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Martial Arts, Writing

Brutally Honest – Iain Abernethy’s Locks Trilogy


Summersdale Productions are definitely starting to put themselves firmly on the map and this is starting to show in the finer details. Their DVD box-covers continue to improve in design and now even the DVDs themselves are improving with a very new and tactile label being attached. All in all these are some of the better-produced DVDs that I’ve bought in a long while and that includes normal film DVDs.

Iain Abernethy has just released three more titles onto market and they cover an astounding number of locks. Volume 1 covers Elbow Locks, Volume 2 covers Shoulder Locks and Neck Cranks and Volume 3 covers Wrist-locks and Leg-locks.

Assembly 20

None needed.

Appearance 17

Good quality artwork and good use of contrasting colours make these eye-catching . Nice uniform design for the whole series. Good covering on the DVD itself.

Build Quality 17

Good quality DVD case as per market standard. Good cover on the DVDs which is going to protect it from rough dojo floors. High quality printing on the case insert means that there is little bleeding. Clear sound and picture make it easy to view and give them a professional feel. The well-designed menu and credits section makes navigating the DVDs easy for anyone with a bit of nouse. Catchy music.

Ease of Use 20

Iain is actually making my reviews hard to do. Without wanting to sound sycophantic the quality of his presentation and the materials contained within make it hard for me to have anything but praise or else risk looking like a nitpicker. Some of the techniques I wouldn’t use as they’re a tad too arty (tricky) for me to feel comfortable to use out of the dojo but just because I wouldn’t/couldn’t use them doesn’t mean that other people won’t/can’t. Nor does it mean that they’re not valid so I can’t get him there.

So, I know I’m repeating myself but … this is more like a lesson rather than an instructional DVD, those who have met Iain will know how genuine he is and this come across in the DVDs as his enthusiasm for the subject sometimes causes log jam when he’s firing off words ten to the dozen. He links his applications into both the Pinan and Heian and even TKD practitioners will be able to link the techniques back to their respective systems.

Which leads me to my one complaint a minor one but valid nonetheless. It would be good if the locks were presented in Kata order with maybe a sub-menu linking each technique to the katas it can be found in. See, minor but valid.

Even more minor, I’d like to see out takes, fits of giggles, accidental knockouts etc. Just to see that Iain’s not perfect.

The first DVD alone has 28 techniques which is more than enough to go on, even for the most die-hard of locking aficionados so you can imagine just how much material is presented in the whole trilogy. The fact that you can put this into your laptop or DVD player and play it whilst training makes it a great reference point although getting to the controller whilst practicing might be difficult.

Price 17

As usual this is a well-priced training aid. It could be cheaper but I’m a skinflint and always think that. It could also be more expensive and still be worth the money. If you’re serious about your training then this is a DVD that you will find useful. BJJ guys might also go for it. I would like to see the trilogy and the accompanying book lumped into one ‘gift set’ as well. 

The DVD’s can be bought from http://www.summersdale.com

About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7. Matthew was Features Editor, Technical Consultant and regular columnist for magazines such as ‘Fighters’, ‘Combat’, ‘TKD & Korean Martial Arts’ and ‘Traditional Karate’. These are the four leading martial arts magazines in the United Kingdom. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed 'Practical Taekwondo: Back to the Roots', which has been sold around the world. With regard to his martial arts background he has been studying martial arts since 1991. In 1995 he hosted Professor Rick Clark of the ADK and since then has been studying pressure points and their uses in the martial arts and on the street (initially as a Special Constable and as a Door Supervisor). All of this practical hands-on experience means that he is uniquely placed to write fight scenes that are not only plausible but some of which are based on personal or anecdotal experience. Matthew has had a number of short stories published by Fringe Works, KnightWatch Press, Anderfam Press and Emby Press.

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