STREETFIGHTING ESSENTIALS – Combining Western Boxing and Hapkido into an Unstoppable Self-Defense System

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Product Description
Real street fights are serious trouble – the kind of trouble that most martial arts don’t prepare you for. So what do you do when a street thug approaches, wanting to make you his next victim? Former security professional and hapkido black belt Alain Burrese has the answer. In this instructional two-tape set, Burrese teaches you how to blend the proven hand techniques of boxing and hapkido’s devastating throws and kicks into a streetfighting system that is sure to k… More >>

STREETFIGHTING ESSENTIALS – Combining Western Boxing and Hapkido into an Unstoppable Self-Defense System

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  1. I just watched Alain Burrese’s STREETFIGHTING ESSENTIALS – Combining Western Boxing and Hapkido into an Unstoppable Self-Defense System 2-DVD set and was very impressed at what I saw.

    In his introduction, Mr Burrese explains that this set is for a basic set of essential techniques for self defense. He offers some good basic striking (hands and feet) combined with the goal to “streamline Hapkido into the bare essentials for the street, crossing the line into ‘real’ self defense.” The hallmark of all of Mr Burrese’s DVDs is thoroughness and systematic development of the material, and this set hold true to that as well.

    As it stands, this set would be an ideal base to create a self defense core system “add-on” to another art (like Taekwondo or etc). There is a lot of room here to modify, adapt and fit it into what you do.

    Students who want “more” could look to flesh this out in several ways, either through cross training or other sources. To be honest, this reminds me a lot of the basic few levels of “Combat Hapkido”, with much of the same attitude, ideas, philosophy, and even techniques. Interested students who like this set would probably be happy to build further on it through Combat Hapkido (ICHF). Alternatively, students who wanted the more traditional side would find this a decent introduction to Traditional Hapkido as well (especially if they looked at Mr Burrese’s other DVD offerings).

    The set is made up of two disks, for a total of about 2 and a half hours of material. Each section is very thorough with a wide range of demonstrations, tips on performance and targets, and everything is tied together well. There are nice review sections at the end of each section which show all of the techniques in short order.

    Interspaced throughout the disks are self defense scenarios showing Alain (and others) defending against attackers in realistic settings. The normal clothes and outdoor settings add a hint of realism and the responses are very well put together, very realistic.

    The details:

    Disk 1

    Introduction – including a great bit on awareness and avoidance.

    The first 20 minutes covers a neutral stance, basic footwork/movement, positioning, blocks and slipping attacks. At the end of this section, there is a quick and easy review of the material covered. (This type of review follows each section and was very useful)

    The next 36 minutes covered upper body strikes, ranging from basic jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts to hammerfists, and knifehands to palm strikes, forearm strikes and elbows. All are demonstrated with careful attention to footwork, power generation, targeting and practicality.

    The last 25 minutes of this disk covers a range of lower body strikes ranging from basic kicks (front, side, roundhouse) to practical ones like stomps, scoop kicks, and knees. There is also a short section on head butts and biting(!). Again, everything is demonstrated with careful attention to footwork, power generation, targeting and practicality.

    Disk 2

    The first 35 minutes of this disk shows breakaways, escapes, throws, and other ways to deal with a variety of attacks ranging from wrist grabs, sleev grabs, chokes, and lapel grabs to bearhugs, headlocks, nelsons and so on. Although there is only 1 or 2 technqiues shown for each category, it should be noted that all of the various techniques can be cross-applied to the other categories, making for a wide range of effective responses.

    Jointlocks are not covered and he makes a reference that they are covered in a separate volume (although I would be more included to invest in Mr. Burrese’s upcoming 5-volume set of Lock On joint lock instructional DVDs – excellent stuff.)

    The next 20 minutes covers basic breakfalls and covers them well. I particularly enjoyed this section as it reminded me of almost exactly the same way I learned them in Korea. The next 10 minutes applies those falls in teaching sweeps, throws and takedowns.

    The next section was the only disappointing section for me. The “Fighting on the Ground” section was only 7 minutes long and covered a ideas on getting back up, kicking from the ground and escaping from a simple mount. The main idea was to avoid going to the ground, which I agree with but would have liked to have seen some more in depth takedown defenses (especially against someone with half-decent takedown skills) and a few more technqiues to deal with being on the ground, e.g. escaping a guard or mount and getting back to your feet (or finishing on the ground). This section is the only part I wasn’t completely satisfied with, but this is an area where you can get some supplemental material for to round out the system.

    The final 8 minutes wraps up with a ideas on how to “combine the tools”, showing some excellent combinations and scenarios. His basic principle is to finsh quickly and get out of there. He reiterates that this “doesn’t cover everything – it’s just a core of essential techniques.”

    All in all, this is an excellent resource with a lot of great ideas and material to consider. Traditional HKD students may not see a lot of “new material” in it but may enjoy some of the different striking involved as well the tips and ideas on applying/combining material for street self defense. For Combat Hapkido students, the same holds true although most of the physical material would have been covered by Green or Purple Belt in the ICHF curriculum.

    Rating: 5 / 5

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