RAW 082

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DVD - Down & Out: Bad Libs: Vol. 1
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Those of you who have been kind enough to read our last two books (No Second Chance and The Essentials) have probably detected a change in thinking.  A change fostered by the key foundation of what we do here--applying empirical thinking to combat sports and self-defense.  Last week's Legends contained the sentiment "Do not allow yourself to shape the research, but rather, allow that research to shape you."  The research I refer to is the vast survey of top level MMA competition via our Fight Metrics method as elaborated upon in The Essentials, the extensive survey of Predator Profiles and statistical likelihoods in reality survivals covered in No Second Chance, and lastly (and of no surprise to those who have been steady readers of our Black Belt columns and Legends bulletins) the ramifications of entropy upon human behavior and learning.  These three separate areas have doubled-back and folded on top of themselves in some surprising ways and have led to a bit of re-shaping of both myself and my approach to instruction. 

This re-shaping was harbingered several RAWs back when we premiered Down & Out Drilling that put the "mix" in Mixed Martial Arts drilling.  Down & Out Drills run the gamut of offensive/defensive striking, shooting, ground control, ground 'n' pound, and submissions all conducted in pragmatic call and response chains.  These Down & Out chains allow the individual to by-pass compartmentalized thinking that calls for "cross-training" different arts/sports and then expecting the human brain under stress to cogently re-assemble the disparate elements.  In the months since the Down & Out preview were released, we've been honing this approach and shooting it through the prism of The Bellagio Hypothesis and The Hierarchy of Utility (see The Essentials for a full explanation of these concepts), and to be frank, the results have been rather rewarding.  Boot Campers of all skill levels have responded with zeal and the assimilation of material is at a maximum (even of complex movement).  The added bonus of "live-fire conduction" bumps this method even further into the plus column.

We have added a component to the Down & Out method called Bad Libs which allows the fighter/coach to add and/or subtract specific statistical likelihood at any link in the chain to create new branches to keep an ever varying stimulus load that allows minds and bodies to ever be engaged while getting the full spectrum of technical training that stops just short of full-on sparring.  This described approach is ideal for fast-tracking fighters and/or the class situation where predefined chains can be mixed and matched in varying pragmatic dendrites (as long as they adhere to the Bellagio dictates and the Hierarchy of Utility.

RAW 82 introduces this combination of Down & Out + Bad Libs in great detail (as a matter of fact, RAW 82 has our longest running time in years.)  For those of you who see the merit in this approach, this and further RAW volumes will be a boon to your training and each individual RAW will become a puzzle piece to further build an ever-expanding tableau of hurt.  This mode of drilling never has a passive recipient, that is, "Let me practice this submission on you."  Both sides of the drill equation are working in a stair-stepped offense/defense inculcating feedback loop at every stage of the drills.  For those of you who prefer the single topic focus, I apologize in advance--while I see merit in the occasional digression into "Today, nothing but heel hooks," I must admit that mixing the material into the whole provides better context and learning assimilation as opposed to isolation.  Never fear, the attention to detail is still here.  The submission chain aspect is still present--what has changed is the methodology for getting to where we're going.  A methodology that the research and 6 months of experiment seems to support as being the fast-track to full-competency.

Ok, enough yakking about the method--here's what's on this premier volume of the revised RAW Series--RAW 82.  We are going to run a full Down & Out chain 16 links deep.  We will begin with a high-percentage striking combo and then get into shooting and stuffing that same shot with a Collar-and-Overhook Snapdown.  We follow that Snapdown to Short Arm Bars, Short Arm Bar Escapes, and Full Arm Bar Follows.  We preface this chain with a brief digression on the West Point Ride and it's relative strengths and weaknesses.  Next, we insert a Bad Libs chain that allows us to stuff the shot with Hook Chanceries, Old School Guillotine Gripping, and Gator Chokes.  Again, 16 links deep--excruciating detail at 45 minutes running time.  All along the way we emphasize striking like a grappler and grappling like a striker.  All volumes of RAW have always come with a printed syllabus, and the new volumes are no different, but... the syllabus will become more important as we begin to build quilted patterns among this and all future RAWs.