The Blue Belt is the 4th Belt in our system and the first of the advanced belts. This test requires all material to be demonstrated with speed, intensity, control and power. The physicality of this test requires 5 to 6 months of intense final preparation. Because of this we do not view the Blue Belt Test as a single day event; rather, it is earned in part through months of dedicated training leading up to the day of the test.
The Blue Belt Test consists of an hour long demonstration of self defense techniques (basic responses to common attacks), forms (also known as Katas), and kicks. The students must also demonstrate striking skills (similar to kick-boxing), grappling techniques (from Catch Wrestling), select techniques on a partner and then finish by showing that they can put it all together by sparring with full contact.
In this way we instill in our students the skills needed to fight standing, on the ground or in a situations not addressed in combat based sports.
We are very proud of the following students for attaining their Blue Belts
Two of our younger students attained their Jr. Blue Belts.
Do not let the “Jr.” in front of the Blue Belt mislead you. The Jr. Blue Belt Test consisted of over 60 self defense techniques, 5 Katas, and 34 kicks.
The students who attained their Jr. Blue Belts are as follows
The May 14 & 15, 2011 Tribal Gathering was a weekend of great fights, great people and good times. Fighters from throughout the USA, Canada and Germany participated. Local clans like NOHO and Mark “Fu Dog” O’Dell and Mark “Beowolf” Houston of the TTM Moreno Valley clan were also there.
Training in the Martial Arts involves in large part developing the ability to respond and negate various forms of aggression. Participation in a Dog Brothers Gathering does this and more by providing the opportunity to test and explore our ability to think, act and function while in conflict induced stress. A Dog Brothers Gathering is not for everyone, and it is not meant to be, but for those who have the interest it becomes an invaluable tool for tempering ourselves against the violence associated with combat.
I think Toki “C-Mighty Dog” Tokijkla said it best when he wrote, “It was an experience and test of ability, pain tolerance, learning, pushing yourself when you think you have nothing left. New friends of great respect were made. Many lessons learned. Thanks for a GREAT weekend Crafty Dog!”
Many in attendance ascended in the Dog Brother Clan, including our own Mark Houston, now known as Beauwolf. A partial list posted by Guro Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny is presented below;
Congratulations everyone and thank you for the bumps and bruises (especially to you Poi for the great whack to the back of the hand) and thank you Crafty for the opportunity! We look forward to the Open Gathering later this year.
The "Gathering of the Pack” is an outgrowth of the organization called the Dog Brothers. The Dog Brothers were founded over 25 years ago by Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny (known as the guiding force of the organization), Eric “Top Dog” Knaus (the fighting force) and Arlin “Salty Dog” Sanford (the silent force). It was their desire to develop a way to test themselves in reality based settings that was to eventually become the event called “The Gathering of the Pack”. Full contact stick-fighting and knife-fighting (using mock blades) is the primary focus of the event but, exploration and experimentation into other weapons as well as the use of improvised weapons is supported and encouraged. To keep the focus of the event on the development and tempering of the individual Marc Denny repeatedly stresses to all those in attendance, participants and onlookers alike, the importance of fighting for personal achievement and not for trophies or ego.
Mark O’Dell, co-founder and instructor of THE TRAINING MAT, participated and logged in 3 stick fights and 1 knife fight. Due to conflicting obligations Mark Houston was unable to fight this time around but was on hand to assist Mr. Denny as timekeeper.
Advanced Belt Tests
The Blue Belt is the 4th Belt in our system and the first of the advanced belts. The belts leading up to Blue Belt are used to mark important developmental stages. The earlier belts represent a fundamental understanding of the basics with subsequent belts representing the further development of those basics and the progression to more advanced skills. The Blue Belt is the culmination of all the material up to that point presented at an intensity level that rivals that of an actual fight. The physicality of this belt requires 3 to 6 months of final preparation to ensure the students are at the necessary level of cardio vascular conditioning needed for this test. Because of this we do not view the Blue Belt as a single day test but rather something they earn in part through the time they put in leading up to the day of their test.
The Green Belt is the next belt after the blue. In this belt the student must demonstrate a greater level of refinement and an acute attention to detail. The use of weapons is also incorporated into this belt and as part of their test our students must demonstrate an understanding of how to use, and defend against, the Bo staff and fighting sticks.
There is a responsibility shift that occurs as a student progresses. In the earlier parts of the system the bulk of the responsibility rests on the shoulders of the instructors. As a student progresses that responsibility gradually shifts onto the student. Attaining the Brown Belt requires a commitment on the behalf of the student that only the student can make happen. This is the belt where the tempering process for the Black Belt and beyond becomes more finely tuned towards the individual and the student must dig deep within themselves to push back physical and mental boundaries. This is the belt where fortitude, perseverance, mental toughness is the focus.
On Sunday, April 18th, the Training Mat competed at the Grappling X Tournament at Fight Lab, in Murrieta, CA. It was a large event, so large that the event had to be split into 2 days.
Catch-As-Catch-Can in the latest issue of Fight!
Here is an excerpt from ‘Fight!’ magazine.
“In the late 1990s, Yuko Miyato established the UWF Snake Pit in Tokyo, Japan, in order to keep the sport of real wrestling and catch-as-catch-can alive. The head coach was Billy Robinson, a wrestling legend who trained at the original Snake Pit in England and who was widely feared and respected in the wrestling community. At the UWF Snake Pit, Robinson trained MMA legend Kazushi Sakuraba and current top-ranked heavyweight Josh Barnett.”
To read the full article Click Here.
Kali Tudo Seminar
Guro Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny is one of the founders and "Guiding force" of an organization called The Dog Brothers and he is also the creater of a system of fighting called Kali Tudo. Guro Denny will be conducting regular seminars for the students of THE TRAINING MAT so check back with us later this summer.
Catch Wrestling Seminar
On January 23 and 24 Jesse Marez traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, to train in Catch Wrestling with Jake Shannon and Billy Robinson. Billy Robinson is a British professional wrestler and catch wrestling instructor who is well known in Japan where he has trained mixed martial arts fighters in catch wrestling. Robinson is also an outstanding amateur wrestler: he was the British National Wrestling Champion in 1957, and in 1958 he was the European Open Wrestling Champion in the light heavyweight class, beating an Olympic bronze medal winner in the finals. Mr. Robinson has contributed immensely to the training of several mixed martial arts legends including Kazushi Sakuraba and Josh Barnett.
As stated in the description of our system what we teach has its roots in traditional Chinese Kenpo. Our particular branch of White Tiger Kenpo is commonly known as Bok Fu Do (Translated as: The way of the White Tiger). Its genesis began over 50 years ago by Grandmaster Richard Lee. Grandmaster Richard Lee is one of the highest ranking Kenpo masters in the US and the Vice President to the international Kuoshu Federation. To learn more about Grandmaster Richard Lee click here.
Mark O’Dell and Mark Houston attended a holiday demonstration/party hosted for underprivileged children by Grandmaster Richard Lee. We would like to thank Grandmaster Richard Lee for his generosity, hospitality and time.
On Friday June 12, 2009 THE TRAINING MAT honored its outstanding students with a demonstration and banquet. Over 240 friends, family and students turned out to help us recognize 25 outstanding students, 1 outstanding parent as well as our youngest students. To see the photos Click Here. Our Outstanding Students represent the character, loyalty, camaraderie and work ethic we wish to promote in all our students. This is our way to acknowledge their hard work and hold them up as examples for others to follow.
Listed below are the names of our Outstanding Students from 2005 to 2009. They are as follows;
Outstanding Students of 2005
Outstanding Students of 2006
Outstanding Students of 2007
Outstanding Students of 2008
Outstanding Students of 2009
Outstanding Parent of 2009
The staff of THE TRAINING MAT would like to thank all those who donated their time and energy to participate in our demonstration. They are as follows;
Rodrick Bush Troy Castro
Special thanks to Cynthia Marez, Kirsten O’Dell, Katrina Collins and David & Peggy Ninneman. Without the encouragement, support and behind-the-scenes assistances from all of you the banquet would have not gone off nearly as well. All of you have my most sincere gratitude.
Recent video added to the Media section
Looking back into the archives we found a boxing match with Brittany Minder in 2007. We cleaned it up and added some detail. Check it out here.