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product review | Pacific Wave Jiu-jitsu

Review: Handstand Mastery Program Video

Handstand Mastery Program ReviewI’ve been working on being able to do a freestanding handstand for a while now, so when I got the opportunity to review this video, I jumped at the chance.

Starting with Realistic Expectations

To begin with, Paul Zaichik, creator of the video, tells us that we must have a few basic requirements before we can use the video. He explains the flexibility and strength requirements to be able to make proper use of the video. This is also explained on the product page so people recognize these are requirements in the process. The only thing I might suggest is to link to his shoulder flexibility DVD on the product page so that people who need help gaining that ability can easily find it from the handstand page, but that’s a separate issue from the video itself.

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Martial Herbs Strength: Product Review

martial herbs strengthA couple of months back, I was contacted by Martial Herbs to review a couple of their products, their “Martial Herbs Strength” and “Martial Herbs Recovery.” Unfortunately, due to some issues with Canadian Border Services, I only got “Strength” so it is the only one I can review from experience.

The marketing materials for Martial Herbs strength touts high claims such as “enhanced cellular signalling for swifter movement and response,” “optimized hydration through vital electrolytes” to help you “train harder and longer”, “rapid reduction of free radicals to stave off muscle fatigue and soreness.” It costs £22 (UK currency) for a bottle of 60 tablets, of which they recommend taking  a general rule, I have a healthy scepticism when it comes to gimmicky products like this, but I have an open enough mind to try the things before taking a stance. I took Martial Herbs Strength, 1 every day until I finish the bottle.  (more…)

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Nutty Buddy Groin Protector Product Review

In the fall of 2011, I was given the opportunity to conduct a review of a different type of groin protector. I’ve tried a lot of different cups over the years, trying to find one that works effectively and is also comfortable.

The Nutty Buddy

When I started in Jiu-jitsu, my style didn’t use groin protection, and people were left to defend themselves, and exercise control while demonstrating strikes to the groin. I’m not going to debate the pros and cons of cup vs non-cup training, except to say, anyone who thinks wearing a groin protector makes you less likely to protect the groin has likely never worn a cup, or at the very least, been hit by Lori O’Connell Sensei while wearing one.

If you watch the video of me being struck in the groin at the end of this review, you’ll see how hard it is to intentionally let someone hit you in the groin during the included outtakes. (more…)

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The Unbreakable Umbrella – A Review

I was checking out various videos on YouTube of people using a cane for self-defense one day and I came across some product videos for the unbreakable umbrella. Watching their videos on YouTube, it does appear to be unbreakable. But it is possible to fake these things.

I contacted the company asking them about their product, telling them a little about who I am and what I do, and they offered to send me one of their umbrellas on the house provided that I review it on my blog. I gleefully accepted.

The umbrella, on first glance, looks just like any other cane umbrella. This explains why it is possible for people to bring it on an airplane without creating a stir. You can’t even bring a cane on an aircraft nowadays without being able to prove that you need it.

It is noticeably heavier than the average cane umbrella, but it makes up for it by being ultra-sturdy. It’s made of ABS, a man-made composite material, not that that means anything to the average person. I decided to take it in to my dojo and test it out. I didn’t have a watermelon to split open like on the YouTube vid, but I ran a couple of the other tests. Here’s the vid:

It is suitable for use in self-defense techniques in place of a cane. The wide hook handle allows you to easily hook someone around the neck or legs. And as long as you keep the nylon wrapped up, it makes for an effective striking weapon. The only trouble in paradise is the cost. It’s carries a hefty price tag: $179.95 US. But this may be worthwhile for self-defense enthusiasts who would like to be able to use an umbrella to defend themselves should the need arise. With the fall starting here in Vancouver, I can expect to be carrying my unbreakable umbrella with me right up until the end of next spring, so I’m very happy to own one.

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