Street Knife by Master at Arms James A Keating A review by Terry Trahan The newest DVD release from MAAJAK is Street Knife, featuring Mr. Keating, and Pete Kautz from Alliance Martial Arts and Modern Knives. I would like to echo MAA Keatings words here before I get into more of the review; this is a core DVD to add to your library. No matter if you are a beginner to the knife, or an old player, you will learn from this. If this is your first time delving into the knife arts, this DVD will serve you very well. Ok, onto the review. The DVD opens, as all of MAA Keatings do, with an overview of what he will be teaching. I find this very helpful, as you already have an outline of the material in your mind, and can "file" it appropriately. After this, the teaching begins. After a brief talk about the responsibility involved in carrying a knife for self defense purposes, and the reasoning behind the Street Knife curriculla, Mr. Keating briefly covers some basics on carrying and opening of a folder, and positioning the carry of a small fixed blade. I agree that not much time should spent on this in a video presentation, it is a personal responsibility to teach yourself this. With the points presented, it will be an easy task for the beginner to find the best way for them to proceed. Next comes the instructional meat and potatos. Basing this course around the simplicity required of a true Street Knife course, all the drills and skills are based off of four motions. Two low line, and two high. Variations and logic chains are built off these basic positions. As Mr. Keating points out, this is application, not art, although it is skill. It is a simple, easy to learn series of logical movements you can count on in the high stress that occurs in a real assault/fight. I do have to say that the first low line response is my favorite, but all are well thought out, demonstrated, both in drill form, and with a demo of the dynamics involved in a real deal jam. This last point to me is a gem. To often, drills are presented, and the impression given that you will do them in a "static" drill format when using them in the real world. After the drill portion, we come to a segment on skill development. With an eye to the fact that alot of people must train alone, or only have infrequent partners, MAA Keating tilts his skill development to solo trainers. I will not give it away, but the tool used in the first segment on skills development is conceptual thinking at its best. Many will watch it and be dismayed or dismissive, and not try it. This would be a big mistake on their part. It developes skill, and rapidly. It has been added to my kit, and it is affordable as hell. Next, a segment on misdirection/stage magic is given by Mr. Kautz. In a visual continuation of the "Magic Trilogy" hosted on Alliance Martial Arts, and with credit to the authors, MAA Kautz brings you through two misdirections that are easily applicable to knife work. Pay attention to this part!!!! If you work the concepts taught, it will add to your skill level immensley, as well as help with survival. As MAA Kautz points out, it may help score a date as well. Hey, who says conceptual knowledge is not univeral in application. I highly recommend this DVD. If you have Street Knife and Hellbows, you are well on your way to combative proficiency, if you train the material. Thanks for reading.