Company: Threat Response (TRS)
Tape Name: Camhrac Bas
Tape Cost: $97 & $4.50 postage
Length of Tape/Time: 2 tapes adding up to 2 hours 40 minutes
Number of Moves/Techniques: Approx. 40 to 50
Return Policy: Return for refund within 90 days if unsatisfied
Experiences in dealing with this company: Excellent
The Instructor: Chris Clugston
Company's Address: 606 E. Acequia Ave.,Visalia CA 93292
Company's Phone Number: 1-800-899-8153
Web Page:

Primary Grading Criteria:

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

Grand Total:

1. 80%-100% = 86%
2. Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent = Fair
3. 0-5 stars = 1.5 star

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: Poor
2. Intermediate benefit: Fair
3. Advanced benefit: Fair
4. Time to benefit: For advanced students ,not too much time
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None

Written Summary:

I have a confession to make. When I was asked to review these tapes I decided that I was going to slash and trash them utterly. Reason being that when they came out a year or two ago, I had asked a student of mine to bring them back from the USA, having been very happy with previous TRS productions. I then watched the first 30 minutes and packed them away in a cupboard in absolute disgust. $100 or thereabouts is a lot of money in South African currency and I'd just blown it.

However, having now watched them several times for the purpose of this review, I'd say that they are maybe not quite as hopeless as I had at first believed. Firstly, they should be entitled something like : "Assorted Fighting Techniques For Large Bouncer-Types With Previous Martial Arts Experience". That's what they basically are. It's not a system, at least not in my opinion. It's a collection of techniques. Some better, some worse, depending on the experience, body size etc. of the viewer. That Mr. Clugston can use them, I do not doubt . I'm 6ft. 6 and 260 pounds, some of the techniques shown were also some of my favorites in my bouncing days. However, the value of such tapes lies not in admiring the instructor, but rather in how good he can make you, the viewer. I am not convinced that most of these techniques will work for smaller people, for women and children. My opinion only, but there you are. A bunch of techniques that is not a coherent system and will be of limited use for 90 percent of the potential viewers.

Secondly, what's with this "Gladiator Fighting System" nonsense. If Mr Clugston has a time machine, he should share it with the world. He continually and emphatically insists that this is the fighting system of the ancient Roman Gladiators. How would he know? I am no expert on ancient Rome, so I'm admittedly a little bit out on a limb here, but in three decades of martial arts research I have seen plenty of illustrations of boxing, wrestling and Pankration on greek vases, plates and suchlike, but not that much from roman times, and even if there were 50 or 100 such illustrations this would still not give one much of a basis for a system.

This is Mr. Clugston's private mix, made up of a little Muay Thai, a little wrestling, some Brazilian Jiu Jutsu and some ideas of his own. Nothing wrong with that, all of us so-called non-traditionalists do this anyway but what we don't do, is to give it a fancy, fake name and then make like it's got a two thousand year old tradition.

Many of the techniques such as the "pop-up" are apparently the same movements as used by the lion to kill the cape buffalo. All in all, there are three or four such techniques that are used by either the tiger or the lion to kill cape buffalos. Again, I'm no wildlife expert, but do tigers share the same habitat as the cape buffalo (Africa, Asia)? This may sound a little petty, but by the third or fourth time you hear that "this is the same etc.etc." it gets kind of irritating. According to Mr. Clugston, he's gone beyond parrying, gone beyond Bruce Lee and he generally comes across as believing himself to be the best thing since microwave dinners.

As to the actual content of the tapes: There are six rules and about forty techniques plus some drills. The techniques have unusual names. Some people will find these fun and cute, some will find them fake and pretentious. Some examples: The Matador (against a tackle, you sidestep and simultaneously slap down the charging opponent with both hands), the Cymbal Crash (repeated cupped double palm strike to the ears) and my personal favourite, the "Fly Swatter" (the rest of us call this one the clothesline), but this is a silly idea says Mr. Clugston, what if a Clugston student is ever in a fight and a fellow student or Mr. Clugston himself want to shout out some advice i.e "Hit him with a clothesline". The opponent would immediately know what was meant and the technique would thus become unuseable. So if we shout "Flyswatter", that will camouflage it and thus make it work? That's what the man says,I swear! Don't they edit these tapes? Anyway, I'm currently having a lot of fun renaming my techniques for the same highly intelligent reason. I was thinking of calling the low roundkick "Big Swinging Shoe" and my jab the "Mosquito". Imagine Mike Tyson's cornerman: "The Mosquito, hit him with the Mosquito. Then the Telephone (Hook to the side of the head). Then the carrot (Ear-bite). Enough already!

Now, as I said, I think it's not all rubbish. Many of the actual techniques are fairly serviceable, especially if you have a little previous experience and size and weight. Some of the things he recommends are even cutting edge, in a way. For instance, when you elbow or strike to the side of the head, prevent him from moving by holding him behind the neck with the other hand. Randy Couture uses this technique successfully in the UFC and he learned it from Matt Thornton, whose teachings are definetely cutting edge.The production as usual is top quality and I love the protective equipment and training dummy. Mr. Clugston can definetly walk his talk and from anyone other than TRS, one might have shrugged it all off to a certain extent. So basically, if you are already quite proficient and want to add a technique or two to your repetoire, or if you're lying in bed with a broken leg and have already watched all the reruns of "Little House on the Prairie", watch these tapes. Otherwise don't bother!


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