Review of the "Pure Krav Maga Self Defense Mastery" DVD Set produced by Mr Boaz Aviram
Reviewed by Chionh Chye Chin (Mr).
Rated 5 Stars.
Order and Shipping Process :
This DVD Set is available via Amazon.com from Createspace (an Amazon company). Purchases from overseas are shipped by International Economy Shipping, and the time of delivery from date of order can vary from between one week within the USA to three weeks in South-east Asia.
Credentials of the Producer, Mr Boaz Aviram :
Mr Boaz Aviram is very well known and well respected in the Krav Maga community. For those who are not yet acquainted with him, he is a Krav Maga top expert, recognized by the Krav Maga Founders, his peers and Israeli institutions such as the Wingate Institute and military authorities.
As the former Israeli Defense Forces Fighting Fitness Academy's Krav Maga Chief Instructor, third in lineage after Krav Maga founder, Immi Lichtenfeld, and second Chief Instructor Eli Avikzar, Boaz is, as the DVD set product information describes, "... one of the only Krav Maga experts who was there at the very beginning, and holds the secrets of these most effective self-defense and offensive Hand to Hand Fighting techniques."
These are bold statements, but a patient and close scrutiny of his material will reveal that Boaz indeed offers the consistently detailed and logical analysis for principles and techniques that is rarely found in other materials.
Scope of Contents of the DVD Set :
This is described clearly in the Product description web page. This is a set of 7 DVDs delivering about seven and a half hours of compressed lessons.
For some background on Krav Maga, the term in Hebrew means "fight (Krav) contact (Maga)". It was designed and intended by its founders, to be a comprehensive self defense and hand to hand combat system, which was adopted by the Isreali Defense Forces.
Essentially, the DVD set offers a complete coverage of the practical Krav Maga self defense curriculum, ranging from preparing for a face to face confrontation, striking (punches, kicks etc), pressure point striking, close range scenarios (grappling), ground fighting, and weapons, such as knives and clubs, as well as defense against a pistol and rifle etc.
This is the follow up instructional DVD set to Boaz Aviram's book, "Krav Maga - Use of the Human Body as a Weapon Philosophy and Application of Hand to Hand Fighting Training System", also available from Amazon.com, which I have also written a review for; and his Italy seminar DVD, available from Lulu.com.
By naming his DVD set "Pure Krav Maga - Self Defense Mastery", Boaz intends to offer the viewer an instructional and informational package, which reflects the original and authentic IDF Krav Maga curriculum, undiluted by the crass commercialism that is pervasive in the martial arts industry.
General User Feedback on the DVD Set :
The sound quality is good and the video image quality is quite clear, and the lighting is bright too as well. The DVDs were filmed with a High Definition camera, and although the videos were converted to DVD format, but the image quality is probably higher than normal Standard Definition.
The videos are packed with detailed information and logical analysis of principles and techniqes, as is Boaz's trademark, and my feel is that it is a good learning and instructional companion to Boaz's Krav Maga book and Italy seminar DVD.
For those who have read Boaz's book, it is good learning reinforcement to see and hear the techniques being articulated by Boaz in speech and illustrated visually by him and his lady student (Ms Kathysue), via video.
As a parallel of the viewing experience, you may have a feeling of being back in college listening to a professor lecturing. Of course, to most people who have been drawn to the subject of self defense, Krav Maga is probably more interesting than what they did in college and university.
Similar to Boaz's book, the presentation style of the videos is no frills, and straight to the point. The instructional and informational value is of high quality, so the bells and whistles I have seen in other videos are not necessary.
For example, I think I have seen videos where actors are in costume play, some are dressed up as policemen or military commandoes, some are dressed up as terrorists or criminals etc, complete with movie style sets, and multiple cameras giving all kinds of angled shots, backed by some dancey techno soundtrack playing in the background.
Whilst there may be more entertainment value in such productions, the instructional and informational value may not be necessarily be of higher quality.
The patient viewer will be rewarded with numerous gems of insight and detail, such as when Boaz had his student perform the Krav Maga (KM) punch and palm strike in a 4 step process, and counting to 10 after finishing the strike before withdrawing the hand and pulling back the shoulder and body.
As he explained, if the hand and body moves in unison, the weight transfer may not be as forceful compared to where the hand momentarily leads first, and the torquing body follows.
Now, for the keen observer, this is an encapsulated gem of a lesson in force generation, which a lot of people may overlook when they first learn striking, or else they may pick it up instinctively by modelling their coaches and other fighters in the gyms.
It is most satisfying and reassuring to see such detail being carefully laid out systematically in Boaz's KM teachings. Another KM video or book may simply describe the process as "... stand with left foot forward, throw left punch straight at target, and twist body....".
On another note, whilst quite a lot of videos choose to use actors who are already well trained and well versed in their particular martial art, Boaz's choice of filming a "live teaching session style" using a lady student ( i.e. Ms Kathysue, who I understand, was not formally trained in Krav Maga, before the filming of the videos), as the student apprentice may help to make the videos more "accessible" to new students or females, because they may find it less daunting to learn KM when they see a lady student starting to learn KM from scratch, going through the training process with Boaz from the beginning, and gradually picking up the skills, progressing and improving.
Some people can probably relate to and identify with Ms Kathysue's learning process and the questions she asks. The feedback and corrections Boaz gives her also has instructional value in pointing out areas which other students may improve on.
For those who want to quicken the pace or focus on a specific area, they can choose to fast forward to the particular technique's explanations and demonstrations by Boaz. Otherwise, the videos can be enjoyed as a "live training session documentary" for a reality based self defense system i.e. Krav Maga.
Personally, from the perspective of my experience from other martial arts systems (e.g. in Chinese kung fu systems, MMA, other KM etc), I find that the material is very useful in emphasizing and condensing what I feel are important universal principles and practical techniques found in different martial arts.
For instance, the KM front lunging punch technique reminds me of a similar quick front snapping punch which Bruce Lee used to do in demonstrations and in his movies, and I suppose this is a good technique for a speedy first strike.
This is a bit similar to a front stepping and snapping punch application which my old Wing Chun teacher, used to teach us, back in the early 1990s.
As Boaz explains, it would be faster to use this punch than a kick when closing with the opponent, as there is no need to chamber the leg, and shift the weight etc.
I am sure there are similarities and parallels to other sources and systems as well, including MMA, but then again, I have rarely seen an explanation which is in such detail and depth as offered by Boaz, in other books or videos.
Or rather, it is the fact that Boaz takes the time and trouble to break down a lot of things, and then connect the dots for the viewer.
For people who want to "test drive" the viewing experience, Boaz has generously uploaded various clips from his Pure Krav Maga DVDs as well as his Italy seminar DVD on to YouTube.
Those who are interested may search for his channel at : http://www.youtube.com/user/TopExpert10
In conclusion, on the whole, the DVD set has a great value proposition to offer to anyone, regardless of whether the viewer has already spent 20 over years practicing another martial art, or whether the viewer has never tried to throw a proper punch.
What this DVD set offers to the experienced martial arts practitioner or instructor, is a very useful and in-depth reference source of principles and techniques.
What it offers for the new learner, is an invaluable resource and guide on setting him or her on the right track for developing and mastering practical self defense proficiency. In today's world, where massive information overload or mis-information is the norm, what Boaz's material achieves, in terms of delivering clear instruction and guidance, is no small feat.