Company: Manga Entertainment Inc.
Tape Name: Rickson Gracie - Choke
Tape Cost: $19.95
Length of Tape/Time: 90 minutes
Number of Moves/Techniques: N/A
Return Policy: ?
Experiences in dealing with this company: Fantastic
The Instructor: N/A
Company's Address: 727 N. Hudson St. Ste. 100, Chicago, IL, 60610
Company's Phone Number: 312-751-0020
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: 8
5. Score on delivery vs hype: 9
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 if over-and-over again: 9
9. Would I purchase more of this company's products: 9
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. Value: 10

Grand Total: 95% ( Good = 3.75 Stars )

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: NA
2. Intermediate benefit: NA
3. Advanced benefit: NA
4. Time to benefit: ?
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None

Written Summary:

We've veared slightly off the beaten path with this one, but it was so interesting to watch, that I felt it was worthy of a review. Before I say anything specifically about what's on this tape, let me first state very clearly that it's not really an instructional video. It's more of a documentary, about several fighters, and a behind the scenes look at their training, and night of their big NHB fight. So why did we review it? Because there may be some people out there that 1). wonder what's on this tape 2) wonder if it's any good 3). might want to know some of the things that go on behind the scenes of an NHB event, should they be thinking about entering one. 4). it was sent to us too review. For those reasons, and a few others, I decided to do a review on it.

Basically this tape has to do with Rickson, Todd Hayes, Koichiro Kimura, and 5 other guys, fighting in the 1995 Vale Tudo Championship in Tokyo. Along the way you get to see Rickson's school, and him training there, you get to see him playing with his kids at home, on the beach working out, etc. Also, you get to see Todd Hayes (Tulsa, OK), where he trains, hear from his manager, and see him killing a heavy bag with his punches and kicks. Todd's punches and kicks looked so devastating, that it really made me want to see him go all the way, and eventually face Rickson. Along the way we hear other interesting things, such as Todd and his managers response, after they were sent a set of gloves from Japan that Todd would have to wear in the fight. Todd and his manger were rightfully upset about the extremely thick padding in the gloves, and how it would effect Todd's impact as a puncher. Later on, when everyone arrives at Tokyo and there's a pre-fight discussion that everyone attends, Todd and his manager contest some last minute rule changes. In my opinion, Todd was given the shaft, and the rules were very much in favor of Rickson and other grapplers. In fact, Rickson is shown at one point during this discusssion, sitting in the audience with his eyes closed. I wonder if he knew what the outcome would be beforehand? The sad part of all this is that we don't get to see Todd go all the way, and see what someone with his power and speed could do. After his first match (?), in which he pounds the crap out of a guy, and ends us submitting a well known japanese wrestler/NHB competitor, he sustains a bad shoulder injury, that forces him to forfeit additional matches (a real shame). I found myself rooting for Todd to make it to the finals - it would've been nice to see an American, and someone who packs a REAL PUNCH, go all the way!. Rickson and Todd, in my opinion, were the most entertaining people too watch.

The event itself has 8 people in it (?). They each go through elimination matches, until a little japanese grappler, whose name I can't remeber, and who ended up being the fighter with the most heart, overcomes barely getting his butt kicked several times, and gets to fight Rickson in the end. The japanese guy of course loses, but overcomes huge odds, keeps fighting after numerous matches of getting the hell beat out of him (he got his eyes closed shut in 2 fights, and still kept going!). This little guy was such a good all around "never-give-up" kind of a fighter, you can't help but wish he'd done better at the end. Along the way you also get dressing room scenes of Todd Hayes, and his manager, discussing the pros and cons of him forfeiting due to shoulder injury, and you get to see Rickson and his team in their dressing room, massaging Rickson between matches, while everyone uses a ton of "f" words (around Rickson's 10-13 yr old son?) discussing things related to the fight. The "f" words were rather shocking and disturbing to see used around a young impressionable boy. And you didn't see THAT WORD used just once or twice, about as many "f" words were used, and as often, as are heard in the movie "Scarface" (IMHO). This left me a little curious as to how the public might feel after watching this, in regards to Rickson, Royler, and other Gracie's, being viewed as role models.

The video I found entertaining and informative, and gave an interesting overview of what all happens behind the scenes at an NHB fight. It wasn't AT ALL educational from a "technique standpoint", but since grappling is something we review, and understanding what all goes on, and leads up to a NHB tournament has some importance, I felt the video was important to review.

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