The Discovery Channel Films Martial Arts Competition in Castro Valley Bar
Submitted by: Robert Souza

When asked about Kajukenbo, Fight Quest's Doug Anderson commented,
"All I can say is you don’t want to fight these guys who use this style,
and this is certainly one bar I would not want to start a fight in.”

By three in the afternoon on Saturday, there wasn’t much going on outside Spanky’s bar on the sleepy cul-de-sac of Baker Road. But for the handful of martial artists already practicing moves and techniques in the back room, you could sense the excitement.

A TV crew from the Discovery Channel was on its way to Castro Valley to film a martial arts demonstration in the bar.

“A few of my bouncers at the bar train with Mark (Gerry),” said Spanky’s owner, Shane Corcoran. “It’s really incredible to have a major nationwide television crew coming to Castro Valley for this.”

The program being filmed, “Fight Quest” sends two American martial arts students, Jimmy Smith and Doug Anderson, around the globe to explore the divergent schools of martial arts, steep themselves in the history and philosophy behind each, and ultimately test their own skills against fighters fully trained in the arts.

“This whole experience has been incredible,” said Doug Anderson, who practices under the training eyes Castro Valley Kajukenbo Master, Mark Gerry and Master Greg Harper. “It’s like getting brutalized by a worldwide meat grinder.”

The program, which has already been filmed in 10 countries from the Philippines to China, will now add Castro Valley to its prestigious map.

By 4 p.m. the camera crew arrives, and so do many of the other fighters and trainers who will be participating in the production. They are some of the most intimidating and confident- looking trainers and fighters to set foot on local sidewalks. “This is so exciting and incredible,” says a tired-eyed Mark Gerry, who spent about a week training and filming with the crew. A Kajukenbo Sifu Master, Gerry has been a student the art for more than 30 years.

After the TV crew decides on which angles to shoot, the cameras are set put in place, but the producer decides it would be best for a few people to play pool near the demonstrations between Doug Anderson and the Kajukenbo masters.

“Lets play pool,” Gerry urges me with a grin.

We bash the pool balls around for roughly 30 minutes after I amazingly break open the game, somehow sinking the que ball. Next to us, Doug Anderson is being schooled on how to disarm an attacker with a knife—a lightning fast maneuver that leaves the attacker facing the blade he was wielding just seconds before.

“Kajukenbo is really a bodyguard or bouncer style of martial art,” Anderson tells the camera. “All I can say is you don’t want to fight these guys who use this style, and this is certainly one bar I would not want to start a fight in.”

Fight Quest: Kajukenbo is scheduled to air February 29th, 2008. Visit: for showtimes and information.

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