‘Classic Demonstrations’ by Legend Productions is an absolute indulgence. It’s like a big fat piece of chocolate cake when you’re on a diet. This DVD is an unhealthy serving of brilliant footage of great demonstrations by superb karateka. It’s to be served with a hot dog and popcorn, as it is an unapologetic helping of karate fun that you can watch over and over for the sheer pleasure of it.
When we go to competitions, we all have to admit it, we love demonstrations. They are a real highlight to a long day of sitting around and trying to not get annoyed by people who wont sit down or keep still. It’s a point where the entire room is fixated on one area, and this is no better encapsulated by the first demonstration by Andy Sherry at Crystal Palace. Sherry skilfully dodges sticks and knives with the climax of the demonstration being the double attack and brilliant double defeat where he leaps into the air and stamps on both attackers who lie sprawled out at his feet, a demonstration he became quite renown for.
Andy Sherry, also famed for his remarkably fast gyaku-tsuki is featured in another piece of footage with Frank Brennan. In a lightening exchange of attacks, Sherry blocks – no sweat – and finishes with his killing blow.
Another brilliant demonstration comes from Frank Brennan along with Jimmy Brennan. The room watch as Frank Brennan is attacked, only to defend by head butting Jimmy flat out in a shockingly realistic counter-attack. The suspense and drama continues as it almost appears that Jimmy is in fact unconscious, especially as Frank goes over to give him a little kick in hopes of seeing if he’s dead. Great fun with lovely kicks that make us mere mortals feel so inferior.
When Morio Higaonna takes to the stage for his kata demonstration, his presence must have illuminated the room, and his use of breathe demonstrating his immense skill and body control.
Dave Hazard’s demonstrations on this DVD are also of course a major highlight. In the first, he is attacked by Simon Staples and Jess Lavendar who he treats to the ‘Hazard’ treatment, with stunning deliverance of awe inspiring kicks. The second clip is an intense demonstration of kata from 1997. He demonstrates a collective kata made up of Sochin, Gojushiho Sho, Kanku Sho, Gojushiho Dai and Nijushiho. The intensity and spirit almost tangible. The final demonstration involves the same two attackers, this time at a table, where he is attacked from numerous angles and he of course displays the skill he is internationally renown for.
Sensei Enoeda’s 1975 demonstration to music in Crystal Palace, is an electrifying demonstration, that, no matter how many times I watch it, never fails to get the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. His kata demonstration involves Kanku Dai, Kanku Sho, and Sochin, and you can feel his energy with every movement he makes.
I really love this DVD. It is just a simple joy to watch. It is full to the brim with great demonstrations, many of which I cannot discuss simply because of the economy of writing a review. With vintage footage and masses of energy, this DVD can be watched over and over, simply for the fun of it.