Company: Goldstar Video
Tape Name: Combat Jiu-Jitsu # 4 - Fight Stoppers
Tape Cost: as low as $2.99 per rental!
Length of Tape/Time: varies, see "written summary"
Number of Moves/Techniques: Varies
Return Policy: Rental
Experiences in dealing with this company: Great with Goldstar!
The Instructor: Norman Leff
Company's Address: 413 Briarwood Ridge, Carl Junction, MO 64834
Company's Phone Number: 888-884-7482
Web Page: http://www.goldstarvideo.com
Primary Grading Criteria:
1. Production/Tape Quality: 60
2. Instructors demonstrated skill level: 60
3. Comprehension Score/Immediate Understanding: 60
4. Degree to which this will make someone a better Martial Artist: 60
5. Score on delivery vs hype: 60
6. Degree to which we would recommend this product: 60
7. Wasted Time ( The higher the number,the less " fluff" /repetition ): 60
8. Playback Score/Watching it over-and-over again: 60
9. Would I purchase more of this company's products: 60
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. value: 60
Grand Total: 60% (Good = 3.0 Stars)
Secondary Grading Criteria:
1. Beginners benefit: Good
2. Intermediate benefit: Good
3. Advanced benefit: Good
4. Time to benefit: Immediate
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: No
Well this last tape wraps up the Leff series. Simply put, what started to look a little more promising by the end of Tape 3, fizzled a bit by the end of Tape 4.
This tape was titled "Fight Stoppers", which certainly got my attention, yet the tape was just a huge hodge-podge of stuff thrown at the viewer, like the previous ones. Here's kind of an overview of what was shown: Techniques vs. Chokes (first 30 min), Techniques vs. Rear Push, Tecniques vs. Punches, Techniques vs. Kicks. You could say that this tape, like others in the series, was based on showing the viewer tons of "one-steps" or "self-defense" type techniques, against various attacks. Leff's system seems to be one that is a mixture of using hand strikes, kicks, takedowns, chokes, and locks, for any given situation. This tape ended at around 51 minutes.
Likes: Leff showed a couple of cool leg locks. He referred too, and showed the use of pinching again, when you're either in a tough hold or don't know what to do. He showed a couple of common counters when one is taken to the ground and mounted.
Overall - I feel viewers need to know, as mentioned before on the other 3 reviews, Leff kind of throws techniques at the viewer, with what appears to be at times no-rhyme-or-reason. I would be surprised if I was the only person who thought the information on these 4 tapes wasn't well organized. It as if when a certain self-defense situation is presented, Leff goes through a series of responses that pop into his head, showing the viewer a variety of ways to handle a specific situaiton. Very little theory, concept, or principle type explanation is given, which I feel will make it hard for beginners/novices to "get his system", or become proficient at it in a freestyle or non-robotic sort of way. Yet one can tell Leff is clearly talented, and knows his stuff, thus I feel CFW/Unique needs to share some of the blame about this series kind of being "a mix of stuff thrown at the viewer" in an often unorganized sort of way. IMHO, CFW/Unique should've been heavily involved in pre-production planning, maybe going over the techniques/material in a thorough kind of way. Possibly even some dry-runs, regarding what Leff wanted to show, and constructive criticism afterwards about organizing it. I have always felt its somewhat the responosibility of the company producing the videos/information, to take somewhat of an advisory role, regarding bringing out the best in someones knowledge, instruction, and expertise. Additionally, CFW/Unique seemed to have either had, or not cared about, allowing almost sub-standard video equipment for filming of this series. I often felt the visual quality of the content wasn't the sharpest it could've been, also the picture seemed a bit dark, as did the room it was filmed in, as if not enough lighting stands were made available during the filming of this series. Last, the volume was often very low, and even when I turned my TV up very high, it was still hard to understand what Leff was saying! I would consider alot of that to be CFW/Unique's responsibility, regarding production problems that should've been addressed. Almost makes me wonder if this might be one of the reasons CFW/Unique hasn't really wanted to actively participate in our reviews. I have seen these kind of issues on another series or two of CFW/Unique videos, which I haven't officially reviewed here! Last, Leff seems to be either in pain, have injuries, or lack the energy level, to make his instruction exciting. I certainly feel for him, but worry some viewers may feel that because of that, either the tapes move slow, or because Leff does, and a lack of enthusiasm in his voice inflection and sound problems, they may have a hard time staying focused on the content.
Alot of these may be nit-picky issues I had, and if a tape production company really does anything other than sell/reproduce/market tapes (meaning involved in production), then you can't blame Leff for that. This tape and the series I'm going to classify as just crossing the line, and making it to "Good". I could definitely see how some viewers might classify it as lower, or "Fair", but nothing was technically wrong with the techniques shown, the techniques were "sound", and Leff did have a few brilliant moments here-and-there to share with viewers. Due to that, I'm feeling a bit generous, so he gets the benefit of the doubt, and we move-on.