Company: Panther Productions/Rio Promotions Inc.
Tape Name: Ruas Street Fighting/ Closing the Distance and Take-Downs Vol. II
Tape Cost: listed at $89.95 in catalog
Length of Tape/Time: 35 minutes
Number of Moves/Techniques: 20
Return Policy: defective merchandise only
Experiences in dealing with this company: very polite and friendly
Instructor: Marco Ruas
Company's Address: Panther Productions, 1010 Calle Negocio, San Clemente, CA. 92673
Company's Phone Number: 800-332-4442
Web Page: Century purchased Panther's entire library

Main Grading Criteria:

1. Production/Tape Quality: 10
2. Instructors demonstrated skill level: 9
3. Comprehension Score/Immediate Understanding: 10
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'd recommend this product: 8
7. Wasted Time (The higher the number, the less "fluff" and repetition): 7
8. Playback Score/Watching it over-and-over again: 8
9. Would I purchase more of this company's products: 8
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. value: 8 (at $89.95 it comes to $4.50/technique)

Total: Revised to 86%, Fair = 1.5 stars. Original score was 84%.

* Editors note: I know you're wondering why the score on this tape was raised. On our current scale, leaving it at an 84% would mean it's basically garbage, rewind it, record over it, and use it for something else. It wasn't THAT bad. It did show a few techniques that were good and useful. That raised it from GARBAGE to "a few decent techniques, but most weren't that great". Thus it has been upgraded to 1.5 stars, the lowest grade on our FAIR scale.

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners: Excellent
2. Intermediate: Excellent
3. Advanced: Excellent
4. Time to benefit: Immediate
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: Only if you want to totally understand the striking techniques in the "Protect Yourself" portion at the beginning of the tape. This might have required owning the previous tape.

Written Summary: Panther told us, to score the tapes however we wanted to, and in our grading to "call it as we see it". To me that says a lot about them as a company, and how they feel about their products. Out of dozens of companies we asked to participate, they were one of the easiest to deal with. They literally bent over backwards to help us. And by all means that should be noted.

As for this tape, technique wise, it was OK. As for production and tape quality, Panther's tapes are very well produced, except for excessive repetition, which seems to be prevalent on most Panther tapes we've seen. It scored slightly lower than it should have mainly due to its published price of $89.95, compared to its 35 minute "running time, and the limited number of techniques shown. If it had been a less expensive tape, or a two hour tape crammed with lots technique, it would've been viewed and graded a lot differently. However, we don't often see 2 hr tapes from Panther, much less 1 hr tapes. It was hard to get past noticing that, and thinking about it, while watching the tape. Also I kept asking myself, "What if I had paid $90 for this?". Maybe it's just me, however I can't picture spending $90 or more for a 35 minute tape, no matter who does it, what's on it, or how good it is. Especially when there's no "satisfaction guarantee".

The tape scored low due to price, limited techniques, and alot of excessive repetition. Many techniques were shown 4-6 times it seemed, some takedowns at the end were shown more like 10-12 times each. I feel that seeing most techniques 2-4 times is more than enough. If I want to see it more, I'll rewind the tape. I would rather see more techniques, than to see heavy repetition eat up time on a short, and costly, $90 tape.

As you probably already figured out, if it weren't for price, the length of the tape, and some excessive repetition, this tape could've scored several points higher. I would've maybe given it an additional point on #6, an additional point or two on #7, another on #9, and maybe two points on #10.

The tape itself shows Ruas rushing in, at waist level, and basically tackling a person to the floor, over and and over and over and over again. It's did show a few other techniques, but most weren't that great, in my opinion. I've since seen other tapes I like alot better on this subject.

Recommendation: This tape was FAIR. It showed 20 techniques. If you can get the tape for $20, through Panther's 5/$100 program, at $1.00/technique, it might be worth getting someday. The 4 moves at the beginning in the "Protect Yourself" portion were the "redeeming portion" of the tape that moved this tape from POOR TO FAIR, they were very good. But still, that was only a small portion of this tape. If you have to pay the published price of $89.95 for this tape, I'd say definitely find another tape on this subject.

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