Company: Straight Blast Gym Productions
Tape Name: Passing the Guard/Tape 1
Tape Cost: $44.95 or $299.00 for the 12 tape series.
Length of Tape: 52 minutes
Number of Moves/Techniques: 20
Return Policy: Unknown
Experiences in dealing with this company: Excellent
The Instructor: Bob Bass/Rick Williams
Address: 1812 Ne 43rd Ave Portland Oregon 97213
Company's Phone Number: 503-230-79248
Web Page:

Primary Grading Criteria:

1. Production/Tape Quality: 10
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: 9
8. Playback Score/Watching it over and over again: 10
9. Would I purchase more of this company's product: 10
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. Value: 10

Grand Total: 99% (Excellent = 4.75 stars)

Secondary Grading Criteria Series:

1. Beginners benefit: Excellent
2. Intermediate benefit: Excellent
3. Advanced benefit: Very Good
4. Time to benefit: Some Immediate, greatest benefit with practice
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None

Written Summary:

This video series by Straight Blast Gym features two Machado Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belts Bob Bass and Rick Williams. The previous Straight Blast Gym video series on Functional Jeet Kune Do impressed us here at MAVR and I wondered whether this series would be of the same high caliber. After all the competition between leading tape Companies today is strong and it seems that almost every month a new series comes out each trying to be the best. There is no doubt that tapes made today are much better than in years past but the million dollar question (give or take a few hundred thousand dollars) is whether these tapes can compete in the current market. Well let me tell you, these tapes not only compete but in this reviewers opinion set a new standard for Sport Jiu Jitsu tapes for the beginning and intermediate student. Excellent job Mr. Bass and Mr. Williams! These tapes contains a ton of information that is presented in a detailed, clear and logical manner. The set that comes the closet to this series is Roy Harris’s 3 tape BJJ 101 series. The Bass/Williams series however contains much more information than Mr. Harris’s 3 tape BJJ 101 series. When I say information I’m not necessarily taking about the number of techniques (although there are much more in the Bass/Williams tapes ). Both series teach very much from a conceptual basis, in other words they are not just contain a bunch of techniques put together on video. These tapes will really help a person to understand the in’s and out’s of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Don’t get me wrong Mr. Harris also has a very impressive set of tapes but in order for him to keep up to this series he needs to get busy and come out with some new tapes which build upon the first series. As an example lets looks at escapes from the guard. Mr. Harris devotes about 10 minutes to this and fails to cover the open guard whereas the Bass/Williams tape run about 25 minutes on this subject (less several short interviews during this time) and extensively covers the open guard. I have not seen a better video that covers this area.

There is a lot of the information on the Bass/Williams series that has never been shown before on video tape. Other points that I enjoyed about this video are the fact that you have the advantage of having two Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belts giving the instruction. Bass and Williams alternate teaching the various techniques. Both are very clear in their instruction and come across on video very well. One thing that I did find slightly annoying with the presentation was that both Mr. Williams and Mr. Bass kept repeating the words "okay" or "kay" throughout the video’s. No doubt neither realized that they were doing this. This was a very minor complaint that I had regarding the presentation. Another plus for this series was the production quality, simply put, is outstanding. Top notch all the way. I also enjoyed the short interviews with the Instructors that were mixed throughout the tapes. I have seen some other Companies have a separate tape just devoted to the Interview but I found that mixing the short interviews in to be much better. However the only drawback with regards to these interviews is that some (not all) of the same interveiws were found on different tapes. Putting the same interview on another tape to me is a waste of time especially for anyone who purchases the entire series.Each one of these tapes can stand on there own but if you are looking to learn the basics and beyond I would suggest getting the whole series. These tapes will take beginning and intermediate level students to a much higher level especially if you do not have access to an Instructor. They even have something to offer advanced students but a lot of the material would already be known to high level students. This series will take many a student to a new level in Sport Jiu Jitsu.

There were very few negatives in regard to this series. Here is one that I found. The introduction of the video’s is the most unique that I have ever seen. The first part of the Introduction is the same as on all the Straight Blast Gym products and they get an A + for originality. The only problem is that the introduction lasts approximately 7 minutes and the conclusion is 4 minutes. For us math geniuses that’s a total of 11 minutes just dedicated to the introduction and conclusion on each video. This is a lot of wasted time. On the other hand once the actual techniques begin there is very little wasted time as each technique is shown two to three times only. Usually once in slow motion. Keep in mind that any of the above negatives were only minor drawbacks at best. This is an excellent video series with two top instructors.

Here is some of what you will find on this video:

1) How to maintain proper posture in the guard and how to break you opponents legs apart to pass.

2) How to counter if the person tries to hold your head down while your in the guard.

3) How to get to proper posture

4) How to bait someone to go for an arm bar then move into a guard pass.

5) How to pass your opponents leg while you are standing. Several different ways are explained all depending on what your opponent does.

6) Brief section with seminar footage.

7) Sparring footage shown complete with background music to the lyrics of "party, get naked, buy us a beer"

Bottom Line:

We have a new leader for Sport Jiu Jitsu tapes. Save your dollars and get this series!

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