Stay Bladed Founder Russ Brown

The Stay Bladed Martial Mafia is a brotherhood of individuals who have one thing in common–the love of the blade.  It’s members come from all walks of life and are as diversified in their ethnic and social backgrounds as they are in their martial systems.  Some are dedicated students and teachers of blade-dominant arts, others have simply a fascination with sharp, shiny metal objects.  Regardless of what draws people to join Stay Bladed, it has become a world-wide sensation with chapters all over the world.  As the Lieutenant of the Stay Bladed Arizona Chapter, led by Capo Jessie Murrietta, I decided it would be a good idea to talk with Stay Bladed founder Russ Brown (aka The Don) to get his own take on the organization and where it is headed in the future.  


Russ Brown


Russ, can you please tell us about your martial arts background?

I began my martial journey in 1981 when I was 12 yrs old, starting in the art of Baquazhang Yin Style under Shifu David Carbone until 1985.  From there I discovered the art of Jeet Kune Do, and from this art discovered the art of Kali, which I fell in love with and continue to study, practice, and teach to this day.  I have also been involved with Kensho Ryu Kenpo under Shihan Brian Reagan for the last 6 years.


What made you decide to start the Stay Bladed Martial Mafia?

My decision to start the martial brotherhood of Stay Bladed was based on my experience that there is way too much politics, infighting, and people being “left out” in the martial arts.  This was also a personal experience of mine.  Having more than one martial background would often give me the feeling of not belonging.  Certain organizations can make you feel that way.  The goal was to unite not only knife enthusiasts, but all martial artists, combatives groups, and anyone else regardless of their style, systems, or backgrounds.  I wanted Everyone to have a voice, not just the “Masters.”  Now we have over 72 chapters, divisions, pages, and training groups worldwide.  We are growing constantly.  We put on gathering events and charities, and look out for each other and the underdogs.  We are a Family in every sense of the word.  They are the most loyal, diehard soldiers I’ve ever seen.  I’m so proud of them, and I love them all.  I always said, and I still say it, “Give me your dregs, your rogues, your ronin, your unwanted, and I will make them an Army.” 


Can you tell us a little bit about the group and it organizational structure?

The organizational structure is made up by heads of Stay Bladed Chapters we call “Capos” (captains).  A Capo is in charge and oversees daily duties, setting up events, and so forth.  All chain of command report directly to him or her.  Lieutenants are second in command and conduct daily duties assisting the Capo with whatever the daily or weekly schedule is set up for.  Sergeant-at-arms is third in command and assists the Lieutenant in the duties assigned.  Soldiers are members of a chapter or division who contribute with ideas, assist with duties, and participate in events.  Associates are those who contribute to Family affairs but cannot or won’t be associated with the organization for whatever reason.


Why are there no membership fees?

Having no membership fees is my personal decision based on my own experiences of not being able to afford the membership fees of certain organizations, even the ones I was training under, because of outrageous monthly or annual fees.  Why should the person who cannot afford the fees to join an organization be sidelined?  It doesn’t make any sense to me.  I understand how the world works, and that money makes it go around, but I got tired of seeing good people not being able to participate in their own art’s governing organization because of money.  Money produces greed.  Money is the root of a lot of what’s wrong in the arts today.
We are a Family.  It doesn’t cost a dime to belong to a Family.  “We eat together.  We starve together.”


Where do you hope to take Stay Bladed in the future?

Stay Bladed has taken on a life of its own.  It is a living entity.  Our Family grows daily.  Membership is through the roof.  I can honestly say that there are not too many people in the martial arts world today who haven’t heard of our brotherhood.  It is my hope that all martial artists get on board and join our ranks.  I have some surprises on the horizon in the near future.  I’m so proud of how far we’ve come.  There’s no telling what we can do or where this can go.  The sky is the limit.


Where can people learn more about Stay Bladed?

You can find out more about Stay Bladed on Facebook, specifically my personal chapter, Stay Bladed: The Don’s Den.  Or just search “Stay Bladed.”  We are also on Instagram.  Our website is currently under construction, but should be ready very soon.  You can also just send me a direct message on Facebook and I’ll answer any question you might have.


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Chad McBroom
Chad McBroom is the owner and founder of Comprehensive Fighting Systems, and specializes in practical empty-hand, blade, stick, and firearms applications. Chad is a regular contributor to RECOIL, ITS Tactical, Black Sheep Warrior,, and other tactical publications. He is the author, coauthor, and contributing author of several books on blade combat and the martial arts. Chad is also a blade designer and knifemaker, who uses his extensive knowledge of edged weapon tactics to design and create some of the most versatile bladed weapons on the market.

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