New Mexico Dog Brothers

“My day job is I’m a network analyst – I’m a geek basically.” Eric Knaus, a 54-year-old self-proclaimed nerd, has been stick fighting since 1977. Knaus traveled from Houston to Albuquerque to test his skills during the weekend. “Dog brothers is a platform for you to grow with your skill…grow spiritually…grow in your martial arts community,” Knaus said. “There’s nothing like a stick whizzing by your face to get you in the here and now.” A fencing helmet, gloves and sticks are the only protection here. These fights do not play to huge crowds – that is never the goal. Dog Brothers exist as more of a tribal-testing platform. “Dog brothers is a unique hybrid of defense tactics meets martial arts meets jujitsu. There’s no rules, no judges, no referees. There’s no limits, there’s no regulations,” said Michael Johnson, New Mexico host of Dog Brothers Event. These men and women are drawn to this obscure form of combat that dates back to the Philippine tribal wars. For those drawn to Dog Brothers, it is not about physical violence but about what can be learned. “How would you function when the chips are down? How would you function when you can really get hurt, you can really get injured? That’s the whole part of it,” Johnson said.