Company: Straight Blast Gym Productions
Burton Richardson High Performance Stand Up Fighting
Tape Cost: $49.95 or $99 for full set of three tapes
Length of Tape: 80 minutes
Number of Moves/Techniques: Lots of techniques, plenty of conceptual information
Return Policy: Unknown
Experiences in dealing with this company: Excellent
The Instructor: Burton Richardson
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: 9
6. Degree to which we'd recommend this product: 9
7. Wasted Time (The higher the number, the less "fluff"/repetition): 10
8. Playback Score/Watching it over-and-over again: 9
9. Would I purchase more of this company's products: 10
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. value: 9

Grand Total: 96 %

1. 80%-100% = 96 %
2. Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent = Excellent
3. 0-5 stars = 4 stars

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: Excellent
2. Intermediate benefit: Excellent
3. Advanced benefit: Excellent
4. Time to benefit: Conceptually = immediate , physically = the usual, how much are you going to work at it ?
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None

Written Summary:

I must admit that I did not really want to watch the new Burton Richardson series when the opportunity arose to review them. I bought his previous nine tapes a few years ago and , whilst they were really good tapes in their own way , I personally did not like Mr. Richardson's teaching sylabus. Basically, he seemed to me to be saying that you should be good at everything. So you see him teaching and doing the usual assortment of high kicks, for instance. I have tried to use high kicks in streetfights in my early twenties, twice I only survived because the opponents were so useless, only once did a high round kick actually work. Anyone who teaches high kicks for self defence and advises his students to try applying them in the street, is in the opinion of this reviewer a moron and is endangering the survival of his students. The essence of good self defence lies not in the ability to do everything, but to be able to handle everything an opponent is going to do to you. Thus, if you have only a few techniques, but have drilled yourself in using them against armed attackers, multiple attackers, grapplers, etc., then that, in my opinion, is quite adequate. Mr. Richardson struck me as one of the typical JKD instructors who could show you Wing Chun, Savate , Silat , Muay Thai, hundred and one arts, fifty variations on everything and when the proverbial you-know-what hits the fan, they might well get that blank expression and wave their arms around a lot, muttering to themselves : " I know there's a Pak Sao here somewhere, now where did I put it !?" I do not know the man personally, although he did do some seminars for a friend of mine in Johannesburg, so it really is nothing personal , but my feeling was just that it was all very pretty, but I hoped for his sake that he would never meet any of the wolves that prowl the shadows out there.

So now for the good news. Repeated impact to the head, courtesy of the Dog Brothers, cranking of assorted limbs, courtesy of those wonderful folks from Brazil and probably some nice punches and Thai low kicks seem to have led to a complete and miraculous attitude adjustment. The all-new-improved-formula Burton Richardson of these tapes is a man I would certainly feel privileged to learn from and I would say that anyone interested in developing real fighting ability could benefit from watching this series. I feel that the tapes are perhaps not quite as fantastic as the three by Matt Thornton ( Have I mentioned that everyone should get these? I did? So what are you waiting for??), but then again I feel that Mr. Thornton has been at this reality-oriented stuff a bit longer than Mr. Richardson .

The Matt Thornton series does not really cover sticks though and , as far as the groundfighting is concerned , there is also a lot of new and interesting material in Mr. Richardson's series. So these tapes add very nicely to the Matt Thornton series, although they are complete in and of themselves.

The content is fairly straightforward, basic footwork followed by basic strikes, kicks, knees, elbows and a few street tactics, one of which I had never seen before, since ice hockey is not a very popular sport in Africa. I find myself in full agreement with his statement that the two most common attacks on the street are the "big, swinging haymaker" and the tackle or takedown. He shows some good defences against these. I feel that his repeated emphasis on working against absolute full resistance is completely justified, even if it seems just another way of speaking of the Thorntonian concept of " Aliveness " ( in a previous review or magazine article I referred to the " Vunakian concept of attribute development" , so here is yet another addition to the English language - remember, you saw it first at MAVR). Some good training methods are shown for working the clinch, some focus-mitt work and some sparring.

To summarise, a good basic tape with solid information, which could lead to real improvements in fighting ability, nicely presented. The reader of this review should however keep in mind that the reviewer has a strong bias towards self defence applicability. If one is looking for tapes on the more complex, art oriented form of JKD, the earlier set of tapes might be more what you are looking for.


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