This is one hell of a big DVD set! It features over 12 hours of lessons on Adam Chan’s Pragmatic Martial Arts Self Defense System. The information provided on this massive set is the culmination of 25 years training and pressure testing with its basis on giving the average guy or girl a fighting chance of surviving a violent assault.
The lessons focus on many subjects ranging from Power Kicking, plus great sections on Evasive Tactics and everything in between. No stone is left unturned and it is clear from the outset that Adam Chan really knows his stuff.
Each DVD in the set follows the same format, which starts with a small demonstration and discussion on basic fighting concepts such as, correct body weapons, range, and the strikes you will be focusing on. You then move on to the Instruction sections where you are taken through a complete breakdown on how to train the techniques correctly. The instructional section ends with some great drills to improve speed, power, and balance.
At the end of each DVD there is a short interview with Adam, which discusses each lesson topic in even more detail. I really liked these interviews because they allowed Adam to explore the more theory based side of self-defence.
A personal favourite of the lessons was Power Punching. The main focus in this section is on correct body mechanics when striking and how to transfer body weight into the punch. Correct elbow position and how to be relaxed when striking are also covered in detail. The strikes you will learn in this lesson are—the back hand punch, the lead hand punch plus the use of the open palm and slap. It’s really good stuff, with plenty of detailed drills to help the student really understand how to hit hard and fast, with all the information broken down nicely into easy to follow steps.
Pre-Emptive Punching was another great lesson with Adam clearly showing he has a deep knowledge of the subject. He discusses the different types of confrontations, reasons for being attacked, and the most common ways this could manifest. This information is usually given a back seat in most Wing Chun based DVDs I have seen in the past, and it is worth noting here that even though the concepts of Wing Chun are clearly in play, it is Bruce Lee’s fighting influence that shines through.
In the Instruction section, the focus is on timing with some great drills on the pads, which will improve your explosive reactions. Distance is also explored with more interesting pad drills. Last up in the Pre-Emptive Punching lesson is dialogue and aggression with the drills practised before, now trained with more emphasis on aggressive dialogue with the sense of reality upped by using a head guard. Although this is standard stuff it is delivered in an easy to learn, progressive way.
I was a bit disappointed with the Pre-Emptive Kicking DVD, as it seemed to go over some of the same material as on the Power Kicking DVD. But even so, it still contained some good information on how to use kicks effectively. In the Interview section, Adam gives his views on training at an older age and how to maximise your results.
There just isn’t the space to give a run down on all the lessons in this set but the other DVDs in the series include, Multiple Opponents, Countering the Restraint, Countering the Tackle, Counter Kicking, Defending Against the Ambush, The Cover, and The Evasion. As you can see that there is a lot of material for the avid self-defence student to work through. The Wing Chun purist may be disappointed though as it doesn’t feature much throughout this set, but the Jun Fan Gung Fu fans will be pleased as the Bruce Lee influence is clear.
In conclusion, this set is probably the most comprehensive self-defence series I have ever seen. It does lack some bite though, and Adam could have turned up the intensity levels in some sections. But if you really have an interest in finding out what works in a real situation then this could be exactly what you are looking for. With over 12 hours of tuition to get through it can become a little overwhelming, but this is at no fault of Adam’s teaching as he is a confident and, well pragmatic coach who’s passion and knowledge is clearly worth investing in.
Adam Chan – Pragmatic Martial Arts – Core Self Defense
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Running Time: Approx. 12 hours 15 min.
Number of Discs: 1
Availability: DVD or EWC Instant Access Download
Review by: James Woodcock