Ground Combatives DVD - Mini review
I finally got the DVD in the mail for the ground combatives (aka Kem-'ba-tivz) program by Kelly McCann and Crucible. I had been waiting on this for some time. I also was supposed to have the opportunity to train with the group but so far, that has not materialized unfortunately. I have been looking for material for reality based ground fighting for some time that does a good job of recognizing the skill and technique with which the average person who trains MMA and BJJ is capable of fielding and expands that into areas of multiple attackers, weapons play, and general street based situations. Most of what I see put out in terms of ground combatives is simply horrible and seems to be done by people who don't know the ground game but know weapons and stand up pretty well. Or, the know the ground game but their focus is competition and they don't know crap about combative scenarios. With that in mind, I have been eagerly looking forward to this DVD and seeing the information presented.
To start off with, any notion that Mr. McCann is not respectful of MMA, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, or Boxing should be dismissed immediately. This is something that is unfortunately common from people who are looking at combative sport from a combative mindset and it is pleasing to see that it is not the case here. Mr. McCann starts off his video with a very lengthy description of why he decided to do this program. In this monologue, he is very complimentary of MMA fighters, grapplers, boxers, and combative athletes in general. He talks a good deal about the level of technique he sees, comfort with violence and being hit, level of conditioning, and overall athleticism. He then goes on to note that since MMA has been around for quite some time now, it is not unreasonable to think that a relatively untrained individual who watches MMA with regularity could have picked up some basic techniques here or there. He talks about multiple attacker scenarios and the employment of weapons into the situation and how that alters your choice of technique and the time you may or may not have to pull them off.
Regarding the techniques themselves, he goes through common MMA structures and how to alter them for a street or combative situation. I found his understanding of the BJJ/Judo ground game to be very solid from my own view point of limited experience and his ideas for dealing with commonly seen structures to be quite good. I'm sure that there are counters for everything that he is teaching but, to be fair, he is good about acknowledging that. I also greatly enjoyed his discussion of multiple attacker scenarios (something I had the misfortune of witnessing when two Hispanic youths jumped a middle aged Black male who was walking with his wife just yesterday afternoon at the mall - Crazy timing and a powerful experience). Finally, as a weapons guy, I enjoyed his discussion and demonstrations of commonly seen structures and how the addition of weapons into the game changes things.
If you are an MMA or competition based BJJ person and are not interested in defensive aspects of these techniques this DVD will have little to offer you and I would not recommend you get it. However, if you are that same person but would like to have a better understanding of how to use those same skills in a street based situation, I think you find some things you disagree with but will be happy with what you see here overall. If you are a person with limited MMA/BJJ experience who is concerned about how they would handle a defensive situation against someone who has MMA experience, I think you will find this information to be quite good. If you are someone with a good stand up game (or working on it by currently training) who is capable of handling both empty hand and weapons scenarios along with multiple attacker situations, I think you will find that this information could provide the core of a solid ground game which is based in reality rather than the ring, while still basing the skills on tried and true aspects of the combative sport ground game. For someone like me who does train BJJ (poorly) and does some Muay Thai (even more poorly) in addition to my FMA (my primary system) I am pleased as punch with this DVD and the information therein and I will be dissecting this information and playing with it for some time.
That's it from my end. I highly recommend it as long as you can look at it for what it is, not for what it is not.