Self-defense and fitness in a no-nonsense video


Quick Takes

December 16, 2005|By MARY BETH REGAN

S.A.V.E.: Survive A Violent Environment, Level 1, American Eagle Martial Arts Academy,, $26.98

If you're tired of perky instructors cheering you through DVD workouts, this is a change of pace - packed with tough moves, including plenty of kick boxing and punches.

Unlike most fitness videos, it's aimed at getting you to think about defending your turf, not looking terrific in a bathing suit. But don't worry about not getting enough exercise. There's plenty.

Phil G. Ross, video creator and owner of the American Eagle Martial Arts Academy in New Jersey, has drawn upon his 25 years of experience in taekwondo, bando, wrestling and jujitsu to create this beginner course.

Unfortunately, the warm-up is fast and hard to keep up with, especially if you're trying to stretch. And you may need to rewind the teaching section several times, especially if you haven't done any kick boxing.

Still, Ross is a patient teacher and his form is excellent. With practice, you should be able to keep pace. At a minimum, you may find his Jersey accent refreshing, as he barks "Very good, people" throughout the sequences.

Bottom Line: This is a good pick for anyone interested in martial arts. Men might find it particularly refreshing because there's nothing dainty about it.

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