Company: Com-Do Inc.
Tape Name: Legacy: TKD Multimedia Encyclopedia
Tape Cost: $150.00 (sold as 4 CD set)
Length of Tape/Time: Many hours/days/weeks worth of material
Number of Moves/Techniques: too many to count
Return Policy: ?
Experiences in dealing with this company:
The Instructor: General Choi and various TKD black belts
Company’s Address: 73 Fair Oaks Drive St. Albert, Alberta, Canada T8N 1P9
Company’s Phone Number: 1-403-447-9235
Web Page: completely gone!
E-Mail: also gone!

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 ): 10
8. Playback Score/Watching if over-and-over again: 10
9. Would I purchase more of this company’s products: 9
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. value: 9

Grand Total: 93 %

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: Excellent
2. Intermediate benefit: Excellent
3. Advanced benefit: Excellent
4. Time to benefit: Immediate to ?
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None

Written Summary:

Being that video isn't the only form of instructional media available, we felt a CD would be an interesting product to review and grade. Initially I expected to be very disappointed. I've tried to watch other types of instructional CD's before, and usually found most fell short in the area of offering smooth playback. This was somewhat an issue on this CD too, however the folks at Com-do, in my opinion, somewhat overcame this disstraction, by offering an unbelievable wealth of information. In Com-do's defense, they have put together the most complete TKD reference source I've ever seen, and comparing that to some minor playback issues, allowed them to score fairly high on our grading scale.

Installing the product, which takes about 30 MB of hard drive space, was rather easy. In less than 5 minutes, we were watching and going through Com-do's material. We started by watching the interview section with General Choi. This is one of four main sections offered on the 4 CD's that come as a set. In it, we saw about 8 questions you could ask the General. You click on a question, and General Choi starts talking for a minute or so, and following at a louder volume than the Generals voice, is an English speaking interpreter. While General Choi talks, you get to see pictures periodically from his own scrapbook, which was very enjoyable. Initially the speech was somewhat choppy, and after every 20 seconds or so, there would be an unusual delay in the video and speech, while waiting to hear what General Choi had to say next. This we suspect may have been some kind of a "caching" issue. We ran the CD on our 8X CD player using a 200 MHZ Pentium computer, with 32 MB of RAM. Throughout all 4 CD's, the caching was constantly somewhat of an issue. Most of the time, duing the caching, it would cut out a couple of words, and/or skip past a frame or two of video. This became very bothersome during the "forms" portion. It was somewhat irritating to see a form not shown in it's natural tempo, and left choppy, with sometimes a movement or two passed over, once the CD started back up after it got done caching every 20 seconds or so.

The 4 CD's are made up of 4 main sections:

1. General Choi: Interview/Questions
2. General Choi's 15 Volume TKD Encyclopedia (my personal favorite section)
3. 24 Patterns of TKD
4. Korean Words/Commands

The first section we already briefly discussed above. The second section, my personal favorite, includes every page (with pictures), from all 15 volumes of General Choi's TKD Encyclopedia set. The format used for this was perfect. When you go to this section, you're shown a bookshelf with 15 books on it. Click on one of the 15 books, it opens, and shows you its table of contents. Click on any topic in the contents, and it takes you to that portion/page of the book. From there you can zoom in, or out, on each page, and use the mouse button to move the page around your computer screen, for your own viewing pleasure. I went through numerous volumes, but the first volume was definitely my favorite. Going through the first, roughly 300 pages of Volume 1, I skimmed through numerous topics, and saw some interesting things that those wanting to keep with TKD tradition, should be familiar with. Myself, having worked out for years with various TKD instructors, claiming to be traditionalists, found the first volume to be one of the most rewarding. I read many things that General Choi suggests students and teachers do, that I know many teachers I trained with, never told us, or practiced doing. I strongly suggest that anyone serious about maintaining TKD tradition, make this CD set a part of their personal collection, if not for just having the 15 Volume Encyclopedia itself. Again I spent years with various TKD instructors, including a couple that were 3rd generation Jhoon Rhee instructors, and I can tell you for a fact, alot of the information in just the 1st volume, wasn't passed down to the students, or suggestions mentioned, followed by or used by my former instructors. Funny how you get just a few steps away from the original source, and everything can change. The only thing that could've been better would've been to make a "print" feature available. I kept wanting to hit the print button when I read something interesting, that I knew my former instructors didn't teach, but I couldn't find such a feature. This would've been a great feature to include for the encyclopedia. I can't emphasize strongly enough how many pages I kept seeing, that I wanted to print out a hard copy, so I could refer to later.

The 3rd section, forms, showed all 24 TKD patterns, as originated/authorized by General Choi. Each form could be played from various angles, which was really great, and had a normal speed (though somewhat choopy), and a step by step speed (which was more enjoyable and kept you from missing a movement due to disk caching). Just like the 15 books on the bookshelf, the patterns had a great starting point. At the beginning of the forms screen, the viewer is shown 24 boxes, in each box there's an instructor, with the name of the form he'll do under the box. Click on the box, and he begins the form. The design and production aspect of these CD's, was in many ways, well thought out.

The last section, the 4th of 4 sections, allows the serious student to familiarize themself with Korean terminology. It is broken down into 5 sections: Punches, Kicks, Blocks, Tournament, Dojo. Click on anyone of the 5, and your taken to a scroll bar that shows various English words for that topic, which you can then click on, to hear how it is spoken/pronounced in Korean.

This CD series scored a little lower than it should've, due to the ongoing audio/video caching issue, and no print feature in the encyclopedia section. We felt both these issues should've been looked into, and addressed appropriately. But these concerns were somewhat minor, compared to the great unique resource this series provides for the serious TKD enthusiast. Afterwards, we tried this CD set on a different Pentium machine, and we had the same exact problems. So we feel confident it wasn't our equipment. All 4 main sections, in this CD series should, in our opinion, provide most TKD students/instructors, an excellent overall resource for their art. I feel most "hardcore" TKD enthusiasts will want this to be a part of their collection. However please keep in mind you may encounter some of the same choppy audio/video caching issues we had.

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