“Top class material, effective and simple”
Well, I must have been a good lad in a previous life as today my doormat was graced by a pre-release copy of Craig Gemeiner’s newest DVD. Craig is well-known to many in the western arts world and currently has four DVD’s on the market, three of which have been taken up by Paladin Press. For more information on him I would suggest you check out his website, http://gemeineracademy.wordpress.com
Some may assume that because I consider myself a friend of Craig then this review may be a little bias. All I can say is that if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t have posted anything at all, I would have just told Craig privately. But the fact that I thought it was excellent means I am more than happy to give it the publicity it deserves.
The production of the DVD for me was very good. The picture was clear and the action centred pretty much all of the time, obviously when it gets mobile that’s a little harder. The transition from section to section was slick with a clear and concise title page for each segment – white on black is plain and easy to read, I prefer that. The sections themselves were a mixture of the ‘technique’ being demonstrated solo, from multiple angles, then slowly with a training partner, then at speed with a protection clad training partner. The information relating to the techniques was dubbed over the visual action, meaning Craig was not trying to catch a breath whilst attempting to explain things. Making it all a lot easier to understand, even with that Australian accent
The DVD starts with a brief overview of what DDLR is, where it came from, some of the main players and concepts. This section was heaven-sent to a bookworm like myself. Lots of old pictures from classic manuals and articles slowly meandering past your eyes as Craig adds information over the top. It does mean that a few of us will be visited by the ‘Green Eyed Monster’ with regard to Craig’s library…a small price to pay!
From the introduction we move on to the core kicking skills with Craig and his very able assistant, Jon Dye, demonstrating. Throughout the technical section you’re given pointers on targets, delivery, feints, set ups, counters, do’s & don’ts etc. I won’t cover what Craig goes into as it wouldn’t do justice to the material, and it will leave that carrot dangling for those who may be interested. The kicks covered (top-level here, I haven’t gone into the variations which are on the disc) were as follows:-
• Coup de pied bas
• Coup de pied de pointe
• Pointe double
• Fouette lateral (well, kind of…)
• Pointe variation
• Coup de talon
• Coup de genou
• And much more
The DVD then moves onto various street kicking combinations, and then onto the pressure drills. This is where Craig and his assistants really get down and dirty, demonstrating the use of the kicks in aggressive full throttle pressure drills. The DVD culminates in some excellent conditioning drills which have some excellent use of kit / improvised kit. Both of these sections have given me training ideas that I’ll carry over (a.k.a. ‘steal’) for my own sessions.
Overall then, what do I think?
Top class material, effective and simple, well overdue, a credit to Craig and his excellent team, when is Vol.2 coming out?!
“Dirty fighting” style of kicking”
Old-school Savate practitioner Craig Germiner is back with a new DVD covering the fighting kicks from the classic Defense dans la Rue style of French Savate. If you enjoyed his earlier La Canne DVD series French cane fighting then you will want to get this new DVD on street kicking as well.
The Defense dans la rue method from the turn of the century was designed for street fighting with boots on emphasizing basic low kicks in rapid-fire combination with knees and other attacks as needed. This rough “dirty fighting” style of kicking is absolutely night-and-day different from the modern French Kickboxing” style of Savate more commonly known to viewers of European kickboxing and MMA today.
How is this older method different from the modern ring sport? Well, for starters there are NO high kicks at all and no real flexibility is needed. As opposed to the chest-high knee chamber position and extreme flexibility required for the flashy modern kicks, pretty much anyone can throw the Defense style kicks and get solid results, even if they are 300 pounds and tight as an iron dog. If you can walk you can throw these kicks, and if you are athletic then wow – you will have no problem at all. A soccer player could watch this video and go a long way towards defending themselves! Move, kick, move, kick, kick – then run.
If you have ever looked at WWII combat manuals and seen the way they throw the low side kick (boot kick) with the characteristic lean away from an attacker then you have glimpsed this older style Savate. It was this same old-school Savate that impressed Bruce Lee with its non-telegraphic, whipping kicks. If you have ever looked at photos of Savate kicking and just not “gotten it” as far as how it’s any different from other ways of kicking then do yourself a favor – get this DVD and you will be able to see the differences in how the kicks are thrown that are invisible in the still pictures! As hard as it is to really appreciate these kicks from still images, as soon as you see them done live it seems a very obvious and natural way to kick.
I think you JKD / FMA / Gun / Modern / Street / Tactical folks out there will really like this as something to add to what you do. Many folks just don’t know how to *effectively* kick someone so don’t feel confident using their feet or knees, but these simple techniques can fill that void without taking 10 years to master or requiring you to do a split between two chairs. Especially if you wear boots anyhow, then you need to learn these kicks!
The DVD covers historical background of the art and then gets right to work teaching you the basic kicks and variations. Once you have these basics down, Craig introduces different combinations and various combative training drills. Each section is well explained and logically links to the next forming a solid nucleus of kicking skill. This is done just like if you were learning from Craig, and the fact that he did the voice-over for the DVD makes it even better.
Craig’s clear, soft-spoken narration is often humorously in contrast to the violent action on-screen, and some of his Australian phrases (such as “Drive ‘im back and fire the pointe kick to ‘is wedding tackle”) made me laugh aloud the first time I heard them. Overall, Craig has a great, no-nonsense low-key approach to teaching and it comes across well on the DVD.
Like on his La Cane DVDs there is plenty of “live” training footage and Craig does not shy away from hard work. You’ll get to see him work the kicks with snap, sweat doing rounds, and get beat on by two guys while he kicks hell out of their legs in several different “pressure” drills. There is absolutely no doubt of the effectiveness of the material from his presentation and I think it will help give the student confidence that it can work for them as well!
Hats off to Craig for another fantastic presentation on Savate. I look forward to Defense dans la rue Volume 2!
Pete Kautz – Alliance Martial Arts
” I know that I will learn a lot from this DVD”
This DVD is very good indeed. I found it gave a very clear and well-presented aspect of self-defence that is so often ignored, that is kicks into the lower parts of the body especially shins, feet and knees. Any reasonably active person young or old can rapidly develop a formidable low kick capability using the advice given in this DVD. Also well demonstrated is the difference between Lecour(street) and Charlemont(sport) version of Savate. Experience has demonstrated repeatedly that expertise in any combat sport is not necessarily any guarantee of success in the street. Also sport methods can place a victim in a vulnerable position.
The pressure drills shown will raise a student’s confidence substantially if practised diligently and with concentration/visualisation.
The DVD also gives a very good image of the chaotic nature of fighting and especially of a two on one encounter. It was noticeable that the kicks into the lower legs were very difficult to avoid and kept the victim away from his two opponents’ blows.
An emphasis in this DVD is on a small skill set of kicks that work under pressure; this is an essential point for any potential victim. (i.e. anybody) to remember. It is a practical application of the KIS principle (Keep It Simple)
The detailed analysis of the kicks and the concepts of power transfer through correct body alignment /mechanics are clearly shown. Indeed this aspect is very important since hitting to cause pain!
Having been hacked in the shins at football and rugby I know how painful such kicks can be!
I know that I will learn a lot from this DVD.
T E Butler (long-term martial artist and student of Ju-Jitsu/ Savate/ Combatives