Podcast episode 50: the return of the hillbilly thug

Well, the pandemic messed up my plans for the year and the podcast got put on hiatus. But now we’re back. A bit of a recap of what my life was like since then and what’s coming next.


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How to make instructional videos for martial arts and self-defense

In this post on how to make instructional videos for martial arts and self-defense, I’ll cover some of the basics and typical errors to avoid. My goal is that with this information, you can improve the quality of your recordings right away. You don’t have to be a professional with expensive equipment to make good quality instructional videos. Nor do you need Hollywood-level post-production, providing you take into account these recommendations. With some forethought, planning, and experimentation, you can quickly make progress.

FYI: I made my first instructional video over 15 years ago with Paladin Press. I worked with them regularly before they closed down and have produced numerous ones myself. For the past few years, I have made over 150 instructional videos for my Patrons. There are people who are better at it than me, obviously, but I do have plenty of experience and will share it with you. Use what works for you and discard the rest.

Let’s get started.


Planning an instructional video


First things first, what is the goal of the video? Detailed instruction of a specific technique? Highlighting the flow of a drill? Showing a kata or form from beginning to end for reference? To get a good finished product, you need to work towards it from the beginning: you can edit the footage to improve it but it is difficult to show what you didn’t record. Re-shooting is not always possible and pick-ups only go so far. So save yourself some time and think before you start:

What do you want to teach with this video?

Determine that first and then you can proceed.

Obviously, you can have multiple goals at once, that’s fine. But then adjust the rest of the planning accordingly. I would suggest keeping things simple if you are new to making instructional videos. As you get more experienced, you can take on more complex projects.


Script or Outline

Now that you know the goal of the video, it’s time to specify all the elements that need to be in it. Let’s say you make an instructional video about how to throw a straight punch. Here are some of the elements you might want to include:

  • Introduction.
  • Theory and context of the technique.
  • Slow demonstration of the technique for reference.
  • Highlighting the individual components of the technique: legs, left arm, right arm, torso, footwork, etc.
  • Demo with a partner at different speeds.
  • Demo on a heavy bag or focus mitt.
  • Common mistakes.
  • Final thoughts and outro.

Add and subtract to such a bullet list depending on your goal. Also, go into as much or as little detail as you need and create sub-bullets if that works for you. For some scenes, I have everything written out but for others, it’s just a word or a sentence. It all depends on the individual video or the series I’m making. For instance, this is the beginning of the outline I used for my Hardcore Heavy Bag Training instructional video: [Read more…]

Basic Self-Defense Instructional Video

I just released my new instructional video, Basic Self-Defense 1: Controlling Techniques. I explained the system in episode 23 of the podcast and gave lots of details there. The first part of the curriculum is now available.

Check it out:

I’ve been teaching it for over 20 years now and it started as a collaboration between me and another instructor. After a while, we both developed our own versions and went our separate ways. The best way to view it is as a multitool:

It works for the average person in the average violent situation.

The system has two goals:

  • Give you functional self-defense techniques as quickly as possible so you can handle the most common attacks.
  • Give you the best bang for the buck when it comes to the time needed to train the techniques and how soon you can use them effectively.

There are also two assumptions in it:

  1.  You have no prior training so we start from scratch. That means covering lots of basic information. If you do have prior training, Basic Self Defense isn’t meant to replace it; it’s only an addition to it.
  2. There are three common self-defense situations and the system is versatile enough to handle them all.

Because of these two goals and assumptions, there is a specific training method that is powerful and yields results quickly:

  • Only a limited number of movements and techniques. These have to be versatile and recycled depending on context.
  • Rapid ingraining due to the repetition of these same movements and techniques in different situations.
  • Technical progressions. Each movement is used as a stepping stone to the next one.

I’ve had great results with this method throughout the years and am confident you’ll find it practical and effective too. However, you have to follow the progression. When people skip ahead, they run into trouble making the technique work in certain situations. Don’t do that. Follow the program and it will guide you through it.

For this video, I cover a handful of specific attacks that are common in a self-defense situation. This speeds up the learning process and ingrains the key principles and movements much faster. In later videos, I will show other attacks and how to handle them.

Speaking of which, there is a full curriculum and this is only the first module that lays the foundation of the system and focuses on controlling techniques. The other modules teach techniques to neutralize the attacker, variations and how to personalize the system to your specific needs.

I’ll publish those in the coming months.

To launch the video, I’m offering a special discount of 25% off the full price if you buy it before September 1st, 2018.

Just go here and use promo-code 25OFF on checkout.

Podcast episode 23: My new instructional video, Basic Self-Defense

In this episode, I give you an update on what’s been going on, including one wicked cool surprise. Then I talk in-depth about the instructional video I’m filming in two weeks: Basic Self-Defense. It’s a program I’ve been teaching for the last 20+ years and I’m excited to share it with you all. With a bit of luck, it’ll be available at the end of the month.

The show ends with a Q&A on how to condition your shinbones for muay Thay and kicking in general.


Show notes:

1. Intro:What’s new?

2.Upcoming instructional video: Basic Self-Defense

3. Q&A: Conditioning your shinbones for muay Thai and kicking in general:


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