Okay let's squash this now: Premier Martial Arts
For those who want to know the whole story:
One "representitive" of premier suggested we call them directly so I did. I had a nice interesting conversation with Barry Van Over. He had a very interesting opinion of this website. He was gracious enough to listen to me despite me interupting his lunch with Hermes Franca.
It took me a few seconds to get him to talk to me as he was rightfully pissed off. Gave him some of my background and let him know I wasn't there to attack him just get the answers straight from the horses mouth.
(understand that I did not get a tape recorder and record this I'm simply going by my rough notes and what I could get down)
Me:What are you trying to do with this curriculum base?
BVO: We've got professional fighters helping design and train those schools that want to learn a good mma based martial art. We have Hermes Franca (and several other fighters who's names I didnt' get to jot down) doing clinics and teaching these instructors how to train their students correctly.
Me: But you use belts...
BVO: Only for the kids. Yes, we do a bit a kata for the kids but it's freestle. This is to keep the kids interested. These combos that we've come up with are kickboxing based. Adults aren't interested in that stuff they want good solid self-defense. We have kickboxing for fitness, yes, but not taebo or cardio kickboxing. Not everybody wants to spar, women in general want a good work out but we teach them how to actually hit and kick bags and targets.
Me: What about quality control? How do you make sure that this doesn't become watered down?
BVO: How does anybody do quality control. Let me tell you something we pay instructors like Hermes to fly out and train these guys. They don't pay us at all. We want them to learn to train hard, we want those karate and taekwondo instructors to learn that there's a new level out there. They want to get better and to add this curriculum. They will learn Muay Thai kickboxingl, bjj, kali, and practical self-defense. Even if they get just a little bit better. This has only existed for two years. It's not like it's going to change a person over night. I'm over here doing a 2 hour kickboxing work out and now I'm going to do some BJJ clinic later today. I'm not that good myself but I'm going to get better and that's all we ask of any of the instructors.
Then we went on to talk about a few other things.
Listen guys I don't think what they are doing is all that bad. As a matter of fact I think we should be supporting them. In a way their goal is our goal too. To bring realistic martial arts and to help school owner run a gym. If you haven't run a school before then you have no idea how hard it is. Stephen Oliver came on here and spouted off what he had to say and from a marketing view he's good but I would never want to be part of his orginization. Barry Van Over is here trying to show possible watered down systems how to make a solid curriculum based on many of the philosophies that this site was based off of. You can argue whatever points you want but only those who've actually run schools could say anything for or against Premier Martial Arts. With any group you're going to have quality control issues, we've seen it everywhere.
I listened to how he teaches the kids. Me and a few other mma/traditional gyms that I know and met run their gyms the same way and they have some reputable fighters. I don't think this is a bad program at all.
if he is being honest then that's good then it sounds like there is nothing wrong.
If he's being honest maybe we could partner up. We'll take up donations to send the S.C. Rays and the Coda Scotts of the world to Premier.
Actually I was thinking the same thing.
Originally Posted by Don Gwinn
Bullshido Rehab - A Bullshido.net/com/org/net/gov and Premier Martial Arts joint venture.
Originally Posted by Don Gwinn
The idea behind PMA definitely sounds McDojotacular, but it's good to know that it really isn't. I did meet the owner of a local PMA school (I posted a "search function n00b" thread about PMA a while ago), whose school is, I believe, very much not a McDojo.
As said before, it seems to be hit and miss. Since the conversation with Barry, I've decided to take a wait a see approach with PMA as an organization. As for some of the individual schools by themselves...open season!
That's the problem with networks like this. It only takes a few bad apples to make everyone think the whole org is rotten to the core.
The stuff with the curriculum, belts for kids, legit MMA instructors is all good. This seems to be like a legit attempt to franchise good MMA training. The problem with it is that I'm not convinced that once you get all the tiers built into it that the quality will remain high.
The money flows to the top here. Better MMA fighters can make more doing smaller fight team types of schools. So eventually they'll end up staffed with mostly tomato cans.
I am of the opinion that franchising martial arts in general is not a very workable concept. It's not like Bennigans, where you can replicate an exact product every time. Training is face to face transfer of skill. The quality of the person teaching is what is marketable.
So big gyms like Legends in Vegas are a workable concept. Or maybe large seasonal training camps. I just don't know about franchises though. No matter how good the concepts or intentions of the founders.
When I first heard about PM, I thought it was a good idea and still do.
But the way he responded to the question of quality control is a bit disturbing: basically "Who can control quality anyway? We're doing the best we can at least."
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