August 23, 2012

"Unstoppable: Secrets of the Hook Flip" - DVD Review

We have been on a Machado kick here lately and I wanted to continue the theme with a review of 8th dan Prof. Carlos Machado's latest DVD instructional, "Unstoppable: Secrets to the Hook Flip."  Carlos has produced what many grapplers secretly wish for when we hear an established master is releasing a DVD; a comprehensive overview of ONE aspect of their game!  And the hook flip / sweep is arguably what all the Machado brothers are known for, especially Carlos.

The hooks game in general is believed to have been developed by Rolls Gracie (1951-1982) and Jean Jacques Machado in response to Rigan Machado's ability to break open closed guards and attack the legs.  Whether or not this is fact is inconsequential as the hooks in game is now a staple open guard strategy worldwide both in gi and no gi.



Filmed at his school in Dallas, TX. during a seminar that Carlos offered a couple years back, "Unstoppable" runs a solid 90 minutes of pure instructional material.  And again it only covers one aspect... the hook flip/sweep, broken down into these 12 chapters:

  • Setups
  • Controls
  • The Cup
  • Arm & Collar Control
  • Double Sleeve Control
  • Positioning 
  • Theories & Details of the Sweep
  • Guard Pass Prevention
  • Elbow Over Head Flip
  • Head Sweep
  • Cross Body Sweep
  • Opponent Stands

Check out the 1:00 minute and 2:00 minute mark for hook sweeps!

Easily navigate chapter to chapter, or play all progressively each chapter hosts a ton of information on fundamentals often overlooked by many practitioners and coaches alike.  Prof Carlos' attention to detail and progression of instruction is indicative of his 40+ years on the mat.  Notice the bulk of the chapters on the DVD are focused on control and positioning!  This is not accidental as the Machado brothers are adamant about ensuring you have control prior to attempting any offensive technique.  

Those looking for dozens and dozens of techniques should pass on this DVD.  "Unstoppable" is solely for those who are willing to work in a logical progression to better their understanding of the principles involved with the hook sweep.  Once the student understands the principle, then the variations on a theme are truly endless.  Yet many instructors neglect this aspect not only in their own training but also when they offer an instructional DVD.  Not here.... Carlos teaches a handful of sweep variations but the bulk of the 90 minutes is making sure you (the student) have a clear understanding of the fundamental aspects of the hook sweep game; grips / positioning / proper hooks / off balancing of your opponent / troubleshooting / and then the actual sweep!  This is the Machado approach to training.  Some call it OCD... others prefer "proper technique."

I have had the pleasure of training with Prof Carlos only once so far, but I will attest to his attention to detail.  And this DVD makes you feel as if you are right there taking a class in Dallas with Prof Machado.  

Another critical facet that Prof Machado covers is guard pass prevention / re-guarding your opponent.  I have seen few better then the Machado brothers at recovering a lost guard.  Carlos addresses the possibility of your guard getting passed and talks about several methods to use to block your opponent from passing.  Invaluable info here!!  

As with all RCJ Machado DVDs the quality is excellent.  Filmed in HD, with top notch editing, the only glitch I experienced was my "play all" function was finicky at best.  Sometimes it would start, other times it would take me back to the root menu.  Annoying, but overall a small detail.  Otherwise the picture and audio quality is top notch.  One note here though... unlike other instructionals that are filmed in studio, this was filmed at a seminar and the editors left it solely as if you were there.  If you want repeated scenes, slow motion, etc. then you are going to have to do it.  This is 90 minutes of non-repetitive instruction!  
Also I need to mention that it is about time that producers started putting some time and effort into the score of martial art DVDs!  "Unstoppable's" music is excellent!  Not obnoxious.  Not scene stealing.  Just a nice solid score reminiscent of a summer blockbuster.  


Click here to be re-directed to the RCJ Machado shop where you can purchase "Unstoppable" for a measily $29!  For under $30 you can dramatically improve your hooks game.

And if you would like to experience Carlos Machado's teaching in person, make sure to register today for the 5 Brothers Camp by clicking here!

Train Hard.  Train Smart.
Jake  

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