Company: Panda Productions
Tape Name: Dynamic Kicking
Tape Cost: $24.95
Length of Tape/Time: 1 hr 45 min
Number of Moves/Techniques: Information and Concepts
Return Policy: Money Back Guarantee!
Experiences in dealing with this company: Excellent
The Instructor: Lauren Hofbauer
Company's Address: PO BOX 2426, Petoskey, MI., 49770
Company's Phone Number: 1-616-348-7973
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: 8
5. Score on delivery vs hype: 8
6. Degree to which we would recommend this product: 8
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: 10

Grand Total: 91% (Good = 2.75 Stars )

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: Good
2. Intermediate benefit: Good
3. Advanced benefit: Good
4. Time to benefit: Kicking can take awhile to master!
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None

Written Summary:

If you want to buy a good beginner tape on kicking, this is the best one I've seen so far. However, please remember the word BEGINNER, you'll understand that better later on.

Let's first describe the author. Lauren Hofbauer is an incredibly talented martial artist. His kicking ability is top notch. He has the flexibility and muscle control of a Wallace or Van Damme. While watching the video I kept trying to guess what martial arts style he came from. I suspected he had a Korean martial arts background, however his striping both sides of his belt, kept me wondering. I wasn't sure until I heard him slip up, and use the term Ap Chagee, which is a term used in many TKD schools to describe a front kick. Anyway, having said that, his background shouldn't effect anyone who wants to learn some of the things involved in doing various kicks.

Although I liked the video, I felt it was a little more "show-offy" than instructional. Meaning, Mr. Hofbauer spent A WHOLE LOT OF TIME with his own foot in the air. Although it was nice to see he could "walk-the-walk", and this added to the credibility of what he was saying, I personally think he could've provided alot more of the specific mechanics of each kick, how to develop and improve each, had he allowed an assitant to do the kicks, and it showed him working with them. I guess the best way to describe that is by having you ask yourself a question. Have you ever watched a Bill Wallace instructional video and said to yourself: "Gee, that's cool, but what if I don't have the flexibility to do that? Show me either very specifically how to get there, or show me what I can do instead while I work towards that." That's kind of what I started thinking watching Mr. Hofbauer's ongoing displays of his flexibility. Still, don't let that take away from this tape, it is a good tape. It's just when I review a tape, I try to mention the things I like, along with the things I didn't. Another thing to keep in mind is this tape is dated 1991. By todays standards, I think it could be improved, back in "91, when there were alot fewer tapes on the market, it would've probably scored higher on our grading scale.

So what else did I not like? As mentioned before, I don't think Mr. Hofbauer broke down the specifics of how to do each kick, well enough. For instance, let's look at the side kick. I think a person could create a whole video on the intricacies of doing a side kick. I know I could. I say that because my side kick became one of my favorite weapons when I was in TKD, along with my backfist. As I've mentioned before, in other things I've wrote, as a TKD blue belt, I had a 3 board side kick. At brown, my side kick literally improved at least another 300%. I have no doubt I could've taken out 4 or 5 boards. Why do I mention all that again? My side kick, at white, yellow, orange and green belt, was my worst kick. It was really pathetic. At blue belt, I got real pissed off about that, and spent an ungodly amount of time, on my own, developing it (hundreds of kicks per day, everyday, for months). I came up with my own routines, balancing exercises, speed drills, flexibility exercises, along with other technique specific drills. I basically broke down that kick microscopically, to each of it's essentials. Doing so, instead of just doing side kicks over and over again, helped me concentrate on an improve each componenet. I develped my own specific side kick exercises/drills, that I did each day, such as:

1. Balance (I had 6 different drills I did to develop this - to me the most important piece)
2. Chambering the kick (as fast and high as you can)
3. Extending the kick (as fast and as high as you can)
4. Recoiling the kick (as fast as you can)
5. Bringing the kick for the "recoil", back to the ground, very fast
6. Pivoting (forward and backward)
7. Speed of the kick (leg weights, doing side kicks laying down, standing and supported)
8. Increasing it's power (used bands, pads, bags, and a push drill against a person)
9. Stamina - being able to do numerous kicks at a time, like a jab (sets of 10,20,30,50)
10. Height of the kick (lots of slow isometric leg raises - trying to slow down at the top, pully & rope, bands, slow isometric kicks supporting yourself with an emphasis on height)
11. Not telegraphing the kick (keeping head level consistent and not bending over)
12. And my biggest secret that few instructors emphasize, and makes a huge difference in quickly developing the kick. Hey, you don't expect me to tell you everything for free do you? Especially when I had to suffer and pay a HUGE price discovering it on my own!

As I mentioned previously, I worked on my own, at home, for months developing my side kick. After about 3 months of doing all this, and hundreds of kicks everyday, it was a black belt quality kick, that frustrated many people I sparred with. It got so fast that many 1st, 2nd, and some 3rd degrees, couldn't stop it. Doing those drills gave me a secret weapon and took my side kick from my worst kick, to my best kick. Well, after doing that with the side kick, I did concentrated drills for a month or two on my front leg roundhouse kick, and then after that, my jab and backfist. This gave me a well rounded arsenal that VERY FEW PEOPLE could stop. Why do I mention all this? Because just doing the kicks over and over, or a dozen per class, for some isn't enough. If you keep practicing poorly, struggling with many of the intricate componenets, all at the same time, it will take some people forever to throw decent kicks. Heck, just trying to concentrate and do 8 of the things well listed above, all at once, is in my opinion too much to try and work on. Commit to improving the little things and it will improve everything much faster! (hey I like that quote - I'm claiming it as my creation) Otherwise you can end up a frustrated blue belt like I was. Take 2-3 months, incorporating the right drills, and watch just one of your kicks become so powerful, and so fast, that most people can't stop it. All it takes is applying a certain amount of dedication, that others you sparr with don't know about, and aren't willing too. Then look out, they'll have a VERY HARD time stopping you. OK, so that's the kind of stuff I would include in a tape on kicking.

There were some other things Mr. Hofbauer mentioned that personally I disagreed with. He emphasized that one should do a full coil/chamber for each of their kicks, because they wouldn't be able to develop enough power otherwise. In theory I agree, but in practicallity I disagree. I never had a full coil, meaning chambering ones side kick all the way to their chest, or as close as they could to it. I had more of a half coil, that snuck up from the ground, and practicing the right drills, I was able to generate a ton of power with it. Plus, if you're sparring against someone, attempting to fully coil/chamber risks telegraphing ones techniques.

I also had a concern about one of Mr. Hofbauer's flexibility recommendations. Mr. Hofbauer made mention that one could do hurdlers stretches for increased flexibility. On the recently reviewed Shorinji Kempo tape, in the stretching section of that tape, Dr. Estwanik provides some very specific reasons how that stretch can damage ones knees, and why they should avoid it.

Please keep in mind though, even though I disagreed with some minor things, and saw areas for improvement, this is still one of the best kicking tapes I've seen. Maybe there's a market for better ones, incorporating some of the secret drills I used. Hmmmm?

OK, so now that most of you think I've "grilled" this tape, let's go into what I did like. Unlike the Shorinji Kempo tape, Mr. Hofbauer does stress the importance of a warm up before stretching. Warm muscles stretch better than cold ones, and that also reduces your risk of injury! And other than Hofbauer's hurdler stretch remark, I personally felt his stretching principles were very through and sound. Also, I liked, and found entertaining, the numerous demonstrations Hofbauer showed on this tape, such as:

1. 5 board side kick
2. 4 board, one handed, speed-heel kick break
3. and there were numerous acrobatic, turning in the air, multiple board breaks

In closing, here's what all was on the tape:

1. Stretching
2. Muscle Toning - leg strengthening exercises
3. Front Kick
4. Inner Crescent
5. Outside Crescent
6. Axe Kick
7. Twist Kick
8. Side Kick - had a problem with Hofbauer's recommendation of a cross-step side kick. I personally feel this is a kick some advanced practitioners could jam, or take one down from.
9. Roundhouse
10. Hook/Heel
11. Spinning Kick - very good breakdown of how to do these!
12. Various board breaking demonstrations

So, there you have it. Mr. Hofbauer's ads for his tapes periodically appear in various martial arts magazines, as I'm sure many of you have seen. All in all it was a pretty good tape. However, for intermediate students that are wanting someone to show them how to pick apart various kicking intricacies, and take their kicks to the next level, this tape leaves that out in my opinion. Still, a very good tape to get a beginner started.

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