Company: American Karate and Taekwondo Organization (AKATO)
Tape Name: The Complete Video of Tae Kwon Do Forms: Tape 1
Tape Cost: $20.00 on DVD (or $35 for both Part 1 & Part 2)
Length of Tape/Time: 60+ minutes
Number of Moves/Techniques: Too many to count
Return Policy: N/A
Experiences in dealing with this company: N/A
The Instructor: Keith D. Yates
Company's Address: 1218 Cardigan Street, Garland, TX., 75040
Company's Phone Number: N/A
Web Page:

Primary Grading Criteria:

1. Production/Tape 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 we'd recommend this product: 10
7. Wasted 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 for most
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None

Written Summary:

The Dallas, Texas area has a rich heritage of being primarily influenced by TKD. This dates all the way back to 1962 when Allen Steen, Jhoon Rhee's first black belt, who was also Keith Yates' instructor, opened the first Karate/TKD school in Dallas. Many years have passed since then and the Texas Karate tradition continues. Mr. Steen created many high quality black belts who have since opened their own schools in this area. Due to these high quality instructors Mr. Steen left behind, and this tape, the fierce fighting tradition of "Texas Blood and Guts Karate" won't easily be forgotten.

Mr. Yates, and his association, the AKATO, have put together one of the best tapes we've ever seen that emphasizes the older, more traditional Chang-Hon/Chunji/ITF type forms of TKD. In this probably unknown gem-of-a-tape, not only does one get all the forms up to 1st Brown, but also a look at many of the stances, kicks, punches, blocks, one-steps, and self-defense requirements, for these ranks too. Each form is shown twice, once from a front view at normal speed, and once at a reverse top view at slow speed. The production quality is superb, and the tape has a very logical progression, which allowed it to score high on our comprehension scale. It had no wasted time and scored very highly on our playback scale too. Mr. Yates scored very high on our criteria, "Instructors demonstrated skill level" due to the incredible power and speed at which he demonstrated various techniques, punches and kicks.

And should the above not be enough to satisfy most TKD enthusiasts, then they should think about getting this tape for it's 18 minute history of American TKD and how Texas became one of the strong footholds for this art. In it the viewer is treated to rare fight footage from the 60's, interviews with Jhoon Rhee, Allen Steen, and Pat Burleson, who were all early pioneers of this art.

In closing, this is a very good tape for TKD enthusiasts.

EDITORS NOTE: As of 2005 Mr. Yates has transferred this content to DVD. In doing so, the visual quality seems to have improved, and he created a menu that allows you to jump right to a specific belts requirements. Furthermore, there was a point in the early 90's when this series had an on-the-box price of $49.95 per tape. Mr Yates has now reduced the price to $20 per volume, available directly from him, and you can get the entire set (Vol 1&2) for only $35. Due to all this I'm now revising the grade of this series to being "Excellent".

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