The $300 challenge

Posted on Posted in Becoming the Alpha, Biomechanics, Fitness, Functional Fitness, Joint Mobility, On Combatives, Science, Tactical fitness, Tactical movement, The Gear, Training


Earlier on our Facebook, after some comments about our falling methods as compared to other traditional styles, I posted a challenge based on our video, ‘&’:

I said would pay someone $300 if they come to Atlanta and do traditional break falls and rolls, in shorts and t-shirt with no hat, in areas where I have on film – industrial areas, streets, hills, etc.  No cleaning, go into the environment – glass, rocks, rusty metal, wires, blind hills covered in high grass, whatever is there…they have to do traditional break falls and rolls – and I will do ours.   If they come out less damaged than I do, I will pay them $300 – but it all has to be filmed for the internet.

Am I saying their falls are wrong, do not work, etc?  No – I am saying our rolling and ground transition methods are built for the outdoor environment.

I think some people’s eyes got opened…now I hear the challenge is spreading on Facebook.

Someone messaged me earlier, asking me, ‘Matt, why do you make such a big deal of rolling and rolling in crazy sh*t? Now you are doing a monetary challenge?’

The reason I do this is because it reinforces Pramek’s mission statement that survival is about quality of life and the use of physical science to make a higher quality of life attainable.

Let me put it this way – as a child, you fell down, you skinned your knee or you got rocks in the palm of your hand. So, you developed a filter about falling, and became afraid of it. No one stopped you, taught you how to fall, made you ok with it. You were given a bandage and told ‘be more careful.’ As you got older, you went to PE class and learned gymnastics rolls and some falls, which work in gymnastics, but are not designed for areas without mats (look at the exposure of C1 – C7 in gymnastics falls and rolls, which when exposed can cause damage). Or you went to martial art class on a mat and someone taught you break falls on a mat slapping the mat and spreading out your body to spread out impact.

You are more likely to trip and fall on a hike or have to hit the ground quickly in combat than you are to ever use your awesome martial art throws in the real world. So, when you go outside and trip, you’ve spent your entire life on mats – you either freeze and fall, or your fall like you would fall on a mat.  You get hurt, damaged, you become more afraid of the ground so you go there less.

If you look at the design of the body and the mechanics involved in it’s movement, your body knew how to fall as a child before all of these filters got you to where you are today. What we are working on with our videos like ‘&’ and ‘The Gear’ is getting you back before all of those filters to move the way your body would have moved – to enjoy and make a practice out of going to the ground and being on the ground, not getting hurt.

This is quality of life as much as it is survival – you survive without injury, especially long term injury, and you increase your quality of life.

We teach a lot of things in Pramek, but the realization that old age and injury will be your enemy before a mugger is important…by learning proper body mechanics and movement, you not only increase your ability to defeat your enemy, but you also increase your ability to avoid injury.

When I’m 75, I’ll be rolling and on the ground, enjoying it – while the other people are playing checkers in the old folks homes going on and on about those ‘battle scars’ they have, where they use young bravado as an excuse for the aching, nagging pains in their body. Had someone just showed them at some point how to move – how different would their life be?

So some people laugh at our videos, but I bet you they looked at their child and said, ‘Let me show you something about falling this nutty guy on the internet is doing – you don’t want to end up hurt like your old man.’


This video demonstrates some examples of rolling and using the body to remove debris – and it is an excerpt of our video ‘&’ which can be purchased here:

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