April 29

Primal- What is it?










What is Primal?

We are all on a journey within martial arts and self defence and I must say that I am very happy with the one that I have been on yet I have made a few mistakes along the way. When I started this blog/site I did so because I felt that my knowledge, experience and skill would benefit others. Having taught numerous versions of self protection I decided to launch Primal. This is a physical system of self protection that is a full and complete study into self defence and at its heart is a system of tactics and techniques that I feel make this product unique.

However there has been a desire for more information on this product so here it is.

Primal- The new Fighting  and Self Protection System

primal [ˈpraɪməl]


1. first or original
2. chief or most important or:
primal def











The launch of primal has been very well received with huge feedback from our video that can be seen below yet many questions have arisen of which I will attempt to answer them here: (of note I personally do not see the terms self defence self preservation, personal safety and self protection as different. Therefore I use them all to describe the study of learning to keep and stay safe against physical threat)

What is Primal?

Well primal is a complete study into self protection and a training system for this study. The goal was to create a true self defence syllabus that engages a person to enjoy every aspect of self defence. This includes avoidance, awareness, legal, fitness,weapons,striking and grappling. The idea is that self protection and its training can be done weekly or more, yet to achieve this you need something that has many layers to it. The end result is not a martial arts system but a system of education, a way to learn self defence and keep learning.

Now this may of course sound easy, but there is a reason that MMA and BJJ clubs are full and self defence clubs are not. There is a reason that Zumba pulls in people and why the average self defence club sees numbers dwindling. This is down to something simple I will refer to as the ‘recipe’. Some products get it and some don’t. Unfortunately the self defence world has struggled to crack the recipe. Primal I feel has the right recipe to succeed.

The major problem with self defence is how to deliver such a subject. It is such a huge and engaging study that people tend to get lost amongst such a vast subject. I often find the study of self defence to be like getting lost in a fog, they see something in the distance and grab at it, this could be learning to strike in a  Thai boxing class or grappling in a BJJ class. All fine however once training has finished the student is again lost in the fog wondering how to make their techniques street effective. People simply get lost in both the training methods and the educational side of self protection.

To deal with this issue Primal has come up with a method. We have developed a complete strategy around self defence that once studied shows the person what to do to stay safe, when to do it and how to deal with violence if those steps fail.

This is not surface level knowledge either, we are talking about a product that has been developed from research and experience of real violence. This truly is an experts product, taking the student from beginner to expert over a period of time.

To sum up, Primal is an educational system. One that teaches people to stay safe, protect themselves and their loved ones and if needed fight for their safety!

primal teaching







Who is Behind PRIMAL?

There is a team of experts behind Primal however at the moment the public figure behind this is myself Andrew Holland

However I am sure you want to know a bit more about me. I am 34 years of age and considered by many to be a leading authority on self defence. The reason for this is my unique background in martial arts.

As a childhood victim of bullying I became fascinated with martial arts and would buy every book I could get my hands on and even then make notes of the various fighting systems. Due a limited number of local clubs I decided to start training in boxing. I did this for a number of years however I still spent my time researching fighting arts as even then as an 11 year old I realised there was not one martial arts system that was complete. All had gaps in their systems which made learning a complete self defence system able to provide me with the skills to deal with all ranges of combat virtually impossible.

I have faced real violence on numerous occasions and that has forced my martial arts training take on new meaning as I was facing aggression from people who were very dangerous and often stronger and bigger than myself. As a result of my continued research I began to train in numerous other arts along with my boxing. These arts included but were not limited to Judo, Jiu Jitsu both traditional and  Brazilian, wrestling, submission grappling, Keysi Fighting Method, Russian Sambo, Vale Tudo and its modern day variation Mixed Martial Arts. My studies have seen me train with world Champions and Olympic medallists. I have trained with UFC fighters, boxing champions and experts in self defence.  This has seen me learn  and refine what works when faced with the threat of real life aggression.

I now hold a Judo black belt, have won various boxing and Judo events and have appeared on BBC radio 2, Martial Arts Illustrated and have been an Inspector for the British Boxing Board of Control. In addition I am also a qualified fitness instructor.

The other experts will be revealed over time and more are coming on board and looking to become part of Team Primal.

What are the Training sessions like?

The Primal model of training has been tested on several closed door workshop groups and events, it is under continuous review and work. After all life evolves and so do many things. Nothing is set and if changes need to be made then this is done. However in basic terms each Primal training session will be very different.

We use a series of carefully devised drills, exercises, games and training methods to get a student to become more skilful in defending themselves against attack. This is not about pounding each other, getting injured or hating to come to training. This is about learning in a fun but focused and challenging environment.

Drills in grappling, punching and ‘live’ training against resisting partners are all part of a a training session along with technical work. Sessions last no more than an hour.

What Techniques do you use?

There is nothing new out there, everything ever able to be taught has been done so throughout history. What changes is the method of presentation. The result will be familiar techniques to many, some alterations to make them street effective. We only teach what works.

Some have called what we do a mixture of Judo and Boxing, others say it is the Judo version of Krav Maga. I will take these as compliments but let me be clear about this. There are no magic formulas in martial arts and self defence, there are no tricks or shortcuts. Only through study and hard work is skill achieved and I am a big believer in fundamental skills. So expect to find techniques that deliver powerful strikes and strong grappling, along with the use of the environment. One of our sayings is

Train Hard, Train Intelligently=Fight Easier! Because in self defence there are no easy fights, all conflicts come with the most serious risks. Primal training simply increases the chances you will both avoid conflict and if left no options, survive the conflict without serious injuries.

We use a full range of techniques, from closed fist, grapples, take downs, combat gripping, power slaps, forearms. If its effective we use it and teach it. So the end result is that we teach what works for real. This never has been about taking the dojo into the street or trying to make martial arts work in self defence. This is a case of reverse engineering real combat. We look at what works and build from there.

You will find the answers to violence by looking at violence and not at martial arts!

Primal Worshop Ground











Is this for Women or older people?

Yes, it is designed for every person, this is not about size or strength it is about individuals finding what works for them. So you are small, well you will learn to focus on your strengths not your weaknesses. If you are older then you will devise and work on things that you can do. It is about developing your own way. Remember we are training people into experts, if you learn via your training that you have an amazing straight right punch. Then you will learn from our unique tactical system how to make the most of this, how to develop strategies on how to best deliver this technique. At the end of your studies you will have knowledge that will allow you to be free of ‘systems’ or set techniques. Primal is an educational system.

Are you selling Instructor Courses?

NO! If people want to learn Primal and the demand is high enough we will run instructor courses. However this is not now! I do not believe in training instructors, I believe in training educators. Our coaches will be experts and as such this is not a small undertaking. Yet I understand that some people will want this and if this demand is high enough then we have a way forward for this when the time is right.

However, in a world where a new fighting and self defence system seems to come out each week I know and would expect people to be sceptical about this product. So we are conducting small workshops or seminars. So if you have a club or organisation and like the sound of what we are doing then consider running a workshop. Get in touch via our seminars page

I believe in social proof, I believe in word of mouth, I believe in creating good feelings. Take a look at some of the comments so far:

“well done a great system really enjoyed it can’t wait for more ”

“I had a great session on Sunday. The whole seminar was well planned, very well presented and fast-paced. As a man in his mid-fifties, I am happy to report that Primal is not just for young shaven-headed, super-fit men but can be utilised by the average man or woman in the street. Clearly, much thought has gone into its creation. I would recommend Primal and Andrew to anyone, or any group interested in self protection “

“Enjoyed it very much”

“Really enjoyed the seminar today Andrew”

This is just from one workshop that lasted 3 hours! We only visited the very tip of the Primal structure. Imagine what the whole system is like.

Why do this?

Well I believe we can live without fear of violence, reducing violent crime and avoiding conflict  However a lot of this comes down to sensible decisions and behind that is having the confidence to make those decisions in the face of perhaps serious threat. Confidence comes from knowledge and training.

Primal is the system I will teach my children and if no one else but them learns this I will live to be a happy man, however I believe that this product is so good that it will benefit a lot of people. I have built it and will now see if they will come.

This system of education may not be for you. It may not be what you want. If not that’ is cool. I wish you every success. Yet, if this interests you then get in touch. Exciting times are ahead. I hope you are with me on this Primal journey.

Please find two videos below from a recent workshop.


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