairs and vacuum cleaners in undisclosed locations.  Engineer Shiyin Siou tells MSNBC's Chris Jansing why he enjoys battles.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Yoga
« on: May 15, 2007, 05:01:17 PM »
As seen in the previous posts, I touched some nerves with my flippant remarks about yoga.  In no way did I mean to discount the pleasure and function of yoga.  Rather, I challenged the popular notion that yoga is a superior method for increasing youth and maintaining the body over time.  In a society that is lectured about perennial dehydration by the bottled water industry, yoga has displaced decent sport activity with variants that involve group dehydration in hot rooms.  "Feel the toxins oozing from your skin!" (No guro has ever quantified the toxins lost along with essential water and salts) Hot yoga is the Atkins/Zone diet of exercise.  Its ultimate appeal is that clothing is looser after a workout.  And what better to recover from hot yoga than with some Peregrino that is shipped from halfway around the world.  The primary appeal of the Atkins/Zone diets is the water, used to store glycogen, is no longer needed and purged in a matter of days.   See the pattern?

Some have raised the point that yoga actually a practice that encompasses more than static strength poses and muscle stretches.   I can only comment on the numerous yoga regima that I have mostly watched and to a much smaller extent tried.  I have respect for an individual's pursuit and just seek to challenge vague, ambiguous claims that yoga improves all other physical pursuits, but those pursuits can not improve yoga.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Yoga
« on: May 14, 2007, 02:54:17 PM »
When it comes to yoga I can only speak to the benefits I see it has on my aging body.  You young guys who aren't doing flexibility and range of motion training now will be sorry as hell later.  Thta is one promise I can make unabashedly to you.  :-D

It's clear that you've found an activity that suits you and keeps you physically-active.  However, I am skeptical that yoga or "flexibility and range of motion training" holds any monopoly on increasing the physical longetivity of the body.  I can cite numerous examples of pain-free senior that have never attended a single yoga class but have engaged in daily physical exercise with zero emphasis on increasing the range of motion throughout their lifetimes.  Yoga is an activity of exotic poses that appeals to practitioners placing faith in charismatic, confident presentations of body exercises from a far away place.  The US/European dynamic equivalent are the morning calisthenics routines of the 50s which are only now being rediscovered only after they've been displaced by a generation of muscle-thickening isolation exercises.  The benefits of the "placebo effect" are well-noted in drug tests, and there is little reason to exclude that from the actual benefits of yoga.  Yoga and Tai Chi are better than sitting on your butt in front of the TV, but the net effect of yoga in the US has been to displace aerobics classes and exclude the obese population that are better-served by activities that raise the heart rate and exercise muscles in more useful motions that are more akin to those used in day-to-day life.  I'll think about standing on my head for physical development the next time I pass on taking the elevator in favor of the stairs.

Though, I have to say that a good choke-out is a great way to relieve a headache built by a day of eye strain from a computer screen.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Parkour
« on: April 14, 2007, 01:06:43 PM »
Thanks for the clip, PoiDog.  Amazing.   The lastest James Bond movie "Casino Royale" included some stunts along these lines in the initial action scene.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: FMA in San Mateo, CA
« on: April 13, 2007, 06:39:41 PM »

There are a lot of schools in San Jose and the East Bay, but fewer on the Peninsula.  i think Koki Wong is still running his group.  Koki is a AMOK instructor, and highly skilled.

If you're into weapons sparring, I run a weekly session just south of San Mateo.

Martial Arts Topics / Radio show : Mick Foley and wrestling
« on: April 05, 2007, 03:02:00 PM »
Heard this cool radio show with Mick Foley in the car today.   The audio should be available in a few hours.  I'm buying his book _The Hardcore Diaries_ when the paperback edition is out.

An Inside Look at Professional Wrestling

Audio for this story will be available at approx. 6:00 p.m. ET
Talk of the Nation, April 5, 2007 · WrestleMania, the ultimate star-studded annual event of body slams, drew more than 80,000 to Detroit's Ford Field Stadium last weekend. Guests discuss the business, the passion and the showmanship of professional wrestling.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: 10 man line-up, any advice?
« on: March 22, 2007, 11:08:54 PM »
Great advice on the endurance training.   Thai kicks will really work you to that point of busting your gut - the feeling that takes the fight out of any man.

As for the stretching, why ?

Martial Arts Topics / Re: What would you have done?
« on: March 22, 2007, 11:06:46 PM »
Quite a video.  The entire episode appears to have been edited down to the throw and the punch, neither of which caused the victim of the assault any actual injury, according to the news report. It reminds me of a Gathering fight in which I thought my friend would be facing serious injury in a fight with a fellow more than twice his weight.  Why is it that we react in such a way to such a size difference ?

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