From the archives

Did you know we are doing an archive dump on Facebook, multiple videos coming out! Including this one - why do we teach the way we do? As we prepare for the new phase of Pramek, we are releasing some of the Pramek archives, some funny, some...

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Science. A head start.


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.’Conceputalized View Final

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:

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.

Combatives: The 90/90 Rule

Tonight, while working on CLM 4 I began talking (yes, talking, I use Dragon Dictation) about the 90/90 rule.

Then I realized – I never actually talk about the 90/90 rule and what it is outside of the podcast.

You will notice at a certain point in Pramek, about 2 years ago, what we were teaching began to change.  It was a rapid shift as I discovered something using the CLM.  In the DPT we talk about testing learned martial art skill.  Over time, running hundreds of DPT based classes, I noticed that what I talked about in the DPT, the concept of does it work on people a majority of the time against a majority of attack types…I began to develop an internal rule.

If it didn’t work 90% of the time on 90% of the people, I simply wasn’t teaching it anymore out of the gate.  If someone is learning to defend themselves, why rely on neurological methods from the 14th century (if x, do y, rinse, repeat)?  If someone is learning to defend themselves, why teach them a jab when we know in physiology that a cupped hand or vargus nerve strike does the most effective damage.

In our Cleveland videos (which we are releasing soon but you can see a snippet here) you can see where this was in full effect, as students were using a variety of methods to defend, but the further they went into the DPT phases – the more they all used the same things.   This occurred Day 2. They couldn’t help it – not because the scenarios presented no choice, but their stress and fatigue gave them no option bu efficiency.  This is convergent evolution at it’s finest – that given enough time, convergent evolution is the independent evolution of similar features in species of different lineages (read more here).  Even though students are different weights, heights, different skill levels and experiences – by understanding biomechanics, mechanics, physics, psychology, neurology, strategy – different students develop similar methods.  When you use science, and you’re taught it correctly, you can’t help but end up at the same place.  People who understand HEq will stop trying techniques and will move the Line of Gravity outside of the Load Bearing Area.  They begin to all look the same, and as the fatigue level increases, they look for this more and more.

They find it works when tired, so why not do it when not tired.  As I talked about long ago, science is the ultimate shortcut.  It is our unfair advantage. CLICK BELOW TO CONTINUE READING.

What is training….smart?

When we decided to make Defense Around Vehicles, it was to answer a question:  ‘What does Pramek look like in a fight?’

After 16 years, I can tell you: it looks like training smart.

It’s a conundrum that has affected reality based combatives for a long time.  Carl Cestari, an amazing teacher, used to be heckled for not having full out fights in his seminars.  He would say the methods are just to dangerous to train full out, so one must focus on technique.  The introduction of sport fighting has helped RBSD in the past decade, from Retuinskih’s work with ROSS and combining sambo, or working jiu jitsu into the Army’s combative’s program to give a fuller sense of training through sport fighting.  

But, it has also been protective equipment, such as Red Man, High Gear, and now the highest level of training gear, Spartan Training Gear that has begun to allow for the training of RBSD (sans a lot of eye strikes due to helmets) in full force training.

When people asked me, ‘What does Pramek look like in a fight, we started with Against The Wall, and moved to Defense Around Vehicles.  As we acquire more gear from Spartan, we will make more videos, including an upcoming pistol retention combatives course with Sage Dynamics and another close quarters video for Pramek.

Those who buy the video will see what it looks like, as we move beyond most big production/system videos who show technique, but do not suit up – I, and students, suit up, and fight.  But, what does Pramek look like in a real fight? READ ON!