Monday, 17 September 2007

Chuck Lidell: Hybrid Freestyle - DVD Review

When the good people at MMA Universe asked me to review the Chuck Lidell: Hybrid Freestyle instructional box set, I have to admit I was a little reticent. Although I am a keen follower of the MMA scene, I have no intention of ever training to become an MMA fighter. So why would I want to watch a DVD set that showed me how to become a fighter?
Despite my misgivings, I decided to watch anyway, and I’m glad that I did. Never having watched an episode of The Ultimate Fighter in my life, I found this set to be very interesting viewing. The set is broken down into a series of six episodes which deal with different aspects of mixed martial arts training.
The first two episodes deal with the pre-fight workout, as Lidell’s personal trainer Brett Hamlin shows us how Chuck trains in a variety of ways. It’s a truly extraordinary session as Hamlin puts Lidell through the mill, and after over seventy minutes of watching Lidell train, I felt completely knackered!
Episodes three to six deal with various shoot fighting techniques. With the help of his training partner Scott Adams, Lidell takes us through techniques from vale tudo fighting, to submission holds, to leg attacks and counters, finishing with takedowns. Seeing Adams and Lidell perform these moves in a slow and precise manner, so we can see exactly how they’re executed, is very interesting, as we don’t often see the intricacies of the various holds in the heat of the battle. I found myself wishing I had someone to practise some of these holds on. Sadly, the only other member of the family in the room with me at the time was my dog Dexter, and I don’t think he’d have liked it if I tried to execute a single leg take-down on him. Besides, which of his four legs would I shoot for?
Die hard MMA fans would be interested in some of the bonus material on this collection, which comes in the form of some extremely rare footage in the form of some of Lidell’s and Adams’ underground fights.
In conclusion - as someone who’s only really a fan of mixed martial arts, and who doesn’t claim to be an expert of this form of combat (not yet anyway), it’s hard for me to tell you if the techniques displayed by Chuck Lidell here are sound. But given the fact that these displays are given by one of the top MMA fighters in the world at the moment, I can only say that if I wanted to train in MMA, given his reputation, I would certainly consider approaching Lidell. It certainly makes for interesting viewing, but as both Lidell and Adams point out, watching these DVDs should only form part of any training regime, and that seems like sound advice to me.
With thanks to MMA Universe for supplying a copy of this DVD release. To purchase a copy of the Chuck Lidell: Hybrid Freestyle box set online, visit

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