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.

Jugular notch striking

On our newsletter we are doing a month of discussion on targeting the body. So if you aren't a member of our newsletter, make sure you join!!! In so many martial arts, strikes and punching are trained at high levels. In combatives, strikes and punching are secondary to...

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A training abyss…


When you are no longer learning from a teacher, coach, or trainer, it is very tough.

I write this article from a personal standpoint – I’ve been there with a system, and a teacher. It becomes like a bad relationship as resentment grows. It is common to say in gambling someone stayed at the table too long, usually resulting in the gambler losing money, when they should have simply stepped away from the table. They become invested psychologically.

This very often happens with students of martial arts. They stay at the table too long. This is not to say they have nothing else to learn but at a certain point the investment becomes so expensive, or it becomes difficult to square with life and general ethics or morals, they begin to confuse the relationship with the teacher for their own well-being. It starts out slow, and grows, and soon the student is staring at the abyss in training, wondering, feeling guilty for looking at other systems and teachers.

The whispering inside the head grows louder.

And then the abyss stares back at them.

It’s a daunting task to leave or take time off, especially after years of training in a system. Here’s a few tips I have found to step back from that abyss and create more longevity in training in a system so that the day doesn’t come, or if it does, you recognize it and can work to prevent it…or prepare for the inevitable.

1) Never sign up for a new school for more than a few months. Contracts are a common thing because people have to put food on the table. But when you are starting off, start slowly and only go a couple times a week. After a few months, if you want to do more – do more, but never sign for more than a few months at a time if you can. This way you never stay because of money, you stay because of training.

2) Avoid a personal relationship with a new teacher for a while. Avoid excessively hanging out, getting beers with or doing dinners with your new teacher. Other students is one thing, but the more you are able to avoid personal entanglements the beginning the more you will be able to tell the difference between friendship and teaching relationship.

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.