Over the years I’ve been at at least six seminars of Maxim Franz, plus at some classes by Maxim at headquarters. And it never get’s boring. Partly because of his dry humor, but mostly because of the excellent build-up of the training, good feedback and skilled demonstrations. This time was no exception.
From my perspective this seminar was mostly about making connections: with your attacker, but also between yourself. Through these connections Maxim was giving insight in the thing that seems to come so effortless to him: attacking (or defending) from any movement or action.
As usual, Maxim started us at the basics and slowly moved us towards more complicated drills. For example, we started with pushing the whole person from good posture and working from the movement of your partner. From there the ‘defending’ got more active by showing a shoulder for attack and controlling distance by using good footwork. On Sunday knife work was added while trying to hold on all that was learned on Friday and Saturday. Such as ‘harmonizing’ your footwork with your partner’s movement, your arms with his or her attack and make sure your arms, legs and the rest of your body stay connected to itself. And don’t forget to catch the whole person.
The most important insight for me personally was to drop the distinction between ‘attack’ and ‘defense’ and instead to focus on connection with the other person(s) and honestly work with them in more or less friendly ways.