On August 6th, an acupuncturist by the name of Dr. Dale Dugas issued a public challenge on the BSMA forum against me to fight him in a "full contact, no pads, all targets legal" match. Most interesting about this challenge is that prior to this remark, I didn't even know who he was. He was simply another troll that lurked the comment section of BSMA to me, and we had never even spoken so why does he want to fight me so badly? I looked him up on the internet and called him (click here for video) for the opportunity to speak to this man and figure out why he had such an issue with me in the first place. Of course he didn't answer, because not a single member of BSMA with the exception of one has ever had the audacity to step out from behind their keyboards and speak to someone, so I left him a message welcoming the opportunity to speak about his issues.
Unfortunately, people tend to focus on the negative and allow one, albeit significant though not martial arts related in any way, instance of flawed character to ruin a man's entire legacy. They even go so far as to dismiss his military record, calling him a bread truck driver. I don't know too many bread truck drivers with 276 confirmed jumps (according to the 101st Airborne Division Association). They claim he admitted in open court that he lied about his martial arts background, which is itself an outright lie (something becoming increasingly more popular by the trolls of BSMA).
Now of course, the logical response to all of this is to fight me because you don't like one of my teacher's teachers, right? Surprisingly, the situation only got weirder from there...
Now, later Dale claimed that the purpose of his challenge was to determine whether or not we are "real Kaiso and Soke." This is interesting because according to BSMA cult leader Don Roley, the outcome of the fight wouldn't matter. To quote him, "Mike Tyson could be claiming to be the 35th grandmaster of Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu. If I got into a ring with him, he'd beat the crap out of me no doubt about it, but he'd still be lying" (see 2:10 at this video). So therefore, a fight between Dale and myself would only prove who is the better fighter and not whether my credentials are legitimate. If that's the case, I am not so insecure that I need to waste my time with this in the first place. It'd be faster to just drop trou and measure.
The proposal to wait three weeks was met unfavorably by the clan of BSMA, saying that a real man would simply move forward with setting up a fight now rather than trying to postpone. Fundamentally I agreed with the premise, though I didn't see it as postponing but rather giving him the opportunity to confront both of us at once, so my next move was to tag both my lawyer and a professional fighter friend of mine to ensure everything would be done legally and that we had a legitimate sanctioning body for this fight.
Why didn't I want to face Dale in some backyard street brawl initially? Because while Florida's legal system has certainly been the butt of many jokes over the years, there are a few things that are facts. First, mutual combat (a legal term "when two individuals intentionally and consensually engage in a fair fight, while not hurting bystanders or damaging property") is not recognized in the State of Florida. Therefore, by engaging in such a match both of us are subject to arrest for battery. Not only that, but apparently you also have up to a year after the fight to press charges and that's not something I plan to be looking over my shoulder for once this is all over.
Second, Florida does have a wonderful law called "Stand Your Ground." This law would allow either one of us to escalate to deadly force by simply claiming we were in fear for our lives during the match should we be losing. That's not something I would do, but I hardly trust some random idiot on the internet not to pull such a stunt even after initiating the fight in the first place (George Zimmerman anyone?). By going through a sanctioning body, I could ensure this fight would remain one-on-one, a point that will be important in just a moment, and unarmed. Sure it would also alleviate the possibly of the groin as a legal target, but any man who needs to fight with groin shots really isn't a man anyway.
A friend of mine from Okinawa remarked during a phone call the other night that maybe Dale just wanted to get laid one last time before getting worked. Who knows? Either way, I still made the trip over to Ale House on the off chance he was faking having a date to get me to stay home and then come out himself claiming I never showed. Alas, no Dale...
Now to anyone in the real world, his failure to meet me after demanding a time and place would be taken as a forfeiture of the challenge but the folks at BSMA truly are relentless. I must say BSMA is the only place in the world where you can be challenged, name a location to meet up, actually show up while the challenger bails and still be labeled as "chicken shit." But you know what? Maybe I really was being unreasonable. So I went ahead and made another public video (click here) giving Dale another chance to meet me, this time on Tuesday, August 11th (three days from the posting of my video) at my school in Ocoee. Surely this would give him enough time to clear his schedule and make an appearance.
After the video had been up for awhile, a friend of mine informed me they were still bickering over it on BSMA saying that I should give Dale more time in order to arrange for friends to come as well to "watch his back." I'm not sure why such an accomplished martial artist as Dale would need an entire posse to take on such an "unskilled tubby fraud" as myself, but whatever. They even claimed that somehow, even though I was the challenged party which meant by their own rules I could name the location, date, time and ruleset we'd be fighting under, I somehow was disqualified from that because of this whole exchange. It became increasingly more clear that nothing would ever be good enough to satisfy these trolls, that they would always twist the situation and outright lie to come out looking victorious. So while I am not one to turn away from a challenge, I will not leave an open-ended invitation for the world to show up randomly while I am teaching class. With my luck, they'd show up during one of my youth classes and then we'd have an even bigger issue because I will not allow that stupidity to take place with children present. So I added the following to the video description:
"UPDATE: BSMA is already trying to say that this isn't enough time for Dale. That I should extend it so that he can arrange for friends to come as well, along with a host of other excuses as to why this isn't a legitimate invitation. Let me clear. If Dale does not show up at my school at 8pm on Tuesday the 11th, I am done. Anything passed this day and time will be considered trespassing as he is no longer welcome, and will be treated as such."
Very rarely does a situation like this escalate to violence. Actually, there was only one time I can recall where I showed up demanding to step on the floor with the instructor I was visiting (Brad O'Donahoe from Clermont Taekwondo Academy, in case anyone is wondering). Even then, it didn't come to fruition as we ended with a handshake and an understanding that to this day has been kept.
So I am certainly not "running up" on people demanding fights. I simply let people know I am a real person that is easily accessible and if they have any issues, we should be able to settle them in person. Neither I or my teacher are "fighters" nor do we run "fight schools" or participate in the culture of such gyms. We both have a competitive fighting background in both point fighting and kickboxing (including 3 world fighting titles on my part as a member of the US National Team), but what we teach now is strictly geared for self defense and survival. We are old school practitioners that preach to our students the values of classical martial arts. We don't issue challenges, but we also stand up for our honor and integrity. Both of our schools are open for anyone, at any time, looking to train with us respectfully but neither of us have time for this stupidity, and will not expose our students to it.
According to the rules of BSMA, he has twice forfeited the challenge by bailing after I named the time and place which as the challenged party is my right to do so. So he can puff his chest and make open-ended statements like showing up in three weeks, but the reality is that this is just another delaying tactic by a man who has yet to follow through with any of the internet challenges he finds himself in. I thought real men don't wait three weeks and just settle up asap? Once again, I'd like to remind you of the quote by Mr. Wimberley, "If no one will fight you right away they wont fight."
Of course, none of this will matter. The trolls over at BSMA will somehow twist the events of this situation to make it seem like I avoided Dale or backed out of a fight. They'll make memes about me, puff their chests and regale themselves with stories of my cowardice. Dale even posted a video this morning in BSMA making more empty threats saying I am scared shitless of him. That is clearly what the events of the last few days have shown (eye roll). Really, he's just mad that someone actually called him on his fake challenge. The video is hysterical though. It looks like the vein is popping out of his neck, much angrier than you'd expect from a guy who lives on the ganja. I do feel bad for him though, too intellectually challenged to realize he's the sacrificial lamb of a group without the audacity to come out from behind their computers. Instead they'll continue egging him on. He'll continue making videos, and the entire BSMA circle jerk will continue. Maybe I really should take Don's advice and just ignore them?
So I responded on several forums, just as I said in the article above, that now if this fight moves forward it will be a sanctioned MMA fight or not at all. I will not risk an arrest for battery, and I'm not sure why Dale would either except that he has no wife or family counting on him to come home each night. But apparently, requiring it to be fully legal is also a "bitch move" according to some of the comments I've read, because I must know that no sanctioning body would allow a fight between us because of our ages. While that's not entirely true as I'm in talks with several promoters at the moment and will share updates as I get them, if that is the case why am I fighting this senior citizen anyway? If he is not in a condition to be approved for a legal fight, maybe he shouldn't be issuing challenges in the first place. Not to mention that if I beat him, I just beat an old man. Impressive, right? If I lose, an old man just beat me. We've already established that this fight wouldn't verify my credentials either, so we're doing this just because Dale has to prove his bravado in front of his friends? Maybe he's trying to relive his youth, or prove that his online Hakka Mantis certification actually means something?
As far as I'm concerned, they can stomp around the echo chamber that is BSMA, beating their chests like the sub-human apes they are, declaring "victory," because unless Dale agrees to do this 100% legally and above ground, I will not give him the satisfaction. My ego is not so fragile...