COMPLETE SPARRING

Many of you in the Taekwondo world will know of Sang H. Kim, a modest, affable but well-respected Korean Master now firmly established as a star in the United States. I had the pleasure of interviewing Master Kim a few years back and at that time, he was just embarking on his series of books and DVD’s, as well as studying at film school-where does he get the time? However he manages it, Kim has certainly been busy since and provided us with a prolific output across all media, sharing a common benchmark of quality, with regard production values.

His latest release, ‘Complete Sparring’ will be a welcome addition to many instructors, as it focuses totally on the techniques and drills necessary to succeed on the mats. The first thing to say about this release is its universal nature, in that good leg techniques and drills to develop them will benefit any kicking art, not just Taekwondo, and the great strength of this release is that it is almost entirely technique based, with over twenty set attacks. In this respect the DVD is divided into two distinct departments, attacking skills and target drills. Both are set in a simple dojang setting with Master Kim demonstrating the techniques himself. Filmed in full body profile, the techniques are shown at both full speed and slow motion with Master Kim providing a consistent voiceover, including an understanding of the Korean terminol- ogy for each technique.

Many of you will be well aware of the techniques involved as good number are ‘bread and butter’ stuff that you practice week in week out, especially if you are a competition club. With this in mind, I believe that section two – the target drill section will be of greater interest, as it offers a wide range of options for student and instructor alike. Again, some will be known to you and probably implemented in your club but with 12 different drills from reflexive drills, moving target drills, through interval drills to Hogoo drills there will be something fresh to inject into your training regime. Again, these drills can be adapted and utilised by any kicking art, giving the drills a much wider appeal.

On a technical level the DVD is definitely no frills but technically sound. The framing is good, the angles sensi-ble and well-chosen, the narrative clear to hear and the slow motion sequences do not suffer from grain or blurring. Overall, this is a case of substance over style, well packaged but focusing more on the important ele-ments, namely the techniques and the drills themselves. The DVD is a bit pricey but there is no fat on it and any-one wishing to develop their competition kicking will find this an excellent startng point.

Available through Gazelle price £34.50.

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