An Outsider's POV
First of all, I am an outsider. I was a certified PSIA Instructor way back in '73 - '74, so I am in no way an authority on the current methodology from level 1 to 8, 9 or whatever.
Yes, I'm a USSA Level 200 coach but I have my own independent group of coaches and we teach a different approach to fundamental. I'll get into why we developed our methodology to make another point in a moment.
I am not an expert on PMTS. I have read posts up on RS and many of the posts up here. We have the books but have not had the time yet to delve into them in great detail.
Why we, the MSRT developed our own methodology is because we all looked at the huge NASTAR market and realized that the USSA Quadrennial program simply will not teach the skills our racers need to quickly and correctly impact their racing based on our analysis of modern ski racing technique. Our racers, unlike juniors at the club level, only have 2 hours and maybe once a year 2 days to devote to their pursuit of the skills that will enable them to simply go faster and ultimately ski better, generally.
Based on my limited understanding HH looked at WC skiers. Analyzed their movements and more importantly how they utilized the new equipment (shaped skis) by how they stood on those skis and moved on those skis.
That is precisely what we did and we saw that we could teach basic skills, posture and movement patterns that would allow the intermediate skier to make carved turns. Have we ever thought this was the only skill our racers needed in their bag of tricks, never. But we knew if we could teach edging skills that other skills would easily be acquired as their movements, balance and improvisation in all different situations would be enhanced. We have found this to be true without exception.
Is it that HH looked at the same thing and thought that there was a more direct way to teach skiers to use their equipment more efficiently early on in their development. If so, its the same exact objective we have.
We have found that if we take, say an intermediate level skier, teach them how to stand, move, utilize the design of their skis that their entire alignment changes and that they become better balanced while learning the dynamics of edge control progressively as each day goes by. We've found that the more they take to the course and have to turn on demand the more rapidly that their edge control skills develop.
We've found with proper alignment, posture and correct sequence of movement while learning how to tip the skis the skier naturally learns how to adjust edge angle to skid a turn if necessary and to carve it when they can. We don't have to teach them how to perform a feathered skidded turn (a contact skid as we call it) as they have learned how to apply progressive edge angles or release them naturally. The key is that they are using their bodies correctly. Something is clearly working from our approach, again we collect data on all our students so we can verify improvement through faster times which is better edge control that leads to better tactics and so on.
So has HH looked at WC skiers, realizing that they are most probably not only the best racers but some of the best all around skiers in the world? Analyzed their technique as we have and developed a system that teaches the basic or fundamental skills the leads to an approximation of what these skier do? If so, that is a good thing as long as it doesn't restrict the skiers ability to continually add to their skill base and I don't know why it would.
Yeah, I've read stuff that just doesn't stack up for me (such as the issues with Rotary movements) but this can be either new converts to his ranks who really don't have full understanding of high level skiing or perhaps simply semantic issues. Don't know. When I have time to delve into the books it will become clear if there are dead end technical glitches or whether the "Primary Movements" align with what my group of international coaches recognize as modern ski movements. Hey, I may even learn something
On the other hand the PSIA serves a particular need and market. One poster observed skiers lacking skills from the chair lift and blamed this on the PSIA system. This was surely not a fair assessment of why there are so many low level skiers making "unnatural" movements. PSIA recognizes that there are folks out there that want to come to a mountain, get in a class, learn how to put on their skis, move around, get on and off the chair lift, navigate beginner terrain and have fun. A lot of these clients aren't top notch athletes and a lot of them may only ski once or twice a year, for the rest of their skiing futures. Whether or not these skiers every go back to ski school, have the time to devote to more classes or even care to is not the fault of PSIA. If they ever come back and ski again the PSIA instructor has basically done his/her job. I believe a lot of the skier we see sitting in the back seat, skiing with their feet glued together, moving their hips laterally with no contact on the front of their boots are not PSIA students at all but self taught skiers or relics from days gone by and never bothered to get current.
For the few folks who are so inclined that they wish to become "Expert" skiers systems such as PMTS or MSRT may be good alternatives to help these skier accelerate their learning curve based on their desire, time and athletic ability and depending what they want to do. The MSRT for example is all about racing while PMTS has a broader focus.
To wrap this up, that fact that there are coaches or instructors out there that think outside of the box and try to offer more condensed, faster progressions to get to what is perceived by most as higher level skill sets is a good thing. It is important that these systems offer alternatives that will enhance the skier ability to acquire a vast array of skill sets and not be limiting based on faulty applications or dated ideas. They must be current and work well with modern equipment. They must also support the skier's ability to advance their development outside of the system, on their own based on the tools the system provides them.
I believe PSIA does a great job dealing with the beginning to intermediate skier. I am sure their are tons top notch PSIA instructors that can provide any level instruction/program for the higher level skier (with ski racing being the possible exception as it is so specialized, not saying that there are not PSIA instructors that cannot coach racers, its just not that common).
I believe that having alternative independent systems for those who want to accelerate acquiring their skill base for specific applications, whether that be all mountain to bumps to ski racing having the ability to seek out the ESA Academy, MSRT or PMTS provides more resources to the skiing community. This can only be a good thing. Putting degrading labels on this system or that system without a full comprehension of all the system encompasses is a bad thing.
SSH taught me something important recently and I deserved it. Tolerance leads to an open mind and with an open mind one can learn something or gain insight from all manner of sources. Intolerance destroys opportunities to learn new things.
That said, I am not endorsing anything. I am on the outside looking in and as I said, not an authority on current PSIA methodology or PMTS, I'm just trying to keep an open mind as well as an open eye to ever evolving ski technique and working on ways to bring better skiing faster to more skiers.
Just an outsider's point of view,,,,