Brian Dossett


Published April 2012

While at C.S.M.M.A. - Ultimate Conflict 2 Cage Amateurs UK were lucky enough to grab an Interview with Steve Dossett. Steve mentioned his father, Brian, was attending the fight that evening and that he had been a Martial Artist for more than a few years and would we do an Interview. Not ones to miss out on a golden opportunity we grabbed the chance with both hands. Only just escaping without his arm being ripped off Steve promised to point Brian in our direction. So totally on the fly Dan asks the questions, Jon makes everyone feel sea sick and Brian gives us a great Interview where he talks frankly about Martial Arts in general, when is a qualification not a qualification and generally what over 60 years of being a Martial Artist has given him.

Further down this page there is a written interview Brian had with Phil Doherty who at the time was running The Martial News
Written Interview By Phil Doherty Martial News
Martial News Editor Phil Doherty talks to the legendary martial arts master Soke Brian Dossett. Brian is one of the most widely known instructor in the UK and regularly featured in magazines such as "Martial Arts Illustrated", "Fighter" and "Combat" among many others. He is no stranger to controversy having spent his life challenging traditional assumptions and beliefs. Having ruffled the traditional feathers and in the face of criticism he answered: 'put up or shut up'.
PHIL DOHERTY: Thank you Soke Dossett for allowing us to interview you...

PD: How long have you been training in martial arts? Who did you start training with and where was this? What system was your first martial art?

BD: I started boxing at the Isleworth Boxing cub back in the late 40's aged nine-years-old and then Judo when I was 12 years old.
PD: What styles and system have you trained in over the years? Why did you choose those particular systems? What is the one system you enjoy the most and why?

BD: During my teens I joined a Karate club and later continued in with Sensei Abbey, Nakazono and Harada including Aikido and wrestling. I always had a question mark on Karate based on waking up and down striking at imagination rather than somebody so continued Boxing and Judo. I had no best system, I just dabbled and used my own brains on what would and would not work.
PD: Who is your hero and why?

BD: I have no hero and don't know why. I watched great fighters and tried to use techniques that were successful for them.

PD: What grades do you hold? And which one means the most you and why? Of all the different systems you’ve trained in which is your favourite and why?

BD: I hold several grades but they mean very little to me other than 'image' or 'self promoting'. However, I always have and will do my promoting by what I do and not what's on paper. In other words I am whatever grade people want me to be recognising qualifications and experience are very different. I try to put my qualifications and grades into action but at 72-years-old I can't do what I used to do. But I can't teach it if I don't know it. I have no favourite technique system but created my own to ensure it includes both soft and hard ways and allow the student to choose. I do both.
PD: Why did you begin Spirit Combat? Can you explain how it differs from other forms of Ju-jitsu?

BD: My system differs from others as it is based on a syllabus for the kids and a syllabus for the adults. In addition, it must be and is exciting. It becomes confusing when you reach black belt because that's where the beginning starts. All other grades within Spirit Combat is 'sucking at life's dummy'.
PD: You are a trail-blazer in modern combined systems and encountered criticism from the traditional wing of martial arts. At the time did you ever feel like giving up or did the criticisms drive you forward?

BD: The critics died out very quickly based on my challenge 'put up or shut up'. All I did was to question, not knock traditional ways, but several traditional minds failed to understand what I was doing and allowed their blinkers to remain stuck. They listened but failed to hear and looked but failed to see and my ideas came to life and many followed the same path by creating free-style themselves. I opened the door for self-imagination and an opportunity to open one's own mind resulting with having one's own identity. I did not plan it, it just happened and we have what we have today, Mixed Martial Arts, which I am also putting a question mark on. M.M.A. is not all about 'martial art' because there are other sports within M.M.A. such as boxing, wrestling and even a rugby tackle. I have created a new title called M.A.C.s, Mixed Amateur Contact Sports, because that is what it is. However, anyone wanting more info on that must contact me.
PD: What is the highlight of your martial arts career and why?

BD: The highlight of my career is every day because I receive new clubs and students joining me daily so I must be doing something right. It's not all about insurance and membership it’s about the service one gives and communication skills. Once you have your people, you have to serve them and that's what I do.
PD: If you had your time again what would you do different and why?

BD: If I had my time again and knew what I know I would have got married later in life and give myself the time required to do what I have done. Time is our enemy and once you are married and got kids the majority of your life goes to others. I am now what others want me to be and sometimes it’s not what I want. One thing I have learn in life and that’s knowing the difference between 'wants' and 'needs' because we all fall into the temptation of going for the complicated wants rather than the simple needs.
PD: What are your ambitions for the future?

BD: My ambition for the future is 'only God knows'. I have managed to get through 72 years of all kinds of experiences and with five kids, fourteen grand kids and twelve great grand kids I still go in the ring to show that age is just a number. I have been liked and disliked and recently been called an asshole because I want to be the boss. All I can say to that great brain is as follows: When God made man, all the parts of the body argued over who should be THE BOSS. The brain explained that since he controlled all parts of the body, he should be THE BOSS. The legs argued that since they took the man where ever he wanted to go, he should be THE BOSS. The stomach countered with the explanation that since he digested all the food he should be THE BOSS. The eyes said that without them, man would be helpless so they should be THE BOSS. Then the ASSHOLE applied for the job and remember recently I was call an ASSHOLE. Other parts of the body laughed so hard that the ASSHOLE became mad and closed up. After a few days the brain went foggy, the legs got wobbly, the stomach got ill, the eyes got crossed and unable to see. They all conceded and made the ASSHOLE THE BOSS proving that we don't have to be anything to be the boss, just an ASSHOLE. So my future is to continue being an ASSHOLE. Hope this helps those who still want to be a BOSS.
PD: Thank you very much Soke Brian Dossett... 

BD: Thank you Phil. See you all soon but you can rest assure my body parts all make harmony and my asshole works like it should making harmony with my brain, legs, stomach and eyes.
First Published Approx 2nd April 2012

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