Company: Hand/Off Home Video Productions
Tape Name: Surviving Terrorism - Hijacking: Planes, Trains and Buses
Tape Cost: $19.95 (VHS), $24.95 (DVD)
Length of Tape/Time: Approximately 60 minutes
Number of Moves/Techniques: 10 techniques
Return Policy: ?
Experiences in dealing with this company: Excellent
The Instructor: Abel Villareal
Company's Address: 2210 South First Street, Austin, Texas 78704
Company's Phone Number: 512-916-4449
Web Page:

Primary Grading Criteria:

1. Production/Tape Quality: 8
2. Instructors demonstrated skill level: 10
3. Comprehension Score/Immediate Understanding: 10
4. Degree to which this will make someone a better Martial Artist: 10
5. Score on delivery vs hype: 10
6. Degree to which we would recommend this product: 10
7. Wasted Time ( The higher the number, the less " fluff" /repetition ): 10
8. Playback Score/Watching it over-and-over again: 10
9. Would I purchase more of this company's products: 10
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. value: 10

Grand Total: 98% (Excellent = 4.5 Stars )

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: Excellent
2. Intermediate benefit: Excellent
3. Advanced benefit: Excellent
4. Time to benefit: Most material is of immediate benefit.
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None

Written Summary:

Well I decided to take a break from the series I was reviewing (Carlson Gracie's), so as to clear my mind. I dug around in a huge box I keep, of tapes I'd received over the past year, and pulled this one out. Funny thing, this tape just showed up one day, and I never even asked for it.

First thing I thought when I saw the title was "Here's one I can rip, cause they're trying to capitalize on the events of 9-11". As I looked at the cover of this tape, for some reason I had immediate flashbacks of watching and "ripping" Jerry Peterson's SCARS tapes. Most of you know that I have little respect for those who try to make-a-buck, promising the world and delivering less, on whatever fad, craze, or fear is currently going on.

Boy was I wrong (regarding "ripping" this tape). If you've ever wanted a tape that teaches in a very easy format how to defend yourself against a knife or gun, this is one of the best I've seen! The techniques are few (about 10) but they're enough! Abel Villareal goes through numerous hijacking re-enactments, where a knife or gun is the weapon of choice, and how to disarm an assilant. Then he cuts to a seminar type setting, where he breaks down the techniques.

The beauty of this tape is the simplicity of the techniques Mr. Villareal demonstrates. Each technique shown to defend oneself against a knife/gun pointed at their throat, eyes, or stomach, is simple, very very simple.

How simple?

Mr. Villareal cuts to a seminar setting, showing and breaking down each technique. Then he randomly pulls what appears to be non-martial arts people out of the audience, brings them up front, and in a mock situation, has each of them within a minute or two, dispatching would-be-assiliants with such flash and amazing ease, that each audience participant looks like they should be acting in a big budget martial arts movie. I kid you not!

The techniques are simple, effective, don't require tons of speed, power or experience. In fact, this is one of the few tapes I've ever seen where a person could literally buy the tape, and just from watching it, mimick Mr. Villareal's techniques.

What makes the tape even more interesting is this. Mr. Villareal is so confident in his techniques, that he challenges audience members up front to act as the assilant, trying to stab or shoot another audience member (defender) who was just taught the technique in under 2-3 minutes. Better still, Mr. Villareal uses a fake gun with a working hammer, to test the speed of his techiques against the speed of someone pulling a trigger. I've yet to see anything like it on tape! Talk about realistic training, and putting-your-money-where-your-mouth is, regarding having strangers prove your techniques work, WOW!

Mr. Villareal constantly emphasizes that a persons speed, size, or strength won't matter, regarding making these techniques work, and he proves it throughout the tape, with various audience members taking an active part in defending themself.

One of the coolest things about most of the techniques shown is that they are all almost alike. Meaning, that one of the main concepts/techniques shown to disarm is constant throughout the tape. I've always been a big fan of "keeping it simple". I've seen some tapes that show dozens and dozens of knife disarm techniques, based on this-position-or-that, leaving me, and I'm sure others, wondering how much thinking one would have to do in the heat-of-the-moment. Mr. Villareal more-or-less says to those types of techniques "forget about it".

I'm sure some of you know I can't resist at times using the space in these reviews to address other thoughts/ideas that come to mind while watching tapes. And there's one I want to address. The teaching of knife/gun defense at martial arts schools. One of the martial arts styles I took (TKD) didn't seriously teach knife/gun defense until a person had been in their school for about 2 yrs. Personally, I think this is one of the biggest mistakes an instructor can make. And for those of you who disagree, or want to know who am I to say that, YES....I did have my own school at one time. And if you're an instructor, or own a school, then you know that 95% or better of those who enroll in a martial arts school, will never make it to black belt. Why is it that some schools won't teach knife/gun disarming until a person is right under "black"? I think that's a huge disservice. Personally, I think that all schools should thoroughly teach knife/gun disarming to students the first month they attend class! Heck, why not make that a yellow belt (or first belt) requirement? I've seen some schools spend an hour on it one day, and then wait 6 months to a year, before spending time on it again! Mr. Villareal proved to me, with this tape, that one can easily make any audience member proficient with his techniques easily, and with what appears to be almost guaranteed success! This tape shows that with Mr. Villareal's techniques, anyone can walk away in under an hour, having very thorough knowledge and ability regarding knife/gun defense techniques, and be able to successfully execute them, even when a person is really trying to cut or shot them! It just doesn't get any better than that!

If your training has left out gun/knife defense, or you're not a martial artist, yet you want to learn this sort of thing very very quickly, this tape comes with one of our highest recommendations!

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