TKDT Reviews

Kiltro

on MAR. / 23 / 2011 | 0 comments


2/19/08 Our Rating:
Review by Michael Lee
Available on DVD March 25, 2008, from Magnolia Home Entertainment

Although little known in the U.S., actor and martial artist Mark Zaror is fast becoming an international star. Zaror takes on the role of Zamir, the leader of a clan known as the Kiltros, which is the name of the action-packed martial arts film. Zaror, a Chilean native, with extensive training in Tae Kwon Do, coordinated all the fight scenes and has doubled for ‘The Rock’; he is that good!


Zamir defends his love interest, Kim, and her Korean father (a martial arts master) against Mark Kalba, an evil man consumed with revenge for a past love betrayal. Kim and her father are kidnapped by Kalba, who plans to keep them alive long enough to kill their entire family.


Zamir tries to rescue them, but finds his street inspired martial arts are no match for Kalba. Zamir is saved by the Yoda-like grandmaster of Kim’s father. The miniature grandmaster sends Zamir to learn authentic martial arts from one of the grandmaster’s disciples.


The DVD version of the film is presented in a widescreen format. Early in the film, there is about a minute of a nightclub scene, where the film quality appears quite poor when viewed on a 65-inch HDTV screen. The pre-release widescreen DVD version was produced in Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 with English subtitles. Though I almost always prefer an English dub (so that I don’t miss any action), I found this film easily captured and held my attention to the end of the movie. The consumer release version will have superior Dolby Digital 5.1 English-dubbed sound along with the original Spanish language sound tracts.

This production is both an engaging love story and a martial arts action film, with a surprise ending, good enough for a sequel. The martial arts fight scenes are realistic and well done. This is a martial arts sleeper! I rate the film content four out of five stars.

Paddle Clapper Target

on MAR. / 23 / 2011 | 0 comments

Review by Aaron Wayne-Duke
Final review /5

ProForce (R) Paddle Clapper Target
Manufacturer:  Asian World of Martial Arts
Retail Price: $99.95
Colors: Red, Black


Paddles or hand targets are simply a must for most schools. ProForce has a product that will enable everyone to practice without being stuck holding the target/paddle. I purchased two for my school and found that they work best on the Century XXL Wavemaster or larger training bags (bag diameter must be 17-1/2" or larger). The velcro straps are convenient and allow for quick assembly or disassembly.
 
This product has held up well for over a year at our school. We use it primarily for kicks and punches and with two or more one can set up different heights for numerous combinations. Roundhouse kicks, spinning kicks, hooking kicks and hook punches will make a loud clap sound if struck in the center target area.
 


Pros:  Durable, practical training device that won't break the bank. Perfect training aid for those working out alone.
 
Cons: Currently comes in only two colors. Plastic strap hinges-WARNING do not over tighten or they could break. If you use a Century XXL bag you will have to reposition the target from time to time due to the bag spinning off the base.

Grappling/Martial Arts Training Mats

on MAR. / 23 / 2011 | 0 comments

Review by Aaron Wayne-Duke
Final review /5

GREATMATS
117 Industrial Avenue, Milltown, WI 54858
Customer Service Toll Free 1-877-822-6622
Email:info@greatmats.com
www.greatmats.com


My first martial arts lesson was in a two car garage with a concrete floor covered by some old carpet. Fast forward to 2011 and just about every professional studio in operation has a quality flooring system. There are a variety of options for the owner/operator but the ever popular puzzle mats have made a giant leap with the availability by some manufacturers and suppliers adding the 1-5/8 inch thickness. These mats are much better suited for those schools that do a fair share of grappling or throws.

I contacted Great Mats via their web site for information and was very impressed with their product line and options. I am a school owner and the first thing I noticed at  www.greatmats.com was the lowest price guarantee. Great Mats offers to match any competitor’s prices by 2% including shipping cost for the same product. 2% doesn’t sound like much but when you are looking at spending thousands of dollars every penny counts.

 


I contacted several suppliers and companies about mats, but Great Mats not only had the best price, they also offered freight shipment which is drastically cheaper than UPS. Many suppliers and companies use UPS and freight charges can exceed $30.00 per box (4 to 5 mats). If you need 50 or more puzzle mats, well, do the math.

I placed my order and was happy to receive a substantial discount for ordering more than 50 mats. While this special may not be valid at the time of the publication of this review, it never hurts to ask. Check the web site for current specials or discount programs.

I received my shipment 2 days after ordering and was very happy with the quality of the 1-5/8 thick puzzle mats. The 40x40 size is sturdy which is helpful when trimming for corners. After installing the puzzle mats at my studio, I “test drove” them with several minutes of break falls, forms and shadow boxing. The true test was our first class with the new flooring system and I can say that we will not be going back to wrestling mats or carpet ever again.




PROS:  Price.  Freight shipment options.  Various colors, reversible.  Edging included. Mats are latex and lead free. Easy assembly and cleaning.  Great customer service experience.

CONS:  Limited color options.  Color tones are slightly different from mat to mat but are common.

Ninja Gaiden 2

on MAR. / 23 / 2011 | 0 comments

By Dan Sanders
Rating: /5 stars

Ninja Gaiden II for the Xbox 360 is a brawler at heart. That means the game is about you, a roomful of bad guys and the weapons to assassinate them as artfully as possible. The story is paper thin: you're the good guy, you need to rescue that girl and those bad guys are in your way. In other words, a brawler is a lot like a good Kung fu movie where plot is not the main attraction.

 

Like any good brawler, the gore and blood have been amped up to unrealistic proportions. Seeing dismembered foes shake off the loss of that pesky extra arm only to come at you with a vengeance should not be a surprise. Many times after a facing a roomful of dark ninjas bent on my destruction, I was left with walls that resembled a canvas covered in blood. I would occasionally re-explore areas I had been to seek out hidden treasures and see that my paint job had not been forgotten.

The setting is a strange blend of futuristic flying cars in the sky mixed with martial artists and swords of fury. The pacing of the first level does an excellent job of slowly teaching you the many moves and abilities at your disposal. You gain experience orbs as you progress through the seas of enemies and you can use them to buy useful healing items or upgrade the weapons of your choosing. This gave me a sense of ownership in a small but satisfying way.

 

The game also does a very good job of making  me look cool. In combat, even the basic jump button had me doing moves gravity could only dream of. I felt like a master of my element, just like any good ninja should. I was also impressed with the balance between clearly being the hero with all of my deadly powers, and the abilities of enemies to render me tenderized.  I can remember being grabbed from behind, stabbed in the gut with two different ninja weapons only to have my captor blow himself up, much to my health bar's dismay.

The game is not without problems. Even on my brand new Xbox 360, I experienced stuttering every so often, ruining my rhythm when I was creatively mashing would-be assassins into pulp. The game also tries to cram a story into the experience by leaving scrolls for you to find. Some of these scrolls contain valuable information, new moves and helpful tips. Others are simply strange monologues about someone’s experience learning a random move that you probably have already figured out. It seemed tacked on, pointless and annoying because you still had to check each scroll to figure out if it had worth.

Overall, if you're in the mood for some beautiful ninja carnage and sweet martial art moves, Ninja Gaiden II is the game for you.

Photos from wrapper.ign.com

All Star Karate

on MAR. / 23 / 2011 | 0 comments


Review By Elizabeth Brown
Rating:  /5 stars

Created by THQ
Platform: Wii
Rated: Everyone 10+

All Star Karate allows you to experience learning cool karate moves and working your way up to your black belt without the actual physical workout. As you begin the game, an Anime-like act is played out for you: you are at the movie theater and you try to fight off a clan of ninjas. All of this leads to you meeting your sensei, then you begin your training. As customary in all martial artms you are given your uniform (in this case a gi) and your white belt. The belt order is:

white, yellow, green, purple, brown and black.

The first training session I would say I did about as good as I did in my first actual TKD class. This lesson teaches you how to punch and kick. A punch is made by moving the remote or nunchuk in the direction the game indicates. For a kick the difference is you have to push the B or Z buttons and then make the move. I was flailing my arms like a wild woman. It takes a while to understand and get the moves in sync with the game, this is probably why they gave it an age rating of ten and up.


For every level you learn katas or forms that if completed correctly will give you extra power when you are fighting. You can go in and edit your own kata but the more traditional ones are in the game. You also do some other activities along the way, the most interesting is the Danger Room. The room is set up with different targets that you must hit or kick. Some of the targets you are meant to hit and some are not. There was a lot of frustration as I kept doing poorly in the room.

Each level ends with a competition where you must beat the other fighters to win and earn your next belt—which you must tie yourself.
 
The multi-player section is fun but hard for a friend to pick up and play. You really would need someone who has already played the game to give you any form of competition.

Pros: There is no blood or death in the fights, so it is family friendly. They rate you in an alphabetical style starting with A and ending with E (no failing). The game can teach you hand-eye coordination and lessons and the history of karate are taught throughout.

Cons: The belt/level menu is difficult to navigate through. Not an easy game to pick up and play.

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