The Dog Brothers are a group of martial artists that have gained some notoriety in the Filipino Martial Arts community for their aggressive sparring methods employing a style they have copyrighted as "RealContact Stickfighting".
This form of fighting takes place primarily between two practitioners who mutually enter into a no-holds-barred sparring match wearing very little protective gear and fighting with single or double sticks. They have also held matches between opponents utilizing a variety of weapons including staff, bokken, whip, shock knife and aluminium practice knives.
The choice of gear is optional with the exception of head protection. Fencing masks are used for head gear, which offers a more lightweight alternative to stickfighting helmets (similar to kendo masks) more commonly used in venues such as the WEKAF. Hand protection can be in the form of street hockey gloves (these being substantially lighter than regular hockey gloves), lacrosse gloves, batting gloves or nothing at all depending on each individual fighter. Knee, elbow and groin protection is optional as well (though plastic bubbles are not allowed on knee and elbow protection) .
The format of the fights are such that any fighter can stop the fight at any time, for any reason. All participants sign a waiver beforehand, clearly stating they agree to be "friends at the end of the day" and "no suing for nothing". There are no trophies or prizes, only the chance to mutually learn something about your fighting abilities.
Gatherings are RealContact stickfighting events organized and operated by the Dog Brothers. Fighters must pre-register in order to participate in the fighting. These gatherings show good response from the Filipino Martial Arts community, and many serious fighters attend in order to test their skills in a realistic format.
In September 2006, the first regular Euro Gathering was hosted by Guro Benjamin "Lonely Dog" Rittiner, in Bern Switzerland. The event was witnessed by Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny & Eric "Top Dog" Knaus and attracted fighters from all over Europe.
(the late During its inception, the Dog Brothers group formed at the Inosanto Academy, a school in California owned and operated by Dan Inosanto. The three principal FMA systems from which Dog Brothers draw are Inosanto Blend (Dan Inosanto), Pekiti Tirsia (Leo Gaje), and LamecoEdgar Sulite). It is also important to mention Silat and the Indonesian system of Bukti Negara Pentjak Silat of Paul de Thouars.
They have also trained under the Machado brothers in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, this has had great influence on their art resulting in the use of the terms "Kali Tudo" (a play on words from the term "Vale Tudo") and "Dog Brother Stickgrappling". Carlos Machado teaches a segment on groundfighting on DVD #5 in the Dog Brothers training video series.