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Martial Arts, Writing

Brutally Honest – Jamie Clubb’s Cross-training DVD


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 this is one of the better-produced DVDs that I’ve bought in a long while and that includes normal film DVDs.

“Cross-training” by Jamie Clubb is a brilliant idea. Many people won’t be able to afford to build up a large library of books, DVDs, magazine cuttings etc. Summersdale Productions, for example, have a number of high-profile martial artists both writing and filming for them and I know that if it wasn’t for my privileged position as product tester for this magazine that I wouldn’t be able to get hold of half as many of their productions as I would like.

Fortunately, Jamie appears to be in the position. What’s even better is that he’s actually done something about it.

Taking the premise that Cross-training is, on the whole, a good thing for a number of good reasons (see the DVD if you want to know more) he has used the current Summersdale Productions library to prove his theory. Instead of having to sit through day’s worth of DVDs, people interested in the core benefits of cross-training as well as how different styles of cross-training can improve their training can now just watch the one DVD. For example, Geoff Thompson, Iain Abernethy, and Mo Teague are all featured on the DVD giving their various views as to why they cross-train, how they cross-train and also go to show how they’ve built on the cross-training that they’ve already done. One of Mo Teague’s slots was very interesting as he discussed and demonstrated how he had modified Geoff Thompson’s ‘Fence’ due to the fact that the ‘Fence’ is now so well known that people know when they’re being set-up and might actually pre-empt the pre-emptive attack that you’re planning to launch.

Alan Gibson and Rick Young’s approaches are also very interesting as, although they do different styles, they both have Wing Chun as their root. Seeing how they deal with their training as well as their opponents will no doubt be of great use to practitioners of JKD and Wing Chun alike.

This is obviously Jamie’s first attempt at film making but as with Iain Abernethy, once he’s fully au fait with being in front of the camera we can certainly expect great things of him. For those that are interested in cross-training but who really want pointers rather than want to experience either one or more martial arts in-depth this is an ideal way of seeing how others approach their training and how they themselves might be able to apply this. Iain Abernethy’s take on cross-training is particularly interesting and once again serves as personal vindication for the way I’ve been training since 1995.

For those who are interested in seeing what Summersdale Productions have to offer, this is also the ideal DVD to buy as the short interviews and snap shots of the artists featured are more than sufficient to give you a good idea as to whether you’re going to like what they have to offer or not. £24.99 is a snip for the insights it provides and the ideas you’ll be able to apply.

Whatever your motive, buying this DVD is a good idea.

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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