This is an advanced copy review of Waysun Johnny Tsai’s The Essential Schrade S.W.A.T. Baton DVD.
Master Tsai holds eighth degree black sash certification in Tsai Family Shaolin Chuan Fa Kung Fu and Tai Kit Kuen Kung Fu. He’s appeared in such publications as Inside Kung Fu magazine and Art of the Warrior magazine, and has authored several books and starred in several DVDs.
This DVD features self-defense instruction using the Schrade tactical baton. The baton is manufactured in four sizes and Master Tsai demonstrates applications with two sizes. The demonstrated instruction is designed for civilians, martial artists, and law enforcement or security personnel.
Master Tsai demonstrates five basic blocks, five basic strikes, and range and distance control. Key to all of these movements is the basic guard position, which is a “hands up” boxer’s guard with the baton held in a hammer grip. The blocks will be familiar from most martial styles and they are basic enough that non-martial artists will easily pick them up with a little practice.
Martial artists will quickly key in on Master Tsai’s martial philosophy: “Tradition, progression, and evolution.” That is, Tsai takes traditional martial arts techiques and applies them to 21st century self-defense scenarios. The end result, once again, is a very sound video lesson.
The basic self-defense philosophy taught on this DVD is avoidance and escape. Shown are basic blocks and strikes that could be used to keep an attacker at bay, possibly disable him or her, and hopefully escape. Overall, Tsai offers some practical advice for anyone concerned with civilian self-defense.
Master Tsai concludes the DVD with advice on how to practice baton tactics on a tree, telephone pole, or martial arts training bag. Tsai is quick to note that without repetitive practice, the baton is nothing so much more than metal. However, with Tsai’s basic drills and repeated practice, the Schrade baton can become a very effective weapon for personal self-defense.
My only criticism of the DVD is that it is not clear where to purchase the Schrade baton. Judging by the footage, the baton is a top-notch implement and I'd very much love to get my hands on one!
Overall, this is a solid instructional DVD with sound self-defense advice. I recommend it to anyone wanting basic tactical baton instruction. For more information, inquire at Tsai’s Kung Fu International.