Pointing is timing

Posted by Rey Bajenting on August 20, 2014 at 5:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Pointing the gamefowl is all about timing. Here’s what the great Narragansette had to say about timing:

“Probably the most important feature of the feeding, as well as all other procedures in the conditioning program, is that of timing, or of having the fowl at their peak at the hour of battle. It is no good to have them "ready" or at their peak, two days or even two hours prior to battle. They must "peak" at the hour they enter the pit. Many features contribute to this condition, but from a feeding standpoint the important part is to have them "comin up" just prior to battle, and fresh. To accomplish this you must feed less (mostly cracked corn), excercise less, and rest more-- complete rest the last 72 hours prior to battle. Not over one-half the feed the eveing before fight day unless fought at night and then only one-half white of hard-boiled egg. Through this procedure, cocks will come up in weight, even on less feed, and be hungry and " a walkin' and talkin' in your hands" as they enter the pit.”

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In our E-book Power Pointing we also gave much importance to timing, not only in feeding but also in stress management. We maintain that stress management is very important in pointing. Why, because, stress triggers the release of adrenaline, the hormone that turns the body into a magnificent machine.

Stress triggers the release of the hormone epinephrine or adrenaline known as the fight or flight hormone. We know what wonders adrenaline could do. This is why:

“Epinephrine stimulates breakdown of the storage of polysaccharide glycogen within liver cells and muscle cells. Glycogen de-polymerization releases the sugar glucose-1-phosphate, increasing the energy supply for cells. Thus, one effect of epinephrine, secreted from the adrenal gland during times of physical and mental stress, is the mobilization of fuel reserves.” (Campbell; Biology 4th Edition)

In layman’s language it means the release or rush of adrenaline triggers the mobilization of fuel reserves that are instantly converted to energy. Now you don’t have to wonder anymore why if there is emergency such as fire, you could lift and carry to safety valuable belongings that you certainly could not do during normal circumstances.


We might as well make stress work to our advantage by timing the resulting adrenaline rush to occur exactly at the time of the fight. Yes, at the time of the fight, not earlier, not later. Just like what the great Narragansette said. Like Narragansette, we really give utmost importance to timing.


Alkaline condition

Posted by Rey Bajenting on January 19, 2014 at 2:25 AM Comments comments (0)

One by-product of the production-consumption and re-synthesis of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate, the energy currency) is concentration of lactic acid in the muscles. When this happens fatigue starts to overcome the rooster.

One way of delaying this, in effect postponing fatigue, is to ensure an ample supply of creatine and ribose. Another is what is called buffering.

Buffering is done by stocking alkaline agents or raising the alkalinity of the blood. Alkaline will counter act the formation of acid in the blood and muscles thereby delaying the onset of fatigue.

Chicken feed are mostly acidic. Most grains are acidic, as well as the denatured pelletized feeds that are mixed with chemicals. Thus, seven days before the fight we might as well start the buffering process by introducing to their system more alkaline. Egg white is perceived to have a lower acidity than whole egg, so, give egg whites instead of whole eggs during the peaking period.

A very safe way is giving alkaline water, or at least, pure water, instead of tap water to the chickens being prepared for the fight. Most tap water have high acid level. You may also introduce pro-biotics or yogurt, but never milk., cheese and other dairy products. .

Some fruits such as apples, cantaloupe and banana are also good alkaline agents. However, care must be taken when they are given on fight day because of their moisture and bulk.

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Supplementation and experimentation

Posted by Rey Bajenting on December 12, 2013 at 1:35 AM Comments comments (0)

The science of gamecock supplementation, especially in the field of conditioning and pointing has progressed tremendously that it is now doubtful if a relatively unprepared rooster stands a chance against a superbly conditioned one. Moreover with the advent of countless of conditioning aids and products in the market today, access to these so-called wonders is no longer a problem. You name it you get it. If you hear of a new miracle performance enhancer that reportedly is making champions out of patsies, just search the net and you will find where and how to buy it. 

Nowadays, companies and enterprising individuals are riding on the popularity of game cock supplements and they make these wonder drugs available.

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Gamecock supplementation, however, is not just a matter of buying the many conditioning products now available in the market. It is also a matter of understanding and knowing the products. In this aspect, it would help if the outfit from which you are buying the stuff has someone with good knowledge of the science of supplementation, because if such is the case, you can readily consult with them about the products you are going to use. But, it is not enough that this someone is an expert on supplementation, he should also be a certified roosterman who understands the ways of the rooster. Cockfighting is an art that employs science. In order to master the craft, one must be first and foremost an artist. Science comes next. Thus, to be a complete roosterman one must be capable of observing the way of the rooster and of understanding the intricacies of science.


For example when one is experimenting with products for gamecocks, most of the objectives are not readily measurable. Unlike in broilers where the main concern is the feed to meat conversion rate, or in layers where egg production and egg quality are the parameters, in gamecocks fighting ability, speed, power, and general well being can’t be measured tangibly. Therefore, evaluationt is not as straighforward. Judging a cock’s fighting ability is subjective rather than objective. It is something that only experts are qualified to determine.


Intracellular hydration Part 1

Posted by Rey Bajenting on October 17, 2012 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Among the prime concerns of game fowl conditioning is to achieve what is called as proper body moisture. It is no secret that a game cock performance also depends on its body moisture. Too much or too little water in the cock’s body could tell the deference between good and bad performance. Cockfighters are often in the lost on how to achieve this.

Water is very important for bodily functions as the chicken’s body like most other living things are composed of much water. However, a game cock needs a body that it is not too wet in order for it to perform well, especially during the day of the actual fight.

This could be solved by focusing on intracellular hydration instead of plain hydration.

Intracellular hydration/rehydration

“First, let’s distinguish what “hydration” really is. What is the difference between “hydration”, “rehydration”, cellular rehydration” and “cellular hydration”. Most people confuse or equate “hydration” and “rehydration” as being one in the same, which is not exactly correct as hydration is “before” exercise or activity and rehydration is “after” exercise or activity. Now with that in mind, the term rehydration in the most basic sense (in the minds of the majority of consumers) relates to the replenishment of water, electrolytes, or a combination of water and electrolytes lost through exercise, strenuous activity or dehydration and the term hydration means to “load” the body with fluids prior to strenuous exercise or activity. In terms of auto racing, hydration is before the race and rehydration is after the race. That established, what is the difference between hydration and cellular hydration – rehydration and cellular rehydration? Well, this is where you need to follow along a little bit closer. Hydration and rehydration are both the replenishment of electrolytes “outside” of the cells. Hydration would be the loading of fluids prior to the race and rehydration after the race, and again, this occurs “outside” of the cells.”

True “cellular hydration” or “cellular rehydration” is the chemical process that occurs at the cellular level (inside the cell) – where in the cell is actually hydrated directly and as the cells swell up (with the proper nutrients), it triggers an anabolic mechanism in the body, which is a healing mechanism. This is the “real” and meaningful hydration or rehydration we need. True cellular level hydration and rehydration is accompanied by positive nitrogen balance, protein synthesis, and growth hormone release. In simpler terms – true cellular rehydration means the body begins immediately “healing itself” or better stated – it begins “recovery”. Muscles begin their recovery, tissue begins repair, energy is restored and the body begins to “recharge” itself – it recovers more fully and completely – physiologically and physically. True cellular level hydration (before an event) not only loads the cells with ample supply of nutrient and fluid, but also results in a reduction of cell acidity, reduced autoimmune response, increased fat burning, DNA repair, and increased resistance to viruses.” (“Terry Giles IFPA Master Trainer & Certified Performance Nutritional Specialist and Co-Founder of IHS, LLC.)-- Read more about it on Roosterman No. 20


From "pointed" to "off"

Posted by Rey Bajenting on June 29, 2012 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Time and again I am asked to explain my theory of pointing as all about stress management. So time and again I have to do the explaining. The principle is that stress triggers the releases of adrenaline. And, adrenaline is the hormone responsible for turning the body into optimum mode.

When man or animal feel fear or is faced with danger, the body undergoes change. The stressor -- for example, the sight of an enemy -- stimulates the hypothalamus that sends out a chemical signal to the adrenal glands, activating what is called the sympathetic system, which sends the body into a state of excitement. These glands release adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine), hormones that create the state of readiness that helps mind and body face danger; raise heart rate, increase respiration, dilate the pupils, slow down digestion and  allow muscles to contract.

These prepare the body to deal with danger. They make the animal more agile, allow to take in more information and help use more energy. And, adrenaline's effect on muscles accounts for amazing strength. Adrenaline acts on muscles, allowing them to contract more than they normally can.

When adrenaline is released blood flows more easily to the muscles. Thus,more oxygen is carried to the muscles, in turn, muscles function at higher levels. Skeletal muscles are activated by electrical impulses from the nervous system. When they're stimulated, muscles contract, meaning they shorten and tighten. This is what happens when a rooster strikes. Adrenaline also facilitates the conversion of the body's fuel source (glycogen) into its fuel (glucose). A sudden burst of glucose also allows muscles to strengthen further.

So does this mean that optimal strength is unlocked when mind and body are confronted with danger? Yes. If this happens to a rooster up in the pit then that rooster is at pointed state.

But why don't the body possess this optimal strength all the time? 

While muscles may possess potential strength that can be tapped when faced with danger, this can also have dangerous repercussions. Muscles suddenly used beyond their capacity can tear.

Also stressor are short-lived. The body begins to relax and returns to its normal state after a few tense minutes. After the stressor is gone, the parasympathetic system kicks in. This system plays a role opposite of the sympathetic system. When the parasympathetic system takes over, heart rate slows again, breathing returns to normal, muscles relax and nonessential function immediately begin again. The hypothalamus, which is responsible for triggering both the sympathetic response in the face of danger and the parasympathetic response after the danger has passed, is ultimately responsible for achieving a balance between both. This balance is called homeostasis.

When the body stays in an excited state for a prolonged period, it enters the state of exhaustion. When this happens to a rooster, then that rooster is experiencing what we call as off syndrome.


The science of pointing

Posted by Rey Bajenting on March 4, 2011 at 3:01 AM Comments comments (0)

                 Pointing is the final stage in the gamefowl’sconditioning for the actual fight. If conditioning is to prepare a cock for battle, pointing is to prepare the cock for the day, and even, for the moment of battle. Lately, pointing has become a specific stage of the gamefowl’s preparation specialized by some higher masters of the game. It is not uncommon nowadays that the pre-conditioning and conditioning stages are handled by assistant handlers and feeders. But, most of the time it is  the chief conditioner who will take care of pointing. It is the culmination of all the time, effort and knowledge put into the gamefowl being prepared for the fight. Here, in this final act, there would be no room for mistakes.

The ability to point the gamefowl properly has grown  in proportion as far as influence in the outcome of the fight is concerned. At, the top level competition it seems that chickens are now created about equal. The best bloodlines are now available to hundreds if not thousands of Filipino breeders, who know the right breeding methods and are affluent enough to provide the right environment for the gamefowl. A look at the results of the numerous stag derbies held annually during the stag season tend to support such contention.

Conditioning then may be looked upon as the factor that might tilt the balance. Yet, within that spectrum is another important factor—the ability to point a well conditioned chicken. The best conditioning will go down the drain if not coupled with proper pointing.

With this hypothesis in mind, RB Sugbo Gamefowl Technology devoted some time to the research and study of the science of pointing, premissed on the characteristic of  Filipino sabong. The study was placed in the perspective of the fact that Filipino slasher fighting is fast and furious. “Isang tama ka lang”

Thus, RB Sugbo came up with a concept of pointing based on the principle of stress management with a view to timely adrenaline rush. We call the method Power Pointing. (For free copy of Power Pointing click Free Books & Publications on the navigation bar upper left corner of this page).






Pointing by stress management

Posted by Rey Bajenting on October 21, 2010 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

                              In a recent MANA seminar on gamefowl conditioning, during which I spoke on the science of pointing, I was besieged with questions regarding my oft-repeated pointers about stress as factor in pointing.

                             Stress management is actually the foundation of RB Sugbo’s pointing method. Stress triggers the release of the hormone epiniphine or adrenaline known as the fight or flight hormone. We know what wonders adrenaline could do. This is why:

                             “Epinephrine stimulates breakdown of the storage of polysaccharide glycogen within livercells and muscle cells. Glycogen Depolymerization releases the sugarglucose-1-phosphate, increasing the energy supply for cells. Thus, one effect of epinephrine, secreted from the adrenal gland during times of physical and mental stress, is the mobilization of fuel reserves.” (Campbell; Biology 4thEdition)

                        Now you don’t have to wonder anymore why in an emergency such as fire, you could lift and carry to safety valuable belongings that you certainly could not do during normal circumstances.

                             Our principle is that with all the noise, the unfamiliar faces and the new environment in the cockpit, no matter what we do, we could not prevent stress from eventually happening to chickens. That being the case, we might as well make stress work to our advantage by timing the resulting adrenaline rush to occur exactly at the time of the fight.

                             Mostly,we advocate an all-natural method of managing the rush of adrenaline. However,in the back of our mind, we entertain thoughts of exploring other possibilities. For instance, we stumbled upon some studies that caffeine increases endurance, speed and power in a variety of sports (RMIT University inAustralia and University of Ontago in New Zealand). There are a number of theories about how caffeine enhances performance, but the more recent studies suggest that an important mechanism of action for caffeine is increasing adrenaline levels.

                             Another substance, ephedrine, a natural chemical from Ephedra sinica plant has also been shown to increase the level of dopamine, a precursor to both adrenaline or epinephrine and nor-epinephrine. However, ephedrine and a related chemical pseudoephedrine are strictly regulated substances in many countries, including the Philippines.

                             Indeed, there was a series of experiments we did with some success. It involved a more irect approach to increasing adrenaline level during the fight. Unfortunately,we had yet to secure permission from our partner in the endeavor, my cockin gbuddy Raul Ebeo, to divulge any part of the experiment. (Powergen total foundation supplement, with anabolic steroid)

The Importance of Conditioning

Posted by Rey Bajenting on January 7, 2010 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (1)

Muhamad Ali, at his prime,  shuffled with his feet. Manny Pacquiao shuffles with his fists. This reminds us how the fightingcock delivers a number of blows in one contact.



Manny Pacquiao fights like a fightingcock

By Rey Bajenting

Written for Pit games



           Eagle’sclaw, monkey, crane, tiger and snake. Wild animals all. All, also martial arts styles patterned after  the movements of animals. Have you ever   heard of the “fightingcock” as a martial art style? Most likely you haven’t, but chances are you have seen it.

            Yes, for likely you have seen our very own Manny “Pacman” Paquiao fight in the ring? Pacquiao, the pound-for-pound king, or simply the “king.” For the phrase pound-for-pound is more aptly used to compare two or more fighters that could not compete against one another because of difference in weight divisions. But  the Pacman has competed and been king in one pound division after another, seven in all, a few too many for him to be merely called a pound-for-pound king. After beating all the kings of these divisions he is the king, not just the pound-for-pound king. That’s it.

            But that’s beside the point. It’s his style we are talking about.

           It is always great to watch Pacquiao fight. Much as watching an ace cock cuts the opponent to pieces. Like an intelligent  fighting cock,Pacquiao can come in to deliver blows in succession and then get out of harm’s way in a split of a second.

Muhamad Ali, at his prime, shuffled with his feet. Manny shuffles with his fists. This reminds us how  the fightingcock delivers a number of blows in one contact. He demonstrated this against the golden boy Oscar Dela Hoya and recently against Miguel Cotto. The Pacman is not all shuffles, however. He ca nbe “abang”  at times. He can counter punch effectively like an “abang na manok, “ and deliver a single stroke that could end the fight outright. He did it to Ricky Hatton.

Likewise, he can be a lemon. In one  interview with Mayor Juancho Aguirre, himself a living legend in the cocking world, the good mayor said that for him the ultimate maneuver of a fighting cock is  to effectively deliver blows while backpedalling. And he said the lemon can do this. I was reminded of it when I saw how the Pacman, while backpedalling,  off-balanced, near the ropes, floored Eric Morales with a lightning quick punch that seemingly came from nowhere. That was during their  third fight, I think.

         Moreover,the Pacman is as game as the gamest hatches. He can take blows and still remain in the game. We saw this in the first Morales fight which he lost, and in the second bout against Juan Manuel Marquez which he won.

         Another lesson we learned from the Manny Pacquiao success story is the importance of conditioning. Moreover,in cockfighting nowadays when chickens are already bred about equal.


Gamefowl are now created  equal.

Inthe past two decades cockfighting in the Philippines underwent arevolution of sort. While it was yet in the 1960’s that affluent Filipino cockers started bringing in imported gamefowl from the US to fight or breed, it was only in the1990’s that Filipinos took real effort to improve the quality of the locally bred chickens.

           Now,in less than 20 years, it could be said that our island borns are as good, if not better, at least in the long knife than their kins in the United States.

            We have done in less than two decades what took our American counterparts more than a century to achieve. Pit performance is the best measure for determining a breeder’s ability.And, while it was true that American breeders had ahead start of almost a century, Filipinos have more opportunity and experience as far as actual fighting in the pit is concerned. Whereas Americans could only hope to witness just a handful of fights every year, in very a limited number of cockpits, Filipinos have as many as 5million cockfights throughout the year and all over the country.

           There are now thousands of game fowl breeders in the Philippines. The best bloodlines are already here. Thanks to the federal law that bans cockfighting in the US.Now many of these Filipinos, if given the opportunities, could whip even the toughest  American breeders.

           Obviously,as far as breeding is concerned, the gap between the top and the bottom has narrowed down considerably. Gone were the days when only a few lorded it over,only because they enjoyed overwhelming advantage in chicken quality. Although there still might be some grain of  truth to this in small time derbies and cockfights in the provinces, in top competitions, the fact si that even the least known could beat the best known.

            With the best bloodlines, enormous resources, and much improved breeding techniques,many breeders are now approaching the summit of breeding ability. Not much could be done anymore when it comes to enjoying overwhelming advantage in chicken quality. At the top level, gamefowl are now created equal. Time was when an elite few ruled cockfighting in the Philippines with sheer advantage in chicken quality and raising techniques. This is no longer the case. Gamefowl are now created about equal, at least in top-level competitions. The emphasis on achieving supremacy should now shift from breeding to conditioning.

The shift to conditioning

           Unlike in breeding, supremacy in conditioning is still up for grabs.The field is still very wide open for exploration. The possibilities limitless, considering the new dimensions and technologies available to athletes nowadays. Like some human and horses, gamefowl are athletes.Their performance can be stretched to the limit by sports nutrition,training and supplementation.

         For example two of the more popular supplements today are creatine and ribose. Consider this: “When the muscle contracts, the initial fuel it utilizes is adenosinetriphosphate,or ATP. “ATP releases one of its phosphate molecules to provide energy for muscle contraction and other functions. Once  ATP releases a phosphate molecule, it becomes a different compound called ADP (Adenosine Diphosphate). Unfortunately,there is only enough ATP to provide energy for about 10 seconds, so for this energy system to continue ATP must be produced.”

            “Creatine Phosphate(CP) comes to the rescue by giving up its phosphate molecule to ADP,recreating ATP. This ATP can then be burned again as fuel for more muscle contraction. The bottom line is that your ability to regenerate ATP largely depends on your supply of creatine. The more creatine you have in your muscles, the more ATP you can remake.” (Dave Tuttle;User’s Guide to Sports Nutrients)

            Otherwise the body will be forced to rely on another energy pathway, glycolysis. The pathway has a by-product that irritates the muscles, causes pain, and interferes with biochemical reactions necessary for muscles to do the job, thus fatigue sets in. So, the earlier the body relies on glycolysis for energy, the earlier it gets tired.

            The other pathways –the Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain – are aerobic or employ oxygen. Aerobic convention takes over when the activity is prolonged but less intense or less than maximal effort. This seldom happens in cockfights.      

            Most important in cockfights is the initial bursts of energy. We have learned that the body can achieve maximum amount of energy if  the muscles have enough supply of ATP. And, creatine is what enables the re-synthesis of ATP to take place. But during heavy exertion of effort as what transpires in the first few buckles of a cockfight, creatine cannot re-synthesize ATP fast enough. Fortunately, ribose can help speed up the process.

            Ribose is a sugar that can be converted into energy molecule pyruvate, which, in turn, allows ATP to be produced. The delay in ATP recovery occurs primarily because of lack of a compound called PRPP. Glucose provides PRPP but much slower than ribose. Ribose supplementation speeds up the process.

           With creatine-ribose combination,supply and re-synthesisof ATP are assured.  The chicken will have enough ATP to produce energy necessary for the initial bursts of combat activity.  Much like  Manny Pacquiao exploding with a flurry of punches right at the opening bell.

         Yes,there are Muhammad Ali’s and Manny Pacquiao’s. But even a super athlete needs an Angelo Dundee or a Freddie Roach before potential is maximized. Conditioning will replace breeding as the pivotal factor in the sport of sabong. It will be the foremost factor that will spell the difference between winning and losing, at least at top level competition, where, as we observe, cocks are already created about equal. Team Pacquiao has repeatedly demonstrated the importance of proper conditioning.

            Manny Pacquiao may fight one or two more fights. At least one let’s hope,against Floyd Mayweather. They both owe it to the fans. The very fans that made the two of  them what they are now. Regardless of the outcomes of his coming fights, Manny has already secured a place in boxing history. Most of all he made us Filipinos proud of his exploits, and us sabungeros for wittingly or unwittingly demonstrating to the world that the fightingcock is the greatest fighter of all. It is no wonder if Manny fights like a fightingcock. He loves to watch cocks in action, because he is a sabungero.

(You may reach the author, Rey Bajenting through email: He writes regularly for PitGames and Llammado magazines. He is founder of RB Sugbo GamefowlTechnology and Masang Nagmamanok  Inc. or MANA, a movement in the service of the common sabungeros. )