Company: Straight Blast Gym Productions
Tape Name: The Ground
Tape Cost: $ 49.95 for 1 or 2 tapes,$39.95 for 3 to five tapes
Length of Tape/Time: 1 hr 57 min
Number of Moves/Techniques: Concept tape,but many techniques and drills shown to illustrate concepts
Return Policy:
Experiences in dealing with this company: Excellent
The Instructor: Matt Thornton
Address: 1812 Ne 43rd Ave Portland Oregon 97213
Company's Phone Number: 503-230-79248
Web Page:

Primary Grading Criteria:

1. Production/Tape Quality: 10
2. Instructors demonstrated skill level: 10
3. Comprehension Score/Immediate Understanding: 10
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: 98 % (Excellent = 4.5 stars)

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: Excellent
2. Intermediate benefit: Excellent
3. Advanced benefit: Excellent
4. Time to benefit: Immediate
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: Can stand on it's own, but should be seen as a set

Written Summary:

Once again, in the same way that it makes more sense to see the first two tapes before watching this one, it would be highly advisable to first read the reviews of tapes 1 and 2 ,before proceeding to this one. Having said this, this tape continues logically where the previous one had finished. The subject of the tape is the ground-game and the art which is most applicable is Brazilian Jiu Jutsu. Thankfully Matt once again uses his conceptual framework, i.e. this is not a Brazilian Jiu Jutsu tape showing 234 things to do from the mount or 52 chokes from the rear. The basic concept of B.J.J. is position first. From learning how to move from position to position comes an understanding of how to control the opponent.

Matt starts by showing the various more common positions, breaking them down into a guard game, a bottom game and a top game. Once again he brings in a world-class guest teacher, this time the immensely knowledgeable and highly likeable Chris Hautuer, a Machado black belt. Chris explains the basic concepts and techniques of the guard game. Matt then explains and teaches the top and the bottom game.

Matt emphasizes the importance of knowing how to do a small number of techniques well , with correct timing and linking them together in such a way that an opening will present itself sooner or later. Again, practice in an alive manner is emphasized, i.e., once the technique has basically been understood, it is practiced against an opponent who resists. To escape from an inferior position for instance, it is necessary to create space. Only if one can create space, can one begin moving. Only if one can move, can one get out of the inferior position and into a better one. What is the point of practicing this with a fully co-operating training partner when, in a real fight, the opponent is going to do everything in his power to deny you this space to move? Anyone interested in grappling could use this tape as a foundation, buying other more advanced or more technique oriented videos at a later stage. A solid understanding of the material in this tape should however cover most street self-defense needs. As in the other tapes, Matt does a fair amount of philosophising and not everyone might not necessarily agree with all the points he makes. Everybody would agree that streetfights are dark and despicable things, to be avoided by all except the socially maladjusted. Not everyone would agree that no-holds-barred fighting is a psychologically healthy pasttime. Matt clearly agrees with the credo of the Dog Brothers: "Higher consciousness through harder contact". There are those, for instance, who feel that pain hurts and is thus best avoided and that "Higher consciousness through sensual massage" would be a far better means of raising one's level of spiritual understanding. Whatever. To repeat: If you wish to become truly functional in terms of real combat as opposed to make-believe sparring games, buy this series and take the first step in a life-long growth process!


Click here to go to reviews 301-400

© 1997-2016 Martial Arts Video Reviews. All Rights Reserved.