Company: Hi-Impact
Tape Name: Winning Tactics, Vol 3 - " How To Win Any Fight "
Tape Cost: $59.95 (sold in a 3 tape set - only)
Length of Tape/Time: Approximately 75 minutes
Number of Moves/Techniques: 15 techniques + variations
Return Policy: Refund on damaged or defective tapes only
Experiences in dealing with this company: Never responded to numerous emails
The Instructor: Bill Shaw
Company's Address: 8002 NE Hwy. 99-254, Dept.W - Vancouver, WA 98665
Company's Phone Number: 360-576-5182
Web Page:

Primary Grading Criteria:

1. Production/Tape Quality: 8
2. Instructors demonstrated skill level: 9
3. Comprehension Score/Immediate Understanding: 8
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 ): 9
8. Playback Score/Watching if 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

Grand Total: 82% ( Poor = 0.5 Star )

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: Poor
2. Intermediate benefit: Poor
3. Advanced benefit: Poor
4. Time to benefit: Immediate for most but hardly worth the effort
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None

Written Summary:

Once in a great while, we at MAVR get an opportunity to see a video that manages to summarize most of what is wrong with martial art training today. This video, volume 3 in this series, is one of those inadvertent rare gems. The name of this video series, " How To Win Any Fight ", is a terrible misnomer in my opinion. " How To Get Your Butt Beat In A Street Fight " would be more appropriate. Why do I say such things ? Please begin reading but beware: Any attempt to use the techniques discussed in this review could bring about your immediate destruction in a real fight.

For starters, this video series has been hyped up hard in the martial arts magazines for years with full page ads, clever editing, and well written ad copy. That reason alone raises the expectations for a video series and rightly so. I have said it before to other big time video marketers, " If you are going to talk the talk, we at MAVR expect you to be able to walk the walk ". If you're going to make ridiculous claims ( winning any fight ?), then we expect some truth in advertising. Like I said, walk the walk. This video series is also nothing more than a poorly edited assortment of video segments from Mr. Shaw's other videos. To those who own this video, how does it feel to have purchased an hour long advertisement for Mr. Shaw's other products ? Just curious. The quality of the production is vintage late 80's home video. Fine for 1988 I suppose but the whole series looks old and out of date by today's quality standards.

The introductory segment of this video ( and the others in this series ) is an unintentionally funny collage of all the theatrical, Hollywood martial arts moves ever devised. Spinning kicks, jumping kicks, leaving your feet, head high heel hooks, fighting off two attackers simultaneously, applying complex traps on a compliant partner, and so on. NO serious video on street fighting would ever even mention such moves, much less show them on a video supposedly aimed at teaching people how to street fight. If I am a rookie martial artist, watching this for the first time, am I going to be deluded into believing such techniques are indeed a realistic part of learning to street fight ? Maybe so and that is one reason I find this video so unappealing.

Mr. Shaw begins the video with an in depth discussion of kicking. Throughout this kicking portion, we are continually shown tournament style kicks ( above the belt kicking ) with the implied endorsement that tournament kicking and street kicking are interchangeable. This is a terrible disservice to the viewers, particularly the inexperienced fighters who still believe the Hollywood style is the most effective. To be fair, Mr. Shaw does address low line kicking separately but he never really states anything like " above the belt is tournament, below the belt is street ". Maybe he thinks all viewers already know but more than a casual mention of the difference would have been appropriate. Head high front kicks and high side kicks have no place on the street. If Mr. Shaw thinks they do, then one must wonder how much he really knows about fighting in the first place. Mr. Shaw is also very sold on the side kick as a great all purpose kick. He says " when in doubt, use the side kick ". I beg to differ. The side kick is a lousy offensive weapon in most situations. It can be a great kick when used defensively. In fact, despite his claims of being a great all purpose kick, Mr. Shaw mainly shows the side kick being used in a defensive capacity. Once again, it does make me wonder just how much Mr. Shaw really does know about fighting. He may know a lot about tournament kicking but not much about real fighting.

We are also told by Mr. Shaw that the replacement step for kicking is too telegraphic to be used effectively. Fine, I can go along with that one. But why do we see Mr. Shaw and his students using replacement step footwork continually AFTER we have been told it is not good footwork to use. Once again, you have to wonder. All kicks look great in a choreographed situation. One of my all time favorite bullshit moves is to grab a guy's kicking leg ( out of thin air of course ) and then stand on one leg and deliver an ax kick, driving your heel into the opponent's thigh. We get to see that one done here and actually presented as a legitimate street technique. As soon as you raise the leg up to kick, the opponent will recoil and unload his leg while you are standing there, on one leg, immediately before your ass hits the ground ( or the wall ).

This video does have a few tidbits of good advice. No one ever really strikes out completely. There is a self defense move against a choke attack that I thought was outstanding. But the bad far outweighs the good in this video. This problem with martial arts training is an old one. Sparring and tournament fighting are not the same as street fighting. The physical and mental skills required of the latter are far different from that of the former. If Mr. Shaw would have stated up front that tournament kicking is a different ball game from street kicking, I would have no problem with this video. But he did not ( at least not enough for me ). If you are interested in learning " how to win any fight ", you had best look elsewhere.


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