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!
1. Science: Science doesn’t have to be boring. I often use the CLM analogy of a car – when your car breaks, you see it breaks and don’t know why. When you take it to a mechanic, he looks at all of the systems to discover why it isn’t working. We do the same with science. In the video we break down scenarios using a ‘training freeze’ so we can point out some of the science happening so you can see where it makes a difference. Studying combatives with a scientific mindset allows you to test your hypothesis, take multiple training partners, and see what works. You can break down the physics, mechanics, biomechanics, neurology, strategy, etc., and see where things are working and where they aren’t…and tailor your fight style to you based on you…your body, your experiences, your natural gifts.
2. Movement: Movement is the key to surviving. Efficient movement is effective movement. When your efficient your body parts are positioned to where they need to be to accomplish your task. Efficient movement doesn’t give an opportunity to be grabbed or manipulated – it performs the task your mind wants it to perform. Too often people just move to do their technique – forgetting the loading and unloading, the timing between the two or other topics. In the video above you can see that movement training makes a difference between the aggressor stopping from your force and them fighting back – the body is positioned for a good based, the hips are ‘seated’ allowing for the legs and quads to drive pressure, the upper body at a slight angle to drive weight off of the balls of the feet, the arm is structured to drive a bone vector so there are no weaknesses between the shoulder and the hand. These things make a difference. We have all the time in the world in training to focus on movement – and should.
3. Application: The video is filled with applications. But, applications are science combined with movement to give a result of what we are doing. To harm and to heal. But, an application must fit the user. A woman, like our student in the video who is my demo partner and also fights me while I am suited up, has different methods than I use due to height, weight, skill level. There is no combative cookie cutter beyond our basic strikes, kicks (which you see why they are effective in the video), grappling, etc. Beyond these basics, one must choose what the science tells them work, their movement allows, and then create their own application. Application is the definition of what Larsen has done – combining combatives and bjj. What is more real than rolling to defend against weapons?
We adapt. Could I tell you about students, both MIL and LE who have saved their lives using Pramek? Yes – but that doesn’t show you what it looks like and if it works for you. Could I regale you with stories of my fights on assignments? Yes, but that doesn’t help you survive the worst case scenario. In the end, RBSD is about being able to survive, and you should strive to prove what you do works – and if it doesn’t, be able to adapt your fighting style or training methods to what you find does. This can only be done through good training and good protective gear.
What does Pramek look like in a fight? It looks like it is trained…as does any martial art when used.
If we train the science skewed – it shows. If we train sloppy movement, it shows in how ineffective the user is in a fight. When we train smart, and use training gear and fitness to train hard, we rise to the occasion.
What does all this mean for you?
1. Get good protective gear. Before you buy heavy bags or more gloves, or some weights, invest in something like Spartan Training Gear. It will change the way you teach and train. Your students will get more out of the experience.
2. Make your purpose 75% of your training. If you are sport, it needs to be 75% of your training time with students. If you are teaching combatives, it needs to be 75% of the training time with your students. Study it – break it down, buy our videos, buy other people’s videos, look at the science, use the gear to break down what you are seeing on video and see if it works for you. There are a lot of people teaching stuff that doesn’t work when you suit up – trust me, I know. Combine your gear with your training time and dive into a good study.
3. Don’t be too proud as a student to ask the teacher or instructor the hard questions, and as a teacher to ask yourself the hard questions like we talk about in CLM 3.
4. Take off the training gear and use a sport concept to test. Rolling, boxing, purposeful training exercises, hard training without the gear. These are the things that remove the artificiality of the training gear. Students have to feel discomfort outside of the equipment – so make sure you remember this.
Training is about learning – when you look at your class time as a student or teacher (or instructor) as a learning period, and are prepared to break down what you are teaching with science, movement, and application, you ensure student success.