Mastering the Bo DVD #1104
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Appears to be a DVD-packaged rip of an old VHS tape--with some lovely 70s haircuts--packaged bare in a standard plastic case. The menu is inexplicably weird, and the material actually begins with an old color-bar video code. Wow.
However, if you actually get past that, the actual material in this video is quite good. Instruction begins with a brief overview of bo selection and hand positioning, then iterates slowly through a series of blocks and strikes. Each technique alternates between simple demonstration and demonstration with a partner to show application.
Importantly, the DVD also contains suggestions for drills--again, some for solo practice and some with a partner. An unexpected bonus there: it's good to see up-and-down-the-floor drills one can incorporate into a class.
Another unexpected find was a pre-assembled two-person staged bo combat, provided as a training technique rather than for demonstration (modern DVDs usually are intended for winning tournaments; this one definitely focuses on pragmatic use isntead).
Off-scren narration is clear throughout, and the demonstrators put a lot of force into their swings--one actually snaps his bo on the other's at one point. The narrator encourages one to practice full speed and with strength, and it's clear that the demonstrators have done so. ("Notice the speed and power; hear that bo whistle" he says--and yes, you can.)
The katas are weak by modern standards, but again they are performed strongly and reinforce the strikes and blocks described earlier--and it's refreshing to see a hardwood bo used so strongly.
In short, in spite of the packaging this was an unexpectedly worthwhile find.
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