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Review of Armor Plated with Mark Hatmaker

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  • Review of Armor Plated with Mark Hatmaker

    If you have read other reviews I’ve written about Mark Hatmaker, you know that I like him and the way he instructs. He has put out quite a number of dvds with Paladin Press and I have found them to be extremely instructional. That is a very high compliment, because many DVDs out there don’t really instruct, they demonstrate only. When I make DVDs, I always make sure that I am teaching in them, and I want people to be able to learn from them. When I watch DVDs, I want them to teach so people can learn from them. Hatmaker’s DVDs through Paladin do an exceptional job at teaching.

    In this two disc set titled “Armor Plated: The Encyclopedia of Defensive Skills for NHB and the Street,” Hatmaker focuses on teaching you his most effective defensive tactics from both stand-up fighting and wrestling. You must have good defensive skills to be a complete fighter, and this DVD set provides a lot of techniques to practice to ensure you can defend yourself from a variety of attacks both standing and on the ground.

    Like all of Paladin’s current DVDs, “Armor Plated” is indexed very well so you can find the parts you want to train with easily. Combined with the various angles Paladin films with in their in-house studio and their DVDs are easy to learn from.

    Disc one includes a quick description of basics like stance and range before going into defenses for high jabs, high crosses, high lead hooks, uppercuts, low jabs, crosses, and hooks. There are multiple defenses for each of these including various parries, forearms blocks, moving, catching, pulls, slipping, and shoulder blocks. The disc ends with sections on pivoting and shifting and being caught on the ropes and shelling up. Based on boxing, this first disc provides great instruction on defense while standing up.

    Disc two leads off with clinching drills and continues the stand up defenses with elbow defenses, headbutt defenses, knee defenses, kick defenses, and what Hatmaker calls pick-offs which he shows as punch pick-offs, kick pick-offs and knee drags. An example of a punch pick off is when you raise your elbow and use your other hand to guide your opponent’s straight punch into your elbow. Finally, Hatmaker concludes the second disc with ground and pound defenses including coming to base, bridge and roll, and a number of others. Hatmaker already has a ton of DVDs out covering multiple areas of both boxing and wrestling, in fact he has a couple of the most complete programs out there on these disciplines. So the wrestling defenses here are a few basics that you really want to know to defend yourself if things go to the ground. These techniques will keep you from being grounded and pounded.

    Boxing and wrestling are formidable for the ring and for the street. Hatmaker ‘s DVDs are some of the best around for learning wrestling and old time boxing and how to use them both in the street as well as for competition. Learning the skills Hatmaker teaches on these two discs will undoubtedly enable you to defend yourself better. These are important skills to know, and Hatmakers does a very good job teaching them to you.

    “Armor Plated”with Mark Hatmaker is produced by Paladin Press and has a stated run time of 150 minutes. If you are looking to improve your defensive skills both standing on the ground, this two-disc set based on boxing and wrestling has a lot of excellent instruction and I recommend it highly.

    Reviewed by Alain Burrese, author of Hard-Won Wisdom From the School of Hard Knocks and the dvds: Hapkido Hoshinsul, Streetfighting Essentials, Hapkido Cane, the Lock On Joint Locking Essentials series. Many more reviews at Burrese Enterprises, Inc. Discover Your Warrior's Edge

    Yours in Training,


  • #2
    I'm a a little shocked by this review.

    I generally love what you do, Alain. And have told you so in the past.

    I don't agree with the video or the review. Hatmaker is probably great at what he does, in a sport setting. I have no doubts about that.

    But saying that the boxing and wrestling he teaches is great for street situations is ridiculous. I was shocked a bit that Paladin even produced such videos until it dawned on me that they need to make money too, and NHB is a hot commodity that they're not willing to miss out on.

    Saying that wrestling and boxing and NHB prepares someone for the streets is a lot like saying that its OK to go on safari unarmed if you only know brazilian jujitsu and some muay thai. That doesn't make sense, and neither does leading some untrained consumer to believe that a tape like this would make them "Armor Plated". You've got to admit Alain, this is almost as bad as the Gracies stating that Gracie Jujitsu is like a bulletproof shield. In fact, its the exact same type of marketing. The name and the marketing are an immediate red flag and a turn off.

    Again, I am not criticizing Hatmaker for what he's good at. And he IS good at what he does. Which is self admittedly boxing and wrestling. And I'm NOT saying that what Hatmaker teaches CANNOT work. Only that you'd have to be in elite physical shape for it to work and be half as effective as Hatmaker claims. That's what I'm saying.

    Look at what you teach and practice. You've tweaked it as it sure isn't a traditional approach to Hapkido. And what you do operates off some of the same principles that most self defense systems do. Surprise, shock, attack and control for a finish or arrest. I'm sorry, but that isn't happening with wrestling or boxing. The most knowledgeable man that to ever do what most consider dirty wrestling is Lebell, and even most of what he teaches is only effective once you're already grappling.

    So I've got to say that as talented and as able as Hatmaker is, he should at least be honest and let people know that what he's selling is really geared for young, strong men who are in great shape.

    Alain, you can and have taught 20 year old women to defend themselves effectively without having them be or become triathletes. True? So don't you agree that when its a requisite to be in that shape to defend effectively using a particular method then something is wrong with the method?

    A better example can be found in boxing. Roy Jones was probably the best boxer ever, but his style was largely based on his seemingly inhuman athleticism. However, once he destroyed his body by losing 26lbs in 3 months, his athleticism was never the same. Now because his style was predicated on his athleticism and has significantly diminished, he's losing left and right. Without his elite physical condition, his vulnerability shows in EVERY single fight. Even in the ones he wins.

    So even if Jones is hailed as the best ever, would fighters want to be trained by him? The answer would be "no", simply because they realize that they may not always be in or able to maintain or attain Roy's former level of athleticism. They would rather be trained by a Mayweather, who's style is systematic and enhances any boxer's skill and ability. Of course athleticism only helps the cause, but it shouldn't be the make or break point in something like self defense which even old ladies have to learn.

    I enjoyed reading what you wrote Alain, however much I disagreed with certain parts of it. And I do look forward to your next review.

    Take care