Company: Geoff Thompson
Tape Name: 3 Second Fighter - The Sniper Option
Tape Cost: 27.99 (British Pounds, you'll have to figure out the conversion)
Length of Tape/Time: over an hour
Number of Moves/Techniques: Concept video
Return Policy: ?
Experiences in dealing with this company: Excellent
The Instructor: Geoff Thompson
Company's Address: PO BOX 307, Coventry CV3 2YP, United Kingdom
Company's Phone Number: +44 (0) 1203 431100
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: 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:
1. 80%-100% = 94%
2. Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent = Good
3. 0-5 stars = 3.5 stars

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: Good
2. Intermediate benefit: Good
3. Advanced benefit: Excellent
4. Time to benefit: Needs work (what doesn’t), once you start getting it, great improvement in fighting performance
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None

Written Summary:

When I first saw the title to this video, "3 Second Fighter", my first thought was it might be a cheesy video on how to take out a guy in 3 seconds. Was I wrong! It's about learning to deal with the first 3 seconds of an "ambush attack".

Take a little bit of Tony Blauer, a little bit of Peyton Quinn, mix them together and you’ve got Geoff Thompson. At least that was my thinking half way through this video. What we have here is another person stressing the importance of reality based training. Thompson gives numerous ideas of what a person should be aware of, how they should train, and how they should think, so they can react properly in a street fight. Along the way we are given a healthy dose of theory and philosophy that helps tie it all together.

The more I see videos which focus on this sort of topic, the more I realize how important a part of one’s training it should be. Yet I never see any schools in our area that stress this. Thompson’s way of training for this is so simple, yet so effective. We see people pairing off in 2’s, where one person will spend a minute or two cussing and trying to grab/hit their partner, while the defender tries to keep his attacker at bay. We also see the same drill with 2 opponents on 1, and 3 on 1. Then we see drills where the entire class forms a circle around one guy, and then anyone is randomly allowed to rush him, take him to the ground, and attack him. The defender of course tries to do his best, and not let his opponent get the better of him. These drills would last from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, then they break, the defender would get back in the middle of the circle, without rest, and would immediately be rushed again randomly by a fresh opponent. Another thing Thompson showed which I liked were his line drills. The class would form a line, one student would be facing the front of the line, and each person takes turns rushing the student at the front of the line. Some of this would done in a stand up format only allowing punching, sometimes it went right to the ground. But the neat part about this drill was the specific way Mr. Thompson said to train doing it. He said train 2 feet apart, then 5 feet, then 10 feet. During both the “circle drills” and the “line drills”, it was suggested that a person could vary the distance or rules, such as hands only, feet only, hands and feet, or anything goes. Mr. Thompson also emphasized that a person should continue training when tired, dazed, or hurt, since this is what might happen in the street. Much of this tape is based on what Thompson refers to as “ambush training”, and “agression drills”.

As mentioned previously, Thompson drops “little pearls of wisdom” along the way. But the really interesting thing is the eloquence with which he does so. Here's a guy who is not only charismatic when you listen to him, but who also appears to have a extremely high level of intelligence. Some of the things he said which I liked were:

1. Develop your technique, but learn/train using it in non-compliant training situations. This is what will help you arrive at what’s reality and what’s not.

2. Naked aggression can turn on a switch, and one’s adrenal glands, and will, more often wins fights than techniques.

3. Train for contact, and train not to give in or slow down when hurt or tired.

4. Point/Tournament fighting, by itself, can create a false sense of security. If pulling your punches and kicks is the only way you train, this will more than likely be the way you respond in a real situation.

OK, now for what I didn’t like. Thompson doesn’t really show any techniques himself. He narrates while his class does all the work. This isn’t bad in-and-of-itself, but when you combine it with Thompson’s own admission that the guys shown are mainly boxers, I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed. During alot of the drills I saw numerous opportunitities for chokes, leg and ankle locks. I also saw no attempt at kicking. And I saw no effective techniques used to counter the “mad rushes” shown. When a person was rushed, they always went to the ground immediately, ALWAYS! No one tried to step off to the side, keep an opponents hands off them, no one tried to knee their opponent in the head (could be done with a helmet on), no one attempted “tomo nage”, no one sprawled and tried to elbow their opponent in the back of the head, nothing. I saw several opportunities where the guy rushing came in so low, that if the person being rushed had just jumped at the last second, and touched his knees to his chest, the guy rushing him would probably have gone past or under him. It was as if each person had immediately decided that if they were rushed, the only thing they should try to do is wrap up and go to the ground. Which kind of brought up a a contradictory idea in my mind. Thompson kept emphasizing that you will fight the way you train. Hmmm, should one always wrap up and fall on their back when rushed by an opponent? Now I know there are some of you that will say yes, but these guys, in my opinion, weren’t very good grapplers. If you’re not a decent grappler, do you want to be on your back trying to fend off and opponent?

I also found myself wondering why, if we’re going to stress realism, Thompson didn’t try being a little more realistic. What about some mild biting, fish hooking, bopping a guy lightly on the nose (just enough so his eyes water up), hair pulling, pressure points/pinching, trying to pull a guys shirt over his head so he can’t see, attacking his groin (if he has a cup on), attacking his eyes (with sports goggles on). How about if someone does the drills and occassionally throws in the rule that if someone lands a good solid groin or eye strike (with cups and goggles on), that the person struck can't respond with anything for 1-3 seconds, or he must go completely limp for that long? If, as Thompson suggests, we’re going to fight the way we train, why shouldn’t we train using everything possible? Just a few crazy thoughts I had.

All in all it wasn’t an excellent video because it left too many unanswered questions in my mind. If I’d seen some guys that were a little more “well rounded”, meaning they tried to throw a decent kick or two, and they looked a little better than beginning grapplers, I think I would’ve rated this video higher. It’s just that these guys looked like boxers trying to grapple, that didn’t know much about grappling, and either didn’t know how to kick, or didn’t want too. And even if I had seen them try and do that better, I would’ve probably had a problem with the video not being realistic enough. If we’re going to stress realism, then let’s put on some more protective gear and get a little more realistic. Yes, I know I could fill-in-the-gaps, and I could come up with some of these ideas on my own, but how many people who don’t have 20 years in the arts would be able to do that, especially beginning or intermediate students? These were some of my thoughts about this video. Not an excellent or “perfect” video, but definitely a very good one.

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