Company: Goldstar Video
Tape Name: Combat Jiu-Jitsu # 3: Counter Attacks
Tape Cost: as low as $2.99 per rental!
Length of Tape/Time: varies, see "written summary"
Number of Moves/Techniques: Varies
Return Policy: Rental
Experiences in dealing with this company: Great with Goldstar!
The Instructor: Norman Leff
Company's Address: 413 Briarwood Ridge, Carl Junction, MO 64834
Company's Phone Number: 888-884-7482
Web Page: http://www.goldstarvideo.com
Primary Grading Criteria:
1. Production/Tape Quality: 65
2. Instructors demonstrated skill level: 65
3. Comprehension Score/Immediate Understanding: 65
4. Degree to which this will make someone a better Martial Artist: 65
5. Score on delivery vs hype: 65
6. Degree to which we would recommend this product: 65
7. Wasted Time ( The higher the number,the less " fluff" /repetition ): 65
8. Playback Score/Watching it over-and-over again: 65
9. Would I purchase more of this company's products: 65
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. value: 65
Grand Total: 65% (Good = 3.0 Stars)
Secondary Grading Criteria:
1. Beginners benefit: Good
2. Intermediate benefit: Good
3. Advanced benefit: Good
4. Time to benefit: Immediate
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: No
As mentioned in his previous reviews, Leff is a big tall guy, I'd guess about 220-240, and in his mid to late 60's when this was filmed. He moves slow, as if injured or arthritic, and I sympathize with him, because there are many days everything is totally locked-up on me, and no matter how hard I try, I move the same way. Yet he impressed me on this tape in several instances. He showed how to do standing forward rolls and backward rolls, and pulled them off nicely! Leff also did some takedowns and grappling counters when he was on the ground, that required some agility to pull-off, and he did it. There were a couple of instances in which he went to the ground and did a leg scissor takedown, to the opponent standing over him. Compare Leff's physical demanor to the Star Wars movie in which Yoda slowly enters the room to fight Count Duku, limping like an old man, yet when its time to do some fighting, he performs youthfully. This is how I'd compare Leff at times on these videos.
Well we're at 75% into this series and at this point I think its fair to say this Kenpo-Jitsu system of Leff's should be taking shape. The concept of combining those 2 arts I love, having trained in both. However Leff hasn't created a methodology or structure, IMHO, to make the viewer grasp everything. Its as if you get tons of techniques, and shown variations on them, but few concepts/principes are taught, so that you get his system.
Its like he shows self defense situation after situation, in which he's sort of saying to viewers "If someone does this, here's a variety of ways to respond to it" Compare it to maybe wanting to take an art class, to learn how to paint, the instructor quickly paints a picture in front of you, then afterwards says "See, that's how you do it". And afterwards you're saying to yourself "Showing me isn't teaching me, you need to explain more thoroughly what you did, how, why, and when to do it". One of my favorite quotes I think instructors need to grasp is this: "If you learn only methods, you'll be tied to your methods, but if you learn the principles behind the methods, you can devise your own methods - Ralph Waldo Emerson" (or concisely put, "principles (or concepts) make methods (techniques) obvious"). Personally, I hate blindly memorizing techniques, I believe understanding them, makes remembering them easier. Give it to me in a heirarchy that makes sense! There are some styles that have tons of techniques a person needs to know, and I think "understanding thoroughly the principles behind the methods (techniques)", assists in grasping/remembering them, or when and where to apply them correctly. Some striking styles have lets say 3-6 main kicks and 5 or so main hand techniques (for sparring). Just showing them one time to someone and saying "Now punch and kick your opponent" isn't enough. Knowing how to setup each, and when to apply those in the right order, is crucial in my opinion. Often "closest weapon to closest target" makes the choice obvious, and one of many key concepts one needs to be clearly taught and have drilled into their head! Two of my biggest complaints on instructional videos are: 1). not teaching "principles" (concepts) and 2). not addressing the myriad of "what-ifs", regarding what to do if the situation changes (attackers response to your technique).
Likes: Leff emphasized the use of Palm Heel strikes, Elbows, Tiger Claw, Finger Scrape (eyes), Knees, Rolls, Defense against Tackles, Counters to a couple of common Throws, Breaking Balance/Kazushi (slightly emphasized), and some of my favorites: Leg Locks, Leg Scissors, and Pinching (Leff showed areas and applications for pinching). Alot of ground was covered in 60 minutes.
There was nothing technically wrong with the material, and Leff showed a few more slick techniques than on the previous 2 tapes in this series. At times I felt the way he taught was a bit slow combined with technique overload/regurgatation. I think Leff missed out on educating viewers thoroughly on when-and-how to apply all the techniques shown. Overall, this series hasn't really set-me-on-fire, but I wouldn't classify it as a flop either. I'm going to rate this tape a little better than the previous 2 we've reviewed, as I felt it had a little more value.