Video Provider: Goldstar Video
DVD Name: The Missing Link
DVD Cost: $8 rental or $39 to own!
Length of DVD: 1 hr 26 min
Number of Moves: NA - Concept Video
Return Policy: NA
Instructor: Bill Kipp
Company Address: 6031 N Main Street Rd Ste 397, Webb City, MO 64870-7219
Company Phone Number: 888-884-7482
Web Page Info: Goldstar Video

Primary Grading Criteria:

Production Quality: 10
Instructors demonstrated skill level: 10
Comprehension Score/Immediate Understanding: 10
Degree to which this will make someone a better Martial Artist: 10
Score on Delivery vs Hype: 10
Degree to which you would recommend this product: 10
Wasted time (The Higher the number, the less “Fluff “/repetition): 10
Playback score/watching it over and over again: 9
Would I purchase more of this company’s products: 9
Overall grade: 9

Grand Total: 97% (Excellent = 5 Stars)
Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginning Student Benefit: Excellent
2. Intermediate Student Benefit: Excellent
3. Advanced Student Benefit: Excellent
4. Time to benefit: Probably less than a week
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None

Written Summary: I found the publishers description of this video to be very accurate, regarding what's covered in this video, so let's show it below in blue:

"No matter what fighting style or system you practice, there’s no getting around the fact that the best defense is not having to fight at all. Unfortunately, this missing link in self-defense training has been largely ignored – until now.

In this original Paladin video production, self-defense expert Bill Kipp teaches you the verbal and psychological skills you need to preempt violent attacks and end fights before they start. Kipp first explains the normal human reactions to confrontation and how they can instantly mark you as an easy target. He then reveals proven strategies that enable you to take control of a situation, assertively de-escalating potential conflicts and repelling would-be attackers. Through a variety of dramatic scenarios, you’ll also learn when and why to make eye contact, how not to get “hooked” by a predator’s taunting words and the secrets of transforming the adrenal rush of a confrontation into an effective, assertive defense.

The Missing Link is one of the most important self-protection videos ever produced and is must-see viewing for anyone who is serious about personal safety."

In my opinion, Bill Kipp leaves no stone unturned in this one, regarding his teaching of awareness, avoidance, and de-escalation for any potential situation. I found myself taking nearly 6 pages of notes about the contents of this video and it would likely take me 2 hours or more to type everything covered in detail, along with all the thoughts I had. Instead of spending that much time doing a write-up, I'll make an abbreviated outline of my notes, trying to hit upon what I felt were the high points:

1. ABC's of Self-Defense - Awareness, Boundaries, Combat...Kipp implies this is the core of what he teaches, although "Combat" (meaning actual physical techniques), are not shown at all in this video.

2. Know what your adrenal stress response does to your body and mind, once you do, then you know how to correct it so it doesn't provoke the wrong response from a potential assailant

3. Boundary - have a distance and verbal boundary

4. Know your body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and eye contact...having any of the wrong ones can provoke a situation

5. Distance/Boundary - we typcially maintain 1 arms length in friendly non-threatening situations, and 1.5-2 arms lengths in non-friendly non-threatening situations. We should never let a potential attacker within 1 arm length, and preferably keep them further away.

6. Typical Reaction to a Confrontation - either under-reaction/passive or over-reaction/aggressive. Best response is middle of the road, being assertive. Don't become a victim by being too passive, nor worsen the situation by being too aggressive

7. Know what your personal triggers are - what sets you off (cussing, name calling, etc)

8. Don't escalate or demean the other person. Don't make other person lose face, it's not worth you losing your face! Deal with people respectfully yet assertively

9. Verbal Defense Skills are the most important thing. Verbal skills can end almost any situation, yet these need to be practiced, as they are the hardest to develop. Be sure your verbal response doesn't have the tone of you having any attitude and never cuss at the other person, as either may escalate things.

10. Predators aren't looking for a fight, they are looking for a victim! If you seem like a tougher victim, they'll often leave, knowing there are tons of easier victims out there.

11. Assess the level of the threat and make sure you are corresponding with that level of defense. Important, as this will help make sure you're not downplaying and becoming a victim or being too aggressive and adding fuel to the fire.

12. Kipp uses 3 Alert Levels, Yellow, Orange and Red, to let us know what stage we're at in a potential confrontation.

13. Yellow - anytime we leave our house we should be in Yellow mode, meaning aware of what's going on around us. If approached we should ask either "What do you want?", "How can I help you?", "Can I do something for you?", or "What do you need?"

yea 14. Orange - the person persists moving forward towards us we look them in the eye, we should have our hands up and one foot forward, and say "I need you to leave now", or "This is over", or "I don't want any trouble", and as it escalates you finally say things like "I'm not talking to you anymore", followed by "Back away", and "Leave Now".

15. Red - Kipp says we should use our "Bad Dog" voice when it hits this stage, loudly telling someone "Back Away", or "Leave Now", or "Back Off"

16. Kipp shows numerous scenarios that both men and women might encounter. He says we should practice those type of scenarios, making up our own, know how to respond, and grade yourself on how you did. I think it would be even more beneficial to have others grade how we responded, as sometimes our own perception can be different from an onlookers.

17. If you're passive become assertive, if you're aggressive become assertive. You need to be more "middle of the road", so that if you're by nature passive, you aren't inviting yourself to become a victim. Yet you also can't be too aggressive, further provoking someone to do something.

18. Match intensity to the response you're getting

19. You'll benefit greatly from practicing scenarios, especially practicing your verbal skills, and if you follow what's taught and you have a "Spirit to Survive", Kipp says you'll likely come out okay.

The outline I've given doesn't do this video justice. This video is very thorough and Kipp ties everything together nicely in such a way that we can take what's shown, practice it, even build upon it, thus allowing it to become ingrained, so that we're able to use it if need be. Over the years I've seen many videos from other instructors that have touched on bits-and-pieces of the info shown here, but none were as thorough about how to "talk your away out of a fight" than Kipp. Kipp shows us how easily we might be doing or saying the wrong thing, when we're trying not too, but often can't because of our natural response that occurs when adrenal stress takes over. When adrenal stress takes over, Kipp shows how we have a tendency to react "emotionally" instead of "rationally", and when some people react "emotionally", they are either making themselves a victim (becoming too passive) or they are antagonizing (becoming too aggressive) the situation. Kipp shows us how to determine what our reaction is and gives us the skills to overcome the wrong type of reactions (through drills shown) so that we can respond in such a way that lessens our chance significantly of a physical altercation.

De-escalating a confrontation and talking ones way out of a physical altercation is a skill I haven't seen addressed thoroughly on other videos, nor have I seen it thoroughly practiced in most martial arts schools. For those reasons, the title "The Missing Link" is not only appropriate, but perfect. If anyone out there is a self-defense or martial arts instructor, you need to see this, because I believe it will teach you many new skills you could pass-on to save your students from harm, even more so than the actual physical skills we teach. And please bear in mind that in many martial arts schools it can 1-2 yrs, or more, before you're able to use your physical skills with a high probability of suceess, due to the amount of time it takes to develop them. This material you can practice and use within days, and it could bridge the time gap between physical development and proficiency, thus making it "The Missing Link" in even another way! This video could very well be one of the best I've seen, regarding its ability to show someone how to save their life, having only spent a few days practicing the skills shown. In fact, combine this with Paul Vunak's Street Safe # 1 (for quick and easy to learn physical techniques), and you might just have the perfect 1-2 combination for your self-defense arsenal.

In closing, I feel this is a great self-defense video and something I highly recommend people either rent or purchase from the good folks over at Goldstar Video, who supplied us this copy for review purposes.


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