Video Fitness

Dawei Cardio Kickboxing

Dewey Yung

This review is intended for: (a) advanced kickboxers seeking a challenge; or (b) intermediate-level kickboxers wanting something to aspire to (and willing to modify like crazy in the meantime).

As you can see, I am already throwing out the disclaimers. Though I am an advanced-level exerciser, I am at intermediate-level (at best) when it comes to kickboxing form. Please keep that in mind as you read this review. Some of the moves may not be identified correctly here, but you will at least have a idea of what the workout is like.

I found this 1999 gem after a VF'er referred to it as one of the most advanced kickboxing videos she has ever done. Because I haven't found the intensity with any kickboxing videos that I've experienced in live Tae Bo classes here in Atlanta, I bought Dawei Cardio Kickboxing from Amazon.com with the hope that it would really push me into the upper range of my target zone. And, yes, it turned out to be just as intense and as difficult as the VF'er suggested. In fact, I sat with my mouth wide open when I first viewed it. Now, after doing it twice and previewing it a number of times, it's become less intimidating but certainly no less challenging.

Don't make my mistake. Don't assume that because you are an advanced exerciser you can do Dawei Cardio Kickboxing. No other video makes such a clear distinction between advanced exercisers and advanced kickboxers. It's just as true with Tae Bo Advanced Live Series (Tae Bo ALS), but a bit more so with this video. This video is probably the thing that will finally make me seek out professional kickbox training, after coasting on my own for over a year.

Dawei Cardio Kickboxing is FAST like Tae Bo ALS and its moves are more intricate than those found in the Tae Bo ALS. If you think Tae Bo ALS is already too fast for your tastes, then you won't like this Dawei stuff. If you are an experienced kickboxer and decide to get this video, you should still preview it a couple of times. This workout requires impeccable form.

But enough with the disclaimers! I love this workout! Dewey Yung's form and technique is inspiring and the video will probably challenge me for years to come. It's up there with Tae Bo. Both workouts fly by for me, but, while Tae Bo is fun, Dawei is business.

WORKOUT STYLE: It's not CIA/Cathe style. It's more like a Tae Bo drill-style workout. In many ways this kickboxing video reminds me of my gym-style weight training videos. There are 11 combinations in this very organized, methodical workout. You do one kickboxing combination for, say, 16 repetitions. Then you work the other side. Then you move on to another kickboxing combination for another 16 reps per side. And so on, and so on. Each set is clearly spelled out and demonstrated on the screen, so you know precisely what you are in for. I like this approach very much because, as with weight training, I can put more focus on each movement and compare my progress with the last time I did the video. I'm not just blindly kicking and punching with no clear objective or pattern, making it hard for me to measure my progress.

INSTRUCTOR: Dewey Yung is from Chinatown, San Fransisco. His technique is amazing. If nothing else, the video is worth purchasing to watch this man in action. He is a certified kickboxing instructor and claims to be a Master of Dawei. (I believed that Dawei was some sort of ancient martial arts discipline, but it turns out that Dewey Yung CREATED Dawei, so, naturally, he's a master of it!) Dawei is a form of cardio kickboxing and, translated from Dewey Yung's native language (unspecified), means "Attaining Awesomeness." There's something a little inelegant about that, but there's nothing inelegant about Dewey Yung or his video.

PRODUCTION QUALITY: I'm fussy about quality (don't like CIA's!), and I'm pleased with this video. Mind you, there's no lush Firm set here -- the set, like the video, is stark and minimalist, yet sort of hip. A simple, plain warehouse look. Gray cement floor with some cracks. Shadowy white wall in the background, with a light film projection of Dewey Yung flashing across it, demonstrating the moves. Dewey is wearing a simple black outfit. However, simplicity here doesn't mean bad. The sound and the visual clarity of the video are quite good.

MUSIC: It's not the fun music you find in Tae Bo. Someone on Amazon.com described the soundtrack as being something out of Mortal Combat, and I'd have to agree. It's digitally enhanced music. It's still okay by me, though. Unobstrusive and in keeping with the workout. I'm usually so engrossed with executing the moves that I don't even notice the music anyway.

INSTRUCTION: Here's the weird thing. Dewey Yung doesn't give any verbal instruction at all. He doesn't talk at all, except briefly in the introduction. The reason? This video isn't intended for anyone but experienced kickboxers. Because he assumes we're all experienced, Dewey says he doesn't intend to bore us with instruction, so he merely demonstrates his combinations.

Here's how it works. The music is going on in the background as you watch the screen break down into three sections. One-half of the screen (the left half) shows Dewey carefully demonstrating the upcoming move. The right half of the screen is further divided into two sections. The top half of right-hand screen brightly identifies the kickboxing combination name (which I will break down below) and gives the number of repetitions. The lower half of the right screen shows shuffling feet, which is a reminder to us at home to keep moving while we watch Dewey demonstrate the move being named on the screen. Dewey demonstrates each move slowly (much as Billy Blanks does in the advanced live series), and then he follows by doing the actual set real-lllllllll-y fast.

BACKGROUND EXERCISERS: There are no other exercisers in this video. Just Dewey by himself. Interestingly, there are lots of exercisers joining Dewey Yung in a blink-or-you'll-miss-it kickboxing segment on top of a skyscraper, and it looks very exciting! But none are in this workout video itself. Maybe next time.

BREAKDOWN OF VIDEO:

0:00 - 4:00 minutes
The usual pre-workout disclaimers and introduction stuff.

4:00 - 6:00 minutes.
Stretching. What was Dewey thinking? The stretching precedes the warm-up! Two minutes of stretches.

6:20 minutes.
5-minute warm-up which includes side knee raises, slow front knee raises with jabs, squats with easygoing jumps, more slow knee raises and front kicks. Easy to follow. Really gets the heart pumping.

11:15 minutes
Combination #1 - Front Kick Elbow Strike (16 repetitions per side)
The music starts to pick up here. Watch Dewey's knee and and foot placement. There are close-ups to help you.

12:48 minutes
Combination #2 - Front Kick Stand & Hop (20 repetitions)
The heartrate skyrockets with this combination. I would say it's a move that makes me feel like I'm a Rockette, but be very careful --- that's not what Dewey's foot & knee placement says.

14:40 minutes
Combination #3 - Jab Roundhouse (8 repetitions per side)
A fairly difficult move, here. 3 jab punches, one undercut punch, one cross/hook punch, two roundhouse kicks. That's a single combination. Okay, now do it 16 times - really, really fast!

17:27 minutes.
Combination #4 -- Squat Punch (16 reps each side)
Side kick, front kick, forward stance squat with 2 jabs. (Music slows down for this combination.)

20:00 minutes
Combination #5 - Jab Jump Knee (16 reps each side)
Front right jab, front right cross, left jab, right cross, 2 side knee raises followed by a 3rd jumping knee raise. Music picks up, here. High impact move. You can always modify if the impact bothers you.

22:58 minutes
Combination #6 - Roundhouse Floor Punch (16 reps per side)
Right roundhouse kick (mid-level) followed by another right roundhouse kick (high), right side knee raise, then Dewey kneels with right leg, pushing left leg behind him at an angle while punching down with his left hand toward the floor. If it sounds tricky, let me tell you --- it is! I felt like a confused & crazed Lucille Ball in the candy factory, trying to keep up with Dewey on this combo while maintaining good form. So now I modify. I just do imaginary jump rope and admire Dewey's agility. Someday....

25:19 minutes
Combination #7 - Knee Block Elbow Strike (16 reps per side)
This combination is easier to follow. Here it is: Right knee raise, 2 right front kicks, left uppercut punch, right cross over punch, left jab punch.

27:50 minutes
Combination #8 - Roundhouse Stand & Hop (20 reps per side)
Ugh. Know those rapidfire machine-gun roundhouse kicks that Billy Blanks likes to do? Well, it appears that Dewey likes them, too. I grab a chair for this one and kick like mad, holding on for dear life. Takes lots of balance, you know. Dewey does about 20 reps in the blink of an eye and then moves on to the next side. You do four sets of reps, two sets for each side.

29:10 minutes
Combination #9 - Double Jab Jump Kick (16 reps per side)
The music sounds whip-like here, and there's a reason. This move is intricate & fast & it routinely beats one into humility. I modify here because it's one of the most difficult moves in the video. A bit of high impact, too. It's 2 right front jab punches, then 1 left jab, then you shuffle-split your legs (is there a word for that move?), then you do a left front kick followed by a left back kick. Done? No. Now you do a JUMPING left front kick (high kick!), switch-shuffle those legs again, and repeat ... repeat, oh? About 31 more times. Dewey does this really, really fast. I timed it -- 2 kicks in one second.

32.05 minutes
COMBINATION #10 - Uppercut Roundhouse (16 reps per side)
Roundhouse kicks are tough for me, so I have to be careful with my alignment here. Dewey starts out with 2 right roundhouse kicks, followed with a left crossover punch, a right hook, a left hook. Repeat 32 times -- really fast.

34:01 minutes
COMBINATION #11 - Elbow Knee Side Kick (16 reps per side)
3 right side knees raises - left side kick - right crossover punch - left crossover punch - right crossover punch -- left hook. The music slows down here.

37:45 minutes
COOL DOWN. After some simple punches, Dewey leads you into a "cool-down," but it's really just stretching. So there's no cooldown to speak of, really. Just stretching for 6 minutes (each stretch being held for 10 seconds) and then you're done.

GRADE: I give this video somewhere around a B+ or A-. The lack of instruction doesn't bother me because this video is not designed for beginners. Still, the lack of a proper cool-down and sufficient warm-up stretching (after the warm-up rather than before) is troubling. Had it not been for those flaws, this video be an A+ production for me.

All in all, I highly recommend this video to experienced kickboxers who love the Tae Bo Advanced Live series and are seeking a greater challenge --- but you had better know your form!

Michelle Easton
October 26, 2000

After reading Michelle's review of this video I thought I would give it a try. It's a steal for 14.55 (w/shipping) at totale.com. Amazon carries it too for a few bucks more. I won't go into a detailed review since she has already done that but I will give my opinion which I know you'all are just waiting for!

Michelle is definately correct in that this is an advanced level workout. You have to have experience in kickboxing to try this video. I have been kickboxing since 1996 so this is a perfect tape for me. I remember when I started one of the only tapes was Stephanie Steeles Knockout tape. The format of this video reminds me of her video in that it tells you what moves you will be doing next as Dewey shows you. Then you do them on each side for a specific number of reps.

I like this tape because there are kicks in each section. I love roundhouse kicks and almost all of the sections include them. I have only done this tape once and I did have to modify a little. I concentrated more on the kicks and fumbled some with the punches. The more I do this tape the easier it will get. As far as the format goes, I really like it. I prefer CIA tapes, I thought Kathy Smiths was okay and I don't like Tae-bo. I think it is because Dewey is teaching solo, I prefer tapes with solo instructors. I also really LOVE the fact that he doesn't instruct or even say a word during the workout. I turn up the surround sound and blast the music. I didn't even check the clock to see how much longer I have to go. The only other tape I haven't done that with is my new Latin Groove from CIA. This tape will definately go in my heavy rotation, probably more than any other!! If you are looking for a tough straightfoward kickboxing workout you have to have this one!!

Tara W.
taralynn36@hotmail.com

First off, I loved this video! Just straightforward kickboxing, no breaking down combos, no long explanations.

Michelle gave a great breakdown of this video, so I'll just add my impressions of it. I got the video (brand-new) for $6 including shipping from half.com, and it was absolutely worth it! I love that it has kicks throughout, and that Dewey doesn't keep stopping to explain the next move. Instead, between each combo he goes to a split screen shot that shows the next move and how many reps you'll do. You can practice the combo with him, then start in on it right away. This video got my heartrate up right away and kept it there, unlike other kickboxing videos that aren't intense enough.

However, this video IS only about 30 minutes long, so it's maybe a good add-on video for a day when you also want to do weights or yoga or something else (I did Angles, Lines, Curves afterwards, what a contrast!) I would even suggest doing another video's warm up and maybe weights, then Dawei, then the other video's cool down.

You definitely have to be an experienced kickboxer to do Dawei, because NONE of the punches or kicks are ever explained. The music is sometimes Mortal Kombat-y, sometimes techno-y. Dewey doesn't always go with the beat, with bothers my rhythmic sensibilities a bit, but doesn't detract from the workout.

Again, I love the pure kickboxing in this video, I'll be using it for a while. It's going to take me a long time to be able to do those hopping roundhouse kicks! Don't be scared off by the lack of cuing or background exercisers, if you want a truly challenging kickboxing video, this is it!

Instructor comments: I can't really comment on the instructor, other than to say that he looks very professional and has good form.

Pratima Sampat
pratimaj@aol.com
3/12/02



Video Fitness copyright © 1996 - 2009 Wendy Niemi Kremer    All rights reserved