Introducing Primal Foundations
.We understand that the first day is the hardest. Just stepping into the gym and on the mats. Our foundations courses are designed to make this easier.
These programs will not make you a 'fighter'', rather they are an opportunity to get comfortable with concepts and principles, meet new training partners and get to know the gym and coaches.
Each of the foundations courses cycle over 6-weeks but it doesn't matter when you start. No week is harder than the other. Just different.
While you will learn the 'basics' in Foundations. Be prepared to work, these classes are high paced and lively. A great stepping stone to our more advanced programs and a will give you a feel for the training methods and environment at Primal.
A Taste Of Chaos! Foundations at Primal.
What to expect.
If you’ve followed Primal a while or know someone on our team. You might know that we don’t just enjoy chaos. We really embrace it.
Martial arts are, in their essence chaotic and complex. Mixed Martial Arts even more so. Our foundations program is designed to offer a glimpse and appreciation of this.
Chaos needn’t be dangerous or overwhelming, actually, it can be a highly engaging and fun.
A quick bit of unlearning.
When you step on the mats at Primal, we ask you, for 45 minutes to forget what you probably believe about learning a sport.
More so, we are asking you to largely forget about thinking for the most part and just letting your body move. Your wonderfully mind bogglingly sophisticated body.
Woo Woo? Well, actually, there is a robust and growing body of science that is changing the way we view and approach skill development. We talk and write about it a lot. But to get started here are a few key points.
Technique is overrated.
That's right. We said it! Follow any gym or fighter online and you’ll see all the pretty and perfect techniques. All the variations and interpretations and details big and small. Indeed there, are no shortages of coaches and fighters showing you what they know and how their little secrets and details will ‘change your game’. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these are scripted, offer no context or resistance and they ignore the most fundamental aspect of martial arts; that there is an opponent with their own agenda.
Yes, techniques are important, but they are hugely overrated and for the most part, completely unrealistic.
The real fundamentals of Striking.
Kickboxing is like a game of violent tag. Trying to tag without being tagged. When someone is trying to tag us, we have only two (defensive) options. We can move (avoid) or we can intercept (block/trap). That’s it. That’s your fundamentals of kickboxing. Let’s play.
The real fundamentals of grappling.
Grappling is enormously complex. But it’s largely jockeying for superior positions and isolating body parts. That’s it. That’s your fundamentals of grappling. Let’s play.
Clumsiness and stiffness are features of learning, not bugs.
There are over 200 bones, and 600 muscles in the human body. Add to that, tendons, contractions/relaxations and joint ranges and you can begin to appreciate how insanely complex movement is from a biomechanical perspective.
One solution our bodies have evolved to help with this incredible complexity is to freeze some of it’s parts to reduce movement possibilities. This facilitates learning while it adapts to the new movement problems it’s being presented with.
Over time, as the perceptual motor system adapts and learns, body parts will begin to free up and the movement will feel and look more fluid and smoother. Clumsiness and stiffness are not problems for us. They are in fact a reminder that the learner is challenged, and that learning is underway.
Regardless of your level of expertise, it’s worth remembering that if it looks and feels real pretty, you probably aren’t learning much.
Attack teaches defense and defense teaches attack.
One of the most violated principles in martial arts is decoupling of the perception-action loop. We move in relation to our opponent or partner. As they move, we move relative to them. We are never in the identical position twice. Never!
Therefore, our most important principle should be to learn to move with a partner who is simultaneously learning to move with us.
When we uncouple or train and practice without a live partner, we rob ourselves of all the valuable information we need to actually learn.
We do this of course because it’s easier and it looks and feels better, however training out of context is ‘information poor’ and impractical. Remember. We are trying to develop skills.
Scaling and simplifying practice.
In knowing the importance of keeping practice live and coupled. How do we then design practice activities that are appropriately challenging for the learner?
This is what Foundations is about.
In our striking practices we will limit the options available to the learners so that they have clear and simple task objectives. Learners however will still train and practice in an unscripted and messy fashion. However, instead of being overwhelmed with dozens of different possibilities that can appear in full kickboxing. The number of possibilities will be much more manageable.
Likewise, with our grappling practices, learners will be put in various positions with their training partners and have little goals and objectives to achieve.
Our foundations practices give our learners little problems to solve. As they progress, we make the problems more challenging.
But what about that technique?
And we return full circle. Where is the technique? Well in this very brief summary of our foundations program, we hope that we have you questioning how important ‘techniques’ are in the bigger picture.
But the good news it that they come along for the ride anyway.
When we understand that techniques are merely tools that help us solve our problems, then by solving the problems we set you, the techniques will begin to appear.
But most importantly, they will start to appear where and when you need them. They will be specific to you. They will indeed be skills (techniques performed in context).
Our job is to design practice and the problems that tease out techniques and skills organically. Your job is to solve the problems find solutions that work uniquely for you!
Learn how to learn, find your own style, and thrive at Primal MKE!