He Had His Art

written by Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny

Several years back, a man I had fought at a “Dog Brothers Gathering” went out behind his school and blew his brains out. He was involved in intense law enforcement work and I was told that his marriage was ending. He left two daughters and a separated wife.

He was a part of the extended Inosanto Tribe as well the Dog Brothers tribe and so I mentioned it to Guro Inosanto. He was surprised, and instantly exclaimed “How could he have done that? He had his Art!”

Read moreHe Had His Art

The Days Before A Fight

written by Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny

The days before the fight are always a powerful crucible. I have a non-martial art teacher who when someone seeks to leave a situation that makes them uncomfortable says, “Whatever you do, keep on being here in this moment.” I may not have the quote exactly right, but I hope I have the gist of it.

Scientist Konrad Lorenz’s book “Behind the Mirror” addresses the evolutionary biology of consciousness. There is a passage in the book wherein he describes how a cat at play will seamlessly string together unrelated behaviors/movements from stalking prey, fighting a rival, bluffing a predator, courtship, killing prey etc. He then points out that the instant that the cat is stressed (e.g. the appearance of a rival) this ability disappears.

Many martial arts discuss how there are different mindsets/qualities with which one can defend/fight. Often the names are a bit poetic; Fire, Water, Wind, Rock, Earth, etc. but the point is made that the more realized the fighter is, the better his ability to fluidly shift between them. In the intense adrenal state of a fight, this can be a very good trick to actually do, yet as Lorenz’s point about the cat makes clear, the state of Play is the state where this happens best. (“What Is Play?” in evolutionary biological terms is an interesting question in its own right.) Thus, the best fight is where the fight is play. Thus in Dog Brothers Martial Arts we say

“Do not have a Way as you Play. Fight the Way you Play. Let your Fight be Play” (c)

The Learning that takes place in the adrenal state is some of the deepest and highest that there is. (The adrenal state of course can be triggered by many things, not only immediate physical danger; criticism by loved ones, humiliation, etc etc.) The greater the adrenal state, the profounder the Learning. The greater the state of Play, the better the result. The more that one can move in both directions simultaneously, the better. “The greater the dichotomy, the profounder the transformation. Higher consciousness through harder contact.” (c)

Guro Crafty


written by Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny

In DBMA, we have a considerable emphasis on developing both hands ability to work individually and in non-symetrical coordination with either hand be able to function as the dominant one. Through my exposure to NLP and a random sermon by one Rev. Terry Cole Whittaker caught while surfing one Sunday morning, I have come to place great importance on expressing oneself positively as versus negatively. Thus it mattered to me not only for myself but also in my teaching to not call me left hand my “bad” one and my right hand my “good” one. To put the power of my word into calling my left “bad” was a violation of the principle. I struggled with what to call my left hand for quite a while until I came up with calling my it “my good hand” and my right hand “my better hand”. Of course this would be utterly confusing to anyone who doesn’t know what the hell I’m talking about and so I limit its use to myself and my students. I made reference to this in a post on the Eskrima Digest and someone asked the following question:

Maybe Marc Denny could enlighten us on his NLP research and application?? Is this exclisively from Richard Bandler, or is it the Anthony Robbin’s hybrid?? Just curious…….

Herewith a reworking of my reply:

One of the great gifts in my life is that my mother only let me watch 2 hours of TV a week, one of which had to be Walt Disney. Instead I was given books and with them I did what I saw the people around me do. I read them. And over the years I have let my curiosity wander into many areas, I don’t presume to “enlighten”, but I’m glad to share, but know that all I have done is a weekend seminar, read a Bandler book, and put down a Tony Robbins book halfway through because I thought it was repeating itself and carrying an idea to its illogical extreme.

I once knew someone who was very skilled at NLP techniques, and although I had a different philosophy as to how and what they should be used for, I was impressed at their power. NLP has many interesting ideas. For example, there is one area dedicated to the study of eye movements as revealing the thought process occuring at that moment. For example, someone might look to a particular direction (e.g. up and to the left) when asked “Is the red or the green light at the top of a traffic signal?” The idea is that there is a particular involuntary eye movement connected with, in this example, accessing visual memory. If you are getting something else (e.g. down and to the right) when you ask someone for a visual memory, there is a good chance that the person is lying.

NLP also has an analytic matrix of seeing people as either tactile/kinestetic (sp?), visual, verbal, or auditory, (of course we all are a unique blend of these variables) and studies how to best communicate with each type. To this end it teaches what body language works best, even what breathing, as well as speech dynamics (fast, slow, even, dynamic) and what type of words to best communicate with the different types. This knowledge is often used to train sales people to sell. For example a car salesman might say to a prospective buyer who is visual “Can’t you just SEE yourself going down the road in this baby?!?” but to a tactile type he might say “FEEL how wonderful it is to sit at the wheel of such a wonderful car!!!”

In the hands of somebody really skilled in these techniques, there is also the temptation, in my opinion, to manipulate. One is learning techniques to have the other person feel that there is a bond: We see the world, we experience the world alike! We think alike! You understand me! We communicate- i.e. we make common! This can be very JKD like in the sense that my communication is the result of your modality, but in the absence of integrity, the temptation to exploit and manipulate can be quite strong.

All this can be very interesting, but the NLP idea I found most relevant to me was the idea of the importance of the power of how one frames one’s thoughts. You could do affirmation exercises and program yourself for success! Although I had some doubts about the claims of NLP as a school of psychology, mentally I said “Sign me up!” I tend to throw myself into things, and wound up doing some subliminal NLP hypnosis via adiotapes via headphones, with the goal of overriding “negative limiting thoughts” that held me back in my martial arts using the affirmations. I was 39 and gung ho with my new discovery of BJJ before it was general knowledge and used this technique to reach for new levels in my training. And it was working. I was one of the 7 Americans that Rigan Machado took to Brazil with him to the school where he trained for the first time. Rigan worked me into what may have been the best shape of my life. I felt that I was still going up even though I was 39. More! Harder! I was never going to die.

And one day at the beach in Buzios, as part of showing off for some really cute girls whose hands I read, I went out body surfing out where the surfers were. Long story short, I got carried out in a rip tide and would have died if one of the surfers, who turned out to be from our group, had not turned at the moment I was easier to see because a wave had lifted me up and come to get me at not insignificant risk to himself. With me hanging on his leash, it took us 45 minutes paddling together to get in.

But in terms of my outlook, I shook it off. Three months later, back in the US, I was pushing myself to go train one night when I was really tired, my knee got snapped– in part because I was too tired to notice and compensate for a hyper 6’7″ idiot. In the surgeries that followed I used the NLP headphone hypnosis stuff to prepare for the surgeries. The nurses were quite impressed at how quickly I threw off the anasthesia. (sp?)

But I began to reflect and came to feel that while the hypnosis process that I had done had merit for something like prepping for surgery, that as far as the big picture of one’s psychological dynamics, it was kind of like Partial Equilibrium Economics as versus General Equilibrium Economics. By that I mean, that PE isolates one variable and assumes other variables constant, i.e. no response from the system to a change of one variable. For example a congressional bureaucrat in Washington DC doing an analysis of the effects of a change in the tax rate might assume that people’s behavior will remain the same. In contrast GE assumes reaction and interaction-for example when Reagan reduced tax rates from 70% to 30%, the rich took their money out of tax shelters. PE would have predicted a 4/7 decline in tax revenues, but GE (here the right half of the Laffer Curve) would expect that people would change their behavior. Statically PE showed this an increase in the disparity of wealth, but GE said “Oh, the rich aren’t hiding in tax shelters (non-cash expenses offsetting cash flow) and are actually paying more in taxes and that is what is showing up in your PE statistics as an increase in disparity. Their behavior responded to changes in the tax code.” No duh!!! But non-free market people seem to have trouble with this. In this sense, I see NLP as kind of like PE– it has its merits, but its best to understand that there are other forces that will respond as well. The human pysche is a very complex thing and in my opinion in this area NLP has too mechanistic a view of human nature.

Thus with the NLP headphone hypnosis subliminal affirmations, I had overpowered voices with in me that I should have, and perhaps would have, listened to. The blazing stupidity of what I did in Buzios, and of training while dead tired with a hyper 6″7″ idiot ( a few years off of playing defensive end in high school football) had almost led to a very Darwinian finish to the adventure of my life, and had in fact led to a very substantial Darwinian setback.

Yet I also believe that this experience emphasized the power of the articulation of one’s thoughts. If I could overwhelm common sense, imagine what I could do if I aligned my thoughts with more care! I thought Bill McGrath’s post of yesterday made the point of the power of the music/lyrics of one’s “war dance” very well. To the extent that one has succeeded into going into an altered state by means of the training, one is putting the words of the music into oneself and if they conflict with what is in there already there can be some real problems.

So what I have done is limit myself to the simple NLP exercise of expressing my thoughts only with positive words. The concept here is that the mind does not hear the negative word. Thus, if we say “Don’t forget to , , ,” the mind only hears “FORGET” and so we forget. The challenge is to learn to say “REMEMBER to , , ,” It can be quite an interesting study to notice how thoroughly the articulation of thoughts takes the negative for most people and extraordinarily challenging to apply this Concept impeccably to oneself.

But sometimes we bump up against something that we have a real problem with stating positively in a way that we genuinely believe. My mistake in applying NLP, and it literally almost cost me my life, was to to use technology to overpower what NLP told me were my negative limiting thoughts, when actually at least some of these thoughts were those of recognition of limits. Even chanting a mantra of affirmations which conflict with one’s true thoughts in my opinion does not yield good results. Instead I have come to see a difficulty in positive expression as a potent indicator of something being out of whack in my inner thoughts. This is the key point. My idea is to seek to go into them and find alignment and THEN affirm it with my positive words. In other words, the positive words are the result, not the cause of the positive thoughts. This is what I have learned from my experience with NLP. Your Mileage May Vary.

Anyway, I have wandered a bit far afield here— how rare! but, well, there it is.

Guro Crafty

State of New Jersey to Regulate Martial Arts

written by Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny

Recently there has been a push in the State of New Jersey to regulate martial arts. Originally it was pushed as protection from child molesters, but when it was pointed out that if that were the case then those regulated should be all who dealt with children, not martial arts. So now they’re baaack, seeking to set up 5 bureaucrats to study things and make rules. This of course shows that “the children” had nothing to do with the original impulse to regulate. These 5 bureaucrats are the proverbial camel’s nose and we must stop hit this initiation of yet another attack on our lives as a free people. So I will be writing yet again and ask you to do so as well. I know that many people are not sure of what to say and this hinders them from getting started. So, if you want to use any passages from this for “write-your-congressman” efforts, then DBIMA and Marc Denny waive copyright. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Do your part.

Crafty Dog

PS: Thanks to Jeff Finder for getting me going on this.
Concerning the proposal to regulate martial arts:

People who are not involved with the martial arts usually have no idea of the extraordinary breadth and depth of martial art world, both in its offerings and in the people who come to the arts and the reasons for which they come. My particular martial art comes from the Philippines, which has nearly 1,000 islands and 90 major dialects. The result is that not even the name of our art is agreed upon! In can be Kali, or Arnis, or Eskrima, or simply FMA (short for “the Filipino Martial Arts”). There are hundreds of styles within the FMA.

Similar diversity can be found in the Chinese Arts, even though it is all lumped together in the general public’s mind as “kung fu”. To a person in the martial art world, the statement “I practice kung fu.” can properly be answered with the question “Which style?” Is it Wing Chun- a close quarter trapping system with mostly linear strikes? or Hung Gar a deep stance system with more emphasis on slashing strikes? or is it one of the northern Chinese systems with an emphasis on kicking? Or acrobatic Wu Shu? Or meditational Tai Chi? Similar variety can be found amongst the Malay cultures (Indonesian, Malaysian, southern Filipino) or the Japanese/Owkinowan systems. And what about the Indian systems? Or the European, e.g. France’s Savate, or English quarterstaff? Martial arts is much more than a matter of the few names with which the American movie going public is familiar. Martial Arts is about the study of what to do about human aggression and the solutions are as various as the human condition.

Look at the array of reasons that people come to martial arts: Some come for fun, some come for fitness, some come for functionality as they percieve it, some come for moving meditation, some come to socialize. Some are young males looking to compete. Some are women looking for anti-rape skills, Some are big and strong, many are not. Some want to grapple, some want to strike. Some practice forms, some do not. Some are children looking to join the Ninja Mutant Turtles, some are prison guards and law enforcement officers with real and immediate practical needs.

The interaction of all these styles and the people who come to them also leads to a variety of organizational structures. Some of the very best teach in their back yards for pocket money, others have an independent school and may even support themnselves. Others have large organizations that are financially successful. Some offer belts, others do not. Some require the student to sign up for a period of time, others do not. Some require a testing of the skills (fighting/sparring) others do not. Of those who have impressive looking certifications, some are good and some are not. And ditto for those lacking certifications.

In my humble opinion, THERE IS NO WAY THIS INCREDIBLE VARIETY OF PEOPLE OR STYLES CAN BE FAIRLY OR COMPETENTLY REGULATED. The People’s search of what is right for them, the “pursuit of happiness” of our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution if you will, is most eminently something for the American way, the free market and its protection by the State in the area of defending against theft and fraud in their many forms. Giving the State the power to determine who may teach martial arts and how they may and may not be taught only lessens both the freedom of choice and of responsibility, but also as a practical matter is quite likely to lead well-known big organization styles to use this regulatory process to squeeze out competition and so deprive individuals who need or desire approaches outside of theirs.

Ultimately, the study of martial arts is, regardless of approach, is a study of aggression, how it is done and how to deal with it. The State is those areas of life which we as a people determine must be dealt with by force. The goal for us is to learn to deal with each other through voluntary interactions- free minds and free markets. When we or the State defend ourselves or the weak from attack, whether by foreign armies or by criminals, we lessen violence. When we make others do what we think is “a good idea” we increase it. Rather, We the People must say to the State, and to the Politicians, the IRS, the factions, the special interests, the computer generated governmental actions so seemingly beyond human control, DON’T EVEN GET STARTED, JUST LEAVE US ALONE.

Marc Denny
Co-founder: The Dog Brothers
Head Teacher
Dog Brothers Inc. Martial Arts.

Welcome (Spanish)

Bienvenidos a la pagina oficial en Espanol
de los Dog Brothers Martial Arts U.S.A.

“Conciencia mas alta a traves de contacto mas duro ?”.

Como pueden ver nuestra p?gina en ingles es bastante amplia, y traducirla al espa?ol no es tarea de un solo d?a. Pero como cualquier viaje comienza con un primer paso, poco a poco lo haremos. Estamos formando la ADBMA — La Asociaci?n Dog Brothers Martial Arts y esta p?gina se convertir? en nuestro sitio oficial exclusivamente para los miembros tanto de la ADBMA como para los de la DBMAA (?sea, la Asociaci?n en Ingles.)

El concepto es ofrecer la posibilidad de que personas hispano hablantes interesadas en conocer nuestro sistema puedan ponerse en contacto con nosotros a trav?s de Internet a pesar de la distancia f?sica. Contaremos con “Lecciones en video” en espa?ol, archivos de fotos mostrando nuestras t?cnicas, un “Forum” donde se podr?n comunicar directamente conmigo, programas de entrenamiento para certificar a nuevos instructores y mucho m?s.

Ya tenemos nuestra sucursal en Espa?a (p?nganse en contacto con Alfonso Acosta Gil kali.jkd@ctv.es) En un futuro pretendemos tambi?n tener una red para toda Latinoam?rica. Este a?o por tercera vez consecutiva visitare Espa?a a comienzos de Junio y aprovecharemos para grabar nuestros primeros v?deos en Espa?ol.

De momento es todo.
Guro Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny

Introduction (Spanish)


Entrevista con el “Crafty Dog” (El perro astuto) de los “Dog Brothers”

Este articulo fue publicado en la revista Cintur?n Negro n?117 del mes de Octubre y n?118 de Noviembre de 1.999.

A la edad de 46 a?os, el Crafty Dog sigue siendo uno de los mas destacados luchadores, y como maestro a ayudado a un gran numero de alumnos a llegar a ser verdaderos combatientes en este tipo de competici?n extrema. Ha creado un sistema altamente efectivo, muy distinto a los dem?s, que se llama “Dog Brothers Martial Arts” (DBMA). Se trata de una recopilaci?n de t?cnicas de diversos estilos de Kali aderezado con un gran sentido de la realidad, fruto de sus experiencias en los combates a pleno contacto, que llega a cubrir todas las distancias y utiliza toda clase de instrumentos. desde el uso de los pu?os piernas y codos, hasta las proyecciones y el combate de suelo con palos, que es una de sus peculiares caracter?sticas. Su filosof?a sigue b?sicamente los conceptos del Jeet Kune Do.

P: ?Donde realizan los combates?

R: Los “Gathering of The Pack” se realizan en Hermosa Beach, que esta ubicada en los Angeles, California. Se disputan dos veces al a?o y nos reunimos 30 o 35 luchadores de Estados Unidos, Canada e Inglaterra, representando a cualquier estilo o sistema. Generalmente acuden entre 400 o 500 espectadores a observar los combates. Tambi?n de vez en cuando, hay d?as de puerta cerrada, en que los invitados pueden pelear sin audiencia.

P: ?Cuantos niveles tiene el sistema DBMA?

R: No tenemos “cinturones”. Uno es lo que es.2? PARTE

P: Si alg?n espa?ol quisiera ser instructor de tu sistema DBMA, ?Como podr?a hacerlo?

R: Siguiendo el mismo camino que Benjamin. Insisto en que la certificaci?n en el sistema Dog Brothers Martial Arts(DBMA) tenga el valor que merece. Para entrar en el DBMA debe visitar nuestra pagina en Internet abierta al publico, www.dogbrothers.com, ir a la secci?n que trata de la DBMAA, y hacer lo que se dice all?. Por supuesto todo esta en ingl?s, pero puedo contestar a las preguntas en espa?ol.

P: ?Como fue su entrenamiento, su relaci?n con Edgar Sulite? ?Que sinti? cuando muri??

R: Yo conoc? a Punong Edgar en 1.989; fui presentado por mi maestro, Guro Dan Inosanto. Fui alumno particular de ?l hasta que muri?. Algunas veces Guro Inosanto hac?a su entrenamiento con P.G. Edgar en mi casa. El poder verlo personalmente era algo realmente especial. La ultima vez que vi a Edgar Sulite fue cuando vino a mi casa a despedirse, el DIA anterior a su viaje a Filipinas. Estaba feliz. La noticia del infarto fue un gran choque para m?. Ahora su esposa tiene que cuidar ella sola de sus cinco hijos. Siendo tan joven como era, su muerte es una verdadera tragedia no s?lo para su familia, sino tambi?n para las Artes Marciales Filipinas. Edgar hab?a aprendido con una variedad tremenda de los viejos maestros, y hubiera podido ser el puente moderno para los conocimientos antiguos.

P: Se dice que Leo Gaje es un hombre que se entrena con un sentido enorme de la realidad. ?Podr?a hablarnos un poco del sistema Pekiti Tirsia?

R: Gran Tuhon Leo Gaje es un gran maestro y su sistema de Pekiti Tirsia es de los mejores que he visto. El a?o pasado yo estuve aprendiendo con ?l en su casa de Filipinas. El Pekiti Tirsia ha ejercido una enorme influencia en el desarrollo de los Dog Brothers Martial Arts.

P: ?Qu? dir?a para atraer ala gente hacia este arte tan desconocido en Espa?a y en Europa en general?

R: La gente disfruta mucho practicando este arte. Se puede usar cualquier cosa, ya que se emplean tanto las armas como la mano desnuda, y permite desarrollar una gran coordinaci?n. Adem?s, se puede practicar durante toda la vida ya que no es un deporte exclusivo para los j?venes, porque tampoco requiere una flexibilidad importante. La t?cnica del arte da resultado r?pido, pero tambi?n la practica a trav?s de los a?os despu?s de la puesta de sol de la juventud dar? su fruto. La meta es caminar como un hombre por toda la vida.

P: ?Que impresi?n se ha llevado de nuestro pa?s?

R: Hace muchos a?os que no hablaba espa?ol. Lo aprend? en M?xico y mi acento es diferente. Por la combinaci?n de estos dos factores yo tem?a que nadie me entendiera, pero espero que todo haya ido bien. Por lo menos, yo me he divertido mucho y me gustar?a regresar el pr?ximo a?o. Quiz? sea entonces el momento adecuado para hacer una serie de videos en espanol.

Trapping (Spanish)

Este art?culo es una revisi?n de algo que fue originalmente enviado a la revista Eskrima Digest sobre el aspecto del trapping. Comienza con una buena pregunta, lo que sigue es una versi?n ligeramente resumida.

…En resumen, Burt Richardson (y algunos otros maestros que conozco) parecen dudar de la utilidad del tipo de atrape de Jun Fan/Wing Chun (o al menos como ellos lo han entrenado ?y yo pienso que este podr?a ser el asunto.

?Como puedes reconocer, que todas esas cosas que aprendemos de las Artes Marciales Filipinas como la sombrada, pu?o sombrada, hubad, y 1001 desarmes, tienen poca utilidad en los enfrentamientos de alta intensidad como las peleas sin reglas que realiz’is los Dog Brothers. No es necesario decir que tal entrenamiento es in?til, pero ?En una situaci?n de desventaja que es m?s importante el trapping o el trabajo de potencia y las t?cnicas de evasi?n’. A los ojos de Burt, esta clase de situaciones, de aplicaciones al trapping, a menudo no suceden o, al menos no de la misma manera que se entrena. Por ejemplo: das un pu?o, ?l bloquea, te da un punto de referencia alto exterior y t? haces pak sao, etc.

Read moreTrapping (Spanish)

Stick Grappling (Spanish)

El Kali se enfrenta al Jiu Jitsu Brasile?o.

Cuando las artes marciales salen de su pa?s, abandonan el ambiente en el que fueron creadas. Guardar su esencia tradicional mientras dan respuesta a nuevas condiciones, puede convertirse f?cilmente en un esfuerzo Sisyfiano.(Aqu? podr?amos sustituir esta palabra por algo mas sencillo) Las artes marciales filipinas (FMA) se enfrentan en Am?rica a un mundo muy diferente a la jungla en la que se desarrollaron. El extraordinario nivel de sofisticaci?n del entrenamiento de las artes marciales Filipinas, desarrollo sistemas mas seguros para practicar con armas y con las manos desnudas. El entrenamiento que te deja f?sicamente da?ado puede provocar serias lesiones o incluso la muerte en una situaci?n donde el enemigo puede aparecer en cualquier momento sin previo aviso.

Sin embargo cuando el arte lleg? a Am?rica se presento un nuevo problema. La gente que venia a las clases padec?a una falta del “Conocimiento del luchador” del arte. A pesar de que muchos pod?an aprender las t?cnicas y los m?todos de entrenamiento, no pod?an luchar. Es comprensible, en la practica, la mayor?a de ellos no hab?an visto nunca una lucha con palos. Imag?nense no haber visto nunca un partido de futbol y que le muestren un diagrama de una jugada en la pizarra y le digan: “Esto es lo que tienes que hacer”. El primer juego seria una aut?ntica sorpresa.

En contraste, en muchos lugares tradicionales de las Filipinas ten?an lugar luchas con palos todos los viernes por la noche, despu?s de las peleas de gallos. Incluso los que nunca hab?an participado en una de estas luchas, ten?an conocimiento de ellas por haber visto a otros aplicar los entrenamientos a la vida real. Pero los practicantes fuera de las filipinas no han vivido esto. Todos ellos oyeron las historias de los “Combates a muerte” entre legendarios luchadores con palos como Floro Villabrile como relata en su libro ” The Filipino Martial Arts” Dan Inosanto.Y eso no es precisamente la clase de cosas que anima a uno a probarlo. Ciertamente hubo algunos individuos que probaron sus habilidades en duelos, pero esos eran la excepci?n. En conjunto, cuando las extraordinariamente combativas y efectivas artes de las Filipinas abandonaron su hogar y enraizaron en USA corrieron el peligro de ser acaparadas principalmente por los que sus t?cnicas de lucha consist?an b?sicamente en girar los palos y desarmar.

Alrededor de 1986, en este vac?o llego una banda que se describ?a as? misma como “Sudorosos y mal olientes psic?patas con palos” que m?s tarde llegar?a a ser conocida como los Dog Brothers.
En el coraz?n de este grupo estaban Eric Knaus, Marc Denny y Arland Sanford; pronto se les conoci? como Top Dog, Crafty Dog y Salty Dog, respectivamente. Knaus era el mejor luchador del grupo. Sanford de Santa Fe, Nuevo M?xico, se encontr? con Denny y Knaus por primera vez en un torneo en 1988 en el que lucho durante su exitosa tercera carrera por el titulo nacional. Para Knaus y Denny los torneos eran solamente una manera de atraer gente para que pudieran ver m?s all? y en Sanford encontraron un ?vido y vigoroso practicante. “El me destrozo la u?a del dedo gordo la primera vez que luchamos” cuenta Denny.

Una de las cosas principales que los mantiene juntos es que ellos luchan pr?cticamente sin protecciones. Como Sanford dice: “Yo quer?a saber si lo que hab?a estado aprendiendo val?a de algo o estaba perdiendo el tiempo”. El grupo creci? y sus luchas se desarrollaron. En 1988, justo antes de la revoluci?n del Brasilian Jiu-Jitsu, a propuesta de Denny se permitieron los agarres.
Esto llego a ser muy importante para el grupo de luchadores. Se dieron cuenta de que hab?a un enlace com?n entre todas las artes, quizas ocurrio cuando el sur de Filipinas, Indonesia y Malasia y el sudeste de Asia formaban parte del imperio Majapahit.

La realizaci?n de los videos del grupo con la Panther Productions en 1.992 – 93 hechas con la filosof?a “Si lo ves ense?ar, lo ves pelear” le abrio los ojos a mucha gente. Algunos cuestionaron las mascaras de esgrima y los guantes de hockey. Para la mayoria de los espectadores, sin embargo los enormes hematomas, K.O.S, huesos rotos y las salpicaduras de sangre hicieron que esas criticas parecieran rid?culas. Pero una de las partes mas controvertidas de la serie fuera la qinta cinta que mostraba luchas con agarres que conclu?an en el suelo. Dentro de la comunidad de las artes marciales filipinas algunos vieron los agarres como prueba de que las mascaras y los guantes precedian a que el “arte real” fuera conocido mayoritariamente . Los huesos rotos y los K.O.S no eran suficientes. Parec?a como si solamente un “combate a muerte” pudiera complacerles.
Pero desde la perspectiva del “Cafty Dog” estas quejas eran err?neas. ?Qu? es lo que quieren? En su ?poca de mayor vitalidad la organizaci?n de los UFC nos busco para luchar con armas en un evento especial entre las semifinales y las finales. Pero despu?s de que vieran lo que hac?amos, nos escribieron una carta comunic?ndonos que hab?an decidido suspender nuestro combate porque le parec?a “Demasiado extremo” para el UFC. Nosotros apostamos por la vida, no por la muerte. La intenci?n que perseguimos es crecer en el arte, no matar ni mutilar personas. Por supuesto que en algunos casos el agarre ocurre en virtud de un encadenamiento o t?cnica intermedia de los luchadores. Sabemos eso. Pero en 1988, justo antes de la revoluci?n del Jiu-Jitsu Brasile?o (BJJ), a sugerencias de Denny se permitieron los agarres.”Consideramos que hacemos una lucha que empieza con palos, no una lucha de palos”. El explica, “Habr?a sido artificial prohibir los agarres cuando la experiencia nos dec?a que se produc?an. No hay que darles mas vueltas al asunto, es as?. Sin embargo durante un par de a?os, excepto por el descubrimiento de Eric del agarre para estrangular, nosotros no sab?amos con claridad que lo est?bamos haciendo. Carl Franks, un estudiante de Ricson Gracie de Hawai, hab?a luchado con nosotros en 1.987 y 1.989 en la Academia de Inosanto, y yo hab?a visto una pel?cula pirata de Gracie de aquella ?poca. Chris Hanter me presento a los Machado (sobrinos de los Gracie) en el verano de 1990 y yo ya estaba listo para actuar. Siendo el m?s viejo y el m?s peque?o de los tres que form?bamos el coraz?n de la manada, me pareci? una buena idea.

Sin dec?rselo a los otros, Denny en aquel entonces conocido como el “Crafty Dog” empez? a entrenar con los Machado. En esta pre-era del Brasilian Jiu-Jitsu, el resultado fue electrizante. Eric Knaus el “Top Dog” quedo impresionado y empez? tambi?n a entrenar con los Machado. (El profesor de Crafty, el legendario Dan Inosanto, empez? a entrenar con los Machado un par de a?os m?s tarde ante la insistencia de Crafty y ahora entrena con ellos cinco d?as a la semana).Sanford el “Salty Dog” , fue perezoso en apuntarse. No habia BJJ en Santa Fe, Nuevo M?xico en 1.990. Asi que cuando se le acabo la meta del surfing le llego la ola del ahogarse, se convirti? en un instructor de May Thai bajo la direcci?n de Ajarn Chai Sirisute y se introdujo en el Krabi Krabong, el arte de las armas militares del cual deriva el deporte del May Thai.

Un hombre entrenado en el arte de aproximarse puede hacerlo sorpresivamente contra la mayoria de los oponentes sin golpearlos en absoluto. Si tu dominaras la distancia “larga” y has trabajado las t?cnicas de aproximaci?n, puedes hacerlo t?cnicamente.

Yo creo que la resistencia de algunas personas de las AMF en esta cuesti?n no es diferente de lo que supuso la revoluci?n de BJJ cuando mucha gente sufri? un ataque emocional y dijo que los agarres no se pod?an permitir, no importa que los hechos demostraran lo contrario. S?, por supuesto que esto es diferente porque se trata de un arma. Pero los hechos demuestran que los agarres se producen algunas veces. Si, hay gentes a las que no puedes acercarte, Salty Dog me viene a la mente. Pero aunque tengas la experiencia de ir contra un “aproximador” lo mas probable es que no seas uno de ellos. Y si no has desarrollado la habilidad para acercarte contra los palos lo mas probable es que recibas una buena paliza.”

Otra critica que se les hace a los Dog Brothers es que todo ese “revolcarse por los suelos” como dec?a un descontento en la carta que env?o a una revista que lo que hac?amos no eran “autenticas” Artes Marciales Filipinas. Para Crafty Dog la respuesta tiene dos partes, “lo primero seria ?y qu?? Nuestro inter?s es autentico. En segundo lugar en las artes marciales filipinas existen los agarres, normalmente conocidos como Dumog y a veces como Buno. Continuamos buscando pero desgraciadamente se conoce muy poco de esto en los Estados Unidos. Cuando yo entrenaba con el Gran Tuno Leo Gaje (el maestro de Top Dog y Sled Dog) en las Filipinas el verano pasado, tuve mi primera experiencia en este tema. Pero la verdadera cuesti?n es, ?Qu? vamos a hacer al respecto?. Ignorar el JJB porque no es Filipino. ?D?nde estar?an hoy los Brasile?os si Carlos y Helio Gracie hubieran tenido la misma actitud hace 70 a?os porque el Jiu-Jitsu japones no era brasile?o? La gente de las artes marciales filipinas en Manila est?n trabajando BJJ ahora ?por qu? no ?bamos a hacerlo nosotros? ?Si alguien descubre la rueda, voy a seguir en con mi trineo voy a coger esa rueda, asimilarla y perfeccionarla?. Esto es lo que las artes marciales Filipinas han hecho siempre y esta es la raz?n por lo que son tan buenas. Las AMF siempre han estado abiertas a lo extranjero y a sus influencias. Por ejemplo la espada y daga tiene una fuerte influencia de los espa?oles. As? mientras yo reconozco la validez de la cuesti?n “?Es autentica las AMF incluyendo al BJJ?” . Pienso que lo es si trabajamos constructivamente sobre los supuestos del coraz?n del arte. “Si no lo hacemos as?, entonces los puritas tendr?n raz?n”.

Desde la primeras series de videos la lucha ha seguido evolucionando hacia los agarres con palos con Crafty Dog al frente de los Dog Brothers. En mi opini?n el agarre con palos es una habilidad avanzada. Como prerrequisitos se necesita una gran habilidad para acercarse al contrario, as? como una buena habilidad a distancia media y corta en AMF, ser preferiblemente ambidiestro, y como m?nimo tener la habilidad de un cintur?n azul equivalentes en agarres. (Crafty es purpura con los hermanos Machado igual que Top Dog) ” Es como el juego del pinball, cuando la maquina suelta tres bolas a la vez. Tienes que repartir tu atenci?n porque si te concentras demasiado en una sola bola, las otras se te colaran por el agujero. En el agarre con palos utilizamos el Kali para hacer que nuestro oponente cometa un error de jiu-jitsu para que podamos finalizar con un agarre con el palo. O por el contrario utilizamos el Jiu-Jitsu para hacer que cometa un error de Kali. Es muy emocionante y un buen juego para un luchador de mas de 49 a?os como yo disponer de estos trucos en la mochila.