Review of Pramek Clinic

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Thanks very much to D. Rusin for this indepth review of Matt Powell at The Underground Gym! We hope to see those guys again asap!

During a recent trip to NJ, Matt Powell visited our Russian Martial Art training group at the Underground Gym in Neptune, NJ. Matt led a session based on his Pramek system that we found to be very enjoyable and consistent with our own training.

We started the session with some ground engagement work. Matt explained some of the nuances of the approaches taken in Pramek that highlight protection of the head and joints. While the methods of ground engagement were already familiar to us, it was some of the specific details that we took away from the session to improve upon our work.

We then moved on to rolls and movement on the ground with a handgun. Matt emphasized the importance of protecting the weapon by keeping it close and tight until ready to fire in order to maintain better control. He explained that with arms extended the weapon is more easily accessed by an opponent, and decreases your available options for responding to threats.

From there we worked on deconstructing an opponent’s equilibrium, moving from joint to joint and effecting take-downs. This work involved manipulating the peripheral nervous system, the vestibular system and the ocular system. We ran through drills in various circumstances including attacks up against a wall and versus a knife-wielding opponent. This part of the session ended with an exploration of using the wall as a weapon, while utilizing the movements from solo biomechanical exercises to improvise evasions and counter-attacks.

The instruction included Matt providing illustrations on the marker board along with clear explanations of the mechanical principles involved in the work. Matt made the distinction, with which I whole-heartedly agree, that Pramek does not involve self-defense, but rather counter-attack. He demonstrated the power of the Pramek approach as being an integration of the simplicity and effectiveness of military combatives with the biomechanical efficiency of Russian Martial Art. It was an enlightening session, and we look forward to future opportunities to train with Matt and the Pramek material.

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