Dog Brothers 2012 Gathering recap
Sunday was the 2012 open Gathering of the Pack. It was at Gokor's MMA in North Hollywood again (although Gokor wasn't there this time). I believe there were over 50 fighters, including 4 female fighters. I wasn't fighting this year, since I don't have the health insurance and my sparring group just started up again, but on the drive up, my body still seemed to be preparing itself for a fight based on the cues of the drive. There was no drummers this year, but Crafty brought his drums, and asked if anyone in the audience was a percussionist. I used to drum for lion dances, and I drum for arnis demos, so I volunteered, and played for every fight for 4 hours, with the exception of a chain fight that I thought would be better accompanied by the music of chains hitting people.
The Fighting: the day started with knife fights using aluminum trainers. Pretty standard stuff, but I was surprised to see one guy using Piper knife techniques. The one where the hand jitters back and forth in an icepick grip while windmilling inward with the arms. There's one guy I've seen the last few years who looks like a real-life anime character- he's got a septum piercing, dresses in baggy black and red with matching weapons, tabi, and does anime-looking poses and acrobatics. This year, he took on two women at once with training knives:
Which was quite the entertaining match as he ran, jumped and rolled to avoid their wrath. In general, I remember seeing less mutual deaths in the knife fighting than previous years. Seems like less people are trying the half-clinch-with-sewing-machine technique, and that's a good thing. I think its best when survival instincts are still being exercised by both parties, instead of rushing forward with the single thought "I'm going to hit them!".
There were plenty of stickfights, mostly single stick but also several double stick. There was one staff fight, which are always exciting and high-impact:
This year, there was a couple of sword fights too, using long aluminum training blades.
Grappling/groundfighting came into play, as usual. There were a few nice armbars that finished bouts, and apparently an ude garame (it was at a weird angle for me to see).
As always, there are bumps and bruises at the end of the day. Here's my favorite one I saw:
That's from the guy who did the chain fight (its his back).
There were no "Oh ****, is that guy gonna be okay?" moments of silence like I've seen in the past, and that's good. I recall the blood cleanup guys being fairly busy though- after several fights they went around with spray and towels to clean up. Kaju Dog and his medical team did a great job tending to everyone. It was a great day- it revitalizes my life to see such a display of people being alive, and the fighters and audience alike sincerely enjoying it without any ill will or dick measuring. Thanks to Gokor for providing a venue, Crafty Dog for running the show, all the fighters and the fans who showed up.