Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Who am I? (or WTF is a 'Stickgrappler'?)

No, this entry is not about Jackie Chan's movie WHO AM I? :-)

First off, why did i choose the nickname "Stickgrappler?" When I started to train regularly the martial arts circa 1996, I was looking for a nickname that would be somewhat indicative of my primary martial arts interest of 'How does one use a stick to defend oneself?' and the growing popularity of grappling. Lo and behold, the Dog Brothers had some good ideas about stickfighting and I read this in their FAQ:

"A good stickgrappler has good stick skills, good grappling, and good stickgrappling and can keep track of all three simultaneously. This is a good trick and can be a quite effective."

~ Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny
This quote resonated with me and I decided on using "Stickgrappler" as my nick. Since then, I've learned some stickfighting, some grappling and of course, some stick-chokes and some stick-locks. Funny thing, I pretty much was deeply into the FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) with their stickwork/knifework and haven't done much grappling. Only recently did I start to train some BJJ (Brazilian Jiujitsu) LOL.

I have many martial arts books and videos/dvd's and went to a few seminars. I have 2 training partners who are more experienced than I am. I'm but a beginner in the MA. Here and there I've done some training but never anything formal, and never really focusing on keeping the training consistent as I concentrated on school, work/career and building a family. Currently, I have 3 kids (8, 5, and 3). As Guro Marc 'Crafty Dog' Denny explains, a Warrior has 3 stages of life, the Young Man, the Family Man, and I don't think he had a good term for the stage of life after the Family Man and IIRC he just used 'Other Man'. I have past the Young Man stage and regret not doing more martial arts then. I'm definitely in the Family Man stage of life now. When our 3 yr-old is 5, I should be able to concentrate on training seriously again or at least semi-consistently.

At a former job, I had time during lunch with which I would surf the martial arts forums. There were some great information being posted and some of the threads/forums were not archived and they were lost. I decided to save some of what I found was informative and build a website to archive these fantastic posts/threads. I contacted the various authors/webmasters and pretty much was lucky that they all said it was ok for me to do that.

I started my site Stickgrappler's Martial Arts Archives with the idea of archiving great martial arts information firstly and secondly as a way to keep track of these site would be my notebook. At the time, there was a new martial arts forum Submission Fighting aka The Underground. A friend knew I was into checking out various martial arts and we would regularly email each other informative posts that we may have missed from that forum. Two such threads from the Underground: Jailhouse Rock/Interview with Dennis Newsome and Phil Dunlap's posts about Kachin Bando. At that time, I already had posts saved from BIG Sean Madigan's JKD forum, Dave 'Yoda' Green's FMA forum, Tim Mousel's Deluxe Martial Arts forums, Lamar Davis' JKD forum and some posts from the Usenet newsgroup, rec.martial-arts. My site also started as a simple way for me to learn simple html. As time went on, my site grew with Patrick Strong's JKD posts, Roy Harris' BJJ posts, Frank Benn's Boxing posts, Khun Kao's Muay Thai posts and so on and on.

I would surf the MA forums and see someone asking for info which I've archived to my site, I would post a link with the info requested and the rest is history.

Enough about my site, I hear you asking about 'me'. I grew up learning some Tai Chi Chuan and Wing Chun Kuen from my father. My sister's ex-boyfriend was into Chow Gar Southern Praying Mantis. He showed me some basics. A buddy was into WCK, another was into the Japanese arts. When I got to college, I met a friend who was working towards his Shotokan blackbelt. We trained a little, and through our talks, he went on to take some WCK, some JKD, some BJJ, and some Judo. My other training partner was into JKD and Muay Thai. Currently he is into BJJ.

My focus has always been on real-world self defense and the works of Tony Blauer, Geoff Thompson, Marc 'Animal' MacYoung, Peyton Quinn, Darren Laur, Luciano Silvera, etc have opened my eyes to something I was lacking in my training. I love learning some of the traditional as well as exotic arts. I've been to a few seminars as taught by Dr. Maung Gyi (Bando - Letha Yoga, Fist Stick, Bareknuckle, Staff), Saya Mfundishi Maasi (Bando Monk), Phil Dunlap (Kachin Bando), Marc Denny (Dog Brothers Martial Arts), Colonel Amnat Pooksrisuk (ancient Thai bareknuckle) and the legendary Dan Inosanto (JKD Concepts).

What do I want to do with this blog? This blog
came about as I realized what I was doing with my website circa 1999 was somewhat like blogging. I started this blog in the summer of 2006 but at the time, there was no 'label' function within Blogger which made it hard for me as that is the key feature I wanted. There were workarounds to the label function but nothing that worked seamlessly and that turned me off.

I checked back recently and see the label function is a standard feature now which will facilitate things greatly.
I want to put up some new info not found on my tripod site as I have maxed it out already. I started a 2nd tripod site only to have it taken down by Tripod for violation of TOS (not sure if it was because i used a similar site name/email or because I had the Jack Dempsey book online). I'm thinking with the blogging software it will be easier for me to link/archive/organize the info. I will repost some gems from time to time to this blog and doing my best to be consistent and posting at least on a daily basis something (be it new or a repost).

Some initial ideas for my blog include the following areas/subjects (in no order): Martial Arts; Glossary of terms and techniques; Quotes; Reviews; Weapons; Self-defense; Reality-based Self-defense; Strange-But-True stories; Local News; Humor; Zen; Bios/Profiles and the proverbial kitchen sink :-)

Through my site and the forums, I've been fortunate to meet and make friends with some accomplished martial artists. I dedicate this blog to them, to all martial artists with an open mind and last, but not least, to my father who was the first to teach me The Way.

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you will find something useful or at least an entry served as a stimulus to explore something that is contrary to your way of thinking.

Edited 12/23/07



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Stickgrappler's Sojourn of Septillion Steps