Company: Target Focus Training Group
Tape Name: Joint Breaking Vol. 1
Tape Cost: $247.00 (5 dvds)
Length of Tape/Time: Varies
Number of Moves/Techniques: Numerous
Return Policy: If not completely satisfied, can be returned up to 1 year
Instructor: Tim Larkin, Chris Ranck-Buhr, Torin Hill
Company's Address: 4310 S Cameron, Unit #2 Las Vegas, NV 89103
Company's Phone Number: 206-686-3469
Web Page: TFT Group

Primary Grading Criteria:

1. Production/Tape Quality: 80
2. Instructors demonstrated skill level: 60
3. Comprehension Score/Immediate Understanding: 50
4. Degree to which this will make someone a better Martial Artist: 50
5. Score on delivery vs hype: 50
6. Degree to which we would recommend this product: 50
7. Wasted Time ( The higher the number,the less " fluff" /repetition ): 60
8. Playback Score/Watching it over-and-over again: 50
9. Would I purchase more of this company's products: 60
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. value: 50

Grand Total: 56% (Fair-to-Good = 2.5 Stars)

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: Poor
2. Intermediate benefit: Fair
3. Advanced benefit: Fair-to-Good
4. Time to benefit: A long time for beginners, less for advanced students
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None

Written Summary:

In this 5 DVD set, titled Joint Breaking Volume One, Unlocking the Power of Leverage - How to Instantly Hobble, Cripple or Break Any Attacker, Mr. Tim Larkin turns over the instruction of this subject to two of his Master Instructors, Mr. Chris Ranck-Buhr and Mr. Torin Hill. They cover the various aspects of taking any joint in the body to it’s “pathological limit,” breaking it and making it non-functional, therefore enabling you to survive a life-threatening altercation. Looks good on paper, doesn‘t it?

The first DVD, Mr. Ranck-Buhr and Mr. Hill, take turns in explaining (100% talking) the foundations of these DVDs. This first DVD is approximately 45 minutes long and is a necessity in understanding the rest of the set. But understandably, when you’ve spent the money to get the DVDs, you want to get to the “meat” of the material ASAP, and as the two admit, most people will not take the time to watch. (I actually liked the first DVD.)

The remaining 4 DVDs deal with the joints of the body and proceed to show the six base leverage directions of positioning those joints to the point of breaking. They have attempted to simplify the six specific directions of a particular break by naming them Base Leverage 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. The following are the guidelines for the Base Leverage breaks, the joints covered for each and the total breaks for that particular joint.

Base Leverage One consists of taking a joint into “extension.” An example of a extension break of the wrist - when the back of your hand is bent backward toward your arm. The instructors stated that every single joint in the body can be broken by a Base Leverage One Break. The joints and number of breaks covered in Base Leverage One are:
Ankle - 2 breaks, Knee - 3 breaks, Hip - 2 breaks, Wrist - 2 breaks, Fingers - 3 Breaks, Elbow - 2 Breaks, Shoulder - 2 breaks, Spine - 3 Breaks

Base Leverage Two consists of taking the joint in the opposite direction of Base Leverage One into “flexion.” For the wrist a Base Leverage Two break the palm is bent toward the arm. Base Leverage Two breaks are:
2 Ankle breaks, 2 Knee breaks, 2 Wrist breaks and 2 Spinal breaks

Base Leverage Three involves joint breaking in the action of rotating or twisting outward or externally. An example for a Base Leverage Three break of the wrist would consist of twisting the hand in the direction of the thumb. The following joints are covered in Base Leverage Three breaks:
The Knee - 2 breaks, Hip - 1 break, Wrist - 2 breaks, Shoulder - 2 breaks and 1 Spinal break.

Base Leverage Four twists the joint in the opposite direction of Base Leverage Three. For a Base Leverage Four break of the wrist, the wrist would be rotated toward the little finger. The Base Leverage Four breaks include:
2 Knee breaks, 1 Hip, 1 Wrist, and 2 Shoulder breaks.

Base Leverage Five moves the joint sideways (rocking). An example of a Base Leverage Four break of the wrist would bend the wrist sideways toward the little finger. There are only 3 breaks in the Base Leverage Five. They are:
1 Ankle, 1 Knee, and 1 Wrist break.

Base Leverage Six takes the joint (you guessed it) the opposite direction of Base Leverage Five. For the Wrist, it would be rocked toward the thumb. The following joints are covered for Base Leverage Six:
1 break for the Ankle, 1 for the Knee, 2 for the Hip, 1 for the Wrist and 1 for the neck.

The main concept that is emphasized is, that to successfully perform these breaks, you must first injure your opponent. After you attack a certain area (ie; the groin or eyes), a specific, predictable spinal reflex will cause your opponent to move in a certain way or in a certain direction, you then use a follow up attack for another spinal reflex which should present a certain body part, which will then allow you to perform your desired break. “Theory” is great, but it doesn’t always work in real life and real time and it is here I that I began to oppose certain aspects of this series.

To start with, not once did either of these instructors show any type of defensive movement as they were stepping in to initiate their attack. Some of their initial strikes were low, to their opponent’s groin or mid-section and their heads/faces were completely exposed. I don’t care how experienced you are, if you move into a close enough range, with your face unprotected, you’re going to get your bell rung and quite possibly knocked out before you ever get a chance to do anything. A beginning level student might miss this notion due to the excitement of the “offense-type” material presented. “A good offense starts with a good defense.”

Next, they stated that if you use a specific type of strike (claw to the eyes), my opponent will always respond this way (grab their eyes and turn away). They were quoting spinal reflexes “by the book.” If you’ve ever sparred or been involved in a street fight, you know that every situation is completely different, depending on a multitude of different circumstances, there is no way you can say with any certainty that a specific thing will definitely happen. When demonstrating their techniques, their actions and reactions were all so perfectly set up and choreographed, and their assailant moved exactly as they wished. It was very similar to doing one-step sparring, where your partner is going to work with you 100% of the time, no resistance involved. We are not living in a perfect world and you don’t learn how to fight or spar by only practicing one-steps. In addition, what happens when your opponent doesn’t react as expected?…panic sets in, you freeze for a split second and you get hurt. If you only train for a certain set of circumstances, you’ll never expected the unexpected.

There were also a few discrepancies when it came to their techniques. One that stood out, the instructor was mounted, being choked with two hands and all he did was a basic roll where he ended up in his opponent’s guard. He stated that during the process of the roll, their opponent’s knee would “break very easily.” I’m sorry, that is just NOT going to happen! They also make it seem extremely easy to break someone’s ribs and “lacerate” the underlying organ by simply punching them in the rib area. It’s not that effortless and I consider myself fairly efficient with my hands.

The last thing I wasn’t extremely excited about was the constant use of the medical terminology that filled this set. The first thing doctors are taught in medical school, when learning the plethora (like my big word?) of new terms, is that they should never use them when speaking to their patients. It is too far over their head and they will not understand. Medulla Oblongata, Menubrium, Saphenous Nerve, Zygomatic Arch, Phalanges, Brachial Plexus, Popliteal Fossa were just a few of the terms these guys threw around like it was part of everybody’s vocabulary. I’m not sure if theses two “cerebral assassins” were just attempting to show their intelligence or if these are terms that are readily used in their teaching system. I know the average Joe Public won’t understand these terms and I assume most martial artists fit into this category. You would need an Anatomy text sitting next to you to see exactly where they were striking.

I liked the actual “breaks” that were revealed, but I really couldn’t see eye to eye with the process of moving into the break. If you just have a spare $249.00 laying around, then purchase this set, otherwise I honesty believe your money could be better spent on another series where you might attain quicker results

DC - Reviewer

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