The knockout game….As we discuss in the CLM manuals, we train in martial art for a purpose: to defend our lives and the lives of others.
Not belts. Not being a tough guy. Not cool weapon tricks. No 80 different submissions.
To defend ourselves and the lives of others.
We can only master ourselves when we no longer fear physical domination by another.
But, has the martial art industry been victim of it’s own knock out game: the game of what sells?
Pramek spans beyond martial art, combative, and movement training and explores our science through a variety of means.
Over the weekend, while filming a new video series, we took the Simunitions FX equipment into Matt’s basement for a force on force study of on-cover and off-cover techniques.
The relationship between Pramek and Sage Dynamics is well known in a variety of circles. Aaron Cowan, the lead instructor for Sage Dynamics, is Pramek’s FFA Instructor, and Matt Powell actively trains under Aaron for firearms. Unlike many partnerships in the industry, Aaron and Matt actually work in the same law enforcement department and patrol together, as well as training and developing programs together.
Matt is in the room waiting, and Aaron is doing the cover demonstration. As you can see, this kind of training is invaluable in civilian CCW and home defense training…and as Matt found out, once again, painful
Simunitions is not readily available to the public. Pramek offers simunitions courses through Sage Dynamics. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information to bring a course to your school.
Thank you to ESIK for this amazing striking video from a Pramek seminar!
A great video!
Make sure to check out the information on the first Master’s class: Levers in Salinas, CA next month at http://pramek.com/pramek-master-class-levers/
We are proud to announce December 14th, 2013 Matt Powell will be teaching the first Pramek Master Class on Levers at Wolf Fitness Systems in Salinas, CA.
A Pramek Master class is an intricate study of the fundamentals of Pramek with students who have attended multiple seminars and developed a foundation of understanding of Pramek, how it is taught, and how it is used. We invite any student to attend this class, as it will be an eye opener as Matt takes the group through the theory of levers and combatives to stand up and ground fighting lever uses, and many topics in between.
A friend of mine recently began studying a great martial art, and he wanted to show me some of the techniques he had been training on. We had been checking out Combative Striking and he had to show me his new style.
After working out for a while (and being someone else’s tackling dummy) he was quite proud of his new found hobby. We sat on the floor of his basement and I asked him…
‘Have you shown your wife? Can she do this?’
He looked at me, confounded, and said, ‘Why would I show her? She’s got me, the dog, a handgun, rifle.’
I asked had he shown it to his sister, his mom, his 10 year old daughter.
Eventually he ran out of weapons, bodyguards, extreme scenarios that I am pretty sure turned his dad into Delta Force, and he said, ‘You know, I don’t even know if _wife’s name_ could do this against a robber.’
A great article from Pramek Instructor Level 1, Dennis Zijlstra, of Holland:
‘We train. We make jokes, and laugh.
We giggle while we punch, or get punched.We sweat. We train… and are having fun…each week again. The best part is that we are learning. By trail and error. By falling and getting up again. But most important: we evolve, as students of Pramek and as human beings, because we learn as a group and as individuals.
Martial Arts is more than going to class each week, doing mindless drills, copying what others do or say, or only to say that you do Martial arts. Martial Arts is about learning.
There are two types of people: those who react and those who take action.
Both are a choice.
If we make the right choice, than each that we walk on this earth we can learn a little more about ourselves and the world around us. It’s a choice that lots of people don’t make. Rather they respond on what others say or do instead of taking action to evolve as human beings, be it in what you love to do the most, or simply to become a better person.
We take action. Not perfect action. Hell no. As I said, we learn by trail and error. But we prevail. Why? Because we are having fun, willing to learn, and we can rely on… science.
Pramek is science, and science is our toolbox.
A hammer, a screw, a wedge, a manual about equilibrium.
It’s all there to play with, as students, engineers, and often as grown up kids just having fun with the cool toys that science provides us with.
Science is fun. Be a Martial Arts inspired nerd, go download an instructional video or jump on YouTube and watch Pramek for free. Call a friend, start training, email Matt – that’s how it all started for me – and start a class of your own. Science is your toolbox, but you are the one that needs to take the tools out of the toolbox and make it work.
Reaction or action.
Both are a choice!
I have been to a lot of seminars.
Over the past 15 years I have seen demonstration, gone to more demonstrations, learned at more seminars, and taught at more seminars than I can count. Seriously – I can’t keep track.
I have always been a big fan of music, and my sister is a musician who has done over 400 shows live throughout the US…and the energy she has on stage in one show equals every seminar and demonstration I have ever seen.
Be it a master or a simple instructor – you have to have passion.
Martial art is an art…it’s no different than painting, spoken word, or music.
It’s an art – and we have to bring back the passion to that art, one by one.
When I look at my sister’s abilities as a musician I am astounded, but when I look at her touring, from my time on the road doing close protection for celebrities, there is a passion that few have for what they do that is seen in a traveling musician. I have seen her take every precaution, and still have a sore throat and still perform. I’ve seen the biggest rapper in the world fall prey to a strained back, but still he performed.
The passion we see in those who are often ridiculed in the celebrity culture is one that is very tough to grasp. They do it because they love it, at a schedule most can’t imagine – as we should in what we do and what we teach.
I recently told a rapper who has more success at my age than I can imagine, ‘I don’t care if I teach to 1 person or 25, I am just blessed to be there.’ For someone who makes $150,000 to walk on stage, he said the same thing. ’1 fan or 50,000, it’s a blessing they pay me to do this.’
You’re wonder, ‘Matt, what does all this mean?’
When you look around at your teachers and what you see, ask yourself, ‘where is the passion centered?’ Is it a love for me and my learning as a student, or is it a love for what I offer them in terms of payment. What are you learning…and could you learn it without them?
Where is your passion centered?
I leave you with this. When I worked close protection, for a variety of celebrities, I followed their schedule. It mainly consisted of 3 hours of sleep a night as the client woke up at 7am, went to a radio show at 9am, then a signing, then to another radio show, to an event, to the venue and preparation, sound check, performance, after party, and wind down at the hotel…to just be up and do it again in 3 hours. There was a passion that was addictive in the artist that everyone around them took on in their own way.
When you teach – be that passion that your students take on. Your passion for learning, for teaching, for studying, or thought, for conversation.
Have a passion for instruction and your students will take it on as well.
Recently I read a post by an MMA instructor stating, ‘Why are people making things more difficult than they are? Punch someone in the face…a punch is a punch, a face is a face. It’s not all this biomechanics and thought. Don’t overcomplicate what you are doing.’
I chuckled, wondering how many times this instructor had competed and watched a fight tape of an opponent…or perhaps trained for a specific hold because he saw a weakness in an upcoming opponent.
We aren’t overcomplicating anything – we are looking for one thing: a head start. A short cut. Or, as some people say these days, a ‘hack.’
The above diagram is from our manual in combatives learning, CLM1: Efficient Perceptual Learning (which is undergoing an revision currently!) Available here: http://pramek.com/p-shop/product/clm-manual-1-efficient-perceptual-learning/
I often speak of combat being a machine, like a car. When your car breaks, you take it to a mechanic. The mechanic doesn’t look at the car, he looks at the systems within the car to find what to fix.
Looking at the diagram, we see the break down in how Pramek approaches combat – with a goal in mind. Not mindless swinging, not punch and a face – but a goal. We take the goal, develop a strategy to reach it, and then employ methods and tactics to achieve our goal. The idea being that if you know what you goal is, you can work toward that goal, position and control the fight to get there – while your opponent adapts to you.
In the martial arts, we talk alot about two subjects…science and short cuts. Tighten up the circles, a quicker way to execute a throw,
The science and understanding of equilibrium is one of the fastest short-cuts to achieve results that we have at our disposal. First, let’s look at the physiology of equilibrium.
Human equilibrium is a delicate balance of three systems…the visual (eyes), vestibular (inner ear), and skeletal (our bones and joints). The nervous system coordinates these three systems to keep the body standing, in a state of equilibrium. The eyes are view the world around us and help us focus on the environment as our body changes positions within it. The vestibular system is the inner ear, our vestibular organs, and they detect forces acting on our body, like gravity. And the skeletal system holds the body upright and governs our movements.
The easiest way to view this: A person who is blind can stand and walk, but a person with vertigo can not. A person with no legs or an injured leg can not stand, as the skeletal system has no means of creating friction with the ground to remain standing.
Congratulations to the first ever Level 1 Pramek instructors.
These new instructors are a great representation of what we do, and although they might not always get it perfect, they get it. They get Pramek.
Combatives, movement, science, being a teacher and not a demonstrator, innovation, honesty.
After training with myself, leading strong training groups, constantly working hard to further the education of their students and others, helping to develop Pramek further in their writings and research, and most importantly…working hard every day to be a good teacher of all of their trades, including Pramek, Pramek has elected to promote these students to Instructor Level 1.
They represent the US, the UK, Israel, and Holland, making us finally an international company in instruction. If you would like to train with them, check out ‘Start Training Now’ on the HOME page and fill it out. They will contact you to get you going.
We will post our instructor level requirements for all of our students nationally so they can see how to work toward instructorship in Pramek.
Congratulations, this is a true milestone. If someone had told me years ago we’d be creating instructors, I would have chuckled. I never imagined Pramek growing at this level, and having such great people willing to take the mantle and teach our programs in their schools and groups.
Here are some images from our recent seminar in Salinas, CA!
Learn more about combative striking with our discounted 4 hours for $50 at: http://pramek.com/p-shop/product/combative-striking-series-four-hours-of-instruction/
We studied the physics of striking, combatives, clinch, the psychology of violence, as well as MMA combat applications. It was a great combative striking seminar and we can’t wait to get back to Wolf Fitness Systems!
Here’s some video as well!
I just finished a brutal move from one house to another. Most of the time I moved by myself because I didn’t want to wait on friends to get there…I’m a loner like that, and because it’s a good workout. It’s a good workout when you’re 21, and but at 35…well, I felt it. The primary reason for my move was to have a larger house where I can dedicate more time to Pramek, and enlarge what Pramek is. More daring projects, more videos, more content, more collaborations. Thinking about this, after moving so much stuff, I laid down on the floor to relax and winced, but relaxed.
But, not a usual type of relaxing…a purposeful relaxing.
In one of Constantin Stanislavski’s books he writes of relaxation. He writes of it in not the usual terms, but in terms of a cat.
‘It seems that if you lay an infant, or a cat, on some sand, to rest or to sleep, and then carefully lift him up – you will find the imprint of his whole body on a soft surface.’
I won’t go into the rest, but you get the idea.
Relaxation is not something that happens – it is something that is deliberate and that we do.
I am currently working on a new video series on a topic that involves relaxation because I find it to be such a curious topic amongst the fitness and martial art world. The teacher says ‘relax’ and then everyone relaxes the way the teacher relaxes. We are far to addicted to the need to be appreciated by others, from ‘likes’ to ‘you look just like ____’. Many times we do everything that we can, such as buying unneeded products like rock tape, to appear to be like a teacher. The reality of the situation is that every body is different, every experience leading that body to it’s current state of tension is different – and until we recognize our own individuality in something as simple as relaxation, we can not know who we actually are.
As I look around the social media I see a lot of toughness, a lot of hardness. Strong bodies, inspirational quotes that motivate others to be tough, people lifting massive amounts of weights – and very few people who could lay on sand like an infant or a cat. Physically and mentally free of the world.
Lesson one: When you lay down on the couch today, or in the bed tonight, try to relax like a cat or an infant. Let your body fill the space you are laying upon. You will find quite quickly that it is very, very difficult. Suddenly the teacher disappears – suddenly the competition of looking better than the person next to you disappears.
You are left alone with your inability to truly relax.
It’s not about your mind, or your body – it’s about you, and your tension is the best teacher you can have.
And if this post helped you – share it. Email it, post it to FB. We aren’t as much addicted to being liked here at Pramek as we are wanting to be known for our work
Before you grab, you have to select a goal. In this video, Matt Powell teaches and demonstrates the primary answer in how to select a goal when grabbing: why are you grabbing?
Which are you?
An instructor or demonstrator?
Or are you a teacher?
In this video, Matt Powell discusses the difference between an instructor and a demonstrator.
The difference between the two is the difference between a student who learns, and a student who excels
The word is out – congrats to Matt Powell for making it into Blackbelt Magazine!
In this video, Sage Dynamic’s Aaron Cowan and Pramek’s own, Matt Powell, evaluate a three-dimensional drill created by Andrew Nechetsky.
Or copy and paste: http://youtu.be/kVeDEBcBvE0
This drill focuses on the possible realities of a three-dimensional confrontation in which threats present from more than one direction. This drill is further complicated by the presence of an innocent bystander/hostage.
Do not attempt this drill if you do not have access to a range that allows free movement and shooting in more than one direction. If you don’t have access to such a range, find one.