Company: Iron Warrior Federation / Marco Lala
Tape Name: Top Control Series Volume 1
Tape Cost: $ 39.95 (special : 4 for 99.97 ) + $6.50 ship. 1ST Tape ,3.25 ea.add.
Length of Tape/Time: 39 minutes
Number of Moves/Techniques: Too Many Too Count, with lots of variations
Return Policy: 30 day money back guarantee
Experiences in dealing with this company: Excellent
The Instructor: Marco Lala
Company's Address: PO Box 979 ,Yonkers ,NY , 10704
Company's Phone Number: 1-800-573-7655
Web Page:

Primary Grading Criteria:

1. Production/Tape Quality: 9
2. Instructors demonstrated skill level: 10
3. Comprehension Score/Immediate Understanding: 9
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): 9
8. Playback Score/Watching it over-and-over again: 9
9. Would I purchase more of this company's products: 10
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. value: 10

Grand Total: 96 %

1. 80%-100% = 96 %
2. Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent = Excellent
3. 0-5 stars = 4.00 stars

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: Good
2. Intermediate benefit: Excellent
3. Advanced benefit: Excellent
4. Time to benefit: The more you practice, the better you get
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: none

Written Summary:

The sub-title of this video is something to the effect of : "Dominating, flowing and striking from top positions" and this is exactly what this video teaches, in the usual thorough and methodical manner we have become used to from Marco Lala.

As usual Mr. Lala provides voiced - over commentary as he demonstrates the moves and as usual this helps the teaching process tremendously. In terms of what is covered in this tape, a fairly complete list would look as follows :

1.The scarf hold
2. Irregular scarf hold
3. Side hold
4. Side hold transition to irregular scarf hold
5. Strikes from sidehold
6. Reverse scarf hold
7. Reverse scarf hold to mounted position
8. Scarf hold to reverse scarf hold to mounted position
9. One arm hold/choke
10. Side hold- dynamics of preventing opponents movement
11. Use of gi in side hold, both yours and/or the opponents
12. More strikes from the side position
13. Top hold position
14. Broken top hold position, opponent's head sticking out to one side.

Whilst this list gives a good enough idea of what positions are covered in this video, it does nothing to show the depth and thoroughness with which this is done. All the basics are covered, in the case of the scarf hold, for instance, such details as keeping his head up, keeping your weight on the near side of his body, securing his arm under your armpit, not putting your weight onto him directly where he could move it, keeping his back flat on the ground, use of the legs to strenghten one's position etc. Many important points are made, such as that when you strike, you loose the use of the striking limb as a controlling bracket and hence open the gate a little for him to escape (and vice versa). As Mr. Lala says, that's the nature of the game. Another point is that the ability to create that ongoing feeling of having a two ton truck on one's chest is the result of being able to flow with an escape attempt. Mr. Lala compares this with making oneself feel like a very wet blanket or a half-filled waterbed. A picture like that can be worth the proverbial thousand words.

In teaching the side hold position, Mr. Lala shows that there are four basic ways for the opponent to escape: sitting up, bridging, side escape inward, side escape outward. He divides the torso into four quadrants and shows how correct movement relative to these quadrants can prevent the person on the bottom from escaping. A very simple, yet effective conceptual model. Mr. Lala then shows how the four leg positions (both legs out, both legs in ie kneeing, one in, one out on either side) are used to strengthen the top position depending on the movement of the person underneath. The legs functioning as an anchor, so to speak.

As Mr. Lala says and has said on other videos and as anyone with some grappling experience knows, if you do not understand how to control your opponent, the knowledge of the actual locks themselves is fairly useless.

In summary, this is once again Mr. Lala at his best. Studying the material on this tape cannot help but make one a better grappler. Even someone with some grappling knowledge may pick up a few new ideas and conceptual variations.


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