How is your class structured?

Discussion in 'Russian Martial Arts' started by russiantao, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. russiantao

    russiantao Guest

    Hello again everyone,

    I was wondering if anyone would share what are some of the basic things that you do in pretty much every class (ie, pushups, squats, breath work, etc, etc,).

    How much time do you usually devote to the different parts of each of your workouts? How much time in each of your classes are "new" material, drills or what have you? Basically, how is your class structured?

    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. RachelK

    RachelK Purple Belt

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    Hi,
    Check out Scott Meredith's article, "A Typical Systema Class":
    http://systemanw.com/sysclassarticle.htm
    Our class is more or less the same, though it usually lasts 2-3 hours instead of 1-2, thanks to our instructor's generosity. Usually we spend a few minutes working more freely towards the end, but still trying to apply the principles we've been taught. We also usually spend some time working with restrictions such as using just one arm, or just the legs, staying in the same place, staying close to our partners, etc.
    I think Scott's article is the best description of Systema class, and I'm not going to describe our class in detail because it so closely matches Scott's description.
    Hope this helps.
    Best wishes,
    Rachel
     
  3. russiantao

    russiantao Guest

    Rachel,
    Thanks for the feedback!

    If anyone would care to give some input im all ears.

    Mike
     
  4. russiantao

    russiantao Guest

    That doesnt read well. I mean
    If anyone ELSE would ALSO care to give some input im all ears.

    Thanks again,

    Mike
     
  5. Ironman

    Ironman Guest

    you MIGHT have to be a little more specific.
     
  6. Arthur

    Arthur Blue Belt

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    >I was wondering if anyone would share what are some of the basic things that you do in pretty much every class (ie, pushups, squats, breath work, etc, etc,).

    There is pretty much nothing that we do as basics in nearly every class.
    I have a class of indivuduals... each with there own strengths and weaknesses.

    Over time I become itimate with those quirks, I think of what each individual needs to break out of his shell... to succeed, to quell his ego or to boost his confidence. Over time I design ideas, concepts and ploys to bring the maximum out of a varied and mixed group. My class design evolves as my students evolve.

    That considered... I think of what I'd like the stuents being able to do by the end of class... and I plan a logical progression of advancing skills to eventually bring those movements and concepts to fruition.

    Arthur

     
  7. NYCRonin

    NYCRonin Purple Belt

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    For any guide of Systema..it really is not the lesson plan...much more the evolution of any singular group that shows up on a give time.

    Like Arthur wrote.

    A guide can decide to do live blade one night before the session meets..and find that the group is no where yet ready to move this way...hence, a guide MUST be at least as flexible as the make-up of the ones that show up each and every session.

    Unlike more regimental martial methods...a guide HAS to be very free form and flexible...with TOTAL consideration to the total skill level of all that are one the floor on any given night.

    Free form the norm.

    Lots like the seminar venue -- if the seminar has a goodly number of attendees of skill in other m.arts -- you will most probably work with that . .and is VERY different than working with a floor composed of martial newbies. A floor mostly of experienced Systemans...a guide will rock and work with that...to provide a growth experience for the group.

    EVERY TIME a guide calls a session to order, its time to evaluate and do thebest they can to provide worthy content tothe memebers on a middle ground for the bunch..as they remind the newer of basics and stretch the more experienced further.

    IF Arthur, by example...set up a seminar and only respondents like myself, NSC, and Dima showed up...it would be VERY different than if a group of new showed up.

    Systema guides...such as Arthur....have to be very creative at times - relative to 'who' is on the floor at any given time and place...and THATS exactly as this art is passed on....no real structure..only creative freedom to fit the puzzle --- fill the need -- of any 'class'.

    Anything else? Is false and forced....and not 'real' and intimate.

    From my past experience as a teacher...I would show up at the venue...and work with who showed up. Newbies got alot of stretching and movement free-ing stuff.

    But if the overall group was more experienced - I regarded them as people that got that way because they knew enough of free-ing exercise...and we might usually go into more direct attack work and the responses to such.

    ALWAYS would end with breathing exercises - to get more calm and centered and also, the 'circle of friends' -- where the discussion was real and open...

    Little hard structure to any session...a bit of an idea of who and what to work on...but NOTHING rigid at all.

    That was my way of passing 'all this' along....and if I ever 'teach' again - thats what I will do, once more.
     
  8. Arthur

    Arthur Blue Belt

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    A few thoughts, addendums ,arguements and cooborations on Rob's post.
    >For any guide of Systema..it really is not the lesson plan...much more the evolution of any singular group that shows up on a give time.
    IMO, the group,whether it consist of one individual or 100 individuals is there because they want to learn something form you that they feel is relevent to them. regardless of the numbers involved. If that group doesn't evolve at the end of the ime you've spent... the time has been wasted at best and posibly exploited at worst. While any individual of a training group may not leave enhanced skill on a given night... if every member doesn't leave with the ability to enhance their skill more than they would have if they'd not trained that day... time and consequently "life" has been wasted.

    >A guide can...
    I hate that word. Why I hate that word probably belongs in a thread of its own, but I freakin hate that word. People who care and and try to share with others what they know are teachers, not guides. Everyone I've worked with in the RMA community (and other communities), has been my teacher. Rob, Jesse, Furtry, Jelly, Vladimir, Mikhail, NSC, Emmanuel, Jim, Bob, Frank, Rommel, Brad, Alex, Scott, Hammer, Jonas, Sonny, Brian, Stuart, George, Mark, Andrei, etc.(sorry if I didn't mention you... only so much space on the internet;-)) have all been my teachers. I could clearly and distinctly reference at least one thing each of those people specifically taught me.
    Guidance is a wonderful thing, but its only useful for those that have enough knowldge to follow the guidance. People need to learn a certain amount before they can follow a trail. Without the teaching, advice, counseling and direct conversations of several of those mentioned above along with several from outside any RMA art... I'd have a mere fraction of the knowledge and skill I have now.
    The best teacher I ever had, Mr. Henri Fortier (High School AP English), continuously repeated... "the beginning of wisdom, is the definition of terms". think I'll forever believe him right and forever think him a genius. regardless ofmy personal thoughts... his influence on me has lead me to a habit of nitpicking tiny little words when I believe their definitionhas a greater abilit to obscure intended comunication rather than enhance it.
    >with TOTAL consideration to the total skill level of all that are one the floor on any given night.
    A Big Giant agreement.

    >Lots like the seminar venue -- if the seminar has a goodly number of attendees of skill in other m.arts -- you will most probably work with that . .
    Personally I changed that behavior in myself. I use to approach it exactly that way. Over time I noticd a somewhat bizarre effect. In my experience... often when you try to speak the language of the local population, they are too quick to decide your stuff is the same as theirs and they begin to dismiss it.. In recent years I've noticed that seminar leaders who spend more tim showing the difference of their art and less time attempting to createunderstanding and progress in the participants get a better reception. i know try to strike a more balanced expression when teaching seminars regardless of general skill level. though I will try to take more time to spend private time with those that at exhibit a certain appropriate attitude.
    Consequently, I personally no longer take into consideration previous martial experieince of seminar participants... However, I do still watch to get a general understanding of general skill level, an general ability to undestand and perform the work relevent to what I am showing.
    >IF Arthur, by example...set up a seminar and only respondents like myself, NSC, and Dima showed up...it would be VERY different than if a group of new showed up.
    Yup, I agree. For the sake of discussion though, and for the sake of informing lurkers who are interested... even that seminar wouold vary drastically based on the seminar subject and the issues that were raised. If we were loking at interaction with a Olympic wrestler, Dima would become the prime "Uke" (to borrow a term) an a major demonstrator... if we were doing jailhouse containment... Rob would take that roll, and if we were dealing with rape defense NSC would get the same call.

    >Systema guides...such as Arthur....
    For the record I teach, explore, teach and discuss concepts of movement, psychology, physics, and geometry. In my class explorations of these issues people are welcome to learn or manifest Systema or any other art they chose.
    >have to be very creative at times - relative to 'who' is on the floor at any given time and place...
    Yup. Its one of the most challenging pursuits I can think of actually.

    From my past experience as a teacher...
    Wahoo!!!!!!!!! Sorry I just got excited by the terminology:)
    I would show up at the venue...and work with who showed up.
    Big Nod of the head!
    >Newbies got alot of stretching and movement free-ing stuff.
    For the sake of discussion... One of my teachers... right up there after Mr. Fortier, once said to me... The hardest and most subtle things take the longest to learn... to be efficient, you should start teaching those first. Because of him and the things i saw him and his students do... I changed my mind on that issue... and often try to teach th little things first... to the newbies. There are certainly drwbacks... and I think either way you get "burned" just as much. But i thought it was an interesting point worth mentioning.

    >ALWAYS would end with breathing exercises -
    Persoanlly I see that as the geat homework challenge. wax on, wax off, proove you want to be here... go home and breathe, and learn to relax, and catch falling objects without your hands, etc. I totally hear where Rob s coming from... I agree its important... but I have this theory.... students often complain there aren't enough classes in the week... My opinion is if they do the breathing, play with breath oriented calisthenics and do the other exercises I mention... the they are right and they get extra classes... but things that can be done solo... I try to leave for solo work. if I teach 3 classes a week... I'd rather have a student that makes 2 classes and workes out four times a week than a student who makes 3 classes and doesn't do anything once they are out of class.
    > the 'circle of friends' -- where the discussion was real and open...
    Apparently lied up above... or was at least wrong. this is clearly something do every class...whether I'm teaching RMA, FMA CMA, JPA, IMA, etc... everyone does circle up. Its one of the best things to hit martial arts ever!

    thanks for the ideas and post to respond to Rob!
    Arthur
     
  9. NYCRonin

    NYCRonin Purple Belt

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    Hi Arthur,
    Your thanks are not necessary, at all.
    I just put out what we have already spoken of...about what? What? Hmmm, about 3 years ago..over that good Toronto sushi. And nice saki?
    I did get a new understanding about guide vs teacher. Mentioned it with a nod and a wink, elsewhere on the web. And you were right. To me - there is a time to guide and a time to teach.
    For me...like when Jesse and his bud showed up at one of my last public seminars - I was the 'teacher' of the ones that showed up -- BUT - Jesse allowed me to 'guide' him...and in truth, whatever I offered him to work on...he ran rings around it and became MY guide!
    AND....Jesse - I am still honored by your appearence at that last seminar.
    A treasured memory. Hope all is well, Big Dog.

    Much like you, Arthur -- real time is da schiz-nitz....as the young'uns say.
    Your group..your people -- should be so thankful for every moment.

    You, my friend - are one of the real deal Systemists/Systemans/Systematicians...aw hells bells -- your really part of the base of the community. Although ya dont cyber much anymore - and have chosen to read more...I KNOW ya got something that no one will ever shake loose.

    Forgive a friend for not being there as much as I wish to be, in real time. Even Vlad does so. Time and trials of life thingy.

    Hey, Arthur.

    I am certain there might be something ya wanna crack into this site with...maybe? Couldja/wouldja?

    After some of the recent crap posted by a deleted moron here...this site could use a thoughtful thread or two. Free form.

    Anyway....
    How are ya'all?

    Big Proppa's to
    ya!

    RobG
    NYC123
     

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