Over the past several months, Commander Dale Brown, the founder of Detroit Urban Survival Training or D.U.S.T., has become a viral sensation for videos he has posted showing self-defense tips and techniques that have engendered mockery and criticism. Joaquin Buckley, a UFC fighter, went to Brown’s academy to see the videos. He even got Brown to corner him at UFC Vegas to fight Abdul Razak Alhassan. Brown said that he “knows what it’s about”. Bas Rutten, UFC Hall of Famer, doesn’t buy it.
” The not-real guy? That guy with the black hair, and his’stache? Very funny… Guys like that get people killed, because they give them a false sense of security,” Rutten said when asked about Brown on The MMA Hour. That’s why my self-defense classes don’t include it.
” I always use this illustration: Imagine that you teach someone how to defend a knife. It is almost as dangerous as a gun to defend knives. You can hold a gun close to you, grab the barrel, and you will know exactly what you should do. It’s actually easier to defend than a knife that can cut on both sides, a switchblade, because they can stab, they can come from above, they can come from all angles. So imagine I just teach a knife defense and then a friend of a person I taught it to is getting in trouble. He pulls out a knife, and then he says, “Hey, take a step back. I have it.” They just taught me this in class.’ And then he gets stabbed to death. That’s a problem.
“It’s the same with a gun defense. When the guy is sitting behind and I’m grabbing the gun, it’s the dumbest thing. You can’t reach for the gun if there isn’t enough space. They will shoot your head if you pull the trigger. If somebody stands in front of me and there’s like a table in between, I’m not gonna grab the gun, because if I grab the gun, the only thing he needs to do is pull back, and there’s a table. Now if there’s no table, I can go with him, so as soon as he pulls I simply go with him. The barrel is not meant to aim at me, my loved ones or myself. I hold the handle and keep it in place. If he pulls away, I just go along with him. He can just pull away, so I won’t hold my breath. He just follows me. All these little things you have to know.”
Rutten went on to elaborate that self-defense is not just about training functional techniques, it’s about drilling them repeatedly with a knowledgeable coach and then being able to do them under pressure.
“It’s like fighting,” Rutten said. “It looks real easy and in the dojo, you’re really good and everything works, but that’s without stress. What number of dojo fighters are there? Every fighter you hear talks about this, they work circles around world champions and then under pressure they can’t perform. They can’t bring out what they can do without any pressure. And that’s just fighting, now imagine a weapon presents itself. Even I’m gonna go like, ‘S***.’ There’s gonna be a lot of nerves and you better make everything perfect.
“With self defense, one of these things is, if there’s a situation where you are 100 percent gonna go, and I’m talking about somebody in a mask and he shoots somebody and then he’s asking you for your money, ‘I’ll give you my money, I’m not gonna do anything.’ If the guy’s not wearing a mask and he just shot somebody, now I’m the person that can point him out in court. There are high chances that he will shoot me, and I have to take action. ‘Yeah, but you’re gonna get shot.’ Well, not doing anything, you’re gonna get shot for sure. But by just trying to do something, and especially if you know what to do, you’re gonna increase your chances immensely. Immediately. So it’s good to do, but you’re gonna have to do it four days a week and you’re gonna have to really grind it in and have a good teacher who knows exactly what he’s teaching and that’s the problem when you look around at the knife defenses. It’s sometimes amazing to see how stupid people can be, but people are still people. They just believe whatever coaching they get, and that’s unfortunate. That’s very dangerous.”
Rutten is no stranger to the self-defense game, having released his “Lethal Street Fighting” self defense video in 2003, vestiges of which can still be found on the internet today. But while Rutten even admits that some of the techniques Brown teaches are viable, the one-time UFC heavyweight champion insists that overall what Brown is doing is dangerous, and that the criticism he has received is deserved.
“Listen, there’s some things that he does, but he has no follow ups,” Rutten said. All the things I mentioned with gun defense and holding his hand in the exact same position are wrong to teach. He must be careful. And you’ve seen those parodies. You’ve seen these guys try to do what he does and then it goes wrong and suddenly they’re in heaven, and that’s really how it is. It’s that simple.