Author Topic: Rambling Rumination: For Doctor Dog  (Read 7020 times)


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Rambling Rumination: For Doctor Dog
« on: May 16, 2016, 01:06:23 PM »
Rambling Rumination: Doctor Dog's Adventure continues
by Punong Guro Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny
(c) 2016 DB Inc.

Woof All:

The 2016 Dog Brothers US Tribal Gathering of the Pack was held this past weekend on May 14-15.

Fighting were:

Original Dog Brother Dogzilla
Doctor Dog
Seeing Eye Dog
Smiling Dog
Fu Dog
Catch Dog
Crossover Dog
Pappy Dog
C-Shadow Dog
C-Fox Hound
C-Faithful Dog
C-Ferox Dog
C-Puni Dog
Dog Josh
Dog Greg
Dog Clint
Dog Lamont
Dog Joseph
Dog Mario
Dog George
Dog Matt
Dog Holger
Dog Rouwen
Cat Christine

Timekeeper and Scribe of the Tribe: Poi Dog

and yours truly as Ringmaster.

It is not our way to score things or to rank things, but I must say that this particular Tribal was simply outstanding from beginning to end. The physicality, the technical skill displayed under extreme adrenal conditions, the "Friends at the end of the day" credo, the variety of weapons, the creativity-- all were of the highest order.

Some random observations:

1) Size disparity: Again and again smaller fighters fought fearlessly and well against much larger fighters and with a number of fighters between 250 and 300 pounds, "larger" means large! It was common to see weight disparities of 60-100 pounds!

2) Kicking: Many of us have been taught that kicking in a weapons fight is foolish. Not on this field! Many fighters regularly integrate kicking, including head kicks, side kicks, spinning back kicks, teeps, front kicks as well as leg kicks into their games. Several of the lighter fighters were particularly skillful in this regard and were able to balance the scales against heavier opponents with their kicks. Some of the larger fighters surprised in this regard as well, for example Samoan C-Puni scored strong side kicks several times.

3) In the old days, we simply used knife as a way to warm up with the "knives" being rattan dowels or plastic trainers-- with exception of the occasional power thruster (e.g. Top Dog!)-- not a scary thing. Today most of the fighters use aluminum trainers. Getting thrust or hacked with an aluminum trainers, especially one the size of a Bowie knife is no joke with broken hands, arms, or ribs being a real possibility. With the greater danger these fights become more realistic and quite interesting in their own right with interesting match ups between ice pick and hammer grips being quite common; and one fighter exploring hammer with reverse edge.

4) The variety of weapons brought to bear continues to grow. With no public in attendance at a Tribal it becomes psychologically easier for fighters to experiment. In addition to the usual single stick, there was plenty of double stick, stick & knife, sword and knife, stick & buckler, sword & buckler, and even one staff & buckler!

5) With several people rather dinged up from Day One, Day Two had far more sword fights. A word here on the sword fights: Obviously if swung with intention a piece of aluminum the size of a sword can do too much e.g. break major bones badly or lastingly reduce IQ. Thus these fights require an intuitive understanding of both fighters equally staying relaxed and dialing back on the speed and power-- much trust in one's opponent to not accelerate is required and the Tribals are a good place for this. If/when someone gets excited and goes to hard these weapons can cause major breaks (ask Gong Fu Dog, who was on the wrong end of this a few years back.)

6) I think it safe to say there has been more exploration of the buckler in the Europe Dog Brothers than here in the US (though the NoHo Clan has been doing some good work in this regard) with many Euros going into the manuals from centuries ago. It was interesting for Poi Dog and me to scan for the differences due to this influence between the Germans and the Americans.
Noteworthy in this regard was C-Faithful Dog who came cherry to the experience but showed excellent intuitive understanding and movment.

7) The calm and composure shown by all was impressive. Particularly noteworthy for me was Beowulf who would calmly transition from taking most of the pictures you see on DBMA FB (and soon to be seen on our photo gallery) to some of the most hellacious fights of the weekend without batting an eye. Very Akita-like!

8) As a teacher I confess to being more than a little proud of the good use my students put to the ideas, tactics, and concepts that we have worked. "Its DBMA-- if you see it taught, you see it fought!"

9) The culmination of the weekend came with Doctor Dog deciding to take up the "Beasting" tradition started by the Euros in celebration of this being his last time on the field. In a mighty display he fought seven fighters seriatim without rest!!!

Then it was time for the full Dog Brothers there to confer over the ascensions. As always, the thoughtful consideration and conversation did its magic and I feel good about the choices we made. They are:

Promoted to Dog:

Steve Sachs

Promoted to Candidate Dog Brothers/Cat Sister

Clint "C-To be determined" Taylor
Christine "C-Freyja Cat" Richter
Holger "C-Juggernaut Dog" Hoffmann
Rouwen "C-Silent Dog" Neumann
Josh "C-Lazy Eye Dog" Rogers
Lamont "C-Wile E. Dog" Glass
Joseph "C-Honey Badger Dog" DeBraux
Mario "C-Beast Hound" Ramirez
Promoted to Full Dog Brother.....
Matt "Fox Hound" Berry

Also, I took advantage of the occasion to promote Crossover Dog to DBMA Red Tag Instructor and Dog Steve Sachs to Instructor.

With his retirement, promoted to the next level, the for now nameless level, was Doctor Dog.

Here are some words I wrote back in 2003-- perhaps they be of relevance to my good friend Doctor Dog at this special moment in his Life:

Woof All:

At the core of the attraction that the FMA hold for me is that they produce men who "walk as warriors for all their days".

Of all the stories of Guro Inosanto, in one of many that have touched me deeply, he tells of watching old manongs hobble out to demonstrate their art. Amongst his many skills Guro I. is an extraordinary mimic (of accents as well as movement BTW) and as he mimics their movement one can see the effects of time. But then!-- they pick up their sticks and begin to move and it is as though they were young again: the movement live, dynamic and full of grace. And then they finish and become old men again, and hobble off.

The thought I apply to myself for my personal mission (and that of DBMA) of "walking as a warrior for all my days" is to train so that there is a place in myself that is forever young-- a place that I can access should I ever need to. If I remember my readings in NLP correctly, this may be called an anchor. In FMA perhaps this may be considered an anting-anting.

Regardless the name, it is the place that is forever young. If one has done little in youth, it seems reasonable to me to think that it will be of less value than if one has done more-- without having done "too much".. Perhaps some of the training that is derided by some today may be better seen as what those who "did more" in their youth use to keep the rust off their skills? Of course this interpretation implies that these methods may not suffice in the absence of seasoning experiences.

Just a rambling rumination.
Crafty Dog

In my case on this day I went straight from the Sacred Ground of the Dog Brothers to the gym and deep in the altered space that a Gathering brings, I began to dance with my sticks, with them speaking to me of what I had learned from I had witnessed.

As the Toby Keith song goes, "I may not be as young as I once was, but I am as young once as I ever was."

My life upon it.

The Adventure continues!
Crafty Dog