Hey all. This is not quite intended to be a full product review (meaning an evaluation of all the material covered, etc.), but I wanted to let folks know what I've thought of this material so far in the anticipation that it is a fair representation. This is my first product review, so bear with me as I go through this. LOL! Ron Balicki's Filipino Boxing DVD three (3) part series. Produced by Cold Steel, Inc. 3036-A Seaborg Ave. Ventura, CA 93003 1-800-255-4716 www.coldsteel.com Length of DVD's: #1 2:03 #2 1:53 #3 1:44 I ordered these DVDs recently in the hopes that the instructional material might be able to supplement my knowledge of Panantukan, or Filipino Boxing/Empty hand techniques. The material covered in this series includes a wide breadth of martial arts techniques and progresses from very basic concepts to increasingly complex subjects quite comprehensively. Balicki introduces material many might already be familiar with, but offers new insights, including terminology, which avoids the monotony many video productions fall victim to. The spectrum of material covered includes stance/footwork, hand and foot offensive and defensive techniques, and grappling. Many of these are taught not only as individual techniques to be practiced in solo repetition, but also as drills with partners (empty handed and with focus mitts, for example). Because each DVD covers so many areas of Filipino Boxing, there are many subject chapters, which makes the review of previously viewed material extremely easy. Many video productions cover so much material in a chapter that there is quite a bit of rewinding or fast-forwarding to review a single concept. I believe this has been reduced a bit by having so many chapters available. Additionally, Balicki included multiple, occassionally simultaneous camera angles to help illuminate the techniques being demonstrated. Furthermore, the material occassionally includes segments of recorded sparring matches, which demonstrates the application of the technique being taught, in a "real-time" scenario. Unfortunately, many of these segments, though helpful in comprehending the techniques, were not properly introduced, and were almost "surprising," requiring me to rewind and rewatch each segment to get a full appreciation of what was shown. Though the "real-time" material was completely appropriate, the lack of an introduction to each clip, or any commentary on them once complete, made them feel just a slight bit out of place. The DVDs include the demonstration of many drills, which by themselves might teach the mechanics of technique, but do not teach the intangibles of fighting. With so much material to cover though, it is almost an unavoidable challenge. Furthermore, it is a valid part of the training, so to not show the familiar drills would be a fault on his part. To Balicki's credit, additionally, in certain segments (such as those that include grappling material), he demonstrates an entire concept, from standing, through takedown, and finishes with a submission in a manner that is extremely informative. These demonstrations were very helpful and the flow he demonstrates helps illustrate each series of technique very well. I have, at this time, very few negative comments about this series. A minor irritation perhaps, is that Balicki constantly refers to the Filipino Boxer in third person terms such as "they call it..." or "they do (x)..." etc. which creates a distance between himself and the material he teaches. Minor point, I know, but it was still a bit irritating. I am very impressed with this series and appreciate the possibility of incorpating some of it into my training. I have had a background with stand-up arts that repetitively drill techniques to instinct(primarily Wing Chun), less formal arts such as Boxing, and grappling arts (such as wrestling and Judo) but the perspective Balicki taught from, particulartly its apparent "faithfulness" to Filipino arts, was insightful. The manner that the material was presented in was not what I would describe as "mixed," as I might be inclined to teach it, but rather more authentic than merely a talented martial artist teaching "dirty boxing" techniques. I was able to purchase the DVDs at a lower price than the ColdSteel site's retail price, and actually hesitated for quite some time before purchasing them because of the price. Needless to say, I was happy with the price I paid for them and, if necessary, would even pay ColdSteel's asking price now knowing the quality of the material if I had no other option. That said, though, I would always encourage people to shop around and find the best possible price. I would definitely recommend these DVDs to both those who are new to the concepts shown, or new to the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) in general, as well as those with a background in the FMA already. There is sure to be something that will be of value to a wide audience.