Company: Panther Productions
Tape Name: Basic Principles of Hand to Hand Combat
Tape Cost: Tape Cost: 6 for $99.95
Length of Tape/Time: 50 minutes
Number of Moves/Techniques:
Return Policy: Return on damaged or defective tapes only!
Experiences in dealing with this company: Fair
The Instructor: Leonard Holifield
Company's Address: 1010 Calle Negocio, San Clemente, California 92673
Company's Phone Number: 1-800-332-4442
Web Page: Century purchased Panther's entire library

Primary Grading Criteria:

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

Grand Total: 94 % (Very Good = 3.5 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: None

Written Summary:

At the time of this writing, America is considering sending ground troops into battle in Yugoslavia. I can think of no better time to begin reviewing this video series from Panther Productions featuring Sgt. Leonard Holifield, Close Quarter Combat Instructor for the United States Army. We do not even have to call the Pentagon and obtain a secret course number to see if Mr. Holifield's credentials are legitimate. Nor do we have to endure ridiculous full page advertisements about what a dangerous man Mr. Holifield is or how terrific is his combat system. Mr. Holifield looks like he could devour the average video instructor for breakfast. After you watch him in action, there is no doubt that you are watching an expert in his field. After you watch this video ( and the other volumes ) you will know that Mr. Holifield is indeed a CQC expert. Dressed in military fatigues and combat boots, Mr. Holifield and his assistant instructor, Mr. Turner, go through the basics of Mr.Holifield's combat system.

Those of you who have read my reviews know that I am not a fan of traditional martial arts. But occasionally, I have to make an exception and this video series is one of those exceptions. It would be a mistake however to call Mr. Holifield's combat system a traditional martial art even though most of the techniques and concepts appear to come from the Japanese/Okinawan styles. Mr. Holifield has managed to do something that is very difficult but very unique. He has managed to integrate many traditional karate techniques with a distinctly practical western mindset. He has also eliminated much of the flowery non combative aspects of these traditional arts. The end result is an aggressive hard hitting combat system that combines lethality with practicality. It is obvious that Mr. Holifield places a great deal of emphasis on attitude although he does not dwell on that subject in the video. He simply says " Train To Fight. Fight To Win ". That statement says a lot about the effectiveness of Mr. Holifield's system.

The content of this volume deals with basic stances, blocks and strikes. One obvious point is that in military combat, most hand to hand engagements occur under extremely adrenalized situations. This is military combat, the ultimate test of a martial art. This situation makes some street fights look like a day at the beach. The attacks shown on this video are aggressive and violent with committed strikes and kicks delivered by the attacker. In other words, the attacks shown are designed to emulate the types of attacks one would see in combat. The attacks in this video come hard and strong. No pretty dancing and jabbing, sticking and moving. No circling each other like a prize fight. No bobbing. No weaving. Get the picture ? This is people trying to kill you with their bare hands. And it is this style of attacker that Mr. Holifield's combat system is designed to handle. With that in mind, let's take a look at what is on this first volume.

The material on this tape ( volume 1 ) begins with a look at the fighting stances used in this system. At first glance, these appear to be straight out of a traditional karate system. Mr. Holifield has made some subtle changes to make these stance more effective. We are then shown some basic karate blocks integrated with the correct footwork and body movement. We are shown the various hand and elbow strikes next followed by combat kicking. As I said , all of the material here as a traditional martial art influence but is strongly combat modified for today's military. All of these videos by Mr. Holifield are a series and it is difficult to evaluate one volume without commenting on the entire series. If you are interested in learning what this combat system is all about, then this volume is a necessity. Unlike previous videos by Panther, this one does not show the same technique 10 to 15 times. Instead, the video is shown in a narrative form with Mr. Holifield and his assistant showing the correct way to do the techniques. One final word is that one should be aware that the majority of the material shown on these videos is devastating. I would expect nothing less from a military combat system but keep in mind that the use of some of these moves might be heavily frowned upon in a court of law.


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