Saturday, February 6, 2010

DVD Review - Tactical Edge: Violent Britain - Countering the Five Most Common Street Attacks in the UK

I train at Krav Maga Edinburgh's new Combat Ready Academy, which is a good purpose desinged venue. The classes are well taught and the students are a great supportive bunch of lads, training hard and having a laugh. In the Krav Maga classes Marcus and Lee often introduce techniques from Tactical Edge and I've been at a couple of sessions taught by Mark Davies.

Last week I bought a DVD from the gym with Mark Davies and Marcus Houston giving a great, basic and understandable introduction to useful self defence techniques.

Violent Britain - Countering the Five Most Common Street Attacks in the UK

The DVD cost me £10. While not a "professional" product, it is well shot and put together, with sufficient repetition and the techniques being demonstrated from different angles with close ups where necessary.

A lot of great information is put over in the 1 hour and 45 minutes of the DVD, with a format of Mark explaining the techniques and the associated concepts and then demonstrating them.

The focus is that it shouldn’t take years to lean how to protect yourself. This is not traditional martial arts, it is self protection. A handful of simple effective techniques drilled repetitively are all you really need.

Valuable wee nuggets of information are sprinkled throughout the material, for example:
  • It talks about how to avoid fights. Fights are always dangerous, you are likely to get hurt, there could be legal repercussions. The legal issues are touched on too - what counts as legitimate self defense? How can you ensure that you are perceived as the good guy? What are the implications of the huge numbers of CCTV cameras which will be taping you in lots of pubs / clubs and streets?
  • There is lots of anatomy too - where and why to hit. How the nervous system works, the realities of adrenaline and how it will affect your fine, complex and gross motor skills. How heart rate can limit your ability to do complex things.
  • He describes the OODA loop and how to apply it, for example with a preemptive strike where necessary.

In terms of techniques the DVD goes through very basic but effective stuff:

The Passive guard

A basic “fence” and why it is to be preferred to a traditional fighting stance


  • Palm Strikes – why punching is a bad idea ( it wrecks your hands, so keep it hard to soft, soft to hard)
  • Replacement jabs, hooks, uppercuts, down strikes
  • Hammer-fists
  • Elbow stikes, with a secondary strike from the other hand, downward elbows with a walkthrough
  • Knee strikes
  • Safety, perception to those watching, the reality of a hard floor in the real world and the danger of doing fatal damage
  • Head tilt
  • Horizontal Neck Twist
  • Rear neck whip
Situationals - The 5 most common street attacks from crime statistics:
  • Haymaker
  • Clothing grab
  • Choke
  • Kick
  • Knife attack

All of it is explained really well and demonstrated simply and clearly. It is not a complex set of techniques that will take forever to learn, but a simple adaptable skill set that takes account of the reality of the world outside the gym.

Overall, a great DVD that I would recommend to anyone, especially those with no previous exposure to self defense materials or techniques.

The DVDs are available directly from Mark Davies or from Combat Ready in Edinburgh. If you have any questions, contact me and I'll be happy to discuss or get hold of one and send it to you.

Here are a couple of clips of Mark Teaching, although the techniques here are a bit more complex than on the DVD


JFree said...

Great stuff Chris. I'll have to check out that DVD. I started taking krav maga last year, and found it to be great: you learn quickly and it has great intensity. Unfortunately I injured my knee so I haven't been in for a while. I hope to get in at some point soon.

Here's a site I stumbled upon that I've been reading:

There is tons of information on there. I think you will love it. The author(s) delve into both the physical and psychological causes and effects of violence. I've spent days reading the material, and there's still much more for me to learn!

I love your blog and read it all the time. Thanks for all the great info you've shared!

Chainey said...

I'm interested. Is the DVD region-coded? My (PC) DVD drive only plays region 4 DVDs (Aus & NZ).

Otherwise I'd definitely be interested.

Chris said...

Chainey - I checked and it is good for all 8 regions (according to the info on the disc)

zach said...

Sounds like great exercise and good for less than lethal self defense. I live in the states and we still have some rights left so I can carry a firearm and use it if someone threatens me with a "deadly weapon", but I think guns can lead to a false sense of security in that there are many situations where it won't help you in hand to hand and close quarters situations, or be morally and legally appropriate.

Rannoch Donald said...

Chris, this is in my opinion the most practical DVD out there. Mark is the real deal, I've been on the recieveing end enough times at workshops;)!

I reviewed the DVD myself some time ago.

Great stuff!


Chris said...

Thanks Rannoch. I'd been meaning to get it since I saw your review. It is a really good product