Video review: The Fighting Footwork of Kuntao and Silat by Bob Orlando

It’s been a while since I did a video review, so here’s another one: The Fighting Footwork of Kuntao and Silat by Bob Orlando. I’m going to try something new from now on and do the review in video form instead of writing it all out. It’s easier for me and allows you to listen to the review any time, any place instead of having to read everything on my blog here.

That said, here’s my video review:


A sample of the videos:

Bob Orlando’s website.

His videos:

His books:



Video Review: Kelly McCann’s Crucible High Risk Environment Training Volume Three by John Garman

It’s been a while since I did another video review so here goes:

Kelly McCann’s Crucible High Risk Environment Training, volume Three with John Garman and introduction by Kelly McCann


The video starts with a short introduction in which Kelly McCann introduces Mr. Garman. John then takes over and explains that the purpose of this video is conditioning for combatives. Not MMA or ring fighting, but physical training to survive deadly assaults. As a result, the exercises and training methods are different from training for the cage or ring. He also gives some advice about clothing, footwear and the equipment (kettlebels, barbel, medicine ball, heavy bag, etc.) they use as well as the different workout methods:

  • Coach/team: This means you always have somebody to count your reps for you, encourage you, improve team morale and so on.
  • Ipod on: You turn into yourself and shut out all distractions, using music to psyche you up.
  • Solo: There’s nobody around, no music, nothing. This helps you build mental strength because there’s nothing but your own perseverance to make it a good work out.
Kelly McCann's Crucible High Risk Environment Training, volume Three with John Garman and introduction by Kelly McCann

John Garman illustrating the dangers of squatting too low

The preliminaries out of the way, we get to the “Fundamental exercises”. Mr. Garman first gives you some safety tips about techniques and mindset. This primarily centers around the difference between conditioning for combatives and working out for health, fitness or fat-loss. He then moves on to explain the following exercises in detail: [Read more…]

Video review: “One against Many” by Branimir Tudjan

Here’s my long promised video review of  “One against Many” by Branimir Tudjan. Stay tuned for more as I’m also working on an interview with Mr. Tudjan. I’ll put it online as soon as it’s ready. Here’s the review:

The video starts with an introduction in which Mr. Tudjan explains the framework of his MOSS system: the three rules of self defense and some good advice on the realities of defending yourself and what you need to survive multiple opponent confrontations. He then goes on to point out the most common mistakes:

  • Going to the ground
  • Going for a lock or control hold
  • High kicks
  • Taking a fighting stance

This advice makes perfect sense to me and conforms to both my own training and experience. Good stuff.

The next topic Branimir covers is what he calls “The dynamics of fear”, meaning the adrenal stress response you get when you find yourself in a self defense situation involving several attackers. He explains that fear is common and totally normal in a fight. Instead of fighting it, accept it and use it to your advantage.

The last prelude to the technical portion is an explanation on the difference between the athletic and tactical response. It would take too long to explain this here but the discussion revolves around technique-based fighting versus principle based responses.

Next up is a big chapter on striking techniques. Mr. Tudjan covers a limited set of techniques he found to be most practical for fighting multiple opponents. Most of them are the classics we all know and love: palm strike, hammer fist, gouging and biting, elbows and knees, etc. But there was also the handball jump strike (both empty hand and with weapons) that I was surprised to find in the list. Personally, I like it a lot but it takes some training before you can pull it off in a real fight. You also need a solid load of guts and confidence in the technique. But once you’ve trained this technique well enough, you have a wicked surprise waiting for your attackers. [Read more…]

Movie review: Jade Warrior

A while ago I noticed something weird in my TV-guide: a Finnish wuxia movie called “Jade Warrior”. I was pretty confident that this was a unique combination so I watched it and figured I might as well write a review about it here.

Jade Warrior: one of the fight scenes.

The basic premise is this: [Read more…]

Video Review: Sanchin Kata: Traditional Training for Karate Power by Kris Wilder

Sanchin Kata - Three Battles Karate by Kata Kris Wilder

Sanchin Kata: Traditional Training for Karate Power by Kris Wilder is an instructional DVD on Goju Ryu Karate’s core kata. The publisher is YMAA and this is the first video of their’s I review here. I have to say the production quality is impressive and they make a neat package on the DVD:

  • Part of the video is shot outside, in what looks like a Japanese garden. A nice touch.
  • The inside footage is taken in a decor that resembles a traditional Karate dojo. This isn’t absolutely necessary for an instructional video but it’s nice to see.
  • The picture and sound quality is top-notch. Great stuff.
  • Along with the main content, you get samples from other videos they sell.

All together that makes for pretty good bang for your buck. On with the review now.

You first get an introduction to what Sanchin kata is along with a complete demonstration of the form. Kris then gives some information on the history of the form and also explains his views on it.  This provides you with the necessary background information to understand the main content of the video, which is what comes next.

The instructional material begins with a step-by-step guide on how to make the correct framework with your body for this kata. Kris has a partner to help him out by placing each body part in the correct alignment and then pointing out how you do that. More importantly, he also comments on what to avoid. He covers: [Read more…]