Company: Goldstar Video
Tape Name: How to Protect Yourself
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: John Tsai
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: 90
2. Instructors demonstrated skill level: 100
3. Comprehension Score/Immediate Understanding: 90
4. Degree to which this will make someone a better Martial Artist: 80
5. Score on delivery vs hype: 90
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: 85% (Very Good = 4.0 Stars)
Secondary Grading Criteria:
1. Beginners benefit: Very Good
2. Intermediate benefit: Very Good
3. Advanced benefit: Very Good
4. Time to benefit: Immediate
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: No
What we have here is a now hard-to-find tape by Kung Fu instructor John Tsai, who seems to have a long history in the Chicago area, of producing some high quality Kung Fu practitioneers in his school. I remember in the 90's there were late night infomercials for this tape (and its companion) featuring the Partridge Family's: Danny Bonaduce as the celebrity spokesman. The commercial was a long 30 minute one, and often reminded me of a SCARS or TRS ad, regarding its aggressive advertising. I kept getting the feeling the infomercial was saying "Forget traditional martial arts, and what anyone else can teach you, all you need are my tapes". What I never forgot was the $150 pricetag this 2 tape series use to sell for! Now, like many older informercial products, this one has almost faded into oblivion. What struck me as a bit odd was that I didn't even see this tape offered on the schools website. Additionally, it looks like the school may have been handed-off to "Johnny Tsai" from "John Tsai" (the elder John being the one on this tape).
So we've figured out John Tsai went the infomercial route to try and get rich, while it seems the family claims at their schools website they have created quality Chicago area champions since the 60's, including students like Don "The Dragon" Wilson. Enough info, so what's on the tape?
The first few minutes of the tape are spent on understanding awareness of an attack, the psychological aspect, how to prevent from freezing under stress by flipping a switch, etc.
Next, the viewer is told to focus on 4 main targets for any confrontation:
Next, the tape tells you to primarily use the following weapons:
1. Cobra Strike - loose yet straight whipping spearhand to the throat
2. Double Dragon - striking each eye simultaneously with first two fingers of your hand
3. Tiger Mouth - grabbing throat with web area between thumb and forefinger, and ripping adams apple
4. Phoenix Eye - forefinger knuckle slightly extended for strike into eye socket (or ribs)
5. Knife hand strike
6. Dragon Snap - kicking into the knees
7. Dragon Tail - kicking into the side of opponents thigh with your shin
The tape goes on to show various common self-defense situations such as side head lock, bear hug, etc, and how all a person needs to use is a mixture of the 7 suggested weapons to quickly dispatch of an opponent.
This ends up being a short 30 minute tape, but one that certainly made its point, and did so quite well. I felt while watching this tape either Tsai watched Vunak's Street Safe # 1 and took meticulous notes, or vice-versa. The actual concept of a small handful of weapons, concentrating on just a few targets for any situation, definitely had a Street Safe # 1 type feel to me.
So what's my veridict? Well with Danny Bonaduce as spokesman, and late night infomercials advertising this series, combined with a big price tag, I was expecting this to be some overpriced garbage! I'll be the first to admit I was wrong. I liked this one alot! I think it needs to be ranked fairly high. Due to a couple of situations, and the recommended technique, I didn't feel it was as solid as Street Safe # 1. However, I could definitely picture someone combining combining what they do like, with Vunak's Street Safe # 1, to have some additional techniques for immediate self-defense variety and efficiency. If you can rent it from Goldstar for $3-$5 its definitely worth checking out!