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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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Raw Power

Legend Productions

Your remote's rewind button is going to get plenty of use while you watch this one! As with all the video's/DVDs by Legend Productions, "Raw Power" is non-stop action. The film is approximately 30 minutes. This may seem short when compared to a full-length movie. But there is so much crammed into these 30 minutes that it may seem like much more. Between the rewinding to see some scenes again, and getting up to try out some of the moves, it may take you a while to get through this DVD. Or you may watch it non-stop and then decide a week later that you want to see it again.

As with all Legend Productions' DVDs, "Raw Power" is inspiring. It makes you want to get up and go to the dojo or a tournament.

Specific comments:

Cover: Not as professional as films put out by the big studios. But not completely unprofessional, either. I think that the cover is a good reflection of the contents; there is no "fluff" here. Time was not wasted on making things "pretty". Do you buy a DVD for its cover? I don't think so.

Introduction: There really isn't any introduction, apart from a brief section of text explaining that quality of footage used from the 1970's may not be up to the quality of today. In fact there is no voice anywhere on this DVD.

Main Content: The vast majority of the footage is highlights (scoring techniques) from tournaments taking place over the past 30+ years. This is much like most of the films put out by Legend Productions, such as "Art of War".

There were a few times when it looked like techniques were weak and scored totally on "flash"/"crowd appeal". But then a few seconds later in Raw Power we would see a fist or foot connect with such power that you are sure a bone was broken.

There was some kata placed at the end of the tape. But this appears almost an afterthought. Although the kata examples were of relatively high quality, it seemed a bit disjointed and "plain" when compared to the non-stop action in the kumite up to that point.

There are a few slow-motion replays of scoring techniques. But mostly it is just one technique after another; men, women and children, all punching, kicking, striking and sweeping one another. Rarely do you see anyone for more than a few seconds at a time. There are no explanations of who is doing what or where they are or what happened before or after. Personally, I did not mind at all not knowing for sure if I just saw Frank Brennan or someone lesser-known. The action speaks for itself. No time is wasted here. This is simply a collection of some great karate footage.
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Ratings:

On a scale from 1 to 10, each criterion is assigned a rating. The numerical ratings are then summed to reach the overall rating of the book.

Quality of information 7
Quantity of information 7
Quality of DVD (artwork, case, etc) 6
Value for karate development 8
Overall tone/theme 8
Flow between/within topics 6
Technical details 4
Video: quality and quantity 10
Video: form of examples 10
Value/cost 9
Total 75


Notes on ratings:
Quality of information - Good footage of great performances. But not much "info" other than this.
Quantity of information - Same as above. Just 30 minutes total running time but lots packed in there.
Quality of DVD (artwork, case, etc) - OK. But could be better.
Value for karate development - Not technically enlightening. But VERY inspirational.
Overall tone/theme - Theme is simple; kumite highlights.
Flow between/within topics - Good cuts between kumite highlights. But flow to extraneous kata portion less than ideal.
Technical details - No explanation provided. But good physical examples to use as a resource.
Video: quality and quantity - Only really limited by the quality of filming in the older footage.
Video: form of examples - Fantastic.
Value/cost- Great bargain.

John Keeling

www.tokaidojapan.com