Company: ESPY-TV
Tape Name: Combat Aiki Jujitsu, Volume 1
Tape Cost: $29.95
Length of Tape/Time: 50 minutes
Number of Moves/Techniques: 48
Return Policy: Return On Defective Or Damaged Merchandise Only
Experiences in dealing with this company: Excellent
The Instructor: Ronald Duncan
Company’s Address: 611 Broadway, N.Y., N.Y., 10012
Company’s Phone Number: 212-673-0899
Web Page: http://www.espytv.com
E-Mail: order@espytv.com


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 would recommend this product: 8
7. Wasted Time ( The higher the number, the less " fluff" /repetition ): 8
8. Playback Score/Watching if over-and-over again: 8
9. Would I purchase more of this company's products:9
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. Value: 8

Grand Total: 84% ( Poor = 1 Star ) Original Grade = 91%


Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: Poor
2. Intermediate benefit: Poor
3. Advanced benefit: Poor
4. Time to benefit: Some of the concepts may be difficult for beginners
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None


Written Summary:

This video is an introductory look at aiki jujitsu as interpreted by Professor Ronald Duncan of New York City. The material begins with very basic introductory concepts such as warming up, calisthenics, and rudimentary break falls. From there, some of the more complicated break falls are shown and Mr. Duncan spends the next 15 minutes or so of the tape demonstrating what aiki is. The use of the sword is emphasized in this art and the correct wielding of the sword is the focus of most of the techniques shown by Mr. Duncan. Most of the material presented is a bit too mystical for my tastes. You know the song and dance, lots of " aiki " and " ki " and all the rest of the mumbo jumbo.

From here, Mr. Duncan moves into demonstrating self defense techniques of aiki jujitsu against various attacks. I had some problems with the way this material was presented. For starters, I felt that some of the "attacks" were very unrealistic. How many street thugs are going to attack a person using a classical lunge punch ? Many of the attacks were far too classical in nature to be believable. Also, on many of the techniques, Mr. Duncan either gives no explanation at all as to what he is doing or the explanation is incomprehensible to the average viewer. He uses a lot of mystical verbage without really explaining what the specific terms mean.

I would not recommend this video to most viewers. The explanations are weak or nonexistent, and the excessive use of mystical martial arts cliches gives the impression that Mr. Duncan may using this mysticism to cover up a lack of knowledge. The price of this video is right but Mr. Duncan's "mystical " approach may not be to the liking of some practitioners. I was not to mine.

CJ


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