Company: Goldstar Video
DVD Name: Extreme Close Quarter Combat
DVD Cost: $8 rental or $69 to own, personally I'd recommend renting due to price and score
Length of DVD: 50 minutes
Number of Moves: Numerous
Return Policy: NA
Instructor: Demi Barbito
Company Address: 6031 N Main Street Rd Ste 397, Webb City, MO 64870-7219
Company Phone Number: 888-884-7482
Publishers Web Page: TRS Direct (but I'd recommend renting it from Goldstar Video)

Primary Grading Criteria:

Production Quality:8
Instructors demonstrated skill level: 8
Comprehension Score/Immediate Understanding: 8
Degree to which this will make someone a better Martial Artist: 7
Score on Delivery vs Hype: 7
Degree to which you would recommend this product: 7
Wasted time (The Higher the number, the less “Fluff “/repetition): 7
Playback score/watching it over and over again: 7
Would I purchase more of this company’s products: 7
Overall grade: 7

Grand Total: 73% (Good = 3.5 Stars)
Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginning Student Benefit: Very Good
2. Intermediate Student Benefit: Good
3. Advanced Student Benefit: Good
4. Time to benefit: Couple of Weeks
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None

Written Summary:

If you picked apart some Paul Vunak stuff, added some Matt Thornton JKD dynamic reality type training material, some David James Vee Jitsu material, throw in a pinch of James Painter, Mike Kanarek and John Tsai, that would sum up what I feel Demi Barbito is presenting on this video. Only thing Barbito left out that could've rounded-out this material a little better would've been some John Perkins or Scott Rogers palm heel oriented material. All in all, this dvd wasn't bad, but compared to everything else I've watched so far from the above mentioned instructors, I don't feel Barbito is offering us anything really new or substantial here. Barbito seems to just kind of be showing us a mix of stuff I've seen before by the video instructors mentioned above. Just like this video, the more videos I see from TRS, it feels to me at times as if I'm watching nothing more than overpriced bits-and-pieces type compilations of techniques, I've seen done by other video instructors! What's next, someone taking my list of Top 20 videos, choosing buffet style the best techniques they like from them, creating something they call their own from that, and selling it on one dvd for $70 or more? LOL

So what is Barbito showing us on this? Let's give everyone a run-down of some random notes I took based on all the main techniques, scenarios and concepts he's teaching on this:

1. First technique - Ear Slap (ala Vunak type from Street Safe # 1), followed by a Straight Blast of about 5-6 punches, another Ear Slap, then run away from your attacker. Personally, I'm not a huge Straight Blast fan. Most of the people I've seen showing the Straight Blast on video, do it so fast and with such little power (akin to lets say short rabbit type punches), that I can't picture it inflicting any significant amount of damage. Seems more like a nuisance technique against an attacker, in which the attacker would just want your hands out of his face. I've often wondered if someone went into Straight Blast mode, what would happen if the person on the receiving end dropped low and went into a single leg or double leg takedown! Aren't the single leg and double leg takedowns often meant to be fairly easy counters to those who are headhunters? And isn't the Straight Blast a headhunting type technique? Hmmm, I wonder if the Straight Blast worked 100% of the time, why we don't see it effectively employed against leg takedowns in UFC fights. Better still, if it works 100% of the time, then why don't well-known grappling instructors all teach the Straight Blast to counter leg takedowns? Didn't Dana White recently say Bruce Lee was the "father of mixed martial arts"? Type those keywords and that title into Google and see for yourself! So that being the case, and Bruce Lee being the person often credited for making the Straight Blast well-known, why don't we see the Straight Blast used in the UFC? If the Straight Blast is 100% effective, then why don't all martial arts styles teach it? Don't get me wrong, I love alot of the JKD stuff and what Bruce Lee represents, but I'm not a big fan of the Straight Blast! Oh well, how about all that for stirring things up a bit? ;-)

2. Second technique - Ear Slap, Straight Blast, Roundhouse Kick

3. Clinch, that before it goes behind an opponents head, both thumbs graze and gouge into your opponents eyes. Use the clinch to pull opponent into a headbutt, followed by an elbow to his head

4. Info on how to do a headbutt - use the top of your head

5. Vertical Elbow into sternum (that inflicts pain that could be compared to being hit by a "rhino"?)

6. Standing Arm Wrenches (blasting the elbow joint) - Barbito shows 4 variations on these, 2 of which I didn't care for

7. Barbito states the Backfist is not an effective long range weapon, implying via scenarios shown that it is a better close range weapon. Okay, but what about using it as a mid-range weapon? I've found it to be a fairly accurate weapon that I can close-the-distance with at long range, and then pretty easily score with at mid-range.

8. Barbito goes into ways to use the Backfist in close range. Do an up close arm/elbow wrench, then backfist the groin. Next technique he shows, squat low and backfist an attacker in the groin (I guess if he's a headhunter), then as he starts to bend over from the groin shot, shoot up from your squatted position into a headbutt. Next technique, drop low do the backfist to groin, then rotate that backfist up high, to do a backfist with thumb sticking out into your opponents eye (hitting with the top of your fist).

9. Web of hand strike into throat (using the area between thumb and forefinger, as seen before on Tsai's and Kanarek's videos)

10. Dumong (something Vunak teaches on his other videos) - pulling or pushig the arm above the elbow joint. Technique shown, pull the arm down, which bring opponents head down, and simultaneously transition that into a headbutt. Next technique, hit into the fold of your opponents elbow joint, this will collapse the outstretched arm and bring the opponents head down, as his head comes down, simultaneously do a headbutt.

11. Demonstrates a Clinch that turns into a Neck Crank

12. Drop low during an attack, cup slap opponents groin (similar concept taught on a TRS James Painter video), but as an opponent starts to bend over from the painful groin strike, stand and strike with a headbutt to his chin or face

13. Roundhouse Kick (he calls Savate kick) followed by front kick into the knee

14. Rear Naked Choke

15. Barbito says to always end the altercation with either a shove, sweep, throw, or push, to facilitate escape. You don't want a guy falling down around your ankles. He advises not to let an opponents get tangled up around your ankles, so as to prevent you from running away, should his buddies come around the corner to help.

16. Barbito demonstrates sweeps that take an attacker face down to the ground, then he follows up with stomps into the back of the knee, followed by a stomp into the achilles portion of the ankle (seen on David James videos and on Kanarek's)

17. Two handed, reinforced push is shown, to help move attacker out of your way so you can run.

18. Barbito emphasizes that you should dish-out "painful rapid shots". However his Straight Blast didn't look that powerful of painful, looked like he was sacrificing speed for power.

19. Barbito states that training needs to be done "structurally, methodically, and dynamically". Which transitions him into the discussion of # 20.

20. Hubud - trapping/blocking drills that Barbito states will "bring out body positions in a fight" so that you know what to do next.

21. Standing type Push-Pull Drills - so you get a feel for each others base, balance, and center

22. True Clinch practiced with what Barbito calls "pummeling"

23. Hubud Structures one can transition into: hubud, backfist, base, pummeling, etc

24. Barbito emphasizes that training should be done with full gear on (Redman suit, Fist suit, or Blauer suit) so that you can get use to unloading everything on a person

25. Psychological Ammo - Barbito stresses we are likely good people and that we might need to picture someone having done something horrific, such as them maybe having "raped your wife", so that we can have the mindset necessary to blow right through an attacker without any concern for our own well-being. He implies that this type of attitude will help lead to victory in any altercation. This to me seemed very David James like, in which James' has said in the past a defender might need to learn how to flip a switch, to psychologically become the kind of person that can respond with extreme violence.

26. Barbito does stress some great concepts, such as: "offer greater violence for the violence offered" my school we simply tell our students "respond with overwhelming violence". Barbito also states on this dvd "there's nothing more important than inflicting pain". And he emphasizes "hit with everything you've got, as hard and as fast as you can". He also states that "after you've attacked someone don't stand around to gloat, run away", implying again that he might have buddies nearby that could show up any minute.

In closing, I would classify this dvd as "good", but certainly not "very good" nor "excellent". That of course is my opinion, based on other videos I've seen or reviewed here, that I liked even better. Barbito's target audience seems to be those who are looking for a quick and easy self-defense response to most street situations. I don't think Barbito gave us as many of the tools in this dvd that some of our favorite and less expensive Paul Vunak or David James videos do, however he does cover some "good" ground here.

So what's my personal recommendation based on the publishers nearly $70 price for this dvd? Save your $70, especially when you can rent this for $8 from Goldstar Video. I'd say if you rent it and watch it a couple of times, while taking some good notes, most people would be done with it fairly quick and ready to move on to something else! I don't see it as a $70 dvd that's worth owning for myself, my own students, or anyone else I know! There is some good stuff on here, but not $70 worth, in my opinion. It just didn't light-me-up with that kind of value! Heck, even Vunak's Street Safe # 1, which is like $40 from the same publisher, and can be bought for $30 used on eBay sometimes, has more value to it in my opinion, than this video does. Yet on the other hand if this dvd was on eBay one day for let's say $20, yeah, it might be a good one to own for that price, but only if you didn't already own Vunak's Street Safe # 1 or some David James stuff.


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