TKDT Reviews

Bobby Bully Training Bag by Century Martial Arts

on NOV. / 16 / 2011 | 0 comments

Bobby Bully Training Bag by Century Martial Arts
List price $259.99

  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 22.6 x 53 inches ; 25 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 28 pounds

Review by Aaron Wayne-Duke

Century's "Bob the Bully" has been very popular within the combat training circles since the early 2000s.  Century then introduced the "son" of Bob, Bobby the Bully.
This training bag is made of a pliable rubber that offers a softer striking surface for younger students.  Bobby comes in a half torso/half bag stand format.  The base is similar
to the famous Wavemaster bags (also from Century) which can be filled with water or sand.

The biggest advantage of the Bully series bags, especially, Bobby the Bully, is that it provides a full face instead of a flat surface.  This is an excellent aid in teaching self defense skills.
Eyes, nose, throat and ears are molded to look realistic.  This training aid offers the ability to have your students practice things like eye jabs, palm heel strikes to the nose, knife or ridge hand strikes to the throat and ear slaps without having to "hold back".  Destructive techniques are almost impossible to practice with a partner.  Paddle and target pad drills are still good alternatives but this bag provides the realism of a human opponent. 

I love this bag at my studio and so do our students.  We have dressed Bobby up in a dobak/gi, street clothes and used him as a CPR instructional aid as well.  You can take the torso off the base and use it for wrestling/grappling position instruction or drilling.  Chokes can be taught without fear of injury to other students.  There are so many possibilities with Bobby the Bully. 

Versatile, affordable and realistic! 

ProForce Aluminum Training Knives

on NOV. / 16 / 2011 | 0 comments

ProForce Aluminum Training Knives
Fixed Blade or Folding Lock Blade
List Price $9.95

Review by Aaron Wayne-Duke

Folding Blade Info:

This folding practice knife has an unsharpened 4" stainless steel blade with chrome plating and rounded tip. The folding lock blade style includes a handy belt clip. The 4-3/4" handle features a rubber grip area for better control. Blade cannot be sharpened.

This training blade from Pro Force is a step in the right direction for those looking for better quality knives.  Rubber knives often break and do not provide a realistic feel when "cut" or "stabbed".  Wooden knives are an acceptable alternative but it can be difficult to distinguish the handle from the blade.  The folding blade provides a realistic looking knife with quality construction and a belt clip.  I am not a fan of rubber handles and to my surprise this knife has a hard plastic handle. The unsharpened blade is sturdy and unforgiving if you fail to redirect, control or block an attack.  It is the closest thing to a real knife I have found.  Affordable, realistic and well constructed.  I use these at my studio and would highly recommend it.

Fixed Blade Info:

Fixed blade practice knife measures 8-1/2" long. The chrome plated stainless steel blade cannot be sharpened. Features a rubber handle for better grip.

This training blade from Pro Force is a high quality cousin to the folding lock blade.  The blade is longer than the folding lock blade counter part but my only real disappointment is the rubber handle.  I am sure that it was provided to keep cost down but I would have enjoyed this knife much better if it had a similar handle like the lock blade.  The blade is full tang so it does not bend.  If the rubber were to be damaged or break due to wear the blade could be covered with duct tape or foam to create a "handle".

I have both of these training knives at our studio.  I purchased them several years ago and they have held up well.  They look real and I believe that it adds a heightened awareness when using them in training. 

The price is right and the quality is above average.  A good investment for those looking for durable, realistic training knives.

Karate for Kids DVD

on NOV. / 16 / 2011 | 0 comments


Featuring International Karate Champion Kenn Firestone

  • Format: Color, DVD, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Standing Room Only
  • DVD Release Date: November 23, 2004
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • List price $24.99

Review by Aaron Wayne-Duke

Karate for Kids is a single DVD that contains 3 seperate levels of instruction.  In level 1 Karate instructor Ted Nordblum opens with enthusiasm and high energy as he takes viewers through basic warm ups, stretches and techniques.

The instruction is good but it's a bit "cheesy".  Please try to remember it is aimed and marketed for children!  

If you are looking for a good example of how to introduce karate to a new student one could easily follow the format Nordblum uses.

Level 2 features Brandon Gaines and he continues where Nordblum left off.  High energy, upbeat and focus on the basics brings the student to understanding technique applications and new skills including combinations.  I liked the continuation of life skills in Level 2.

Level 3 features Kenn Firestone.  Firestone walks the viewer through warm ups, some new combos and introduces self defense techniques.  The instruction is solid but again aimed at younger children.  The material is well presented and easy to follow.

The addition of high energy music is what got my 3 year olds attention.  Although he was not able to comprehend everything that was being taught, he got the bow and a kick down during the first viewing.  That says a lot about the product.  It does what it is supposed to do!  My son was excited and enjoyed watching the kids on the video.  Although video instruction is a great tool, it is highly recommended that if you have a child interested in martial arts training after watching this video...get them to a local school to try it!

3 Levels on 1 DVD and not a bad price!  Energetic, motivating and truly well presented instruction and material.  This could be a great stocking stuffer for the "Karate Kid", "Power Ranger" or "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle" fan in the family!

UFC: Ultimate Royce Gracie Blue-ray and DVD

on AUG. / 04 / 2011 | 1 comments

Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment
© 2011

Review by Aaron Wayne-Duke

The UFC pays tribute to the man that many call the most important fighter in the history of the sport of MMA with this compilation.  Nearly 6 hours of content includes behind the scenes footage, interviews and of course his most memorable fights inside the octagon.

Ultimate Royce Gracie showcases the rise of a young Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner who in one night at UFC 1 defeated 3 opponents and then went on to defeat 4 opponents at UFC 2.  Gracie still holds the record with the most submission wins in UFC history.  

UFC president Dana White calls Gracie “the Godfather”.  “He is the man who started it all” White said.   Gracie is widely credited with kick starting the sport of MMA.  This DVD shows the viewer just how tough and gutsy Gracie was and is.  Many newer MMA fans might not know or remember but there were no gloves and very few rules when Royce Gracie became the promotion's first champion.  Gone is the one night tournament format and groin strikes are no longer allowed.  One man rose above the competition to easily become one of the most important fighters in the history of mixed martial arts.

This DVD cements the legacy that his Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and it's effectiveness in MMA.  It also pays proper homage to the man that should forever be remembered as the “original” ultimate fighter.  

This DVD package boasts nearly 6 hours of footage and includes Spanish commentary for a suggested retail price of $34.99 (Blue-ray edition) and $24.98 (DVD edition).  UFC: Ultimate Royce Gracie also includes a book with images, quotes and biography for the fan and collector.

5 out of 5 stars

Mixed Martial Arts

on AUG. / 04 / 2011 | 1 comments

“The book of knowledge”
BJ Penn with Glen Cordoza and Erich Krauss
Victory Belt Publishing © 2007

Review by Aaron Wayne-Duke

BJ Penn is known as a UFC and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu World Champion.  The “Prodigy” compiled what he describes as a “blend of essential” techniques from the arts that comprise the sport of MMA.  This book follows the old adage that it's not the quantity of techniques, it's the quality that matters.

The book offers BJ's thoughts and insights on his own career as well as advice on training and training methods.  BJ includes “Fight Gone Bad” circuits that will challenge athletes from any sport.  The sample circuit list is a nice starting point for those beginning MMA conditioning or coaches looking for   training ideas for their athletes or school.

BJ takes the reader through the basics of stand up and ground techniques all in full color photos with excellent commentary and key concepts.  BJ offers advice that obviously comes from his experience as a world champion Jiu-Jitsu champion and UFC champion and if he tells you something works, I'd take that advice 7 days a week.  My favorite thing about this book is that BJ shows you more than one angle for the techniques taught and demonstrated.  It makes learning or implementing the knowledge much easier.  I would love to have seen a companion DVD for this book.  It would have been well worth the added price.

There are several MMA books out on the market that are compiled like this one.  Lyoto Machida, Anderson Silva, The Gracie's, Eddie Bravo and Gene Simco are just a few authors I feel are worth checking out if you are looking at improving your understanding and application of MMA techniques.

I had an instructor tell me once that just because someone is a world champion competitor doesn't make them a world champion teacher.  BJ Penn has proven himself to be a champion in the sports of Jiu-Jitsu and MMA and  with “Mixed Martial Arts-The Book of Knowledge” Penn proves he is a champion martial arts educator as well.

4 and ½ out of 5 stars

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