DBMA Attacking Blocks

Discussion in 'Dog Brothers Martial Arts' started by Crafty Dog, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. Crafty Dog

    Crafty Dog Active Member

    In DBMA we have three basic ways of closing the distance:

    *Attacking Blocks
    *Occupying Strikes.

    In choosing the seemingly oxymoronic name "Attacking Blocks" my idea was to communicate taking control of the fight by telling the opponent when to swing by entering his space when his response line is predictable.

    This is covered in depth in our DVD "Attacking Blocks".

    What brings this to mind is today I went, as I do most days, to the DBMA Association forum to offer some notes on teaching/learning Attacking Blocks and in so doing I ran across this review of the DVD written by Top Dog Eric Knaus some fifteen years ago-- Good God, has it really been that long?

    "Dog Brothers Martial Arts: Attacking Blocks" featuring Punong Guro Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny:

    Reviewed by Eric "Top Dog Knaus

    When Marc and I first put together the video series "Real Contact Stickfighting" in the early 1990s, my biggest issue with the state of stick fighting at that time was that too much credibility was given to the techniques that had more theoretical value than actual field application. Consequently, the "Real Contact" series was a conscious break from the then traditional forms of instructional tapes and the inception of the Dog Brother Martial Arts teaching credo of "You see it taught, you see it fought".

    Since the first series things have evolved and now we have the "Dog Brothers Martial Arts" series. The first tape in the series, "The Grandfathers Speak" is a homage to some of the men who brought the art to us in America (including footage of them in action) as well as a look at what the fighting alternatives were at the time that Marc and I (later to be joined by Arlan) were forming the Dog Brothers. The second tape "A Dog Brothers Gathering of the Pack" shows a typical day of our fights--advanced as well as intermediate ("The Greatest Hits of the Dog Brothers" will be a future video). With the third tape, "Combining Stick and Footwork" the instruction begins with the vital matter of getting one's stick and feet working together.

    The "Attacking Blocks" tape is a logical next step in this continuum. Starting with an insightful interpretation of the Pekiti Tirsia Seguida #3 (which vanity prompts me to mention I shared with him) Marc has developed a series of stellar two man training "generators" that allow the practitioner not only to develop skill in vital motions but also to functionalize a broad array of techniques by training them in a highly live manner.

    The particular generator taught in this video is "Right-Handed 1A". Seemingly simple, RH1A is actually quite subtle and it teaches several important points on many levels. Not only does it teach connecting the knockout lines with the rising block motions, it teaches a matter dear to my heart: the "flying roof block". So little time is spent on this important and still basic part of the game and it's always been a pet peeve of mine that so much lip service is given to the different blocks yet so little of is actually makes it to the battle field.

    This was not lost on Marc. He draws upon a long history of stick fights (his own as well as those he has witnessed) and punctuates the instruction with plenty of fight footage with voiceover by the two of us that shows in concise detail what did or did not work and why. This understanding really helps the learning process. The particular techniques taught are organized around the concept of range, starting with complete success of the crash (you knock your opponent on his butt) then to clinch (you close and it ties up) then corto (you close to close quarter striking) then media, etc. The viewer also gets a good sense of Marc's stick fluidity especially when he lets loose a quick "ad lib" rip as well as how to transition this movement to the staff (one of Marc's favorite weapons)

    Also noteworthy in "Attacking Blocks" is the addition of Marc's student Benjamin "Lonely Dog" Rittiner from Switzerland. A well-regarded participant of Gatherings and the only man Marc has promoted to "Guro" in DBMA, Benjamin compliments the Marc's movements nicely. With Ben, Marc offers the view a different perspective on how physical size can make a difference and yet how often is does not. Personally I look forward to more of Ben in future tapes.

    Whether you are a practitioner or a seasoned fighter who has tested your mettle at a "Dog Brother Gathering" (or something like it) you will appreciate the detail and variations that come out of the simplest of concepts. It is one thing to be able to do the mechanics of a particular movement but it's another thing to understand it and to have the training method to bring it up to real time levels. From a technical aspect, you will find the tape very well produced and thought out. I have always acknowledged Marc as the architect of the Real Contact tapes and that is clearly illustrated here. And finally, woven into the instructional footage is Marc's wry sense of humor (some of us call them Craftyisms) - every now and then I felt as though he just leaned over the TV screen and winked at me.

    Top Dog

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