CHAMPION Martial-arts master develops interactive kickboxing video

The video, developed by a local martial-arts instructor, uses a steady cam to create an effect of motion for the viewer.
CHAMPION -- Your standard workout videos -- whether they employ oldies music or high kicks and punches -- all have one thing in common: An instructor who leads you along your sweaty path.
Like the game Simon Says, you mirror the instructor -- he kicks, you kick. She does arm bends, you do arm bends.
But for those sick of following the leader, local martial-arts instructor Dave Durch offers a new kind of workout video.
This one, he says, has you do more than mimic the on-screen instructor. Instead, you spar with him. You not only gain a workout, but some valuable self-defense training as well.
"You're not learning self-defense with those other tapes," the Champion resident said. "You're just throwing punches and kicks in midair. You're getting a workout, but no defense training."
Different approach: With his videos, though, "you're learning something," Durch said. "I'm acting like a kickboxer, throwing punches and kicks at you, and you're responding, throwing kicks and punches back at me."
InterActive Workout Systems Inc. used a different type of camera -- a steady cam -- to film the videos.
Durch explained that the cameraman hooked the camera to a vest he was wearing, then moved along with him to create a moving effect, which in turn makes the viewer move.
"Without this effect, it's like any other workout tape," Durch said.
He has been working on this interactive idea for several years. He first made videos for his martial-arts students to study and critique.
He said the techniques taught on the tapes are the same that are being taught to Navy Seals.
"They're simple things, but they're effective," he said.
Simple motion: The video doesn't require people to throw high kicks, but uses simple movements like raised elbows and knees.
"The highest kick is to somebody's groin area," he said. "Just about anybody can do this workout. Young, old, skinny, heavy, whatever, you'll be able to do it."
He said that for years he had been working out, trying to keep in shape. He used to run, ride a bike and do "all kinds of activities." About eight years ago, he started working out using the style he teaches in his tapes. He no longer runs or bikes.
"I'm 47 years old, and I'm in better shape now than I have ever been in my life," Durch said.
Availability: InterActive Workout Systems just finished producing the four-volume set a few weeks ago. So far, only Creekside Fitness and Health Center in Boardman carries the tapes, which cost $59.95 for the set.
However, Durch said the company is working on launching the product nationally, and has already received calls from the Home Shopping Channel.

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