Company: Dog Brothers Inc.
Tape Name: Real Contact Stick Fighting Vol.3: Siniwali
Tape Cost: $49.95 (the whole set of 6 tapes goes for $100)
Length of Tape/Time: 80 minutes
Number of Moves/Techniques: 12 plus concepts
Return Policy: ?
Experiences in dealing with this company: Excellent
The Instructor: Eric Knaus
Company’s Address: 703 Pier Ave, Suite 664, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Company’s Phone Number: 1-310-543-7521
Web Page:

Primary Grading Criteria:

1. Production/Tape Quality: 10
2. Instructors demonstrated skill level: 10
3. Comprehension Score/Immediate Understanding: 9
4. Degree to which this will make someone a better Martial Artist: 10
5. Score on delivery vs. hype: 10
6. Degree to which we'd recommend this product: 10
7. Wasted Time (The higher the number, the less "fluff"/repetition): 9 8. Playback Score/Watching it over-and-over again: 10
9. Would I purchase more of this company's products:9
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. value: 10

Grand Total: 97 %

1. 80%-100% = 97 %
2. Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent = Excellent
3. 0-5 stars = 4.25

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: Excellent
2. Intermediate benefit: Excellent
3. Advanced benefit: Excellent
4. Time to benefit: As usual,practice,practice, practice! Techniques are simple and direct ,only constraint being that one should apply them under Dog Brothers testing conditions and that will hurt.
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: The tape is part of a coherent series and it would seem stupid to learn double stick techniques without having any idea of basic power production and footwork.

Written Summary:

Welcome to yet another novel and excellent idea brought to you by MAVR ,as always on the cutting edge of video reviewing ( even if we say so ourselves). Instead of having one person reviewing a whole series, different reviewers tackle titles within that series. It helps our readers in the sense that they may get a different slant on the same series. Sometimes reviewers may actually disagree with each other's evaluation , and in such a case it is good for the reader to know that not everyone loves or dislikes the product. Similarly, if several reviewers all have more or less the same response, the reader feels all the more motivated to buy or not buy the tapes. From the reviewer's point of view, it prevents the kind of staleness that this reviewer , for instance , felt on doing his fourth and fifth straight review of Mr.Taktarov's series.

The Dog Brothers. Woof Woof! As reviewer C.J. says in his review of the first tape," most escrimadors either swear by them or swear at them." That about gets it said. A lot of stickfighters find the "Ostrich Technique " to be the best defence against the Dog Brothers, just as many stand -up fighters find it very useful against grapplers. It's a simple technique : Dig a hole in the ground. Stick your head into it. Then say repeatedly : What problem ? I don't see no problem! Apparently works every time, although it does leave your backside somewhat dangerously exposed.

Seriously though, as martial artists we live in the best of times. These days we know, with very few doubts , what works and what does not work. Off course there will always be those practitioners out there who actually believe that their reverse spinning flying kick or their ten-part wrist lock submission will save them in a street encounter, but then again the "Flat - Earth" society is alive and well and apparently has quite a few members. As long as the former never get into a street-fight and the latter never go on a space-trip, they should be fine. There are plenty of people who have tested techniques during their years as bouncers or police officers and there are arts and/or sports that have been doing their thing under full-contact conditions for a long time. Muay thai , Western Boxing , Brazilian Jiu Jutsu, Sambo, Dog Brothers, Zulu Stickfighting and a few others have served as laboratories for testing what works under certain conditions and what does not. To me this is the central issue regarding this material . Every single technique and drill shown here has been tested under as realistic conditions as are conceivable outside of a "death match " format. None of this stuff is done because " Eric's teacher said so,and he in turn taught it that way because his teacher said so". What a bunch of crap. I am continuously puzzled that people still accept that kind of empty rationalisation. That's the way we do it in this style ,because my teacher said so, because I say so…why do people still take this kind of nonsense? Everything the Dog Brothers teach has been tested. People have bled to establish the validity of these techniques. What's more, more often than not, after demonstrating and explaining the technique, Mr.Knaus shows an actual "Dog-Fight" or two to illustrate the point he was making. How much more real can you get?

As to what is actually shown on this tape. The first half an hour consists of Mr. Knaus teaching seven double stick techniques or drills, as follows:

1.The Fluid Attack
2.Co-ordination Drill Number One - Switching
3.Co-ordination Drill Number Two - Alternating Eight
4.Co-Ordination Drill Number Three - Fluid Eights
5.Co-Ordination Drill Number Four - The Florete Variation
6.Co-Ordination Drill Number Five - The La-Coste Eight Count
7.The Exploding Star - Putting It All Together

Mr. Knaus observes that, in the case of a full contact stick fight, even after years of Siniwali drilling, people have the tendency to go to a position in which the lead hand stick is used for parrying and the back-hand stick is used for striking ( as an interesting footnote, in Zulu stick-fighting, which the reviewer has had the privilege of studying a little, that is exactly how one fights ,i.e. the same natural response has been used as the basis for a whole stick-fighting system. One stick is used as a shield and the other one as a striking stick).He asks the obvious questions:

1.If we train both hands evenly ,why do we automatically go to this " right power strike" structure , and
2.Why doesn't the fancy stuff come out when you fight?

For the answers to these and many other interesting questions, buy the tapes.
This section is followed by fifteen minutes of fights and interviews. I also liked the commentary, given as one is watching the fight.

The next section is called " Jab and Single Stick Combinations". It includes:

1.Basic 6 Jabs ( Forehand and Backhand to head, hand and knee )
2.The Overhead With Jab
3.Jab & Toe Smash/ The Takedown
4.Uppercut & Slash : One Part Of The X
5.Close Quarter Chopping and The Triangle From The Third Dimension

The last section, entitled " Stick to empty hand" with Burton " Lucky Dog " Richardson shows how the double stick movements translate to empty-handed usage. Mr. Richardson, who is an excellent teacher, illustrates his ideas with many examples.That's it.

A leading master from the Phillipines recently stated in an interview in the British magazine "Combat" that, as far as he is concerned, the art is everything and the individual is nothing. Off course, he ,being the master of this art, i.e. it's living representation, is the art, so what he says ,goes, as far as his pupils are concerned. The same master gave a seminar in Cape Town a few years ago, which I was lucky(?) enough to attend. Aside from basic twelve strikes we were taught extremely complex combinations. He slashes, you catch and trap. He strikes with other hand. You also catch and trap this, then you tie both his arms up with one of yours and now your knife hand is free and you fillet him elegantly. Sure, and the cheque is in the mail. So you seem to have two options. You can study such fancy, involved crap with someone who thinks he's God's gift to the Martial Arts or you can buy these tapes, get together with a couple of training partners , practice the stuff off the six Dog Brothers tapes and play with it whilst wearing a minimum of protective equipment. This is the only drawback: To get the full benefit, you need to experience these techniques under conditions as realistic as possible and this will hurt. Which you choose is off course up to you but I know which will make you the better stick-fighter. Remember, you don't have to , there's always the Ostrich Position ,which might even lead to interesting new friendships!


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