Company: Dog Brothers Inc.
Tape Name: Real Contact Stick Fighting: Stick vs Other Weapons
Tape Cost: $49.95 (the whole set of 6 tapes goes for $100)
Length of Tape/Time: 68 minutes
Number of Moves/Techniques: Fights & Interviews10
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: 9
5. Score on delivery vs. hype: 10
6. Degree to which we'd recommend this product: 9
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: 10
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. value: 10

Grand Total: 96 %

1. 80%-100% = 96%
2. Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent = Excellent
3. 0-5 stars = 4 stars

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: Excellent
2. Intermediate benefit: Excellent
3. Advanced benefit: Excellent
4. Time to benefit: Since this is not an instructional tape as such, ie it illustrates possible tactics and strategies , the benefit may be immediate
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: This tape rounds off the series. Bought on its own by someone who has no idea of who or what the Dog Brothers are it might well produce a reaction of “ Who are these fruitcakes?”

Written Summary:

Compared to most instructional tapes , this one is a little unusual. Although it is a highly instructional tape, it does not teach techniques. It shows many fights between , as the title suggests , unmatched weapons. The only matched weapons would be the few knife - sparring bouts at the beginning of the tape.

There are also a couple of interviews. What becomes very clear is that one first acquires a technical base , i.e. learns the kind of things taught on tapes one through five, then one learns to adjust according to the weapon the opponent is using . Facing a whip with a single stick requires a completely different strategy than facing a bokken , for instance. The viewer does not have to work this out for himself though, the commentary provided analyses all of this in fine detail. If you buy this tape, an interesting exercise might be to watch it the first time with the volume off , so as to work out for yourself what is happening strategically. You might even look at the list of weapons used, listed below, and think to yourself how you would handle them, given a single or double sticks.

The weapons used:

1. Knife vs. knife
2. Whip vs. stick
3. Nunchaku vs. stick
4. Three section nunchaku vs. double stick
5. Three section nunchaku vs. single stick
6. Tonfa vs. double stick
7. Rattan staff vs. rattan staff
8. Tapado stick vs. double stick
9. Bokken vs. double stick
10. Hardwood staff vs. double stick

Commentary on a few of the above. Knife fighting is a difficult discussion topic , since truthfully , how many people have been in real knife fights ? Not. note , how many people say they have been in real knife fights, but rather how many people have held a knife, the opponent has held a knife, and they have tried to kill each other with them?

Outside of certain special forces units and certain criminals I would guess very few. As a bouncer, the reviewer faced a knife - or in one instance a broken glass - only six or seven times , got cut twice and stabbed once and was himself unarmed at the time. The point I am trying to make is as follows. When most people talk or teach knife fighting , they DO NOT speak from experience ( I suspect several of the US knife fighting gurus have sparred with wooden or aluminium blades for thousands of hours but have never been in a knife vs. knife situation and then they teach what they have never done ). My Second World War Combatives instructor’s forearms are criss-crossed with linear scars and according to him the knife is not a fighting weapon, it is a killing weapon. If you are holding a knife and he is holding a knife, you have failed. IF the situation warranted it, you should have got your knife out and pumped it into him several times before he even knew what was happening, and if you have messed up and are facing off knife to knife, hold the knife close to your body in your rear hand. Sparring with wooden blades, according to my instructor , is dumb, if you want to spar, put on safety goggles, get some knife- length nails, wrap the blunt end to give you a handle and go for it ! Strictly for special forces types or for lunatics, but then you will get some semi-realistic experience. The rest is fancy crap, in my opinion. To treat a knife as a short stick is silly. I will grapple with someone wielding a blunt impact weapon , such as a stick , but I would rather not grapple with someone holding a knife, especially if he holds it in his rear hand, close to his body. I would recommend this exercise to all the “grappling is the only way” disciples out there. Give someone who is halfway competent a marker pen, tell him to hold it as described above. His task is to simply pump it in and out dynamically, i.e. pull it back as forcefully as he pushes it out. You try to grapple it away from him. Then count the number of dots on your T -shirt in the chest and stomach region. Case closed. Anyway, that’s just a personal gripe I have with a few of the wonderful people out there selling videos for a living. Try not to teach something that may get your customers killed ,please!! The dog brothers are somewhat aware of the difference between sport knife fighting and the real thing , since they do mention that there is a big difference. Which still puzzles me a little, because they could and would technically use their sticks in the street in more or less the same way they use them against each other. The only difference being the context and the safety gear. If this is not the case with knives, why then do this type of unrealistic exercise? Whatever !

Another point is that , obviously, it’s the man holding the stick, not just the weapon itself. Whilst the Tapado stick is possibly not as versatile a weapon as the single stick , part of the reason why Eric Knaus annihilated Ron Harris was Mr. Harris’ lack of experience in this kind of event as compared to Eric Knaus. The second Tapado fighter , for instance , had already learnt from watching Mr. Harris’ mistakes and adjusted his strategy accordingly. With sufficient practice I feel that the Tapado stick could possibly provide Mr. Knaus with as interesting a bout as the bokken. Also, I feel that one should compliment Mr. Harris for getting in there and testing his beliefs. Having spent 29 years in the arts, I have no doubt that there are hundreds ,if not thousands , of stick fighters out there saying : My secret techniques can take these guys, no problems! My invincible four-sectional Afghanistani garden rake would make dog meat out of these guys. Well, ain’t that wonderful . So what’s stopping you ? Mr. Harris believed that his Tappado stick and/or techniques were superior. He went and tested them. Which is more than can be said for most of the wannabe super heroes out there. They are not qualified to clean Mr. Harris shoes, never mind enjoy his defeat!

Same scenario obviously , as all the stand up fighteres who are convinced they can take any grappler, but have never bothered trying to spar against one. Or the grapplers who believe that grappling alone makes them invincible in any situation. Also significant to me was that Mr.Knaus did not gloat, not that I would have expected him to , actually he goes out of his way afterwards to “give Mr. Harris some Face”, to find some good things to say. Honesty, sincerity and respect. These are some of the martial virtues, yet how seldom are they found, especially under stressful conditions.

The second part of the tape features interviews . Mr. Carl James says some interesting and important things ( as usual, buy the tape, I most certainly am not about to tell you !) and he clearly was a man who had studied deeply and become wise . Mr. Knaus, well, fascinating, sometimes a part of me wondered if maybe all those heavy strikes to the head ….? No, seriously, interesting material for anyone with an interest in real stick fighting. Which sums it up, both in terms of this tape and the series as a whole.


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