Closed Hand Kem-'Ba-Tivz with Kelly McCann is an excellent instructional DVD set for those interested in self-defense use of the fists. As a fan of Kelly McCann's teachings, I looked forward to watching the first volume of his “Crucible High-Risk Environment Training II” It's titled Closed Hand Kembativs with Kelly McCann. I was not disappointed with this excellent 2 disc set from Paladin Press. I understand that open hand strikes are safer to throw in actual fights due to the reduced likelihood of hurting your hands, but I have also punched people in fights and know first hand the effectiveness of closed hand strikes. So with this DVD set, McCann adds to his Combatives program by teaching closed hand strikes that give you additional tools to use with the other skills he teaches. The program teaches punches from boxing and Muay Thai, but in a more street context like his Combatives are taught. The goal is to integrate closed hand punching with the Combatives curriculum.
Closed Hand Kem-'Ba-Tivz Disk 1
After a segmented introduction with McCann sitting and talking to the camera that covers what he will teach, how it fits with the Combatives curriculum, why learn to punch, the Combatives mentality, developing your default, and injuries, he starts the actual instruction of the program by teaching how to wrap your hands so you don't injure yourself during training. Note that those first segments take about 24 minutes and contain some excellent advice, and the camera cuts away to other scenes and angles to make it interesting. McCann talks in a lively and engaging manner, so just listening to him is not boring, and you will learn a lot.
After McCann teaches you how to properly protect your hands by wrapping them, he has a short section on glove selection. Again, he provides excellent advice on the topic, as he does in the next section on personal equipment to protect yourself. He covers headgear, mouth guards, groin protection, and so on. Watch and learn from this section and listen to him. Injuries stop your training, so train hard, but train smart. Next, McCann discusses many of the bags, shields, and pads you can use for training, including BOB, in detail. Good advice on these as well. The first disc is just over 78 minutes long, and covers everything you need to know before you start punching. Very good introduction before you actually start training. Please be sure to watch this first disc and take McCann's advice to train safely.
Closed Hand Kem-'Ba-Tivz Disk 2
Disc 2 gets into the instruction on how to punch. In his straight forward, no BS style, McCann makes it clear that he is not preparing you to climb into the ring, and that his instruction is not the same as you'll find in boxing and Muay Thai gyms. His focus is on incorporating punching into Combatives for real fights, and nothing more. And the instruction is excellent for this realm!
This second disc is just under 78 minutes long and covers: the jab, cross, uppercut, hook, and overhand right. These are the basic punches and McCann does a great job of teaching them and their application. But he also teaches topics such as body punching, elbows, knees, push kicks, and leg kicks. Remember, his goal is for you to incorporate these punches into your Combatives training. He also teaches striking combinations, defense (very basic, but practical), and combative sequences where you are putting punches into Combatives.
Overall, I found this to be an excellent DVD set and recommend it to anyone who includes, or wants to include, punching, or closed hand strikes, in their curriculum. If you train in Combatives, you will definitely want to incorporate the lessons learned in this program into your training. Before you punch on the street, train for it. Use this DVD set and McCann's instruction to maximize your training and its effectiveness on the street.