When we completed an interview with the excellent Peter Consterdine, he offered me a copy of his new DVD, which I was very excited about watching so I could see in action some of the points he discussed in his interview.
This DVD produced by the British Combat Association was filmed during the BCA Instructor’s Seminar, where Peter Consterdine teaches a room full of enthusiastic fighters.
Peter Consterdine started his Martial Art career in Traditional Karate, spending over eight years on the Gt. Britain & England Karate teams, whilst also spending time in China studying Wing Chun. He is author of many groundbreaking books and can be described as nothing less than a fighting genius.
His own professional background, working the doors and as director of his own security company has given him an invaluable insight into the reality of violence. Interestingly enough, the slogan on many of the T-Shirts worn by attendees of the course states ‘Reality is our Tradition’, how perfectly put when you watch Consterdine in action.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Consterdine’s teachings, as taught to him by Sensei Kimura, is his emphasis on the ‘Double Hip’. This is a fascinating method of using the body efficiently, in a dynamic and explosive manner. The DVD opens with this very concept. Holding a pad, Peter consterdine pounds the poor guy holding it. The power is extraordinary, and so inspired was I that just last week in training I decided to practice this too. I asked a friend and training partner Karl Patterson to hold a pad to his body for me while I practice both a single hinge and then the double hinge action. The outcome was remarkable.
I review these filmed Seminar DVDs quite regularly and I always enjoy doing so, they give you a real opportunity to see the instructor in their natural habitat. My favourite points in the DVD are where the students sit around to listen to the points he wants to get across. Peter Consterdine is clearly a very natural instructor, and he has an excellent ability to both verbally and physically get his point across. He can make even the most complex of concepts easily understood and the class clearly seem to respond well to his instruction.
Within this DVD, all drills are done with pads, something I think is missing to an extent in karate training. There are naturally elements of this DVD that will of course differ to the traditional teachings, but I personally think that there is so much valuable information here in this DVD that traditional Martial Artists can take on board, that it would be a great shame to not watch and listen to what Consterdine has to say.
The only negative I can find with this DVD is the sound level. At times the sound can be a little quiet, but that is to be expected when filming in a room full of people moving about so vigorously. Turning the volume up a little can help solve this problem, and it becomes barely noticeable.
Jam-packed with little gems of information, this DVD will undoubtedly give everyone so much food for thought, and for instructors there are many training exercises they will find interesting and useful. One of the key elements of the DVD is the emphasis on creating the right type of mental environment and mental approach. The drills are designed to put the student under pressure, and trying to create as close to the ‘Chemical cocktail dump’ as possible, something else that so many karateka will find useful incorporating in the dojo.
His demonstrations are both violent and efficient, and clearly designed for defence against real attacks on real streets with real attackers. He can be described as an expert in his field, and if karateka want to take their training to the next level and out of the Kihon box, then this DVD is certainly an excellent taste of what Consterdine has to offer.
Karate is a Martial Art, a form of Defence designed to defend yourself, and your family and friends against violence. Violence is not pretty, and it does not have the safety of the dojo. This does not mean you have to ditch the traditional foundations, but it does involve being open to developing the art further to make it more functional and efficient. I think this DVD could be an eye opener for so many.