Mar 292012
 
“Are you getting better BECAUSE of your training? Or are you getting better in SPITE of it?”

Recently, Frankie Faires of The Movement Dallas launched a new video & e-book set titled “Martial Arts MasterPlan”. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an early release copy (though not lucky enough to get it for free, hahaha).

With this product, Frankie attempts to answer one of the age old questions regarding physical training, not only for Martial Artists, but for any athlete (or non-athlete):

“How do I know that the work I am doing in the gym/structured exercise is actually making me better at non-gym work?

If I am training with weights for my chosen sport, how do I know what will help me with the sport and what may hinder or be irrelevant?”

 I knew a few things relevant to the project going into my purchase:

  • Frankie has an extensive Martial Art background, both practicing and training, in systems including striking and grappling.
  • Frankie is responsible for the framework and a large deal of the content in Gym Movement Protocol and this product is intended to be a crash course in making it work for the viewer.
  • I have received great support and assistance after purchasing previous products from Frankie and affiliates, so I had little doubt that if it were required relevant to this product I would receive it again.
  • I had seen mention of “Martial Arts MasterPlan” on a section of a website relating to Frankie over 2 years ago, with no other mention since, so I knew this product was not going to have been thrown together overnight.

To put it mildly, my expectations were high.

I found that I had to view this product from a number of perspectives, in order to be “fair”.
  1. That of someone who is familiar with Gym Movement Protocol (through previous products/training/experience).
  2. That of someone who is unfamiliar with GM and is a Martial Artist.
  3. That of someone who is unfamiliar with GM and is NOT a Martial Artist.

I will proceed forward attempting to look at the product from these vantage points, beginning with the truest target audience of the product:

For the Martial Artist:

First off, I am not entirely unqualified to comment on this area. I am certainly no Martial Expert, but I do have multiple years of training under my belt (albeit lacking in recent years). I spent the bulk of my time training in a style similar to a Jeet Kune Do approach (approximately 4 years), with other periods dabbling in Shotokan Karate and a couple of styles of Kung Fu. When I have not been training actively in the last few years, I have attempted to keep abreast of trends in the field, mostly by reading magazines relating to Martial Arts and relevant gym work and communicating with workmates currently training.

I believe that this product will hold tremendous value for a Martial Artist (regardless of training history or skill level).

For the beginner, there is great information on how to break down a Martial Movement so that it may be learned faster and better (primarily found in the e-book that is part of the package). There is information on what training is most relevant to your Martial Movements, in both strengthening/bettering them directly and in what supplemental work is most likely to pay off.

For the experienced trainee, Frankie presents some great material relating to how martial practice over time can alter the body’s form and function and how what we do in the gym can be used to not only enhance our martial practice but also to counterbalance it for greater overall health and function.

Both of these groups can also benefit if they fall within the next group…

For those unfamiliar with Gym Movement Protocol (Biofeedback training):

For this segment, I attempted to look at the material as if it were what I received the first time I ordered a product which deals with/depicted the concept of “biofeedback regulation” in exercise.

I have actually previously purchased 2 separate products on this topic and I have to say that I believe this is the best of the three, especially in terms of value for money and a beginner friendly approach.

The advice given in this video and e-book package is simple, straight-forward and immediately actionable. There is visible demonstration in the video “Lab” sections and clarification in the e-book on how to implement the information both in part and in full (depending on the user’s choice).

Some people that are perhaps more skeptical upon viewing the video may say that there is not enough explanation of mechanisms etc. involved (which may be a valid point), but I believe that many will not find those things necessary and would find them overwhelming if launched into. There are other materials available and the set author is easily contactable online.

This would be a great primer for someone looking to incorporate biofeedback into their training, especially for someone who is questioning the common fitness plans and how to tell which is worth their while for their goals.

For those familiar with biofeedback training:

Mmmm… this has got to be the weakest group. As I previously mentioned, I have purchased 2 other products in the past, spent extensive time experimenting with the subject myself and I am also currently undergoing a coaching course with Frankie. So a very very large amount of the material was rehashing, to me.

However, there were a few “Ah-Ha!” moments in there for me…

  • Postural Symmetry information.
  • New explanations/rephrasings that allow better communication of relevant ideas.
  • The tactic of teaching others for self-improvement.
  • An expansion of the Master vs Martyr concept.

Maybe a little more in there that I don’t recall at this moment. (Also, I haven’t QUITE finished watching the entire video, there is about 10 minutes left, so I won’t count it out yet!)

I believe this is the group that is best covered by the money-back guarantees offered with the purchase. SOME practitioners MAY feel that it doesn’t add enough to their practice to justify the cost. However, at least they could purchase it without being concerned that if that eventuates they have no discourse.
I can formally state that I am happy that I purchased this product and will not be asking for the refund to which I would be entitled.

Frankie makes an interesting point in the e-book about how all human speech is metaphor. This links to what I think may be the best benefit to an experienced practitioner: sometimes just hearing the information a different way can change and expand your understanding. That is worth something.

Conclusion

I would strongly recommend this product to anyone that is currently training in the Martial Arts, whether they desire to do “Gym work” or not, and any person who enjoys physical training that does not currently employ biofeedback in their training.

I would recommend that those that use biofeedback check the product out, but I would admit there is probably less urgency/value there for them.

If you are interested in the product, it is available through the link below. Be advised, it IS an affiliate link. For full disclosure, when I purchased the product I did not expect to be offered affiliate access, yet I already recommended it to multiple people on the strength of the product alone.

Purchase “The Martial Arts MasterPlan” here! 

Please post any questions about the product (after purchase or viewing the linked website) in the comments and I will attempt to answer as promptly and honestly as possible!

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