From September 2018 Woof All: Piper is a very interesting system. Born out of predatory street crime and prisons in South Africa it has movement unlike anything I had seen. I first met Lloyd de Jongh of Piper about ten years ago when he was passing through LA and I got to train with him for a few days. Since then we have stayed in touch, increasingly so in the last couple of years. Last year I hosted him for a seminar and introduced him to Guro Inosanto and Jeff Imada. Guro I. had him do an impromptu demo at the Inosanto Academy and took a private lesson with him. Also in recent years I have developed my own knife system, which I call "Chupacabra". This is something which I have held close to the vest but for reasons I will discuss on another day my thinking on has has evolved. As Lloyd and I have interacted in the last couple of years, it became apparent to each of us that there was tremendous synergy between his "Piper-Tripwire" and my Chupacabra and our interactions evolved into true collaboration. We have decided to merge our systems. Here is Lloyd's declaration: ========================================== How times change. Between 10 and 20 years ago, I received criticism from people genuinely ignorant of the Piper System; claims of fake martial arts, dismissals that what I had was watered-down FMA, or just a poorly constructed system. There were few supporters in my corner then, and many nay-sayers who may owe me an apology. Nowadays, I get positive reviews :-D That aside, there was one man who was willing to listen, to hear me out, to give me an opportunity so he could judge for himself. And when he offered criticism it was fair. Hard to swallow at the time, but in hindsight, accurate. It forced me to reevaluate, to grow up, to overhaul what I had to make it what it could be. Furthermore, he gave me the tools I needed to do this. I owe Guro Marc Denny a huge debt for opening the door to me in 2010, for giving me the tools to improve and enhance the Piper/Tripwire Systems (knife/counter-ambush), for taking a leap of faith again 8 years later. His mentorship and guidance has been a blessing. Fire is the test of gold, it melts away slag. Criticism is like fire if taken constructively. It made a raw street methodology better, much better. It made me better. Two critical keys Marc Denny gave me were his innovative use of the false lead and multi-faceted deployment of the forearm, it is incredible what these fundamental components have led to. When I finally understood them and incorprated them into my combative framework everything became connected, I understood structure and deception in a way that led to more insights - and what I teach today is a result of this subtle, yet powerful nudge in the right direction. I am excited by what Marc is doing with what I have shared with him, knowledge which is partly a result of his investment in me all those years ago. We are collaborating closely and want to announce that together we are founding a new system, which to me is a set of tools to solve a given series of problems. Marc and I will expand upon this in follow up articles. Suffice it to say that the Chupacabra principle of "live hand behind" is combined with movement ideas from Piper. These are due to 1) the weapon design and 2) the specific role of slashing in our system - unlike Piper's traditional Okapi knife which is heavily point driven and makes little use of the edge. Those who have trained with me know the way I use both hands alternately and simultaneously while wielding the blade - but this is only valid given the weapon I am working with. Add the edge on the types of blades deployed in this new role and this modification is necessary, and new innovations take its place. Integrating the Chupacabra's design intent and structure into the "open-close" movement of Piper without losing the special quality of Piper's movement is something we will be bringing to our new system... In our blend of Piper/Tripwire and Chupacabra the primary focus is knife/anti-knife. The workshop seminars in Seattle a week from now will be dress rehearsals for the full premiere three day seminar later this year in Los Angeles. Stay tuned! ================================================================================ Feb 3/2019 Lloyd now lives in Warsaw, Poland with his wife but thanks to the wonders of the new technologies (the ability to send vid-clips phone to phone, video phone calls) we are able to continue our work together. For example, this week: a) Something I always ask in assessing things is this: What is the problem being solved? Lloyd has some amazing Piper skills-- but as a system rooted in criminal thuggery (which Lloyd emphatically is not-- rather he extracts the movement from its immoral origins) it is based upon a predator with a knife against human prey. Naturally this presents the question "What happens when the other man has a knife too?" Answering this question takes us from predatory skills and tactics to what in DBMA we call "Sport Knife Dueling" (SKD). Done in the Dog Brother way, SKD uses aluminum trainers is a dueling modality. The playfulness of the name is because it is a combat sport and not a real duel, and because unlike many/most real world knife applications, in DB SKD both men begin with knife in hand. That said, with the aluminum trainer serious pain can be imposed, either with slash or thrusts, so distinctly more realistic behavior is promoted. Indeed cracked metacarpals and the like are a real possibility. At my encouragement, Lloyd has been working on bringing his Piper skills, to DB SKD. I introduced him to one of our very best-- Guro Lonely Dog Benjamin Rittiner of Switzerland. It is against this background that one of the things Lloyd and I worked on in our video phone call this week was integrating some DBMA SKD ideas into Lloyd's SKD game. b) The other main them of this week's phone call was Lloyd's structure that we named Full Metal Elbows. FME is unlike other elbowing modalities that I have seen and has its origins in solving one of the most difficult problems of all-- one man being mobbed by many. FME impresses the hell outta me; I think it quite brilliant-- and my students with whom I have shared it agree. When we put a knife into it as well, it becomes scarily formidable-- not so much for SKD situations, but for blasting one's way through the problem I call "a cranky crowd of scurrilous scum". I don't quite have the hang of it yet, but Lloyd's coaching this week was quite valuable to me.