You know, that would be an interesting idea. There would need to be a way to word the question in a way that gets the point across, doesn't sound like an attack on his reputation/honor/etc. and maybe bring to light some things he is not aware of. I will have to keep my eye on Sherdog. I'm sure as the Franca/Sherk fight comes up, he will be on there.
Originally Posted by sambosteve
Yeah, you seem to be right, no legal action. But at the very least, we will have to spread the word through the schools we attend/teach/train at hopefully, keep this thread and others that are related to PMA schools or teachers going. Perhaps we can get your friend to write up an article about his experience with PMA.
I referred him to the thread to check out. I think he will comment. He had no problem with my telling his story either. He was in the Florida PMA school.
Yes, with that fight coming up, I am sure Franca will be on Sherdog soon. I am sure a well intentioned respectful question would be easy to craft. It may he hard to get through on a call though...we should get a bunch of people with the same question willing to call at the same time...increase our chances of getting a call through.
Originally Posted by sambosteve
Once again, I see why you come so highly recommended by Omega.
Any ideas on a good questions, some early drafts:
"About your relationship with PMA; from some of the programs they are creating around MMA such as "weekend certification", so you feel these things will give people a false sense of the amount of work that is required to not only successfully fight MMA but to teach MMA?"
Last edited by datdamnmachine; 3/28/2007 3:55pm at .
Sounds good. I would ask something like:
"I am interested in you/your gym's relationship with Premier Martial Arts as well as what goes into the MMA Certification you offer to Premier Instructors. What does such a Certification offer the PMA instructors who take your course? How do you feel that offering such Certifications will help the sport progress?"
Lots of questions in regards to The Armory and Hermes Franca's relationship with PMA. Happy to answer any questions you have. I am owner/partner with Franca at The Armory.
Its our belief that PMA/UP related schools have a great network of existing school and the ability to distribute a competent MMA curriculum in the quickest fashion.
We have finished shooting an MMA-centric video series recently. Including Franca and some other MMA fighters from the Armory Fight Team. It will be distributed to PMA school owners and be used as a template for instructors to teach from.
In regards to a "weekend certification for MMA", perhaps a misnomer. It was an intro of the MMA program to some of the PMA owners who wanted to get started in learning MMA and eventually BJJ. If you train in MMA, you know you cant pick it up over a weekend , a month or even a year for that matter. An intro course into some of the aspects of MMA was the focus of that weekend.
It is the hope and intention of The Armory and the PMA organization to instruct only credible MMA curriculum. No bullshit. We have to start somewhere.
Again,I would be happy to answer any questions you may have in regards to the relationship with The Armory, Hermes Franca, Kurt Pellegrino and PMA
Last edited by armory; 4/12/2007 8:05am at .
Thanks for responding Joe! Very much appreciated.
What are your thoughts about the various criticisms of PMA, standardization, commercialization, McDojo status, etc.
Can you see where these criticisms come from and why people would be suspect?
Do you truly feel that through your program you will be able to bring PMA clubs up to speed (over time of course) with regards to teaching "MMA"...or at least an Armory aproach to MMA? What will be required of PMA instructors over time to become MMA instructors? How long will they need to train (and in what capacity) before they get the Armory/PMA seal of approval to teach MMA?
I personally know several PMA instructors who are in no way qualified to teach MMA, and other who are. With PMA, instruction seems to be a very hit or miss type of situation. How will the Armony/PMA monitor and set a standard for MMA training?
Is the intent of PMA to offer a MMA for non-fighters/recreational training type of program? Or, is it to eventually begin putting fighters out there in the ring/cage (outside the Armory members of course)? Or both? How will the purpose of the curriculum be described to potential students?
I appreciate your time and openness.
I'm curious as to the goals of both organizations. I believe that The Armory's goal may be to provide quality training and instruction to PMA instructors so they can in turn teach a solid MMA curriculum. Unfortunately, I don't honestly believe that is PMA's intention.
From the looks of things, they want someone with credibility that they can associate with, have this person provide training and "certification" in MMA for their instructors, get as many of their instructors certified and have them teach MMA. If the credibility of these certifications/instructors is ever called into question, PMA can always say "Hey, it's taught by Hermes Franca, top UFC lightweight (contender/champion/former champion/etc)".
Again, this is all my opinion on the matter but I'm sure one many people share. I think that PMA is trying their damnest to attach itself to the MMA boom and grab a piece of the "action" so to speak. It happened with Ninjas, it happened with Kung Fu, it happened with Karate, it's trying it's best to happen with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (but the BJJ community has been pretty anal about frauds, also, the Judo community doesn't seem to take too kindly to it either), and now it's MMA's turn.
The one think that makes the combat sports so difficult to play pretend at and not be noticed has to do with the fact that they are "Combat Sports". The key being participation in said sporting events. I'm not going to make a fuss about someone black belt in Judo/BJJ if they are winning the black belt division in their respective fields. I'm not going to claim that such and such doesn't know his boxing if he has a solid record against quality competition. I'm not going to rag on a NCAA division 1 wrestler ranked #1 in America. The reason is they have proved their skills. The reason I say this is that unless these MMA certified PMA instructors or either 1) competing (and with success), 2) training competitors (with success), 3) adding to their training with something other then annual seminars; then expect some problems down the road. Don't get me wrong, nothing wrong with siminars, I do them myself, but I also train full time.
I hope you don't take this post the wrong way Armory, I'm just telling you how I see the situation so far and would hope you take these and other reservations to heart.
Good questions and insight into the MMA world. I also appreciate the manner in which the questions are asked. I hope to have dialogue an this site that is challenging and respectful. PMA did not just buy "billboard space" on some pro fighters. We had long discussions from both sides of the table in regards to whether this is a good relationship for both teams.
In regards to PMA "McDojo" approach, I can only comment at this point in time as to what their goals are in terms of the MMA program. PMA and its leaders have been very open with us and given us a wide open canvas in to which we can develop the MMA program within their organization. They have not required us to fit it into any format, they have allowed The Armory to determine exclusively what the content will be. So from that perspective, I have a high level of confidence that integrity in the product and content as it comes from our team is as good as its going to get.
The curriculum will cover standup, striking, clinch, throws, takedowns and then the ground game. All of this is directly out of our fight teams MMA (UFC/WEC/AFC, etc) cage tested fight tactics and strategies. We have laid down the beginner and intermediate curriculum on DVD and we understand its being put thru final edit and we look forward to having that product out.
Its also important to understand what "MMA Training" means to different audiences. We all know people who say they "cage fight" or do "UFC style" training and their so and so friend is a UFC fighter, blah, blah, blah.......those people come out of the woodwork in all organizations or schools. Not just from PMA schools. So I know we are undertaking a huge role here in trying to bring MMA style training to the masses, lets define the audiences that we intend on distributing it to and how we plan on doing it.
Recreational Student - this is the person who is tired of maybe going to Golds Gym and slinging weights around and looking for some kind of cross training and functional skills. Or they have trained in some other martial art (karate, kenpo, aikido, etc) and would like to try a light contact MMA curriculum. Contact also takes place in the beginning on the ground with grappling and also some light glove/mitt work. They may aspire to do some serious grappling within the school setting, but have no dreams of being a pro fighter, getting punched in the face and may not even want a rank of any sort in formal BJJ. This person probably doesnt want to get their face punched, cant go to work with black eyes, etc...but likes the idea of training with grappling, submissions, standup and really good cardio/strength workout. People will learn the basics of standup, clinch, simple takedowns, controlling positions and some very simple submissions.
Competitive Student - this is the person that may have started as a recreational student and got "hooked", they may get more seriously into grappling competitively in NAGA, Grapplers Quest, etc...and do tournaments and take the "ground game" focus of MMA and pursue it. This person may likely also explore competing in smaller MMA events or interschool events. Students here will learn advanced techniques and strategies
Professional - this is the person that likely has been involved in some sort of combat sport previously (wrestling, etc) or currently is training in a school and wants to pursue MMA as a professional. They want to train in all aspects of the sport, standup, striking, ground. The dont mind banging with headgear, mouthpiece, shinpads and gloves. They are at a minimum a blue to purple belt in skill level in BJJ gi or nogi submission. Lets be serious, there is a very low percentage of people that really want to do this. All tough guys aside :)
The level of training you can receive is obviously dependent on the school/instructor you have access to. The Armory Fight Team (Mullings,Franca,Pellegrino,Jimmo, Chaves, Guedes) intend on closely monitoring to the best of our ability what is taught and how it is taught.
Additional programs planned:
- Regional tryouts for the fight team, intend on home growing fighters. We also have management company that can get fights regionally for early stage pro fighters.
- Regional Grappling tournaments for National finals within schools, tied in seminars and training
- Identify schools (and there are a few), that can be satellite training centers
We dont have all the answers, but we are trying to develop a program that educates the average Joe, the better schooled they are, the more traction the sport gets. Thereby giving it a better chance to thrive. We will not be giving away "rank" so to speak, yet there does need to be a method to test students/instructors in order to determine competency. The terminology used by PMA in terms of "certification" will not likely be continued, as it seems to imply competency to teach and this is just not fair. However, there needs to be a path that owners/instructors can continue their personal development and be able to at a minimum teach the basics when partnered up with the instructional DVD's.
PMA is a solid organization that helps owners.run their schools so they can be profitable. The more profit they make , the more likely they are to be able to afford, ranked BJJ instructors to come in and teach their students. The more profitable they are, the more likely they will be able to develop their own MMA teaching staff from the experienced population that exists out there.
I dont get the feeling that PMA is trying to "mcdojo" MMA. I do know though, that they have stepped up and are committed to bringing MMA training to its members. Whether it starts out in a recreational student base in one school or pro level in another. They are providing the tools, training, instructors and processes. It will b up to the integrity of the school owner and his/her resources to put a program that is fair for the consumer in place
Thanks for your thoughtful answer. I understand what you are saying.
Having had some of the access to PMA that I have (and heard about many more stories), it is tough for me to believe that PMA will be as openminded as you suggest. I hope they will but, like you said, PMA is about running successful schools. I don't think quality instruction is the first priority. The problem comes when instructors are not able to live up to the image that the marketing gives them.
Knowing that Armory and PMA are cooporating, and have common stated goals, at what point would you decide that PMA is not enacting your MMA training plan the way you intended (if it were to come to that). In other words, where do you draw the line on quality. Down the road for example, if PMA does appear to be McDojo'ing MMA or misrepresenting "MMA style training" for recreational persons as something it is not, at would point would The Armory stand up and say "this is not cool".
An addition to what Sambosteve has said is this:
What influence does PMA's sponsorship of Armory fighters have on the creation of this program?
If it comes to pass that it seems that PMA is not implimenting the MMA program to the standards of the Armory, what effect would it have on PMA's sponsorship or your fighters?
Another direction could be; would you feel presured not to speak up and say anything about possible quality control issues for fear of losing the sponsorship amd the financial assistance that comes with it?
This one may seem wierd, but just think of all the fighters who, after a fight, have a Xyience shoved in their hands. Hell, even this past UFC Fight Night, Kenny Florian was called on the fact that he was sipping from an unopend can of Xyience. This was because he had to do it for his sponsorship but due to NSAC regulations, he wasn't allowed to open the can and actually drink from it: