Shooting and the idea of center mass…

Shooting and the idea of center mass…


Over the weekend we hosted our first Weapons Mastery Series class in Atlanta…a success, our FFA instructor Aaron Cowan taught an amazing 8 hours of Handgun Fundamentals.  400 rounds and blisters later, we left exhausted and challenged.  Video’s coming soon 🙂

I have often spoke of why we have divisions within Pramek for instruction, and it was never clearer than in this seminar when Aaron stated, ‘Often times your taught to shoot center mass, but in the reality of biomechanics and equilibrium, center mass is exactly where you wouldn’t shoot.’  Aaron then went on to talk about the targets on the body and how to acquire these targets and shoot for these targets.  Semantics, perhaps, but in a seminar on the science, psychology, and biomechanics of combative shooting, it is this kind of instruction – explaining to the participants what center mass is in terms of science, and then diving into the physiology of what gun shot wounds are is the difference between a regular class or video, and one that is grounded in science.

We call our firearms division FFA, or Force Focused Applications.  Firearms take a different level of focus, because they are a different level of force.  I have often said, ‘If you can’t find it in a book, don’t call it science.’  When someone says something is science, many times people begin to take them at their word and say, ‘Well, he said it’s science.’  But, the majority of the time what is termed science is actually dogma being presented as science.

I ask you…is this wrong?  There is experience and there is science.  Science, or theory, should help to educate the student and provide a platform for further discovery.  In the Holland Seminars  videos, the first day is the study of equilibrium.  Equilibrium is a state…balance is not.  Within this class, I present the science behind equilibrium and show that balance is actually a movement the body makes to maintain equilibrium.  This may seem trivial, but when a student leaves the class and gets a book to continue their understanding of theory, the improper use of the words can cause them to not understand the theory.

The other problem with the use of a term like balance to describe equilibrium is it actually removes an attack the student has when someone is moving.  A student can actually attack balance because the body is making a balancing movement to preserve equilibrium.  But, if we do not differentiate between the two – the student is left without weapons they need in the fight to survive.

Experience is what most people teach, even when it is called science.

Science is a load bearing area, center mass, line of gravity, compensating movements, balancing movements, planes of the human movement.

Experience is points of balance, breaking structure, push hands, sweeps and trips, etc.

The body will do certain actions when equilibrium is removed…this is guided by the science, which is why we teach it.

Experience is a means of trying to get to the removal of equilibrium…but it is not science.

For a better understanding of the science of equilibrium, pick up our Equilibrium manual

I write this to encourage you to look at the difference between the two, and teach accordingly.  It is as simple as saying, ‘The science of equilibrium is ______.  In my experience, you can use _____ to remove equilibrium.’  Then, let the student have the freedom, through Efficient Perceptual Learning develop their own means of doing it.

This will not only make your understanding better, but make you a better teacher.  And your student may surprise you with what they create…

New videos and a contest coming soon!




  • Dave

    Hi Matt,
    I had originally typed the following message in your contact form but it seems to be broken.

    I have really been enjoying reading through your blog and checking out your youtube videos.
    Regarding your manuals, what file type are they?
    Have you ever done seminars in Canada?
    Either way I’m going to spread the word.
    Thanks and keep up the good work!
    Dave Taylor

    November 15, 2012 at 00:24
      • Dave

        Thanks Matt,
        I’m glad to hear that you do seminars in Canada.
        I hope to make it to the next one.
        Will have to order some of your stuff to hold me over until then.
        Will spread the word.

        November 15, 2012 at 02:02

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