dog brothers badassery

Thanks to Urban Samurai for digging up this vid. Check out his article Why the Dog Brothers are Snapping at the Heels of the UFC, for the details of who these guys are and what they do.

Man! While I have to respect the “money where your mouth is” factor in this, I just can’t see myself doing it more than once or twice as a “field testing” or a “been there done that” sort of thing. I suppose I can say the same thing for boxing/MMA competition (as compared to training). I’m all for hard and realistic training and that includes testing it’s effectiveness every once and awhile. I have dabbled in a bit of boxing and MMA and sparred a few rounds myself. It proved a few things to me:

One: Any martial artist who trains for self defense should get in the ring and see what it’s like to REALLY hit someone and really get hit every now and again.

Two: Getting my lights knocked out on a regular basis (read daily or even weekly) isn’t for me. At least not at my age, lifestyle and goals. If I was younger and fighting like that was my moneymaker perhaps things would be different; but I have a job and family obligations that the risk of brain damage from frequent concussions or the increased risk of permanent injury from training just cant justify.

Do I have to get into a gunfight to see if my firearms training will work? Of course not and perhaps firearms fighting is an unfair comparison to unarmed self-defense on this issue; but advances like Simunition and AirSoft allow me to get close (minus the factor of fearing death of course) to the “real thing”. Even then, one will not see what happens when real people are hit by real bullets. There is a school of “training thought” that believes that the “tag your out” approach to training, where you “lie down and die” after being hit, has resulted in people “giving up and dying” when hit with a real bullet in what would have been a survivable wound. What about knife fighting? Short of really seeing what a knife can do to an opponent, most “knife fighting” competition is simply touching an opponent with a dummy knife assuming that touching the right spot a number of times means victory. Even in this example, I would have to think that if you removed the head gear and gloves and were going totally “without rules” you would likely see different results.

It’s my opinion that the real value in this sort of thing is the “its not over till its over” approach to training. Boxers, MMA stylists etc. do not do the “point sparring” thing where the action stops and points are awarded to the first person to “tag” the other. They “fight” and work against an opponent who isn’t going to co-operate with their “style” or “be a good Uke”.

Which wraps up this post with what perhaps is a conundrum for those who train for self-defense or work in a profession of arms. How does one train for “realistic effectiveness” and longevity at the same time? It also causes me to ask myself many questions. I recognize the need to train realistically and see the benefits of training against resisting opponents, but do I HAVE to fight like THAT to see if what I am doing really “works”? How often? What happens if training like that results in an inability to do my job? Am I a “wannabe” if I don’t train like that? If I train in this manner am I worried about my “effectiveness” or my Ego, and what are the real reasons these guys do this? The mention of “Fight Club” in the Dog Brothers article is telling. When it comes to this sort of thing I think that reason and testosterone/ego/self-image come in equal doses. In like manner I can recognize the allure of “measuring myself” in doing this balanced with the niggling thought of “am I rationalizing a reason to not do this out of fear?” in my refusal to do so.


19 thoughts on “dog brothers badassery”

  1. Thanks for the link. I think you are right in saying that these guys do this for testosterone/ego reasons. I don’t really think it will help much in the way of self defense training, no more than any other competition will. It will maybe get you used to getting hit and handling adrenaline but the situation is still controlled to some extent, unlike a street self defense situation. To me this is just “fight club” and nothing more. A bunch of guys out to prove themselves for whatever reason.

    1. I agree, and hey as long as everybody there is acting of their own free will more power to them. Who am I to judge the propriety of this sort of thing?

      The concern I would have is the eventuality of a death or serious injury…which is bound to happen in all such endeavors given time. The issues of legal ramifications, liability and lawsuits (regardless of contracts or freewill) would give me pause.

  2. This comment is not on self defense, but does deal with ringsport in general, feel free to delete if you think it is off topic:

    Holy crap those guys in the video are completely insane.

    I am sort of in the same boat as you as I am an older guy (40) with a job, family, and responsibility. I can’t be getting in the ring with the fighters at my gym doing straight up Muay Thai. I do fill in once in a while if a fighter needs more training/sparring, but it is only kick and punch to score, nothing full blown. I am not shy about telling a guy he is drilling me too hard either. It isn’t much of a switch to tap a knee to the chest vs. pounding it in.

    You can still score with punches and kicks and not damage too severely and that is what I am all about. I need a broken nose or rib right now like a hole in the head.

    1. I think you are right on topic and share my opinion on this matter. As a cop, I struggle with the conflict of training “realistically” and hard vs. hurting myself and not being able to work. As a police administrator it’s also one of the large issues in departmental training. How do I train officers in an effective manner without putting a lot of people off duty (or give them the opportunity to claim they were injured in training)?

  3. I’m with Dan on this one also. I don’t believe in killing yourself or other people in training. It is just training after all. If I wanted to take those kind of risks I’d go out and get into a street fight three times a week instead because that would be “more realistic”.

    I imagine as a cop you know you can’t really train “realistically”. I’m sure you were shocked when you had your first real encounter on the street. Did your training prefer you for it or is it something you only get better at dealing with the more experience you have? Having done some bouncing over the years I can testify that training only got me so far. As I always point in my articles, the circumstances and the pressures you have to deal with in a real situation can’t really be trained for, despite what a lot of instructors have people believe. Yes you’ll have more of a chance than an untrained person but it by no means guarantees success (whatever success is in this context- that you survive, I guess).

    Anyway, great blog. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks.

      As a cop (and as a bouncer you probably saw the same thing) I have to deal with a wider range of physical confrontations than the average “self-defense” student. I never know if Im dealing with someone that a simple grab/shove will handle or if it will be a full blown brawl or a deadly force situation. Cop’s HAVE TO confront people and make people comply, as compared to the average citizen who can simply run away. This means that I cant just punch every person in the face if they don’t do as I demand. There is a larger element of sizing up the situation and determining what I am justified in doing in Law Enforcement. The person attacked in the street has the luxury of a smaller option menu.

  4. Yes, given all the pressure you under having to deal with these constant stream of confrontations, the decisions you have to make, the consequences you have to think, all of that cannot be taught in a dojo. Obviously being cop makes your situation slightly more extreme than your average citizen, but the principle still stands- you have to experience it and know it first hand to properly deal with it.

    I also think that although people on the street do have a smaller option menu, more and more these days the consequences of such confrontations become more serious and far reaching. You can hardly lay a finger on anyone at this point in time without being sued or arrested, self defense or not. It’s not as simple anymore as hittiing someone and strolling home to bed. You get away with a lot less now, which is something many instructors fail mention when they are teaching neck breaks and the like. Do them for the art, but also realise you’ll go to jail if you use a technique like that in most circumstances.

    being martial artists I think we focus on the whole self defense thing too much at times. No body seems to teach much prevention, which I think is more important than technique and harder to learn and integrate into your life. More focus should be given to correct mental attitude, awareness training etc. Get this part right and you usually won’t have to face anybody. It’s my favorite art of all- the art of fighting without fighting.

  5. Great comments. I especially agree with Urban Samurai’s last comment – I think that staying NOT intoxicated and being aware of your surroundings can prevent most conflicts, at least where I live. Also my first and best defense has always been “run like hell” and now I am in great shape to do just that. Sure I can probably clean the clock of 99.99% of people out there, but for what reason, to get sued or tossed in jail. Two things I need very little of right now.

  6. Great post and great conversation!

    I’ll try not to repeat what others have already said. Some good points all round.

    For sure, I have full respect for the guys that get in there and have a go at it. Their motivation for doing so? I am not sure. Are they doing it to prove to themselves and others that are not afraid? Who knows except them. But they got in there and went for it.

    I do feel that there are other ways to get a similar training benefit. To me, the main benefit in doing that type of rare training is in feeling what real combat with sticks is actually like, for real. There is a trained opponent opposite you who wants to win. Not only is there the fear of serious injury, but there ARE people watching. Ego would influence each combatants ability. And honestly, I think that is a good thing. Ego places an extra stress on each combatant. The more stress, the better the training effect, the more adrenaline is dumped, the more realistic the training.

    And of note, i really think Crafty Dog is an exceptional martial artist and is one of the few people who are walking the real path, but I digress…

    Like was mentioned, do we start shooting each other with live rounds to be realistic? No, there are great tools such as simunition which was mentioned before. The fear and apprehension should be a big part of our training. These are effects we will feel in the real thing I am sure most would agree on.

    I think a good training methodology instead of a ‘gathering of the pack’ would be participating in a good RBSD type of training package such as FAST for just one example. These training systems simulate the lead up to real situations and allow for an adrenaline dump and uncertain actions by the ‘opponent’ who is role playing. I feel these done well, are an excellent training methodology and are much safer than a gathering of the pack.

    I actually really respect what the Dog Brothers do and get a lot out of their work, but there are other solutions out there that are not as dangerous for those that need to be able to go to work on monday whether they are a soldier, a cop, a bouncer or an office worker.

    And for sure, this aspect of combat is just one area of the full spectrum. Awareness and other pre-fight aspects need to be trained…

    Ive gone on for too long now hehe.

    Again, great post, it got my juices flowing 🙂

  7. Nice video tgace! I have done quite a bit of fencing mask sparring with rattan. It can really help your skills on many levels. However as you age you also need less of it or should probably do less of it so that you do not suffer a really bad injury. Note most of the older Dog Brother’s do less of it now as well. As we age it also just takes a little longer to heal from those blows. Still having the mind set that you can continue on during an encounter is a benefit from anyone who engages in full contact training.

    Brian R. VanCise

  8. I don’t this type of training on more than a once a month (at best) frequency is necessary at any age if it’s about self defense.

    If you look closely at the movement, there is next to NO self defense appropriate application going on. It’s one on one, controlled environments, and there is no other objective other than to beat the living hell out of the other person.

    In a self defense situation, the main objective is to create a reasonable escape opportunity. There are SO many factors other than ‘martial arts’ skills that make up ‘self defense’ training.

    Too many ‘martial artists’ think of ‘self defense’ as a subset of ‘martial arts’ but in reality, it’s the opposite.

    Back to Tom’s gun training analogy. It would be like saying “marksmanship training” is the major category and “tactical shooting” is the subset – just doesn’t make sense.

  9. I think the eventuality of serious injury or death is an odds game for the BB’s. Football, boxing, Muay Thai, and MMA already have experienced the deaths of their participants.

    It will be interesting when that first lawsuit happens. Eventually, it will. However, he’s not Crafty Dog without good reason. As a lawyer he is already prepared to minimize legal ramifications.

    Guro Dave

  10. Woof All:

    This just crossed my radar screen.

    This clip, though entertaining, was not put together by us and I think does not effectively communicate the skills that some of our people possess or what the thinking is behind it.

    I’d like to suggest that people go to and click on “Videos” for a rather extensive collection of well-edited clips and check out our forum.

    The Adventure continues,
    Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny

  11. Your take is interesting. If one is older and has a stake in not being hurt, this sort of thing would be a quarterly adventure. In fact, I am interested in trying it out and seeing where it takes me. I’d never do this sort of thing, all the time, though. As for ego, learning to manage one’s ego is the work of a lifetime.

    1. Clearly this is not for most people. They say it attracts people that have a Certain fire in the belly! I like that 🙂 Dog Tom

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