Company: TRS Direct
Tape Name: Jail Tactics
Tape Cost: $39
Length of Tape/Time: Approximately 1 hour
Number of Moves/Techniques: 15 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: 9
5. Score on delivery vs hype: 9
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: 91% (Good = 2.75 Stars)

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: Good
2. Intermediate benefit: Good
3. Advanced benefit: Fair
4. Time to benefit: Most is of immediate benefit
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None

Written Summary:

This is a fairly interesting video that deals with joint locks and takedowns in an enclosed space (such as jail cells, hallways, and elevators). The teacher is Ray Ellingsen who seems to be very skilled in what he is doing. Much of the material is aimed specifically at people in law enforcement who must subdue people. We are shown 15 different techniques against various types of attacks including a few moves where Mr. Ellingsen is performing an attack maneuver where he initiates the technique. While Mr. Ellingsen has given the techniques English names, the moves are straight out of aiki-jitsu and/or Japanese stand up jiu jitsu. All of the techniques involve the use of joint locks and takedowns of some type. Mr.Ellingsen correctly states that many assailants can absorb a great deal of striking punishment and to use a strategy that requires an exchange of blows is foolhardy. Everyone's joints move the same way and can more easily be attacked causing the opponent to be more easily controlled. Mr. Ellingsen quite correctly uses diversionary striking tools to initiate his techniques including head butts, elbows, palm strikes, and a few of the more reliable pressure point targets. Mr. Ellingsen teaches the material in street clothes and the scenarios used are realistic. I liked the way Mr. Ellingsen teaches which is a low key, no nonsense approach.

Each technique is shown an average of 5 to 6 times. Combat speed, demonstration speed, slow motion speed and an overhead camera angle all make for effective teaching without overdoing the number of repetitions. On each technique, we get to see a simultaneous overhead view with a regular angle. This is a unique way to view two repetitions and to avoid wasting tape time. More people should be using this technique in their videos. You will need a training partner to effectively learn these techniques. Stand up grappling cannot be learned without the dynamic interaction with another human body.

Most advanced martial artists will have seen or be familiar with these techniques. Those of you with backgrounds in the Japanese stand up grappling will be very familiar with these techniques. The English names used by Mr. Ellingsen are the following:

1. Step Through Takedown
2. Arm Wrap Takedown
3. Triangulation
4. Rolling Takedown
5. Step Through Arm Lock
6. Reverse Arm Lock Takedown
7. Head / Neck Takedown
8. Strikes / Pressure Points
9. Levered Arm Bar + 1 variation
10. Elevator combinations 1 and 2
11. Reverse Arm Lever Takedown
12. Reverse Wrist Twist
13. Two Hand Wrist Trap
14. Reverse Arm Lock

This video is strictly a technique video. However, the techniques shown are effective and not that difficult to learn. If you are a collector of techniques and you're wanting to expand you knowledge of locks and takedowns, then this video is a pretty good choice. If you are experienced in the areas of stand up jiu jitsu/aiki jitsu, then you will find the material repetitive. I did like the street application of these somewhat traditional techniques. The vast majority of martial art videos are technique oriented and this one falls squarely into the " good " range of that video class. The quality of the video is excellent. If you're a cop or corrections officer, then you may really like this video, depending on your level of martial training. This is a good video for the people listed above. Experienced martial artists will probably find much of the material to be old news.


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

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