Company: TRS Direct
Tape Name: Lethal Tactics
Tape Cost: $39
Length of Tape/Time: Approximately 1 hour
Number of Moves/Techniques: 25 techniques
Return Policy: ?
Experiences in dealing with this company: Excellent
The Instructor: Ray Ellingsen
Company's Address: 606 Acequia Avenue, 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: 9
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 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: 9
9. Would I purchase more of this company's products:9
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. Value: 9

Grand Total: 89% (Fair = 2.25 Stars)

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: Good
2. Intermediate benefit: Fair
3. Advanced benefit: Fair
4. Time to benefit: Experienced players already know this material
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None

Written Summary:

Whenever I see any video title containing the word " deadly " or " lethal ", I immediately become suspicious. These words are the stock and trade of the martial art hype artists that are so prevalent in the video industry today. While I would not classify this video by Ray Ellingsen as hype, it is still not quite what it claims to be. I assumed when I started watching that this video would be strictly empty hand applications of lethal tactics. This turns out to be only half true since over half the techniques shown involve using weapons to kill or cripple someone. Honestly, I really don't think I need to spend money on a video to learn how to kill someone with a knife, a bludgeon, or any other weapon. The format of this video is the same as the previous two in this series that have already been reviewed. See our previous comments about the quality and innovative use of camera angles in the reviews on " Jail Tactics " and " Untouchable ".

The first half of the tape almost lives up to expectations. We are shown 14 empty hand techniques that use lethal or crippling force. If you have been in the arts for very long, you will already know these moves. These moves attack the spine, the neck, the eyes, and the throat. There is nothing particularly enlightening or revealing about these somewhat commonplace martial arts moves. I even recognized one of the moves as a technique straight out of USMC boot camp. We are shown how to break the spine by dropping someone over your knee, vertical elbow strikes to the spine, shuto strikes to the cervical vertebrae, thumb gouge and eye strikes, web hand shots to the throat, temple strikes, and various combinations of all the above. As I said, nothing really new and nothing really revealing to the experienced players. Inexperienced players will probably derive more benefit from this video but be warned: Even those these moves are relatively simple to execute, they are exceedingly dangerous to try at realistic speed.

The second half of this tape is using weapons to kill or maim someone. Exotic weapons are used including a Ninja key ring and a Delta Dart as well as a mundane single edged knife. No doubt that the techniques shown will effectively kill or maim their opponent. But you really don't need to watch a video to figure out how to cut a femoral artery, jab a pointed instrument into a guy's throat, or gouge out an opponent's temple. Mr. Ellingsen does warn the viewer about the potential legal problems involved with using all of the techniques shown on this video. I agree. You had better be real careful before you wire any of this stuff into your subconscious response. Don't use this stuff for the guy on the freeway who gives you the finger. Unless of course you want to spend some time in prison for murder.

I thought the previous two videos from Mr. Ellingsen were okay from a technique perspective. I really feel like the material on this volume is not up to the standard of the first two in this series for the reasons already stated. There is very little for the experienced martial artist to learn from this video. The less experienced may derive a good deal more benefit. However, please be careful practicing these simple but dangerous moves because they are potentially lethal.


Editors Note - There's an interesting article about Ellingsen & TRS at

Click here to go to reviews 301-400

© 1997-2016 Martial Arts Video Reviews. All Rights Reserved.