Author Topic: Rambling Rumination: Going Nitrous  (Read 7404 times)


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

Woof All:

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

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

Uh oh , , ,

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

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

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

He shared the answer with me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exactly so!

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

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

The Adventure continues!
Crafty Dog Marc Denny


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Re: Rambling Rumination: Going Nitrous
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2019, 06:19:12 PM »
Rambling Rumination: “Kali Tudo and Going Nitrous Part One” ©
By Punong Guro Crafty Dog Marc Denny

It has been over fifteen years that I have been working on my “Kali Tudo” ® system. I first introduced it with this article in 2005:

With my recently released “Kali Tudo 4” it feels like a good moment to summarize where the system is now.  First, a review of some of the founding principles:

The name “Kali Tudo” combines Brazil’s “Vale Tudo” (Valid Total, i.e. “anything goes) and Filipino “Kali”.  Most Americans pronounce Kali and Vale with the same ending sound so “Kali Tudo” becomes something of a bad pun and as such appeals to my sense of humor.

The greybeards among us will remember that VT was the original rules of the UFC.  Head butts, groin punches, kicking and stomping a downed opponent, were all allowed.  If I remember correctly from when I was a judge at UFC 10, only eye gouges, biting, fish hooking, toe and finger locks, and spinal blows were not allowed.

Since then, as is appropriate for a combat sport that is also a business seeking mass market, the rules have evolved and the Vale Tudo rules have evolved into the rules of MMA today.  One may quibble with certain of the rules (e.g. I would allow kidney kicks with the heel by a fighter having guard position and would disallow straight kicks to the knee) but on the whole this has been a good and suitable thing.

The vigorous testing of the laboratory of the cage has allowed for extraordinary evolution in fighting skill and technique in the context of the fight paradigm of young, mostly male, ritual hierarchical combat.

Anyone with this skill set is likely to be a formidable fighter in a real world “Die Less Often” context and often they will fare quite well!

That said, people will do in the adrenal state what they have tested in the adrenal state and there are some mental chinks in the both the physical and mental aspects of the MMA paradigm that can lead to the catastrophic outcomes in the real world situations that in DBMA we call “DLO” (Die Less Often—the interface of gun, knife, and empty hand).

Note well that the mental chinks in the armor not only includes things “not to do” in DLO situations,  but also includes missing many “things you can do” in DLO that you cannot in MMA.

Quick story:  In the early days of the UFC the strikers, whose adrenally tested skills were only in the context of fighting other strikers, fared poorly against Gracie Jitsu—they had never experienced a skilled ground fighter.  All Royce Gracie had to do was recognize and step through the portal to grappling tie ups and take downs and the strikers were left without their skills.

Naturally the egos of those in striking arts were deeply threatened and various explanations were attempted.  One of the most common was “You wouldn’t want to go to the ground in a street fight against more than one!”

At the time (1993-95) Royce’s brother, Rorion Gracie, had a column in Black Belt magazine.  The internet had yet to take off and Black Belt was THE dominant magazine for martial arts.  In this column he addressed this objection to Gracie Jiu Jitsu by saying “You can’t fight just one man, why worry about more than one?”

Very witty snark no doubt!

But the logic is quite flawed in my opinion.  The proper answer to a multi-player attack in the street is to go to weapons.  Most commonly this will be a knife or a gun.  (Where I live in California I am limited to a 3” folder)

Once openly stated, the point is obvious but Rorian, like so many in martial arts, as fixated as he was on young male ritual hierarchical combat, simply missed it.

Kali Tudo seeks to do unarmed fighting in Die Less Often (DLO) situations with the same movements whether the opponent or adversary is armed or unarmed.  Kali Tudo seeks to do operate in DLO situations with the same idioms of movement whether we are armed or not.  Having only one idiom of movement means in DLO situations we do not need to first discern whether the opponent is armed before choosing Empty Hand or Anti-Weaponry movements—an exceedingly important time saver in our response time!!!  Similarly, this minimizes the necessary change should the opponent arm himself during the fight.   Kali Tudo in the cage is where we test and adrenalize our skills.


The mission statement of Dog Brothers Martial Arts is to “Walk As Warriors For All Our Days”. We seek the joys and good health of good training to be ready for DLO situations where there are no age or weight divisions, where weapons may or may not be involved, and where numbers may be unequal.  Such fights may start or finish in ways quite distinct from two men of equal size starting at a distance with a referee giving a go signal and declaring when the fight is over while enforcing the rules in the meantime.

It is in these contexts we look to bring the Kali Tudo blend of Filipino Kali and Vale Tudo to bear—and use the laboratory of MMA to test ourselves and our ideas in the adrenal state with the real contact and aerobic challenge of a contesting opponent that the MMA experience provides.

For those for whom the actual experience of getting in the cage is too much (and that is most of us!), there is real value is seeing it manifested by others and being informed by it in their own testing at the level suitable for each of them.

Specifically, what does Kali Tudo mean in MMA application?

Kali promises that the movements of the empty hand are, with minor modifications, just like those of the weapons.  Most people regard this as nonsense, but I do not.  Most people pose the logical and fair question “If that were so, why don’t we see it in the cage?”

The short answer is that the self-fulfilling nature of the logic “If this idea had merit, we would already see it”  combines with the fact that that the most people with Kali skills have not tested them in the adrenal state such as can be found in a “Dog Brothers Gathering of the Pack”® and most of those who have done so have done so mostly single stick and so the logic becomes circular.  We have not seen it because we have not seen it!

Because I tested my Kali skills as Crafty Dog of the Dog Brothers and did my best while fighting with two sticks, it occurred to me to go where I had not seen anyone else go—to apply Kali in the MMA context.

As related elsewhere, I began my research in this in my early 50s in the 2000s at the RAW Gym in El Segundo, California where I got to interact with and pick the brains of the some of the top fighters on the planet at that time.  At the time we were holding our Gatherings at the RAW Gym, so everyone there understood what I was coming from and what I was trying to do.  Thanks to their testing me gently in my explorations I am here to share what I have learned there and since then.

So, specifically what distinguishes KT from MMA?

1)   First be clear that KT does not look to replace MMA with something completely distinct.  You WILL want to have the skill sets of modern MMA. (Muay Thai, boxing, Greco Roman clinch, wrestling, BJJ, etc) You may not need to go beyond the basics, but you should have at least enough to not make basic errors and enough to take advantage of common errors.

That said, you also will need to understand that certain aspects of MMA are not relevant to KT.  Simple examples: because we prepare for DLO, where more than one opponent adversary may be part of the equation and where weapons may be in play or come into play after the fight begins, we place much more emphasis on throw downs than take downs; if we are on the ground we emphasize positions where we cannot be entangled; we emphasize positions where we can monitor the hands and check for hidden weapons.

2)   One of the biggest and most readily obvious differences is that KT offers striking distinct from boxing type strikes.  If we define boxing strikes from a Kali point of view, we can say that are all of them are forehanded thrusts, either straight or curved and that every boxing strike requires a shift in body weight.  John Boyd of OODA loop fame spoke of the importance in “changes in height, speed, and direction.” In that Kali strikes also include backhands this means that two (and sometimes three!) strikes can be delivered with one shift of body weight. Let us call this "double striking".  Double striking means that as far as our opponent/adversary/adversary’s neurological system is concerned, two times as many strikes are coming in in the same amount of time—i.e. we have doubled our speed without moving any faster and thus can take advantage of Boydian tactics!  This is my idea of a very big deal!

There is much more (different ways of elbowing, using the forearms, and other things too) but this should give an opening idea that suffices for the purposes of this piece.

3)   In addition to the footwork for multiple player and other DLO situations, KT footwork includes many things that most MMA footwork does not.  In addition to the same hand and foot footwork of modern boxing (e.g. the front foot takes a short step with the jab) we can also step through with the opposite foot— in DBMA what we call “the Zirconia”.  This is done by some in MMA, but I believe KT has a science of this that can be taught in a way that the fighter will recognize opportunities that he might very well otherwise miss.   

4) When double striking and opposite hand and foot footwork are done together continuously powerful blitzkrieg pressure is created.  Also, bringing to bear an influence from Krabi Krabong, KT also steps through sometimes with the same hand and foot.  Having the skill of these three footwork modalities and the skill of transitioning between them becomes an additional way of changing the ground speed of our footwork (another example of Boydian change in speed) without having to change the speed of our movement—a subtle and powerful point!

These variables are the focus of our new “Kali Tudo 4” release.

It has been several years since the release of KT-3 and I like to think that in KT 4 we are able to bring together the various strands of KT 1-3 and really move things forward.  In this effort I am exceedingly well represented in this effort by DBMA Guro Splinter Dog Antone Haley and DBMA Guro Beowulf Mark Houston.  Their resumes are below.

The Adventure continues!
Punong Guro Crafty Dog Marc Denny

• University of California, Davis: BA in Philosophy (High Honors) andPsychology (Honors), June 2009.
• Junior Research Assistant with the UCD Department of Neurological Surgery(2008-2010)

Current Employment
• San Francisco Police Department • 257th Recruit Class (Nov. 2017)
• FTO in the Bayview District
• Probation in the Tenderloin District • Market Street Foot-Beat
• Captain’s Problem Solving Unit
• Participated in multiple buy-bust operations and search warrant services

• Current Assignment: HSOC Unit

Miscellaneous:  first place in the men's elite division at the 2019 tactical games event held in Georgia 6/22-23/19

Law Enforcement Specific Training
• Gracie Survival Tactics Instructor (Gracie HQ)
• Terrorism Liaison Officer-C (NCRIC)
• Criminal/Terrorism Interdiction Workshop (Desert Snow)
• Interview and Interrogation Course (BATI)
• Krav Maga Law Enforcement Instructor (USKMA)
• Law Enforcement Force-Continuum Instructor (PFS)
• RFLX Combat Wrestling Tactical Instructor (RFLX)
• Accurint/LexisNexisWorkshop

Martial Arts Instructor Training
• Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt (Ralph Gracie->Mikyo Riggs)
• Full Dog Brother (Splinter Dog)
• Dog Brothers Martial Arts Instructor (Guro)
• Muay Thai Instructor (Kru TyElliot)
• Wing Chun Kung Fu Instructor (Chris Chan)

• Jeet Kune Do Instructor (Paul Vunak)
• Libre Fighting Systems Trainer (Scott Barbb)
• Edged Weapons Instructor (Paul Vunak)
• RFLX Combat Wrestling Instructor (RFLX)
• MMA Strength and Conditioning Coach (Kevin Kerns)

Weapons Instructor Training
• Tactical Pistol and Rifle Instructor Course (CSAT/Paul Howe)
• Shotgun Instructor Course (Sig Sauer Academy)
• Combat Pistol Instructor Course (Suarez International)
• TAPS Pistol and Rifle Instructor Course (Pat McNamara)
• Pistol and Rifle Instructor Course (TRC)
• Armed Civilian Tactics Instructor Course (Tactical Krav Maga)
• NRA Instructor (MultipleDisciplines)
• NRA Range SafetyOfficer

Tactics Training
• Low Light Operator Instructor Course (SurefireAcademy)
• Basic SWAT school (CSAT/Paul Howe)
• Advanced SWAT School (CSAT/Paul Howe)
• Shoot House Instructor Course (TRC)
• CQB/Tactics Instructor Course (DAG/TFTT)
• Active Shooter Instructor Course (FLETC)
• Active Shooter Instructor Course-Solo Officer Response (Alerrt)
• Tactical Night Vision Instructor Course (DARC)

Specialty Training
• Wilderness survival
• Human tracking
• Surveillance
• Environmental manipulation

Medical Training
• Basic Tactical Medical Instructor (FLETC)
• Tactical Combat Casualty Care
• First Responder
• First Aid/CPR for Adults andChildren

Guro / Sifu Mark “Beowulf” Houston

•   Training and teaching White Tiger Kenpo since 1998
•   Co-Founder of THE TRAINING MAT (2007)
•   Became Full Dog Brother and given name “Beowulf” (2010)
•   Received Green Arm Band in Muay Thai (2010)
•   Achieved Black Belt in White Tiger Kenpo (2012)
•   Received 3rd Degree in White Tiger Kenpo (2017)
•   Given the title of “Guro” in DBMA (Dog Brothers Martial Arts) by Punong Guro Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny (2013)
•   Board of Directors: Dog Brothers Martial Arts Instructor Association, Curriculum Director (2014)

Fights / Competitions
•   Pro MMA record: 3-0
•   International Chinese Koushu Championships, San Francisco (2001)
•   Bok Fu Do Invitational, San Francisco (2002)
•   Long Beach International, Kenpo forms and self-defense techniques (2004)
•   The Desert Rat, Kenpo (2004)
•   Amateur kickboxing, Team Quest, Murrieta (Record: 4-0) (2007)
•   King of Catch (2007)
•   Turkey Tapout, Upland (2008)
•   Grappling X, Pancration at the Armory, San Bernardino (2009)
•   Grappling X, Long Beach (2009, 2012)
•   Soboba MMA (2015)
•   Battle of the Badges, Kickboxing (2016)
•   Regular participant at Dog Brothers Gatherings.  Averaging 8 to 10 full contact stick fights a year since 2006

Teachers / Coaches
•   Long time private student of Punong Guro Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny: Guiding Force of the Dog Brothers and Head Instructor of DBMA (Dog Brothers Martial Arts), in DBMA
•   Sifu Lester Griffin, original Dog Brother and UFC judge, in Stick Fighting
•   “Smoken” Joe Sarkissian, 3 time title holder, in kickboxing
•   Lorenzo Rodriguez, 1970s kickboxing champ, in kickboxing
•   Bart Vale, founder of Shootfighting and 10th Degree Black Belt in Kenpo, in Shootfighting