Company: Villari's World of Martial Arts
Tape Name: Villari Self-Defense
Tape Cost: $30
Length of Tape/Time: about 60 minutes
Number of Moves/Techniques: Too many to count!
Return Policy: ?
Experiences in dealing with this company: Great
The Instructor: Fred Villari
Company's Address: 932 Laurel Drive Suite E3, Lake Park, FL, 33403
Company's Phone Number: 888-MARTIAL
Web Page: http://www.villari.com
Primary Grading Criteria:
1. Production/Tape Quality: 80
2. Instructors demonstrated skill level: 80
3. Comprehension Score/Immediate Understanding: 80
4. Degree to which this will make someone a better Martial Artist: 80
5. Score on delivery vs hype: 80
6. Degree to which we would recommend this product: 80
7. Wasted Time ( The higher the number,the less " fluff" /repetition ): 80
8. Playback Score/Watching it over-and-over again: 80
9. Would I purchase more of this company's products: 80
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. value: 80
Grand Total: 80% (Very Good)
Secondary Grading Criteria:
1. Beginners benefit: Very Good
2. Intermediate benefit: Very Good
3. Advanced benefit: Very Good
4. Time to benefit: A few days to a few weeks
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None
The Villari folks sent us a huge assortment of dvds and we certainly appreciate that. Doing such voluntarily wins a few bonus points with us here. Why's that? How can you not view a persons tapes a little differently, when they have enough confidence in their product to say "Here's a huge assortment, tell us what you think of it, good-or-bad, we can handle it". Still, don't let that think we're going to say "This is a 5 star product, because in my opinion it wasn't".
This roughly 1 hour dvd was well produced, had tons of content, and practically no excessive repetition. Villari takes a person through many of the typical self-defense scenarios such as: grabs, holds, chokes, punches, kicks, and even goes fairly in-depth into knife and gun defenses. This dvd seems to be geared towards those who haven't had exposure to any type of martial arts training, which we can't help but like. As you have probably noticed in recent reviews, we like to see techniques and concepts that teach a student in the shortest amount of time possible, how to defend themself. With that in mind, Villari shows many strikes and techniques that don't require a significant amount of time to develop. No head high kicks that take a year or two to get down, or that some may never be able to develop. Instead he shows how to mix-up palm heel strikes, elbows, knees, low kicks and front kicks, in such a way, that as-quickly-as-possible, you can disable an attacker. Easy strikes with maximum results! At times I couldn't help but see similiarities with the David James material we like.
Dislikes - Villari in numerous situation uses a forearm strike. He shows using this in several scenarios: coming up under a persons chin with the top of your forearm (hairy side - ouch!), coming down on the back of their neck when they're bent over, and as a close-line type strike. Personally, this is not one of my favorite strikes and I have several reasons why. First off, I don't think non-martial artists, especially females, can deliver much power with that strike. I feel an elbow, palm heel, hammer fist (not shown at all here!), or knife hand, would be a better substitute. Second reason, have you ever practiced a forearm-type close-line strike on a heavy bag FULL speed/power? Try about 10 close-lines at FULL speed/power on a heavy bag, each side, and tell me how your shoulder feels afterwards! Or, grab your wife/girlfriend (this dvd was aimed at anyone), have them do 10 close-lines (each side) on a heavy bag, as hard/fast as they can, and ask how their shoulder feels afterwards. Could using a forearm strike be effective? Sure, but let's just say it would be at the bottom of my list of techniques, especially using the top (hairy side) of my forearm to strike a guy in the chin as hard/fast as I can. As Villari was going through many different self-defense scenarious, at times I didn't feel like he chose the best strike/target. Call me crazy, but I kept seeing several situations in which I said to myself "Why did you strike with that over there, when using this over here would've been quicker, easier, and caused more damage?" In a couple of instances I felt like he kind of "reached" to access a target, when another target was much closer.
Likes - The handgun and knife defense shown on this dvd were excellent! Just when you think you've seen-it-all, especially after 25 yrs and over 1000 tapes, Villari breathes new life into that. There were a couple of things he did I really liked and hadn't seen anywhere else! And you've got to give an instructor credit, who on a short 60 minute dvd, covers just about every sort of self defense situation, and finds time to fit in gun/knife defense. Also, there was a certain amount of "viciousness" about Villari's attacks that I liked. At times, either Villari, or the female defender he would have step-in at times (as a novice?), kind of popped their attackers (Villari black belts?) pretty good with their strikes. Assessment? They weren't playing around, and it appears that if you're taking from Villari, you better expect to take a few mild-to-medium shots during your training! Reminded me of when I was coming-up-thru-the-ranks, and certainly didn't appear to be like the plethora of commercial-no-contact-dojo's now days that often theorize about "what works", versus forcing a student to get-in-there and take a few bumps-and-bruises! If you can't take-a-shot, nor ever have, and someone delivers one to you in-the-street for the first time, most students will be in for a rude awakening, or will be "finished" the first time they feel that sort of pain! I still remember when I was coming up thru the ranks, being the recipient of numerous broken/separated ribs, black eyes, bleeding/broken noses, busted lips, wind knocked out of me, tons of jammed/broken toes, broken hands, sprained ankles, hyper-extended joints, pulled/torn muscles, etc, as a result of the higher ranking opponents I aggressively sparred against! There were so many times that happened, and the next day I was back-on-the-mat, barely able to punch, kick or move with any ease, but forced myself past that, to do the best I could (my Brown and Wheeler days)! Personally, I think a student coming-up-thru-the-ranks needs to experience that a little bit (hopefully, not as much as I did), cause if they don't, and by chance a more skilled attacker does land a good damaging shot against them in the street, the fight will likely be over for most, if they don't know how to persevere through a little pain! Alas I've digressed, because reality based training (with contact) is really a whole different discussion, so let's move on....
Verdict - Villari covers a lot of ground in 1 hr! There were tons of techniques presented that provide someone with no formal martial arts training a fairly thorough street-effective self-defense system. I felt about 80-90% of the content shown was excellent, and only had concerns with about 10-20% of it, due to forearm strikes, or not always chosing an easier-and-closer weapon/target. Factor into all this Villari covering some excellent gun and knife defense, not seen anywhere else, and that pushes the score up a bit in my opinion. I'm going to give this series an 80% (4 Star) rating!