Learn Realistic Self Defense & Weapons Training

Weapons Training Self Defense in Catonsville MarylandMen & Women of all Abilities Welcome

The Baltimore Martial Arts Academy in Catonsville Maryland offers self defense and weapons training for beginners and  experienced individuals.

Our Self Defense classes specialize in weapons training lead by Guru Mark Houston aka Beowulf and school owner Gary Berger. Guru Mark is a decorated and high ranking senior Dog Brother from the prestigious Dog Brother Martial Arts Association.

Dog Brothers Stick Fighting is a unique martial arts style that emphasizes the use of stick & knife fighting techniques. This ancient form of combat dates back to the early Filipino warriors and has been passed down through generations to become one of the most challenging and intense martial arts practices in the world.

In a Dog Brothers Stick Fighting match, two participants face off with their sticks and attempt to strike each other while avoiding blows. The matches are fast-paced and unpredictable, making it a thrilling experience for both the participants and the spectators. The rules of the match are designed to promote safety while still maintaining the intensity and excitement of the sport.

Our approach from day one is to teach our students what they need to know as fast as possible as if they were going to have to fight in a month. Competition is encouraged but not required. Most students don't compete and simply train to protect themselves and learn a martial art. Classes are also physical and a great way to get in shape.

Students learn how to use and defend against a multitude of self defense scenarios including empty hand and weapons. Some of the weapons we teach including but are not limited to the single stick, double stick, stick and knife, knife & gun. Our training methodology allows us to test our skills against others in realistic no holds barred matches. Our modo is, "If it's taught it's fought."

Mark Houston "Beowulf"
Guru Mark Houston "Beowulf"

Our weapons classes are guided by Guru Mark Houston and taught by school owner Gary Berger.

Mark Houston is a full fledged Dog Brother who has tested himself countless times in full contact weapons matches also known as "Gatherings". Guru Mark worked closely with Dog Brother founder Guru Mark Denny also known as Crafty Dog. Guru Mark bring with him a wealth of knowledge and experience that comes only through years of hard work, competition and experience.

Real Contact Stick Fighting

Real Contact Stick Fighting or Stick Dueling is a form of martial arts fighting that takes place primarily between two practitioners who agree to enter into a no-holds-barred match, no judge, no referees, no trophies, one rule only "be friends at the end of the day", wearing very little protective gear and fighting with single or double sticks. Matches between opponents have been held using a variety of weapons including staff, aluminum swords, bokken, bullwhip, shock knife, aluminum practice knives, Nunchaku, mae sawks, chains and three-section staff. Impromptu, unorthodox weapons such as canes, frying pans, hockey sticks and garden hoses have been used as well. You can use any type of weapon as long as your opponent agrees to it.

Defensive gear usually consists of light gloves, soft knee and elbow pads, and a fencing mask but some fighters choose to fight solely with a fencing mask for protection. If the mask is removed the competitors make a choice to continue or stop. The kali sticks can be any length, circumference and density as long as the opponent approves. The average length of the sticks is between 30 and 36 inches and fighters can fight with one or two sticks. The participants are not expected to have matching weapons; in fact, experimentation is encouraged. A competitive round lasts from two to three minutes but the ringmaster may let the fight go on longer until it reaches a conclusion or the action stalls.

The Dog Brothers

The Dog Brothers (aka Dog Brother Martial Arts - DBMA) is well known for popularizing Real Contact Stick Fighting. DBMA was established in 1988 and is a system of many styles that have proved to be effective during ‘Gatherings of the Pack’ or other full contact ritual events like the UFC. However, this is not a requirement, and many members bring other arts to bear including Chinese Traditional Martial Arts, Krabi Krabong, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kajukenbo or individual kali/arnis/escrima styles. Many of these influences have been incorporated into Dog Brothers Martial Arts through the years, expanding the system from a hybrid of Inosanto blend Kali-Silat, Lameco Escrima and Pekiti-Tirsia Kali to include elements of Krabi Krabong and the street appropriate components of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Marc Denny "Crafty Dog" is known as the founder and head instructor of DBMA. Instructors are distinguished by "Dog Tag" which is DBMA's version of ranking similar to belt ranking in other arts. Dog Tag Ranking starts at Yellow and ends at Black (equivalent to Black Belt). After "Black Dog Tag" is "Guro." In order to be a "Guro" in Dog Brothers Martial Arts you must also be part of the Dog Brothers Tribe. Other notable "Guros" in DBMA are; Guro Guard Dog (Ryan Gruhn). Guro Sled Dog (Phil Gelinas), Guro Lonely Dog (Benjamin Rittiner), Guro Dogzilla (Mike Tibbitts) and Guro Beowulf (Mark Houston).

Dog Brother Mark Houston


Dog Brother Gathering of the Pack 2010

Watch this highlight video of a Dog Brother Gather:2010.

Dog Brother Gatherings have historically been held once a year. However since Covid in 2019 the Gatherings have been less frequent. The last one was held in California in 2020.

Call us at 410-465-7799 to schedule your FREE appointment.