Why do you need them? I'm sure by now you've
seen advertisements in your favorite martial arts magazine, or on the internet, about
various martial arts training videos. But do you know how many of these are currently
being marketed? One company says they have a thousand, a couple of others say hundreds,
and behind them are countless others selling dozens. In addition there are tons of
individuals marketing their own tapes on the internet. Based on what we've found
researching this, I'd conservatively estimate the total number of videos being marketed
at about 2000. And now with the internet being an inexpensive way to advertise, that
number seems to be growing weekly. Having looked at some of the more inferior of
these products, I'm convinced that anyone with internet access, a black belt, camcorder,
and two VCR's, can make videos, and sell them. And it doesn't seem to matter whether
they're any good or not.
The 2nd why, "Returns"! So how's a martial artist to know what's
a worthwhile product and what isn't? Many of these companies don't even offer any
kind of "satisfaction" or "money-back" guarantee. Some justify
this by saying that if they were to accept returns, people would just "dub"
copies of their product and send them back. Maybe some would, but for those of us
who are honest and wouldn't do that, what are we to do if we buy a video and find
out we don't like it? Are we stuck with it? Unfortunately with many companies the
answer is YES! Could some companies and individuals be using the industry "no refund" policy as a way to pass-off inferior tapes on us without recourse for the consumer? I personally believe the answer is "yes"!
Where do we fit in? Well up to now there really hasn't
been any kind of unbiased "free resource" that could offer an honest critiquing
of these products. And if the companies that should've been doing this were to attempt
to do so, it might effect various other aspects of their business, i.e. advertising.
And to further cloud the issue, some of the ones that should be doing this, are now
marketing their own tapes. Yet the industry desperately needed yesterday, someone
to assume responsibility for this task. Out of 2000+ growing choices, how's a martial
arts consumer to decide what's a worthwhile product and what isn't? In essence it's
a crap shoot, and it shouldn't have to be that way. What if every month you could
come to this website and look for information on at least some of the products these
various companies were trying to sell you, and get a 2nd opinion, even if its a personal opinion? Would that maybe help to offset their 100% positive self-serving advertising they cram down our throats that most of them combine with the industry "no refund" policy? Well that's our goal.
Us as Experts? (oh, come on) - We don't claim to be "THE EXPERTS". And should you ever here someone say they are in every possible martial art, or technique, I say run as fast as you can in the opposite direction. I'm sure along the way some people are not going to agree with our personal opinions, and some might possibly be offended. We're not blind to that. Just like a couple of famous movie reviewers often give their opinion of a movie (i.e. "two thumbs down"), and actually sometimes take shots at the director, actors and movie stuido, keep in mind that whatever assessment we give a tape it too is just our personal opinion, and not some sort of absolute fact. Maybe at times the actual truth lies somewhere between our opinion and the overwhelmingly positive self-serving advertising many of these guys use. Maybe at times we're completely wrong, again we're simply providing a personal opinion, and well, there's a saying about that ;-)
Plan! Each month we'll review as many videos as we can. They will be done on
a first-come-first-served basis, and there will be a uniform grading system. If you
don't see at least some of a companies videos listed here, contact the company or
individual that markets them and ask them why? If they give some lame excuse, tell
them fine, but you would prefer, due to the number of tapes on the market, return
policies, etc., to have us review their product first. If you the readers and consumers
of these products get behind us on this, we can make a difference. We need everyones
support, and we're already well on our way with the backing of several major companies.
If these companies say fine who do I contact? Give them our e-mail, web address,
and P.O. Box, and tell them to send us some product. If they say they don't want
us to review their products, think long and hard, ask yourself why, what is it they
have to hide, and is this closed-door type of company one I want to do business with. Many of
these companies spend hundreds, some thousands, of dollars a month on advertising
and direct mail. Surely they can afford to spend some pocket change and at least
send us a tape or two for review purposes, especially if they feel they have a worthwhile
product. Heck, we've even gone as far as to make the "good faith gesture"
of offering to pay for these companies postage, and a buck or two for the cost of
their tapes. And that offer still stands. As I said before, if they won't agree to
those arrangements, ask yourself why, and think long and hard before you buy from
How often? At the present time, we are trying to do new Reviews
a couple of times per week. This could change though, so check back often.
Everyone please help us! There are several companies we've contacted and
still haven't heard back from. Hmm wonder why? Anyway if you know of other companies
not listed here, drop them a note and tell them to send us a couple of their tapes.