thank you all for the input. I have experimented with my pup by just throwing bumpers to him and walking away. As he gets just about to me I turn around and squat and greet him with praise. After a few sessions of this I have been able to throw the bumper, continue to face him and just squat down to greet him. Again he brings the bumper to me and I can greet him with praise. I will need to work this for some time, as the habit he had developed was something that has been with him since he was very young. Im certain that I created it to begin with. Initially he had little drive, and in an effort to develop that, I would allow him to play tug of war to keep him excited then throw the bumper.
With that lesson in mind, I have been trying to prevent bad habits from forming. I also have learned that my dog does not do well with large amounts of pressure, probably because for his entire life I have been using light nicks with his training. So, when I say ear pinch, It really is more of my just putting my finger / thumb on his ear and his mouth opens. WIth the hold command, he at times does very well, and at other times does not. He has stopped spitting it out (for the most part) but still mouths it frequently. It seems to be that a lot of people really like HIllmann's philosophy and methods, but there seems to be a lot of debate regarding FF.
To my original point, HIllmann's methods have worked very well for me, particularly when we are playing the game. This is of course the backbone of his approach. I just was expecting to see more compliance outside of the game. Patience.