Methodical pyramid

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By Yossi Sheriff

The methodical pyramid (הפירמידה המתודית) is a model that has been used in AKBAN's martial arts organization from the late 1980's. This model was constructed in order to systematize the incorporation of new methods, techniques and insights into a traditional martial art syllabus. Using the model, a martial arts instructor can analyze the existing body of knowledge and augment new techniques that adapt to changing martial and other requirements.

The model divides the martial arts practice into units that go up in complexity and proceed from simple physical skills into either a martial sport competition or into violent confrontation or battle.

Contents

The levels of the methodical pyramid

First level:

Basic physical abilities - these include flexibility, muscular strength, cardio vascular stamina and other higher function abilities connected with integrated movement in humans. The pragmatic expression of this level, is the fitness routine in AKBAN

Second level:

Separate basic movements and martial arts techniques. These include kicks, punches, throws, ground fighting positions, cuts and stabs with weapons etc.
The corresponding level in Ninjutsu is the Kihon, the basic level.

Third level:

This level consists of sequences of techniques, called Kata in Japanese. These are drills or patterns that aid somatic memorizing of complex movements and reactions.

Fourth level:

The fourth level is the sparring or randori level. This is where we Introduce unpredictability into the process. In many martial arts this is called light sparring, sparring or randori. Its main aim is to introduce unpredictable reactions in an atmosphere that has got less risks then either competition or violence.

Fifth level

Goal - this level is the end result and the focal point of the whole structure. With martial sports that have a competition as their primary motive this level is expressed as the competition. In other martial arts this level changes accordingly and can be defined as actual battle.


Uses of the Methodical pyramid in eclectic martial arts and in MMA.

When using this model it is possible that the instructor is faced with either a semi rigid martial art or a fully flexible MMA. Here the methodical pyramid has many uses. The instructor can use Tatakai analysis or Kata analysis to determine the requirements and face them with the existing syllabus. This comparison and analysis creates an informed base from which the proper physical preparation can be deduced. Moreover, the actual techniques, sequences and drills can be adapted to the new requirements – new techniques can be incorporated or developed, the proper drills used to enhance the memorization process and a system of debriefing

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