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Messages - Guide Dog

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My key memories of the past three days:

1. Receiving praise from Dogzilla for something he thought I did well during our fight
2. Receiving a suggestion from Dogzilla about something he thought I needed to improve from what he saw during our fight.
3. Surviving my fight with Dogzilla
4. Getting Guro Lonely into a camel toe, only to have him reverse it a few moments later, take me down, and hit me with a beautiful (but very controlled) elbow
5. Having been there to see Pappy Dog and Red Dog's inspirational stick and knife fight
6. Dirt, horse poo, and dirt mixed with horse poo
7. Not wearing sun screen on the first day.  :cry:
8. Reflecting on how far some folks (Pennsylvania, Canada, Europe, Tahiti!) came to be part of the event.
9. Feeling great the first day, feeling terrible the second day, feeling transformed the third day
10. Amazing drumming that helped provide energy from places hidden in the spirit
11. Watching Sled Dog, who was there at the beginning, and who was there two decades later, step out again and again and later having him honor me with a fight (which turned out to be one of my favorite DB fights I have ever had)
12. Hearing about how martial arts saved one of our brother's life
13. Watching Poi Dog work.  There's classical stuff there mixed with raw power, speed, tactics, and strategy.  He's a damned fine stickfighter.
14. Watching Pappy Dog work.  There's classical stuff there mixed with raw power, speed, tactics, and strategy.  He's a damned fine stickfighter.
15. My wife arriving at the fight site for day two, right as "Dog" Eric beat the tar out of me.  (Eric, again, your level of aggression is something I have to aspire to.  You bring it!)
16.  Fighting two fights on day two in those terrible suede gloves that I bought when my wife drove off with my gear.  I only did it because I said (on camera) that I would fight in them.  Again, my hands are swollen, but I honestly don't think anything is broken.

Lastly, the experience as a whole was amazing.  I enjoyed having three days to REALLY get to know some of the people that I have seen here and there at the Gatherings over the past couple years.  The one word that rally stands out to me about the event is: RESEARCH.  The group was out there to research in a nonjudgmental environment, what might actually have a chance of working in high pressure.  The group was out there to research just where the Tribe is at in this given moment.  The group was out there to research a greater world of expanded consciousness that seems to lie just beyond the world of getting up and working our 9 to 5's.  As I drove home, I was glad to have survived the three days, but I was in a state of disbelief.  I was glad that I didn't have to fight again but it was hard to believe what had just transpired.  While I was on the 15 freeway, I kept having this sense that I was outside of myself, watching.

I never played football in high school.  I've never been in a real (thank God) fight.  The city that I live in with my wife and 11 month old son is rated as one of the safest in the country.  I don't consider myself a "tough guy".

For those who were there:  HOW DID WE DO THAT?

What strikes me is that DBMA is there for everyone who wants it.  If I can be a DB, anyone can.  I have written a lot on this forum about using martial arts to change the world, and I really mean it.  I am scared that someday soon, my boy is going to look around at the world and then look back at me and ask, "What the &%$ did you guys do?", meaning that I could have done more to pass on a world that makes sense.  While changing the world might be a big leap from what happened this weekend, I don't think it has to be so big.  If we continue to find like-minded people who are willing to travel (some from GREAT distances) to evaluate the nature of aggression and we experience one tenth of the feeling of transcendence that seemed to come over the group on Sunday, then we are on the right track.

I know I've rambled, but I only have one more question, and I hope I'm not jumping the gun:

Do we REALLY have to wait 20 more years to do that again?  I don't mean this weekend, but...

I will say nothing about the event except that this past weekend was amazing!  Safe journey to all of those flying home.  Safe driving to all of those on the road.   :wink:

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Balintawak and Dog Brothers Martial Arts
« on: April 03, 2008, 08:49:03 AM »
Great topic!  I teach at an academy that starts all of it's stick curriculum at medio to corto range.  We don't address largo until much further into the training progression.  I usually try to squeeze in largo material when my head instructor is looking the other way, but it's frustrating.  I taught a class last night where I tried to squeeze in information about largo for some of our new students.

Closing scientifically is one of the many great benefits of exploring DBMA material.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Thoughts on Dog Brothers 'Power' DVD
« on: April 01, 2008, 08:31:29 AM »

Sorry to miss your post.  I was away from the forum for a few weeks.  It's great that you have one another to train with and that both of you are so open to learning different things from as many sources as possible.  The ability to maintain an open mind is so important.  I think we should all strive to remain in a state of having more questions than answers.  That creates a perpetual state of learning and wonder in all of our endeveours, martial or otherwise.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Need an opinion
« on: March 19, 2008, 09:02:26 PM »

I would love to watch you take down and ground and pound that Sith bastard!  Great idea, by the way: I don't think there has been a siniwali vs. double lightsaber fight yet at any of the Gatherings! :wink:

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Need an opinion
« on: March 19, 2008, 01:53:09 PM »
I agree with Maxx,

First off, I'm not much on "who could beat up who" type threads.  If you spend anytime on a Star Wars message board, you can find threads about "Yoda vs. Darth Maul".  Those folks get heated and those are fictional characters!  If I were at a Gathering, and BJ Penn or Mat Hughes showed up, I would try to get through the line of people that would form.  The Brothers would not form the line to see if they could "kick Matt Hughes a$$".  The line would form because any member of the tribe would be crazy to pass up the opportunity to fight either one of those men.  What a great way to see where you are at.  As I moved into the line, I would quietly put a training blade on my person for use when (not if) either of those men would decide to close on me and start grappling.  That would not guarantee a kill on my part, but maybe I could pull my knife, change their focus, and maybe even come away with a kill.  Notice that I wrote "a kill", and not "a win".  I would do the best that I could and after the fight, I would try to get the perspective of Penn or Hughes on DBMA.  What do they like about what we do?  What do they see as potential holes?

I'm also not big on trying to one-up someone on a thread with a hypothetical.  What if aliens land who use telepathy as a weapon?  Does that make all of what I learned about myself through martial art invalid?  What if they can stop bullets and knives can't penetrate their skin?  What if you can't eye jab, scratch, or bite the aliens?  All that means is that you're talking about a situation where your martial art is not an appropriate solution.  Do you eye jab, double leg, and then take a section out of the cheek of a drunk uncle at a party who wants to test your kung-fu?  Do you tell a 350 pound mugger to change leads?

I think that everyone out there needs to remember a key idea of the original UFC: what happens when there are as close to no rules as possible?  No longer can you fall back on, "I'm a killer.  If I unleash my full power, people will die."  That was the arena in which to prove it.   That's a theme that has been maintained through the Gatherings.  It's as close as one can come to reality.  No longer can you say, "I'd just drop them with an angle 1."  Prove it.

If I spend enough time on the Web, I can find negative threads about almost anything.  Now on the thread in question, it seems like there is the suggestion that because DBMA doesn't really bite, scratch, and eye gouge, it's not real.  Nobody who has fought in a Gathering doubts the validity of DBMA research.  That's good enough for me.

I echo Karsk's comments about contacts.  I love mine, but after 10 years of lenses, I am thinking about some laser surgery.  One thing I really enjoy about having bad vision: sparring with no corrective lenses.  When I spar, I take my contacts out and spar with my sad, nearsighted eyes just the way they are.  It really forces me to adjust and feel.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Training DBMA/Kali with C-Guide Dog
« on: March 17, 2008, 08:58:43 AM »

Thank you for the kind words.  I have beer reading about DBMA since I was a teenager, (I'm about to turn 30) so to be a member of the tribe, and now a training group leader means a lot to me.  When I head off to a Gathering, my wife always says, "DBMA is my least favorite thing that you do (because of the potential for in jury), but I think it's the most valuable."  What she means is that DBMA is a great way to try and figure out where your skills actually are and what you can actually do.

I was not athletic growing up at all, and I still have days where I feel like the MOST uncoordinated person in the world.  There are SO many great fighters in DBMA, and I am very much a novice.  I figure that even if I am the worst fighter at a Gathering, at least I went out there and did my part to test myself and provide an opponent/target for the Brothers.

I had my own preconceived notions about DBMA until a few years ago.  I watched the clip, which is still on this site, entitled "Rambling Ruminations."  I was struck with how articulate Guro Marc was, especially for someone that I had been led to believe was "crazy." :wink:  After a seminar with Guro Marc, there I was, fighting in a Gathering.  I did some things that I was pleased with at that Gathering, and I had some REAL holes in my game exposed.

I have really been impressed with Crafty Dog.  No a$$ kissing here, but his dedication to helping people truly "walk as a warrior for all their days", and the impact that has on them and the immediate world around them is really amazing.  He can be colorful, but any time spent in the presence of Guro Marc Denny will reveal how much info. there is in his mind and his heart, and how much his life's work means to him.

Enough Hallmark Moments.  If you are reading this and you have the means and you have ever thought about fighting in a Gathering, you should do it!  It's free.  It's there for everyone who wants it.  It will forever change you.  I was scared that I was going to get severely injured and that fear never goes away.  Then I arrive.  I see Guro Marc and Pretty Kitty.  I see some of the folks that I have gotten to know a little through DBMA: the NoHo Gang, C-Bitch (who owes me a knife fight), Dog Ryan (who keeps pointing out that I look like that guy from Metallica), and I meet some of the other folks from around the world who are feeling exactly like I am.  Eventually, I get out there on the floor.  Sticks clash.  We hurt each other, a little bit, and I leave with a high unlike anything else in martial arts.  Again, if you have ever considered doing it, you should fight at a Gathering.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Movie Fights
« on: March 14, 2008, 01:16:13 PM »
I was told that Simo Paula subbed in for Seagal's hands because his hands are on the tiny side for a man.  I didn't know that she played Guro Dan's hands in that POV shot.  If you could clarify the specifics as you know them, Guro Crafty, I would appreciate it.  I know that scene is on YouTube, so I'll look it up later today.  I don't remember the POV shift.  All I remember is Seagal shouting, "Anybody seen Richie?"

What do I win? :wink:

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Movie Fights
« on: March 14, 2008, 08:12:38 AM »
I don't remember the exact POV shot and I was told a slightly different story about that scene, but here is my guess: Simo Paula Inosanto.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Thoughts on Dog Brothers 'Power' DVD
« on: March 10, 2008, 01:20:19 PM »
Black-and-Tan (Kris),

What a great post for those folks out there who are training alone.  I really value your insight into hydration and being aware of the climate.  I take water out with me when I work out in the garage or go to class, but I hadn't really thought about the difficulties of training in other environments for a long time.  I recently traveled to the south to do some training, but it rained the whole time I was there, and I was indoors the whole time.

I have a Silat teacher that I have done some seminar work with and he always talks about the value of solo training.  Since visualization is such an important part of many areas of life, I'm glad you brought that up.  I have been doing some solo/classical/form training for the past few weeks, and your post reminded me of that instructor's comments about the value of solo training.  Anyway, I respect your dedication to daily self-development.  I really would suggest that you implement some DBMA material early in your development.  It sounds like you have made a commitment to two systems that work for you (Sambo and CMIA), but consider, working 1 or 2 DBMA style powerstrikes with a baseball bat for a few minutes a day on each side.  If you watch Top Dog, he is generating a lot of power through relaxation, and even using some boxing concepts to generate with his body.  You might start thinking about how relaxation and body mechanics can be used in Sambo.  None of what I'm writing is incredably original.  We all know that cross-training can be great.  It reads like you are on a great journey of self-discovery and learning, and you are in the unique position of being accountable to no one but yourself!  Why wait?  I admire your commitment to getting a better handle on the two arts you have chosen, but why not throw in something new once in a while for 5 minutes here or 5 minutes there.  Naturally, I don't know you or you may have already regimented yourself in such a way that you are enjoying the journey.  If that is the case, ignore that comment.  It's just that I sense a little regret on your part for not having found DBMA sooner.  Now that you have found DBMA, and you are on a path that sounds amazing, why wait to experiment here and there with material that you like?  What's the worst that's going to happen?  Your instructor is going to yell at you?  :wink:

Anyway, I really enjoyed your post.  You're a very good writer.  I felt like I was there, drinking lots of water and learning through books or DVD with you.  I hope the above suggestion doesn't read as condescending.  A major theme of my training for the past few years has been to seek out the people that I have been reading about since I was a teenager, and train with them.  Don't wait.  Don't think.  Just find them and train, because I only have the present.  That mentality has led to a little credit card debt, but experiences with really great people (lots of them in DBMA) that I wouldn't trade for anything.  If you find yourself training on your own, but you have come across material that you like, why wait?  Of course that's only my opinion, and if you like what you're doing, keep it going!


Martial Arts Topics / Re: Filipino martial arts schools near Whittier?
« on: March 10, 2008, 11:53:20 AM »
Shucks Guro Crafty and Maxx,

Thank you both for the shout outs.  Jaydog72, all of the folks that have been suggested for you on this thread so far are great places to start.  Since you specifically mentioned Whittier, I'll assume that you live there, or nearby.  You really should check out Sifu Bud Thompson's school, again at 

I have been there for just under four years.  Sifu Bud is very old school Guro Inosanto.  We have group classes M-Th at 6-8pm.  Monday is striking (JKD, Thai, Savate). Tuesday and Thursday is Kali.  We have Savate on Friday nights at 7-8:30 under Tony Adams, who is a silver glove under Daniel Duby.  Guro Louis Campos also teaches an advanced class on Sundays.  Some punk (me) teaches trapping and Kali on Wednesday nights.

Sorry for the extended commercial, jaydogg72.  If you are in Whittier, you can always make the drive to the Inosanto Academy for Guro Marc's Saturday DBMA class, or even better, take some privates with the Crafty one, since he is NOT all THAT far away from Whittier. :wink:

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Thoughts on Dog Brothers 'Power' DVD
« on: March 07, 2008, 08:28:26 PM »
I also know what you mean about solo training; I'm in a isolated locale and there are NO schools of any type, anywhere near me. All of my training is done via DVD, distance learning or by reading;

Black and Tan,

You make some great points and I admire your insight into your own learning.  I'm fascinated by the notion of distance education in the martial arts, especially in the video/DVD/computer age.  Since this is a thread on DVD learning, I wonder if you had any other thoughts on the topic, in addition to the points you have already made.  I'm sure there are other folks out there who are expereincing the martial arts training/instructors of their dreams (DBMA, etc.) through videos, magazines, or books.  Any other thoughts or comments for those folks out there whose training or exposure to a system like DBMA might all or mostly be therough DVD?


Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question
« on: March 07, 2008, 02:32:26 PM »
Well, how can I say this.  No, the student who was stabbed, if he thinks a zero tolerance policy helped him in any way, should not have any input into school safety policy.  1) he can't reason a) he WAS stabbed WITH a zero tolerance policy in effect b) HE was the one unarmed during the event; 2) he doesn't have a remote grasp of history a) WWII/European policy toward Germany b) Rome/Carthage c) WWII Japan/USA; and 3) he doesn't understand the basics of the US and Cal Constitutions.

If the staff/students at Columbine/Paducah/VT and any other place with a zero tolerance policy think that policy helped them in any way, then yes, they were doubly wasting time on a nonfunctional education.  If the student can't THINK and REASON the education is wasted.  This rule has been prove time and again to be a) ineffective; b) at best a feel good we did something response; and c) teaches the children to look at government for the solution to life's problems (again they lack basic understanding of the Constitution)

So you're writing that a victim of school violence, should have no input into what changes should be made to make his school safer, if he believes that a zero tolerance policy has any merit.  As a victim of school violence, isn't this student uniquely qualified to weigh in on what might make the school safer?  You're writing that is only true if he believes, 100% that zero tolerance policies are wrong.  If any part of him thinks that a zero tolerance policy is a good idea, than his opinion is invalid because he doesn't understand the Constitution?  I'm assuming that your granddaughter, who you keep referencing, has a keen understanding of how all of her school rules fit into the Constitution, and she can cross reference exactly which section the school is in violation of as far as the rules that you and your eldest have taught her she doesn't have to follow?  There are no school rules at her site that you consider Constitutionally unjust that she may find have some merit which would then cause you to have to define the whole of her education as nonfunctional and therefor invalid?

If an adult gives merit to zero tolerance ANY policy/issue which requires reason and thought is immediately suspect.  If that adult has a college education, then the college is suspect.  This isn't rocket science.  As for my children, they have the same requirements regardless of the idiocy in administration - they follow my rules.  That would be why the eldest told the principle my granddaughter would handle the problem since they wouldn't (and she did in spades).

As for your students working at the 3rd grade level, why are they not in the third grade?  Would that be the result of another admin policy of not hurting self esteem and passing them o

You're very quick to throw around words like "idiot" and "stupid".  You have defined exactly what American parents need to do.  In making your rules the only rules that need following, you need to take the blame.  Any parent who makes their rules the only rules needs to be willing to accept the responsibility if their child flunks out, or can't read at grade level, or gets suspended.  You've hit the nail on the head.  Since your rules are the only rules, why would a child show up on time, do their work, respect any other adult but you, or do anything a teacher/administrator askers them to do if you have told them your rules are the only rules?  Furthermore, since you have clearly defined that most of the people involved in education are "stupid" or "idiots", or that their degree(s) are suspect, why should your children listen?  In passing that on to your kids, you need to be ready to accept the accolades when they do something right, and accept the blame when they go to prison.  How do kids make the transition, if I might ask?  When do they start listening to anyone else but you?  Are their college professors idiots too?  Do they have to listen to their boss when they get a job?  Do they ever transition? Or do they spend the rest of their lives not listening to anyone?

What do your health issues have to do with fixing the problem?  As for salaries, I hear the complaints every year.  I see the teachers driving 1-3 yr old SUV's.  I see them living in the same subdivisions as everyone else.  I see them with an average income of 1.5 (or more) times the local average with more time off than just about everyone else.  Not to mention you picked the vocation knowing what it paid

My response was a direct answer to your suggestion that most people (myself included) in education are not doing anything to fix the problem because we're not working.  My inclusion of health related issues was in response to the number of teachers in the profession that I have seen work themselves to death.  I am not suggesting that there are not other, more stressful jobs out there.  I am suggesting that the insinuation that teachers aren't trying to tackle the crisis of American education everyday is an insult.  The complaints you hear every year are a comment on  the pay for the job versus the stress of dealing with students who have parents who teach them that they don't have to follow the school's rules and that all of their teachers, counselors, and principals are idiots.

Well, it isn't that hard.  The problem is all the educators want to be nice and progressive.  They keep trying to model our schools after California, NYC, Boston, and the rest of the "wonderful" schools nation wide.  Somehow, the more we "modernize" our methods and policies the more FUBAR the schools become.  Hmmm, wonder what we should do next??  Oh, yeah, get even more "modern" and increase government control.

I am so excited about a government agent coming to my school site and showing us what we're all doing wrong.  Take my classes for a week.  I'll audit.  Take the principal's job for a week and clean up the school.  I extend that offer to anyone.  Come on down and within the rules that I have to work in, shape my students into the kind of people you want them to be.  Just be careful Grilmel, you might get stabbed in the back.  I'll call the ambulance and as they're working on you, I'll say,"At least his education was functional.  He didn't believe in zero tolerance policies."  I'll ask the medics if they think there is any merit to zero tolerance.  If they say, "yes", I'll be sure to tell them that you think they're idiots, and that everything they learned in school is invalid.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question
« on: March 06, 2008, 10:39:36 AM »
What a great story.  That's the way I wish the world was.  I got a little heated in this thread because I'm a teacher and I take my job really seriously and I get scared for my students and their futures.  You're very right Black-and-Tan.  Kids are reaching a boiling point and we are still working on the best way to help them.  Great post.


Please don't get me in trouble  :-D.  It's "Candidate Guide Dog".  I can't say enough about Sensei Roy Harris in San Diego.  He is a great teacher, a good man, and he has an amazing attention to detail.  If you are looking into Illustrisimo, you might keep an eye on what's going on at the Harris Academy in San Diego.  Guro Crafty's comment about Lameco is also something you should look into.  I have a few of (sadly, the late) PG Edgar Sulite's tapes.  Good stuff.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: 2-4 day DBMA Camp with Guro Crafty
« on: March 06, 2008, 09:37:36 AM »

Not to interrupt Maija's answer, but I just wanted to take a moment to comment on your introduction(s).  It reads like you have a wealth of knowledge to share.  I have a college commitment on the 28th and 29th, but hopefully Guro Marc will make the camp a four day camp and I can come on the 26th and 27th.  Even if I don't get to meet you this time, it reads like you have a LOT to offer and I look forward to your contributions to DBMA.


Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question
« on: March 06, 2008, 09:02:29 AM »
If the stabbed student thinks the zero tolerance policy is even remotely a functional idea he just proves he has not received a functional education: 1) he was STILL stabbed even with zero tolerance, 2) it isn't really zero tolerance - the students still have pencils/pens/books/belts/scarf and a few hundred other weapons some of which are issued by the school, 3) until quite recently young males carried a pocket knife to school from sometime around the 4th grade, and 4) the only people who follow the rules (or the intent of the rule) are those who wouldn't be a problem without the rule

So the student who was stabbed should not have any input on school safety?  If he were to validate your opinion, would his education then be functional?  If he does believe that zero tolerance policies might make any difference, no matter how small, his whole education is nonfunctional?  If he believes that zero tolerance policies are 10% effective and 90% ineffective, does that still invalidate his entire education?  At what percentage does he have to support zero tolerance polices or consider that they might make some small difference before that one idea renders the whole of his educational experience nonfunctional?  After the Columbine shootings, if any staff or students who lived considered for a moment that a zero tolerance policy might have made some small difference, did that thought invalidate their entire education and their experience of that event?  If any of the victims had ever considered the small difference a zero tolerance policy might make, did that prove that the education they were receiving, up until they were killed, was nonfunctional?  How sad for them then that they had to be there on campus that day, since the education they were persuing was nonfunctional anyway due to their hypothetical thoughts on one school rule.

what a person without the ability to reason at a functional level thinks about a policy is of little concern to me and it is "just following (STUPID) orders".  As my eldest told the principle at her Hawaiian school - if you can't control the kids, then you won't do anything to my daughter when she handles the problem

So, once a person gives any merit to zero tolerance policies, they are by your definition, "stupid", and all of their other opinions don't matter to you.  If your children were students at the school in question on this thread, once you found out that the principal enforces a zero tolerance policy, you would no longer listen to her thoughts about any of the other policies at the school, label her "stupid", and you would empower your children to make all decisions about which rules they feel they should and should not follow?  As I tell my classes all the time, "This place (the school) is not very good training for you.  I don't know of a lot of jobs where you can show up late, wear clothes that are not appropriate for work, be disrespectful to your boss and you superiors, leave your trash all over the place, constantly ask your boss, 'Why do I have to do this?', and do your work at a third grade level when you are 25 years old and think that not only is it okay, but that it's funny."

As for you, if you ain't working to fix the problem, then yes.
  We are working, everyday.  We're working through hypertension, stress-related heart attacks, and salaries (even with summer school) that are a joke based on comparable salaries in other industries.  We are working for those three kids in each class of thirty-eight that have had their educations hijacked by those kids who have been taught by their parents that their education has no value.  We are working through stress-related hair-loss, weight gain, and strokes.  We are working in a system that has been set up by politicians to destroy public education, or to use education like any other "hot" political item to get elected or stay in office.  We are working because our parents taught us that personal development and trying to be lifelong learners are goals that are worth preserving, even when students get the sh&% teased out of them by their gang friends for actually doing their work and maybe even enjoying the act of learning.  We are working for our kids because if you have actually spent much time in classrooms lately, the future looks like a scary place.

So Grimel, it sounds like you have this national school violence problem solved.  In what school district do you serve as superintendant? I'll send you a resume.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question
« on: March 05, 2008, 08:59:24 AM »

I was not criticizing Guro Crafty's parenting.  As a whole, those people who would immediately demonize all educators are going with their biases against educational professionals.  Many of those biases were created to cover the fact that a lot of parents in the U.S. don't spend a lot of time parenting.  As a result, teachers and administrators make good lightning rods for all of the problems with the youth of America.

I am simply trying to point out that it's not right to immediately assume that the principal in question in this thread is evil, or stupid, or a lemming for having to enforce a zero tolerance policy.  I have already stipulated that as a professional educator, I think zero tolerance policies are unfair.  For the record, I think that No Child Left (Untested) Behind is wrong, but I still have to enforce it or I will lose my job.  Yes, I have tenure and I have a union, but if I flat out refused to run my class based on the California State Standards, I would eventually be out of a job.  I don't know of a lot of service based jobs out there that don't occasionally force action that might be ethically questionable.

I feel you are making a villain out of a principal for enforcing a policy that more than likely comes from the district office.  If she disagrees with any policy, I would love to live in a world where she could call the folks at the district and tell them which policies she will and will not be enforcing.  The truth is that she would not be at her job for very long if she did that.

Grilmel, I'm sorry but, for you, whenever you mention someone who is "just following orders", doesn't that expression have Nazi connotations?  In your mind, is the behavior that the principal exhibiting Nazi-like?  If you had another connotation in your head, please correct me.  However, if you did mean the standard Nazi connotation of "just following orders", that's pretty heavy.  Am I "just following orders" when I help facilitate the state test in April, despite not agreeing with standardized testing?

There are many things about contemporary education that I disagree with. A few days ago, we had a student at my school site get suspended for bringing a pair of nail clippers to school.  Is that fair?  I don't know.  Ask the (junior high school) student at my school that was literally stabbed in the back with a knife a few weeks ago if he thinks that a zero tolerance policy for anything that might be used as a weapon is "just following orders".

Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question
« on: February 27, 2008, 11:50:19 AM »

I am in agreement about the idea that zero tolerance policies are nonsense.  They were really put into place because in this age of self-help books and DVD's our culture has not come to grips with the idea that aggressive energy exists and that people need to learn how to handle it in a healthy way.  Think about all of the material out there for coping with stress.  There is no such movement to help people learn to handle their aggression in a healthy way (except for DBMA  :wink: and such).

I'm just not comfortable with the idea that the principal in question is an idiot because she is enforcing a policy that was probably created for her by the school district.  It's very important that we not demonize the folks out there in service based jobs (police, teachers, nurses), because we need them.  After five years, I am looking to either move to higher education, or into an administrative job of some sort.  If America wants to blame their lack of parenting skills on teachers, fine.  Just know that there are people out there who got into education to bring about some positive change, and found the reality of their job to be very different than their expectations.  I realize that phenomenon is not unique to education.

So Grimel, I agree with the policy being beyond stupid, but not with calling the principal an idiot for having to enforce it as part of her job.  Degrees do not mean that you are perfect or know it all, but they do prove you were willing to hang in there and complete a million little steps (a lot of them which feel very arbitrary at the time) to get that piece of paper and the title.  I do not believe that everyone in the world needs a college degree, but I respect anyone willing to put in the time and the years.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: 2-4 day DBMA Camp with Guro Crafty
« on: February 26, 2008, 11:56:01 AM »
"Dog" Ryan has some pretty sick ground skills, but he is also a very well-rounded martial artist.

Guro Crafty: Any more details or a timeline for details for the camp?  Sorry to pressure you, but I know several folks (myself included) who are excited!

Recently, I was coming back to California from a martial arts conference in Atlanta.  At the seminar, we explored the weapon forms of Wing Chun.  I bought a staff at the academy at which the conference was held.  We also explored the butterfly knives of Wing Chun.  I brought my wife and my ten month old son with me and on the last day, I left an hour early to go back to the hotel, finish our packing, check out, and drive down to the airport.  By the time we got on the highway, we had about two hours before our departure time.  My wife and I had packed quickly but efficiently, checking the room for anything we might have left.

We spent a little time driving around by the airport to find a gas station so as to avoid the crazy fees one has to pay if a rental car is returned with a half empty tank of gasoline.  On the bus to the terminal, my wife looked at our luggage and my staff from the conference.

"Do you really think they'll let you take that on?", she asked.  I told her that I didn't but at least I could see what my options were.
At the check-in area, I asked the man who checked our bags what the best thing to do with the staff was.  He told me that I would be able to carry it on the plane and I was surprised.  I asked again if he thought security would really let me take the staff on the plane.  He nodded, and my family and I walked into the airport.

At security, we were escorted down a shorter line (which was nice), because we had my son in a stroller.  My wife and I grabbed several trays and started loading up our shoes and carry-on items.  Finally, I put the staff down on the X-ray machine and walked through the metal detector.  I made it through without a problem.  A few moments later, I watched the man who was looking at the monitor for the X-ray machine.  His eyes were wide and he called over several other security employees.  They looked at the screen, looked at me, looked at the screen, and shook their heads.  One woman said, "Don't ever try that again!"

They asked me what the staff was and for a moment I was tempted to say that it was decorative pole.  I try not to lie as a rule, even if it's a harmless lie.  I told them that I was coming back from a martial arts conference and that it was a staff for training.  They immediately called over a supervisor, who fixed me with quite a look.  I calmly told the supervisor that the man who checked our bags had told me I could bring on the staff.  The security team all looked at one another and shook their heads.  I apologized and told them that I was not trying to cause trouble or make a scene, but that the information I had received from one the representatives from the airline was wrong.

The supervisor escorted me to ticketing and suggested that I try to check my bags.  My wife and baby went ahead to the gate.  He also told me that I had a blade in my main carry-on bag.  When he left, I immediately opened my bag.  In my packing, I simply hadn't thought about it.  I had my butterfly knives (completely dull) in my bag and a Sharkee training blade!  I had about 30 minutes left before my departure time.  I quickly went to ticketing but the woman informed me that I had missed my window to check my bag or the staff.  She looked genuinely sorry and I told her that I had no idea of what to do with the items.  I honestly thought about leaving the blades and staff in the bathroom for a few moments!  I quickly went to security again.

The lady behind the main security line said, "I know you're not trying to get on board with that staff again!"  I told her that I needed a member of the security personnel to formally confiscate my staff and blades.  She looked at me like I had just spoken another language.  I asked her to let me by and I immediately called over a security agent.  The moment he arrived, I said, "I need you to confiscate these items so that I can make my plane."  He looked at me strangely.  A female security agent walked up behind him and I repeated myself.  The woman immediately said, "There is no way you're getting these items on the plane."  I repeated myself and explained the situation.  She got frustrated with me and walked away.  She was replaced by another lady and I repeated my needs.  I told them that I was not trying to get away with anything and that I had 1. been given false information and 2. simply screwed up by not packing my training blades in my checked bags.  I tried to get them to examine the Sharkee, and maybe let is slide, but no dice.  The two agents finally seemed to realize that I was genuine, and they both suggested that I mail the items to myself.  I told them that my flight was leaving in 15 minutes and there was no time.  I left them with my staff which I had just completed a nice day of training with, my butterfly knives that I had bought on a whim when I was 14 and studying Tae Kwon Do of all things only to use them at a Wing Chun conference some 15 years later, and a Sharkee that I had used to "kill" some folks with at the Gatherings.  Above and beyond the $100 cost of the items, they all had meaning to me.

I barely made my flight, but I managed to get onto the plane on time.  I will take 50% of the responsibility for what happened.  It was an expensive way to be reminded that your training weapons must be in your checked luggage.  I had my doubts about the staff going into the airport, but I was told by a man who checks bags for a living that it was okay.

Anyway, if you work at the Atlanta Airport and you are a martial arts enthusiast, if you see my stuff, send me an Email and I'll pay for postage.  I realize that probably won't happen.  I guess the best that I can hope for is that some airport security employee has a young son or daughter and they will bring home one of the items and spark an interest.  Check your training weapons, folks!

Martial Arts Topics / Re: A Father's Question
« on: February 26, 2008, 09:23:38 AM »
As a teacher for the past five years in the section of a southern California school district that is literally on the wrong side of the tracks: I'm disturbed by the immediate assumption that the principal in question is "clueless".  The principal must have at least a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, several years spent in the classroom, and an administrative credential under her belt in order to have become a principal.  Education does not guarantee intelligence or common sense, but it does display a commitment to a goal and a willingness to jump through multiple hoops in order to get what you want.  It sounds like the principal is in the unenviable position of having to enforce a zero tolerance policy, while dealing with a stakeholder (Guro Marc) who just happens to be an expert on the subject of violence and aggression.  At least she sounds open to using Guro Crafty's knowledge to rewrite the policy into something that makes sense.

 It's a crazy world out there.  We have fights on a regular basis at my school site.  The kids choose to make that their sport.  We have a wealth of afterschool activities, sports, clubs, and even an afterschool center with a pool table, DVD's and computers.  Most of our gang kids choose to either hang out at the gas station down the street from the school or go up to the local elementary school and start fights.  Most of our kids could use a beating.  Nobody needs to lose an eye or anything, but I have several students that would benefit from saying something stupid to somebody stupid and having their a$$es kicked a little.  I never tell my students or coworkers that I train.  Honestly, if a students came at me with a knife, my first thought would be that I hope I don't lose my house.  Many of our students won't read or write or put any effort into improving themselves, but they sure have an uncanny knack for figuring out how to exploit the system.

As a doctoral student: I am working on my doctorate of education degree right now, and I hope to write my dissertation on the topic of updating the research to date about uses of martial arts education to change students' attitudes towards violence.  I recently wrote a paper about the injustice of zero tolerance policies.  A lot of my thinking actually came from DBMA (backed up with some other academia) and I also included a citation to the DBMA site.  The challenge is that schools and school employees really can't kick a$$ anymore.  We had a girl at my site get beat up by three other girls and the incident was captured on a security recording.  The victim did nothing but try to cover her head from the beating.  She did not throw a SINGLE strike back.  The three attackers were suspended for a month.  All of their teachers had to send homework for a  month because legally the incident could not affect their grades.  The girl who had the crap beat out of her had to serve a three day suspension to keep with the schools zero tolerance policy.  I watched as the vice principal explained to her that it was only a formality and that it would not be on her permanent record.  The girl spent the conversation nodding, with tears streaming down her face.

As a father: I have a ten month old.  Rules and laws mean nothing when it's your child.  The thing is that you can't really know until you are a parent.  That's one of those things that sounds condescending, but isn't intended to be.  It's like a Gathering.  You can stick spar.  You can even go at it with rattan sticks, but until you've participated in a Gathering, you don't fully know what it's like.  Looking in my son's big eyes as he takes it all in, there is nothing I wouldn't do to preserve that innocence and his right to be a kid for a few years before he starts to understand how ugly the world can be.  That being said, I'm going to see that he has the tools he needs.  If that means standing up to a bully and having to face a suspension to establish that he is not someone to be picked on, I'll not only get a sub. to cover my classes to go pick him up, I'll take him out for fu&%ing ice cream!

As a martial artist:This topic is near and dear to my heart.  After we finish fighting, after all of our Gatherings, after all of the certificates and belts, after all of the great people and the amazing stories, after a little credit card debt to catch a plane and make a seminar, after a MMA/boxing/muay Thai career, what do you want to do with your martial art?  What are the arts for?  Assume you already have all of the credentials you want and a six pack.  After all of that, we are left with the fact that martial arts can be used to improve the world around us.  I truly believe that with the unique insights into violence, aggression, personal development, and self-discovery, we really can have a positive influence on those around us.  That contributes to the greater good.  I know that all sounds a bit cliched and "new-agey", but if we change our perceptions, our reality can be different.

Guro Crafty, please follow up on this thread when you and the principal sit down together to look at the policy.  I really want to hear about how it goes.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Anyone have any good Circuit Ideas for home
« on: February 20, 2008, 01:08:07 PM »
Just a short piece of info.  I went to a local Costco a few weeks ago and their tire center gave me a large, used tire for free.  I only took one, but they offered as many as I could cart away.  They also told me that they usually have to call a service to take the old tires and that they prefer to donate the used tires when possible.  They had recently donated 20 used tires to a local high school for their football team's training.  I noticed that C-Dog Pound had some tire work in his circuit training and I have been having a great time lately alternating between kettlebell rounds and rounds using my tire as a heavy bag for weapons.  I went in fully prepared to lay out money for a new tire, only to have a nice clerk suggest I get a used one for free!  I'm sure the thought of getting a used tire for free is not new on the forum, but this was a real positive experience.  I had my piece of (free) equipment washed and hung in my home gym within ten minutes leaving the store.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: 2-4 day DBMA Camp with Guro Crafty
« on: February 20, 2008, 12:57:53 PM »
I am available for any events for the camp on the 26th and 27th.  I have a research retreat for my graduate work starting on the 28th from 8am-5pm and running through the 4th of July :cry:, so I could only make the first two days if the camp turns out to be a four day event.

Guro Crafty, is this going to be like the previous camps that are featured in the gallery on the public site?  Multiple DBMA and guest instructors, all covering some topic relavant to DBMA?  Also, what kid of material would Bruno Cruicchi be covering?  Any location(s) in mind?  Sorry.  Lots of questions for something that obviously takes a great deal of time and energy to plan, but this is very exciting!

Martial Arts Topics / Re: 4 Day DBMA Camp in Germany with Guro Lonely
« on: February 15, 2008, 07:58:29 AM »
I'll ask in public since I know there are other interested parties:

Guro Marc,
Any more thoughts or information about a camp in California?

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Ninja Babies
« on: February 05, 2008, 08:58:44 AM »
"Dog" Ryan-  As martial artists, martial athletes, and martial scholars, I like that we are starting to spend some time looking at character development and ethics in the same detail that we examine our fighting ability.  When you used the word "attributes", I immediately went to the JKD usage.  What a great idea that character development in children and ethics might run parallel to attributes like speed, strength, and endurance in forging a complete martial artist and a well developed child.

Rio- My apologies for being unclear.  I was asking, aside from formal training, do you have anything you do with your young ones that is martial arts training, but doesn't appear to be?  For lack of a better example, think Daniel in The Karate Kid sanding the floor and painting the fence.  For really young kids, it is usually in the form of a game or during play that you are training them when they don't know it.  Now that I think about it, when he gets older, maybe my son can carry out the garbage with one hand while he presses a kettlebell with the other... :-)

Martial Arts Topics / Ninja Babies
« on: February 04, 2008, 10:18:13 AM »
I have a nine month old son. This past holiday season, I took my boy to a holiday party at a large martial arts academy at which I train.  When I was giving my son a bottle, several of the other students noticed that I feed my son with him holding onto my bottle arm in the closed guard.  I have been giving my son his bottles this way for as long as I can remember.

One of my other favorite games is to force my son to keep me at bay with his feet.  When I get to his side, he is kissed and tickled for some time.  I have noticed that over time, his legs have gotten stronger and he is a bit better at pushing me away.  I also take my son with me two nights a week to an academy for my teaching/training.  The other students seem to like that my boy is being exposed to the martial arts so early in his development.

I was wondering, for all the folks out there with kids or who have regular interaction with children, what kinds of things (like the above examples) do you do to expose them to martial arts?

Martial Arts Topics / Re: new to the board
« on: January 18, 2008, 11:03:03 AM »
Welcome to the forum.  Your school looks like a fun place to train.  How great that in a small town you have all of the training opportunities that you wrote about!

Martial Arts Topics / Re: The Dog Brothers Tribe
« on: January 18, 2008, 10:58:21 AM »
"Dog" Ryan,

Thanks for the shout out! I'm very proud to be a member of the tribe, and now "C-Guide Dog".  I'm also happy to be amongst the current group of people who are moving through the ranks in the tribe, a really great group of folks, including yourself.

C-Guide Dog

PS: A minor detail, but "Bryan" please. Not "Brian", "Bryon", or "Byron".  Just like "Brian", except with a "y". Thank you, I really apprciate it.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: DB Gathering of the Pack August 10th, 2008
« on: January 07, 2008, 11:21:36 PM »
Dog Tom,

What a great post! All I have to add is that the post-Gathering state of being is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had.  Aside from a great shot on the elbow from Poi Dog and a good knee to the ribs from Pappy, most of the injuries I have sustained at the Gatherings have gone unnoticed until I arrived home and fired up that post-Gathering shower.  This is not to say that I have not been hit hard by many of the other amazing warriors that I have fought with but the high that I experience every time I fight in a Gathering makes it all seem not so bad and VERY, VERY worth it. There's NOTHING like it. 

If you are even thinking of fighting, you should do it.  Take a knife fight to warm-up and then take a stick fight and see what happens. The Gathering is a lab space, not the Olympics. I have "been killed", "killed", looked really bad and gotten beat up, and also managed to pull a few cool things off. I'm willing to "die", tap, "kill", get hit, or hit you as many times as I need to in order to facilitate my growth and to see the tribe grow as a whole. I've written this before: Let's step out there and  hurt each other a little bit. :-)

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Training to much?
« on: July 11, 2007, 09:12:20 AM »

5thprofessional47 has given you some really good advice.  That single day a week of rest is really important.  If you have a hard time with taking a day, think about that day off as part of your training.  That way, you won't feel guilty when that day comes.  Also, if you can plan some kind of fun activity on that day, you will find that it will really enrich your overall training.  Again, think about that activity (even if it's taking in a movie you've been waiting to see) as part of your overall training.  Also, remember that one of the missions of DBMA is that you should "walk as a warrior for all your days."  Each day is different and each decade is different.  That is not an excuse to be lazy but a reality.  Maybe you were tired during the training session you described.  Maybe you had a momentary head rush.  Maybe your usual training routine needs to be revamped.  One of my favorite things to do is evaluate how my work day has changed me when I train in the evenings.  Am I tired?  Am I pumped up?  Was I rushing to get to class?  Am I nervous about something?  Am I focused?  Am I taking too many mental vacations?  Your training should be working for you and for what you need.  That's my 2 cents.  Think about the day off each week, keep training, and most importantly, have fun.  Things usually balance themselves out so you'll probably have a work out soon where you do something you didn't think you could do or you go longer than you've ever gone before.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Some Jun07 Gathering Pics
« on: July 11, 2007, 08:49:11 AM »
Both of those sets of pics were a lot of fun to look at.  Thank you both for sharing!

I'm very happy to be a member of Sensei Harris' Grappling Association as well as a member of the Dog Brothers Tribe.  When I saw this thread, I was hoping to get Mr. Harris to answer.  Mr. Harris is a very good teacher with a great eye for the little details.  I hope this is okay with Guru Crafty but here is a link to Mr. Harris' response on the boards on the Harris International Website.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: June 2007 Gathering
« on: March 16, 2007, 11:31:34 AM »
1. "Let's go out there and hurt each other a little bit."  I always say something like this to my training partner before we go out and fight.  I always try to get them to laugh with me before we step out there and hit each other with sticks.  I was just realizing right now that I don't know what word to use to refer to the other men who fight with me during the Gatherings.  What's the right word?  Partner/brother/warrior? All seem appropriate.  "Opponent" doesn't seem right.  I don't mean to disrespect the warriors I have fought or will fight in June.  They give me MAJOR game and I have been "killed" many times.  I know that using the word "opponent" might be helpful to put me in a more aggressive mental state.  The problem is that if I really try to think of my partner as someone who is threatening my family and I use that, there might be a little hate in my heart.  I don't think that this would turn all 5'7" of me into a "mindless killing machine" (I'm more Jack Russell Terrier than a Doberman anyways), but Gatherings have nothing to do with hate.  At the same time, I want to respect my opponent and give him a chance to test himself.  It's a fine line to walk.  I have wondered many times after a fight if I am aggressive enough for DBMA.

2. What I really love about the Gatherings is that they are a good model for how the world should be: two men with aggression realize that aggression exists and they go and use that aggression to test themselves and to grow.  After the fight ends, while it might seem like a terrible cliche, both men have won because they know themselves better.  Wouldn't it be great if all of the stupid people in the stupid places doing stupid things (Guru Crafty's expression) could fight in the same way?  One young man with no healthy outlet for his aggression says something dumb to another young man.  The second young man hits him in the face and the first young man realizes what he said was wrong.  They argue over who should buy the beer and they both feel like they know themselves better.  No one calls their friends or pulls out a knife.  Maybe it's wrong to dream about a utopia but maybe that's a vision that's tied into the heart of DBMA. 

P.S. Most of my posts always come back to how we can use the martial arts to improve the state of the world.  I teach junior high in a fairly tough neighborhood.  If only some of my students would hit each other with sticks once in a while.  They would be a lot happier!  I look forward to hurting and getting hurt a little bit by some of you in June.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Are there Knights?
« on: February 22, 2007, 05:43:35 PM »

Your experience is one of professional warriors trying to use their knowledge to guide future generations.  You were doing that in a situation where the knowledge you were passing on really did play a part in the survival of those military professionals that you were guiding.  Talk about testing knowledge in the adrenal state!   Personally, I am a public school teacher and a martial arts enthusiast.  However, our goal of passing on knowledge to those who came after us to help define character is the same.  While my job sometimes feels like combat, you however performed that role in a military environment.  You have my deep respect and admiration.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Wali Songo Silat with Pendekar Steve Benitez
« on: February 22, 2007, 03:29:11 PM »
Just for informational purposes: Guru Inosanto closed his mixed Silat camp last year with footage of Pendekar Benitez.  All I have to say is wow!  Pendekar Beneitez has amazing movement on the ground and blinding speed.  John and Suzanne Spezzano, who are instructors over at the Inosanto Academy, fly out to train with Pendekar Benitez several times a year, and they have nothing but respect for him.  I have a previous commitment but if you are local, you should do everything you can to attend the seminar.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Are there Knights?
« on: February 22, 2007, 03:14:12 PM »
This is a great thread with many people expressing relevant and thought provoking ideas.  The ideal of a knight versus the actual reality of knights has already been explored in this thread.  What strikes me about this topic is how much of human fiction is devoted to archetypal warrior characters.  I am writing about fiction, not history because fiction often shows us what human beings strive to be in light of reality.  A knight, a samurai, a Shaolin monk, an ignorant white man who learns warrior ways from another culture, a Jedi, etc., all have to do with an ideal warrior-intellectual who demonstrates for those around him what the best life path is.

It can often be inferred from these works that contain characters like this that the warrior knows their wisdom has come with a hard price.  The warrior-character usually waits for the days when they can move on to the next stage of life/manhood.  What is so troubling about real-life contemporary, archetypal villains (criminals, violent drug-addicts, gang members, etc.) is that they exhibit no signs of revering life and they do not give any thought to the future.  There is no "next stage" for them, whereas the warrior archetype from fiction is often waiting for "the war to end", or for "the fighting to stop" so that they can assume an elder/King/sage sort of roll. 

It strikes me that we have many templates for what could be a well-lived life available here in this thread.  Most of them seem to contain a warrior stage that comes fairly early on in the various progressions.  The progressions all seem to move from those stages to some sort of a father-figure/adviser roll.  In the DBMA logo, "heart" is on the top of the triangle.  In the Inosanto/LaCoste FMA triangle, love is at the top.  This is the same thing.  The healing arts are the last phase of FMA in Guru Inosanto's FMA progression.  ALL of these life templates are leading the warrior to the same place: being a guide/father/King/adviser/sage/healer who is loved and respected for having walked the path and now improving the world around him by guiding the youth through the same process.

It has already been articulately expressed in this thread that ideals for how to live life are usually met with skepticism in our culture and how unfortunate that is.  If we can have the courage to strap on fencing masks and hit one another with sticks to cultivate the warrior spirit, can we have the courage to say that we want to use martial art, or martial philosophy, or a martial experience/life to try and make the world a better place?  I already know how naive that last sentence must read as but it only reads as such because of cultural cynicism.  Do we have the courage to try and be a modern-day knight, Jedi, samurai, etc.?  If we can do that, it just may be that our world-wide dream for the world to be a good place, as demonstrated in fiction, might actually start to catch up with our reality.

Martial Arts Topics / Re: Tippy-tappy drills-- threat or menace?
« on: February 21, 2007, 07:24:04 PM »
I am going to try and start things off on a positive note in a thread that I know is going to be heated.  Energy drills are fun.  They are fun to do with someone that knows them.  I often talk about sumbrada and the related drills in this thread as a language.  It's fun to learn the language and then speak it with others familiar with it.  You can go super slow with these drills.  You can work with minimal resistance.  You can also step it up and use some padding and go full speed, moving in and out of the drills.  Watching two expereinced FMA practitioners move in and out of the drills is really beautiful.

Personally, at the two gatherings I have participated in, I have been able to deflect a strike and return a strike that made contact (Sumbrada) here and there.  I will admit to getting hit at the gatherings, getting "killed" many times, and realizing my ground game needs work.  My preparation for participating at the gatherings has been  a few years in the Inosanto blend and some VERY padded stick sparring sessions.  I am still alive after my participation.  My main goal in DBMA is access to experiences that make me qualified to talk about what has worked for me in the FMA.  I like talking about roof blocks because I have used them in real time.  I feel qualified to share my own experiences with others if it is helpful.  For me, I like a mix of the energy drill training and the fighter's perspective to keep my FMA experience fresh.  Really, the "combat-only" perspective and the energy-drill perspective should be working together in the modern FMA practitioner.

The problem I am seeing in contemporary martial arts is that we need to realize that we are ALL family.  We all have something to offer.  The energy drills of the FMA have something to offer.  Going right into stick and knife sparring is a route that has something to offer.  Seeking out those techniques that have been "tested" is a route that has something to offer.  I realize this paragraph is a little touchy-feely but what we are all talking about is using martial arts to improve the state of the world, whether that is being an unorganized militia or doing Tai Chi in the morning because it is relaxing.

In that respect, let's stop being martial arts bigots and accept that everyone has different goals.  For all the "sumbrada studs" (Guru Crafty's expression) out there, keep on doing your thing.  We need you to make the FMA look good and attract new, good people to the art.  For all of the hard-core fighters out there, keep doing your thing.  Not everyone (understandably) wants to go down your road and we will need to hear about your experiences so we can learn from them.  For the folks in the middle who just wanted to learn martial arts because of the character and health benefits it offers, keep doing your thing.  I have met some of the nicest people ever in the martial arts and the feeling of belonging the arts can bring you is amazing.  So, if you want reality only or "cage-tested" material only, okay.  Just realize that you should not judge the folks who like learning a million variables for punyo sumbrada.  The energy-drill folks also need to stop looking at DBMA and shaking their heads because they are not seeing one clean snake or vine disarm at any of the gatherings.  If we start to look at it from the perspective of using the FMA to improve the state of the world, that is much healthier than fighting over who is "alive" and who is "dead". Whether that improvement in the world is preparing someone to defend their loved ones or giving a child a place to go and practice "kung-fu" afterschool that keeps them out of trouble, it is all the same goal.

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