Mahaguro Nate Defensor has been teaching for 28 years and he has studied with Legends in FMA, including Manong Floro Villabrille, winner of 22 death matches, Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje, Grand master Angel Cabales, Mangisusuro Mike Inay, The Canete brothers, Tuhon Dan Inosanto, and many others.
As one can see the Defensor Method Kali system has quite the extensive curriculum hence the motivation for DVD documentation. As of this review over 16 titles are available from their online store. The titles submitted to me for review are as follows:
|Prof. Nate Defensor|
- 64 Attacks of Pikiti Tirsia
- Knife Tapping
- Defensor Method (DM) Stick Dumog
- Espada y Daga
For students of DM Kali these DVDs will prove invaluable I would have to think. It is obvious Prof. Defensor is not shy about sharing his knowledge and techniques as these DVDs zip through technique after technique. For those not students under the DM banner, many subjects are covered in this library of DVDs, and again if it is certain techniques, disarms, locks, or blade drills you are looking for... look no further!
For the most part the content of the DVDs was drawn from various seminars Nate Defensor offered over the years throughout the Midwest (he is centered in Chicago). Again this is an invaluable resource for those in attendance. I sometimes felt that perhaps some of the principles were glossed over (or simply not recorded) so a couple of times I was left wondering what was going on and where the info presented was taking us. Be forewarned if you are trying to learn something off of these DVDs there are no repeated lessons, or various angles on the lesson. To be honest Nate often does not even "teach" the technique, he simply shows it several times and has people drill what he showed.
I cannot comment, nor is it the purpose of a review to comment, on the techniques presented. I am not familiar with 90% of what is shown on these DVDs so I cannot offer commentary on the authenticity of various methods nor techniques, though the titles are very accurate with what they offer. I also cannot comment on Nate Defensor's "flavor" and how he has adapted the numerous styles he has learned into his system.
The 64 Attacks of PTK for instance, offers all 64 Attacks. This DVD is one of the few where Prof. Defensor actually teaches to the camera. I believe it was still a seminar format, but he is facing the camera and addressing "us" the viewer. In some instances (Stick Dumog) the cameraman and presenter need to coordinate as I found many of the techniques in the Dumog series being shown with his back to the camera and the viewer unable to view what was going on. Some techniques were repeated with Defensor turning around, some were not.
Stick Dumog offered a ton of various locks and take downs with single stick mostly. This is one of the most popular titles Jason said, I am assuming because it is not a popular subject to be taught. Actually this DVD is one of the only ones I am aware of offering such lessons!
Espada y Daga (sword and knife) again shows numerous entries and techniques for disarms and counter blows. This is one of the newest titles and it shows as Jason is getting better at camera work as well as becoming much more familiar with the editing software he is using.
Knife Tapping is probably one of my favorites just because that is the head space I am in at the moment; lots of knife work! Chock full o' disarms and entries. I was left wanting more detail on footwork and angles, as my limited understanding has told me these are arguably two of the most important aspects in all of Kali!
One negative aspect of the DVDs is that some of the footage is filmed in what appears to be an indoor soccer facility chock full of kids yelling, screaming, running all over making a terrible distraction for the video footage! I understand the headaches of logistics trying to find places to teach, train, and film. But there has to be a better alternative to the soccer facility at peak times!
Overall the production quality is amateur and basic, but Jason does not try to deny that! He is a working class guy training and teaching as his passion, so these DVDs are simply an attempt to document and record his teachers legacy on earth, and for that I cannot criticize.
All DVDs are $20 + S&H and can be ordered by clicking here! Or you can contact Jason Brigham directly at [email protected] (my personal vote for email of the year!).
To check out some clips and video footage click on this link.
Train hard. Train Smart.