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  1. NoMan is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/08/2006 11:56pm


     Style: Boxing, Judo, BJJ, M.T.

    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Street Safe III, by Paul Vunak

    Street Safe III, Vol. 1: By Paul Vunak. The sub-title is "Brutal Solutions".

    Paul Vunak and RBSD gets brought up quite a bit, and I've done reviews of both Rick Tew's CMS and Systema. Today, I'm re-reviewing the material Paul Vunak has put out, as I've gained proficiency in Judo, Brazilian Jujitsu, boxing, and Karate, (not Krotty). I have limited familiarity with RBSD and as such, am only presenting my opinion based upon my study of the martial arts listed in the previous sentence.

    Part I: Actual Techniques Demonstrated and Advice Given

    The first thing that Vunak does is talk about how this tape is meant for worst case scenarios. This tape is hinted towards people with an anti-grapple fear, as he mentions "on the ground" as the worst-case scenario, along with multiple attackers and weapons. He claims to be teaching a secret Filipino martial art called "Kena Muay Thai", (he doesn't spell it, so it sounds like "Keena Muay Thai"). He says that he learned it from Dan Inasanto, who learned it from an Old Phillipino Master, and that Dan has only taught this art to about five people. It is the deadly "uninterrupted art of biting and eye-gouging".

    His first piece of advice after his introduction is that for any of the scenarios you are about to see, you will need an "equalizer". By this, he means a weapon. He recommends carrying around a folding knife with a hip pocket protector, or some other weapon at all times.

    With this weapon handy, the first demonstrated technique is the "Armora" This is a series of seven strikes with a weapon that make a "force field that protects you". These seven strikes are an X-pattern going both ways, a horizontal strike, an outward strike with the butt of the stick that turns over into a regular attack, a downward strike to the toes, an upward strike at the groin, and another horizontal strike. According to him, they do not have to be repeated in that pattern, but can be 'compartmentalized' into any variety.

    The next drill he shows is called "Serrata". It's a series of five strikes that are the same as the above 'Armora' drill, but without the downward and upward strikes. The idea is to use two weapons in the five movement pattern, and with the weaker hand that's holding a weapon, only stab with it after making an attack with the main hand.

    With the 'Serrata' drill, he explains the concept of the attacks as "defanging the snake." The idea is that there should be no blocking or disarms in the fight, the attacks to the hands and wrist should make the person let go of the weapon rather than attempting a disarm per se'. The drill is involves your partner practicing the five strikes against you while you use one of the five strikes to hit his wrist, (Vunak's partner is wearing huge gloves on), with a weapon. The drill should teach you to "see an attack as a target rather than as something you block."

    His next scene involves him versus a knife attack w/o a weapon. He gets gored. He then explains that against a man armed with a knife, if you don't have a weapon, you're dead. So, get a weapon. In his next scenario, he takes a pool ball and throws it at the person with a knife, and then grabs a pool stick and hits him over the head with it and runs out. He emphasizes running away.

    (They are inside a bar and the defender is wearing what looks like a full face mask like a motorcycle helmet).

    His next drill is a variation of chi sao involving a knife. He has the partner attack with a knife while the other person 'guides' the knife around away from the body. The drill is done using a female partner guides the blade without getting hit once.

    His final piece of the weapon segment is knife fighting. The partner has oversized gloves and headgear w/ face protection. The idea is again 'defanging the snake', focusing on hitting the hand while feinting to the head and body.

    His next piece is the "fighting multiple opponents" piece. He states that anyone who thinks they can take out two or more skilled fighters is deluding themselves. He says that this is why he places such an emphasis on getting weapons and using them in altercations. His scenario involves him with his wife going into a bar, when two drunks stop them. He tells his wife to get out her knife. As they approach, the wife begins stabbing wildly at the attacker, and Vunak beats his attacker up empty handed.

    His next multiple attacker scenario is in an open space, two on one w/o weapons. His advice is to keep one opponent inbetween the other one to prevent them from both attacking you at the same time. His next scenario involves putting on boxing gloves and attacking. Again, he runs around keeping the opponents between each other and pops them.

    Part II: My thoughts on his advice and what he demonstrated. The Griping.

    A.) The most annoying thing is that Vunak uses terminology that sounds like LARPing, particularly when he talks about the "force field" technique that he demonstrates. There are a lot of subtleties to what Vunak is doing in those movements as far as how he strikes to prevent himself from being exposed and using his footwork to generate momentum into the strikes. However, he only briefly mentions this and does not break it down in any useful fashion. His purpose is to give strikes that will be better than random flailing at a target, but without a systematic breakdown of how to properly apply the strikes, it seems pointless as most people will just resort back to random flailing.

    B.) His mention of secret techniques never seen before except for now in a video that can be purchased by anyone is laughable. Come on, there aren't any secrets to eyegouging or biting.

    C.) In line with Point A, the knife sparring that he shows will be craptacular for anyone to practice if they don't already know the basics of knife fighting.

    D.) Some of his advice is dubious. He says that when people knife fight, they headhunt. From most stab wounds I've seen in photos and videos, it appears that when people get attacked with a knife, the assailant will attack pretty much anywhere.

    E.) In line with this, this is because most people don't square off and duel with knives, as he seems to be stating with, "When two gang members fight with knives, they go for the heads", generally, the attacks are done and the person being knived doesn't realize it until they have already been hit with the knife.

    F.) His scene with his wife pulling out a knife and stabbing her attacker before he attacked her is legally very dubious, along with Vunak's beating of his opponent. The scenario is realistic because both of the 'attackers' hadn't actually attacked and had their hands down, making his unarmed assault a cake walk. I'm pretty sure that a police investigation with two people kniving and kneeing two other people who were not threatening or attacking them would be considered assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, or actual homicide. This seems to be a problem with most RBSD. Think of a paranoid Phil Elmore attacking and killing a bum and you've got the correct mental picture for what the scene looks like.

    G.) Hopefully he's taken up boxing since this video. His punches and his students reactions and punches were awful.

    H.) This brings me to my biggest gripe. He's obviously marketing this video to people who want to learn martial arts w/o the hard work required. He never mentions, "You should take up boxing and learn how to punch for this drill" or "You should find a FMA instructor to learn these drills" or "You should find a good grappling coach to teach you how to ground fight". Instead, he continually reinforces that a good week worth of drilling is sufficient for the purpose and that watching his videos alone will save you.

    I.) The Chi Sao drill he shows needs more aliveness, he obviously wasn't trying to hit the woman with any force.

    Random Gripes not related:

    The person in charge of special effects annoyed me with his presentation. There were random words flashing in and out whenever Vunak talked, along with alternating angles and fades from monochrome to color. It looked like something a high school student would do on media, not a professional studio.

    * Vunak has one viscious mullet.
    * Vunak has permanent sweat pits, no matter what he wears. At the beginning of every tape, he's got sweat stains galore.
    * Vunak has a really hot wife. (I don't, hence, I gripe).

    Part III: The good stuff

    Vunak's main advice is pretty solid. If you're in a fight where the other person has a weapon, get the hell out of there. If you can't, get a weapon. If you can't do either, evade the attacker until you can leave. Don't get cornered in a multiple attacker scenario. Always look for a weapon and a way out. If you're fighting multiple attackers w/o a weapon, you're screwed. Weapon disarms are low percentage and usually don't work.

    Part IV: Overall evaluation

    I can save you 70 bucks and tell you that the good stuff you read above will summarize what you need to know watching this video. The rest of it is not of much use w/o finding a good instructor to show you how to do the movements properly.

    Part two of the Street Safe Series will probably be reviewed and read tomorrow, as I'm getting tired. Criticism and thoughts welcome.
    Last edited by NoMan; 10/09/2006 12:06am at .
  2. Sam Browning is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/09/2006 12:19am

    hall of famestaff
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thank you, thats a great review, and it reminds me of the Paul tape I saw about a decade ago. I remember that it was like he was trying to impress the viewer with how fast he could shift in between techniques and their variations among various arts without talking about the fundimentals(sp).
  3. selfcritical is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/09/2006 1:46am


     Style: Pekiti, ARMA, other stuff

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Vunak generally gets his point across, points to some solid techniques, and seems to present some simple ways of drilling those techniques with aliveness. Unfortunately, he generally doesn't break down the fundamentals or the strategy of application the same way you would see in a Dog Brothers video, frex.
  4. jkdbuck76 is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/09/2006 7:04am

    Join us... or die
     Style: jkd concepts

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    ditto. He doesn't break down the stuff. The only good his videos have is
    that they are good reminder material for people who already know basics.



    (If you watch the "Anatomy of a Street Fight II" video, my instructor is in there.)
    SEANBABY:
    "The seventh law of thermodynamics is that every time a fat person gets near a trapdoor, they fall in. Itís the closest thing we have to scientific proof of God."
  5. sempaiman is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/09/2006 8:12am


     Style: Mixed-Up Martial Arts

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by NoMan
    Street Safe III, Vol. 1: By Paul Vunak. The sub-title is "Brutal Solutions".

    * Vunak has a really hot wife. (I don't, hence, I gripe).
    :ohyea7qh:


    Your wife might have the same gripe also.
  6. NoMan is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/09/2006 10:42am


     Style: Boxing, Judo, BJJ, M.T.

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Have you been talking to my mother-in-law?

    Paul Vunak's Street Safe 3: Vol. 2.

    This is the review of the next tape produced by TRS and Paul Vunak for being street-safe.

    Part I: Actual Techniques Demonstrated and Advice Given

    The first scenario is a continuation of the two-on-one fight. Except now it's 3-on-1. The same advice and tactics are used here as in the two-on-one drill. He says that this always works out badly in a real fight, as the tactic of the group will be for one person to tackle you and the rest to stomp you. He circles away, throws a few punches, and then runs out of the basketball court. "Be like a rat and survive."

    The next scene is Six-on-one; however, there is an equalizer. He has a rather large fake knife. The drill involves his instructors running after him, and when he cuts them with the knife, to pretend that it's a real cut.

    After this, he gives a bit of a lecture on the reality of fighting larger groups, this one is 3 on 3. He states that it's nothing like Hollywood due to the "fog of war", as he calls it. Basically, in a real fight involving multiple people, there is mass confusion. He says you might be beating up one guy and doing well, when you get hit from the side by another guy. He takes a moment to talk down about competitive martial arts stating that none of them can prepare you for the situation, (he specifically says NHB, Jujitsu, and Thai Boxing). Three of his fighters go against three of his other fighters in a large confrontation. The point being at the end of it that it's chaotic and not very pretty looking.

    His next scenario is a bar fight with two on one. In the first scene, one of his instructors gets pummeled by two people as he stands in the middle of them and tries to fight them. In the second scene, Vunak is sitting down and the two guys approach. He gets forewarned by quite a distance, grabs a beer bottle, cracks it over the guy's motorcycle helmet, (they wear motorcycle helmets for the bar fighting scenes), and elbows the other guy and runs.

    The tape transitions from multiple attacker scenarios to ground fighting. Vunak's advice is that in a street fight, the ground is the last place you want to be. He states that rolling around on the ground can get you hit by the other guy's buddies, along with rolling onto broken glass, syringes, and getting road rash from the pavement. He also states that if you're in a military or a police environment, you cannot control your weapon.

    He states that his art of biting will create the space to get out of a groundfight, and that this is the optimal solution. The necessary techniques are biting with the incisor to rip flesh, possessing the sensitivity to know when to bite, having the grip strength to hang onto biting, having technique with the jaw muscles to rip flesh, and this will take training. He states that BJJ is the "creme of the crop" of groundfighting, but is a form of "self-perfection" not "self-preservation". If you're in a lesser altercation, he says you can go for the armbar, the choke-out, or the attack.

    His demo is to have someone hold the person down in a scarf-hold and use groundfighting to get up. The person on bottom kind of flailed about while the person on top transitioned between scarf-hold, side mount, and mount. His point, you cannot get up. He says that with his biting techniques, you will be able to get up.

    His first biting defense is from the side mount with both arms on one side attacking the arm. Vunak's first defense is to reach under the armpit of the person in side mount. This is to neutralize him going for any armbar attempts. His second move is to grab his hand across the back, giving him a hug from the bottom. He then bites the attacker, causing the attacker to break the attack and allow him to get to his feet.

    His main point is to get an "uninterrupted bite", using some sort of a pinning hold to cause the attacker to have to get away without being able to easily pull away the arm or whatever else is being bitten.

    His second defense from a side mount is when the attacker has one arm under the neck. Vunak uses his head-side arm to wrap around the neck, his farside arm to grab his hands, and he begins biting the cheek.

    The third defense from side mount is to spin, (requiring the headside arm of the opponent being over the head instead of under it.), into a North-south position and bite the groin of the opponent, then spin out and push kick off the attacker.

    His fourth 'defense' isn't actually a defense. He calls it a "cross side" position, but its actually a modified knee on belly. Just picture knee on belly, but don't put your knee on the belly. Put it near the hip to block the hip. Then, reach over and put the headside arm under the neck, keep the head low, and grab your own hand with the hip side arm by putting it underneath his arm. Now bite and eyegouge. When he moves, go into the full mount.

    Part II: My thoughts on his advice and what he demonstrated. The Griping.

    A.) The little exposition he gives on the ground-fighting segment is perhaps the most embarrassing. No ground-based martial art teaches fighting from inferior positions, as he suggests. The military has found that in hand to hand fights, it's nearly impossible for an assailant to grab your side arm if he is in mount, pulls guard, knee on belly, or is in side mount. He doesn't discuss getting to the feet, avoiding takedowns, or anything from a groundfighting perspective. He also doesn't discuss the primary strategy of a groundfighter is to control the fight into the ground, not end up on the ground in a sub-optimal position.

    B.) The idea that biting is optimal is farcical at best. Learning proper sweeps and escapes will do more to create space than randomly trying to bite someone. In his demo, the person on top transitioned in and out of positions while the other person didn't do any real escapes from the positions. Of course, against an experienced groundfighter someone without training will be screwed. The solution is to get training.

    C.) His biting defenses have an obvious flaw, in that from the sidemount, if the person traps the hipside arm, (as most grapplers do, and as El Guapo demonstrates in his modified side control), he cannot execute any of his biting defenses. The positions he starts off in are positions in which he could execute an escape already instead of going for the bite. He has his hand underneath the armpit and his elbow blocking the attackers hip.

    D.) While stopping short of outright bashing BJJ as a self-defense tool, all of his positional moves are straight from BJJ to get into the biting position. In other words, no grappling skill, no biting. He does at least recognize that the position is more important than the raw bite, as he states numerous times. The irony is that he finishes the fight in the mount with a ground and pound attack, which is ironic because at point A, I say this is what a groundfighter would be looking for anyway.

    E.) He states that if the fight is of a lesser degree of violence, then a choke or a submission is more appropriate. He seems to be stating that it's less lethal to choke someone out and leave them unconscious, or to break someone's arm, than it is to bite them. Of course, I'd rather be bitten than have my arm broken, but maybe other people feel differently.

    F.) He's obviously in great shape and obviously trained a while in the martial arts. I'm 66% done with the set and he's yet to recommend getting into shape and studying a good martial art as an effective street solution to problems.

    Random Gripes not Related to Anything:

    * LOL at rolling into broken glass and syringes. No lava.... how sad.
    * In the scene with the bar fight, he leaves his wife behind to deal with the two attackers.
    * All of his shirts are missing sleeves, either to show off his arms or to deal with the sweaty pit problem.

    Part III: The Good Stuff

    Again, his group fighting advice is solid. Run whenever you can, don't get cornered, and try to keep them away. He recognizes the use of positional drills in biting and eyegouging. He recognizes the need to escape a bad position quickly.

    Part IV: Overall evaluation

    The group defenses were already covered in the first review, so I'll concentrate on biting defenses.

    While his biting defenses are more realistic than the random biting idea that many RBSD people seem to put across, it is my opinion that it is a sub-optimal solution. Particularly when he uses it to achieve the mount and finish with a ground and pound. To achieve the biting positions, a person must have a good knowledge of escapes and reversals already to get into the biting position. Instead of a knee-to-elbow escape, use a knee to elbow and bite the guy. Instead of an upa to a rollover, bite the guy then upa to a rollover. It's the same defensive tactics w/ a bite or an eyegouge added into there for good measure.

    My biggest complaint is that Vunak still hasn't emphasized or even mentioned finding a trained MA instructor to teach this stuff to you, or the importance of fitness in any fight. This is probably due to TRS bewildering claims that "this video can teach you how to defend yourself" and "in 30 minutes you can download every move shown here". While those claims are unbelievable, Vunak has emphasized repeatedly the importance of multiple drillings and time in learning how to defend yourself.

    This tape is pretty much the same as the first. The advice he gives is solid but can be had for cheaper than what he's charging. The defensive drills he shows are solid, but unless you already know a good deal about groundfighting and escaping positions, you won't be able to utilize them.
  7. Sam Browning is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/09/2006 10:50am

    hall of famestaff
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Once again a great review. I wish you were around when we were reviewing the Dan Webre tapes. (Which I'll send to you if you want a good laugh)
  8. sempaiman is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/09/2006 11:27am


     Style: Mixed-Up Martial Arts

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by NoMan
    Have you been talking to my mother-in-law?
    Well your M-I-L said your wife complained about the length of your Bo.

    But, seriously, great review of the Vunak stuff. Thanks,
  9. NoMan is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/09/2006 11:55am


     Style: Boxing, Judo, BJJ, M.T.

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel Browning
    Once again a great review. I wish you were around when we were reviewing the Dan Webre tapes. (Which I'll send to you if you want a good laugh)
    I doubt there's any substantial critique I could make to the Dan Webre tapes that has not already been commented on. I have a couple of RBSD films I'll be looking at later for a good laugh. Vunak is pandering to the RBSD community with these films, but beneath it you can tell he's a great martial artist and knows his stuff. Some of the others are total washouts. The one I'm most interested in is Diallo Frazier, who is supposed to be a 'short, unassuming man', yet was once one of the gang world's most elite 'enforcers'. I'm smelling Bullshido.

    Well your M-I-L said your wife complained about the length of your Bo.
    Average White Man's Syndrome:

    |--------------|

    I swear to God that's six inches honey!
  10. andrewa is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/09/2006 11:57am


     Style: Grappling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hey NoMan. Did Mr. Vunak play the bongos in either video?
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