Company: Paladin Press
Tape Name: Situational Self-Offense by Jim Grover (Aka Kelly McCann)
Tape Cost: $59.95
Length of Tape/Time Approximately 90 Minutes
Number of Moves/Techniques A few excellent concepts applied to common situations
Return Policy: Money Back Guarantee (just started in 2005)
Instructor Kelly McCann
Company Address: P.O. Box 1307 Boulder CO 80306
Company Phone Number: 303-443-7250
Web Page: http://www.paladin-press.com
Primary Grading Criteria:
1. Production Quality: 10
2. Instructors demonstrated skill level: 10
3. Comprehension Score/Immediate Understanding: 10
4. Degree to which this will make someone a better Martial Artist: 10
5. Score on Delivery Vs Hype: 10
6. Degree to which you would recommend this product: 10
7. Waster time (The Higher the number, the less “Fluff “/repetition):10
8. Playback score/watching it over and over again: 10
9. Would I purchase more of this company’s products: 10
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. value: 10
Grand Total: 100% (Excellent)
Secondary Grading Criteria:
1. Beginners benefit: Excellent
2. Intermediate benefit: Excellent
3. Advanced benefit: Excellent
4. Time to benefit: Immediate
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None
Right off the bat I like where Kelly McCann (aka Jim Grover) is coming from. “Martial arts are something you do with someone and combatives is something you do on someone”, an important distinction.
Mr. McCann, aka Jim Grover in a series of Paladin videos, is from what I know the real deal. A security specialist regarding terrorism, and who was seen frequently as the go to guy on CNN after 9/11 for commentary. His approach reminds me of David James and Vee Arnis Jitsu without the formality. He is very much about taking care of business and being preemptive. His Situational Self-Offense tape shows various scenarios in which he gives you the concepts to apply, and some very nasty tools. These are tools you can pull out of the tool box when needed and really take care of business.
I really like the Jack Knife technique which I tried with a friend to test the validity. You think your winning the fight as you are reining down hammer fists on your attacker; you see his elbow pop up in a hunched over position, as you believe he is trying a desperation tackle by hooking your leg with the other hand. In actuality he is probably upping the ante by reaching for a weapon. Mr. McCann doesn’t care to know if he is cocking back to throw a punch, pull a knife or a gun. He immediately grabs the elbow and arm with both of his and wrestles the guy to the ground, breaking it, popping back up and stomping on the attacker, and getting the hell out of dodge. He doesn’t need to know what the guy was reaching for, it’s the concept that the guy was losing, and now if you don’t take in the whole picture you may become Swiss cheese. Like the Vee Arnis Tapes it’s about concept. McCann's attitude on the tape is funny, literate and knowledgeable. He gives concepts that anybody can practice and become fairly adept at when having the right mindset.
The next technique is essentially fouling the draw of the attacker, whether that is knife, box cutter, or gun. McCann cautions you to look at the hands, not the eyes, as many martial arts instructors suggest. He also says you can get cut, but why think that you will, good point. I have heard so many times instructors say "you’re going to get cut". He suggests crashing inside the arc of deployment of the weapon, and rain down on the attacker with simple gross motor strikes. Elbow, hammer fist, knees and stomps are the familiar mantra. I definitely agree, be proactive and be nastier than your attacker. Preemptive is the name of the game. If you wait for confirmation of the attack it is usually too late. McCann talks about branching, in other words if your technique is not working, move onto the next.
Watching McCann beat on his attackers is a pleasure to watch, in the sense that he is fast, efficient, realistic, and not built like a UFC champion. Anybody can do these techniques if they spend some time practicing and have the right mindset. Besides these tapes being well filmed, McCann is very funny. It’s a serious subject, but learning should be fun and not a solemn occassion, as so many instructors make it out to be.
Other situations on the tape are dealing with the guillotine choke, the rear naked choke, which McCann gives advice how to try to stop it before it can be sunk in, and if the choke is on it is time to start reaching for your folder and start stabbing. He paints this as a dangerous situation that will force you to raise the ante to save your life. He has some nice techniques when you get sucker punched and drops in what he calls a fugue state. He also gives a nice technique when someone is aggressing and wailing on you, and what you can do to even the odds. He is essentially giving you a technique for someone who is better than you. Outside of David James, in his Vee Arnis Jitsu tapes, nobody ever addresses the issue of what happens if the other guy is a better fighter than you.
Having seen many tapes over the years, this is one of my favorites. The information is great, the concepts work and McCann is extremely entesrtaining.
Rick Weisbrot - With 30 plus years of martial arts training, Rick currently trains students one-on-one in Manhattan, focusing on combative principles that anyone can apply.
EDITORS NOTE - I'd like to welcome Rick to the review team! I'm sure those who read this review can see he has a great writing style, keen-eye, add to that his ample experience, and I have no doubt everyone we'll greatly value his contribution here! I have watched this dvd and I concur with Rick's assessment/grade of it!