Hardcore Training: My review

As promised here is my review of Adam and Rory's latest DVD offering.



"Hardcore Training" is the latest offering from Matt Thornton's Straight Blast Gym International. In this particular instructional DVD, the featured instructors are Adam and Rory Singer of the Hardcore Gym located in Athens, Georgia. The Hardcore Gym has produced some excellent fighters in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) arena and after reviewing the material presented the Singers; it is easy to see why. Unlike most instructional material on the market, "Hardcore Training", for the most part, skips instruction on the fundamentals of how to throw a technique and focuses on various drills that work to better hone the existing skill of the viewer. This isn't to say that the viewer that isn't familiar with the material being covered can't benefit, but it is my opinion that they would best be serviced by seeking out training in the material being covered in order to get the most benefit from the instructional.

The DVD starts with a short section on conditioning. During this portion, Adam discusses the "5 Minute Workout" he uses to increase his fighters endurance for upcoming fights. The workout consists of potentially 3 exercises, but don't let the limited number fool you. If you are performing the workout in the manner Adam describes you will certainly be worn out in short order. As far as intensity goes, I have to say the "5 Minute Workout" is on par with some of the bodyweight routines that Wayne "Fish" Fisher is known for. Anyone that was sampled Fish's material will know exactly what I'm talking about.

Following the conditioning section, the DVD moves into a short section on the clinch. During this portion, both Adam and Rory, cover the material. During this section, the clinch is primarily discussed and a few simple pointers are provided. No drills for clinch development are presented here.

With the clinch touched upon, Adam and Rory start to get serious and dive into the actual "drill" portion of the DVD. First up, is the "Forgotten 5". The Forgotten 5 is described as the top five punches that people either don't throw, or throw incorrectly. These five punches are; double jab, straight right to the body, rear uppercut, lead uppercut, and the overhand right. Both instructors spend a portion of time giving details on each of the punches then they move into various drills in order to develop skill in throwing the punches.

From the "Forgotten 5", Adam and Rory move on to the skill of counter-punching. Adam starts off this section by discussing the difference between true sparring and a simple "give and take" session between two people. This is a crucial ideal that people need to realize when they are attempting to get the most out of the training time. "give and take" can be good at times, however you are short-changing yourself if you are including "true" sparring in your routine.
Covered in the Counter-punching section is the counter-jab, skip cross, countering the cross, and the "touch 3". The Touch 3 is a drill that features the fighter using a cover to absorb a punch and then immediately countering with a series of three punches. All of these principles are shown during sparring sessions featuring various SBG instructors. These sparring sessions also feature excellent commentary that keeps the viewer aware of the principles that are being applied. Also included in this section is a small segment on maneuvering yourself away from a wall/corner.

The next topic to be covered is the Thai round kick and foot jab. The proper mechanics of the Thai kick are covered and a few minutes of Thai pad work are demonstrated to further reinforce these principles. The foot jab is mentioned as a tool for keeping a person pinned in the corner/against a wall, but the time spent discussing this is very minimal.

Following the coverage of the Thai kick, the DVD moves into the next major division of material, the clinch. This section begins with multiple "unattached" clinch drills. These drills are focused primarily on "clinch boxing" though as the drills develop, you see grabbing and takedowns included.

After the clinch boxing has been covered, a more detailed breakdown on the Thai clinch/plum is covered. This portion covers the same material as the original clinch section, however the subject is covered in greater detail this time around.

From the plum the viewer is introduced to the "whizzer" series and how to react to body locks. Adam spends a good portion of time during this section and provides a good number of drills in order work this skill set. Included during this portion is a substantial breakdown of the underhook and drills for developing it. For the underhook section, SBG instructor Paul Sharp is the primary man on the screen while Adam continues to give his excellent analysis of what is occurring on the screen. Adam does return to the screen for a portion detailing the "pinch grip" and its uses.

The final portion of the detail is devoted to various corner drills. Filmed in a boxing ring, Adam and Rory cover the importance of forward pressure, proper footwork, and several methods of getting out of the corner should one get trapped there. As with other sections, the instructors spar and constantly apply these principles while off-screen commentary keeps the viewer aware of everything that is happening inside the ring.

The DVD does have a few issues I feel should be addressed. The conditioning and first clinch portions of the DVD are filmed at what appears to be a seminar of some sorts. During this the audio is less than ideal and the instructors are sometimes hard to understand. Also as I pointed out earlier, the material from the clinch portion is covered in a better manner later in the instructional. I feel it would be better if the "seminar" material was cut and redone in a similar manner to the rest of the DVD. Doing so would eliminate a portion of the audio issues and would prevent a repeat of material being covered.

A second issue is the audio on general along with the camera angle used. For the most part the audio quality is good. There are a number of times, (when the speaker is clinched or is moving around rapidly) where the audio becomes hard to understand. This wasn't a huge issue for me, but did serve to irritate me on a few occasions. A related production issue is the single camera angle that is sued throughout production. There are a few times where it would have been beneficial to see the drills from several angles in order to get the most from it. Again, this was more of an irritation than a major problem.

My final and main issue is the manner in which the DVD is package. The DVD I received was shipped in only a thin plastic slip-on cover. I was disappointed that a hard cd case wasn't used to ship the DVD to me. Not only does this pose a "protection" issue, but it also makes t a pain to keep up and store the DVD. This problem can be solved by me purchasing my own case, however I believe this is something I shouldn't have to do. I would think a cd case wouldn't add too much, if anything to the production costs of the DVD.

In closing "Hardcore Training" is yet another outstanding production from Straight Blast Gym International. The material presented by Adam and Rory Singer demonstrates why they are producing an ever-increasing number of successful fighters out of their gym. Anyone interested in fine-tuning his or her skills in the areas covered on this DVD would be foolish not to purchase it. From the MMA fighter to the police defensive tactics trainer, any and everyone can benefit as long as they are willing to do some "hardcore training".

Thanks for the review, I hoped my copy would have arrived by now, but still waiting.

Good review! I'm still waiting for mine too. I can't wait!!


Sounds good.

Has anyone else recieved the DVD yet? I am still waiting. After eading the review I want it even more.