Internal training in systema

Discussion in 'Russian Martial Arts' started by SilatFan, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. SilatFan

    SilatFan Green Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Can you please describe, in detail, the type of internal training systema offers. Is there anything like "golden bell/shirt", brick/board breaking, chi kung, etc, etc.....

    I know that there seems to be a lot of good work regarding sensetivity but how about the "chi/qi" side of internal training.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ironman

    Ironman Guest

    well, from the very little experience i have i would only guess. Systema has heavy influnces from Christianity (Russian Orthodoxy in this case) and so it doesn't contain Chi/Ki since that originates from Eastern philosophy, however we do meditate in class breathing and such. The class i go to doesn't have any religious teaching which is really unfortunate but i'm a christian so i meditate myself. The meditation primarily used by Budhists, although not common to many Christian groups (i.e Catholism), is familar to Orthodoxy (i guess they were a little smarter than the rest :)).

    i hope someone can answer your question with greater detail.
     
  3. TheLady

    TheLady Guest

    Actually, Mikhail told us not to meditate - at least not in the "empty your mind" kind of meditation. Instead we should pray. He didn't make it specific to any religion.

    No brick/board breaking that I've seen. As a military art, one of the important concepts is that you don't damage yourself doing "the work".

    From the little I know about internal training, I'd say we don't do it - or maybe we just use different terms. What does your style do?

    Janice
     
  4. RachelK

    RachelK Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Messages:
    395
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    New York, NY
    For what it's worth, my Systema teacher once told our class that it's an internal martial art. He has also told us that Systema just happens to be a martial art, that Systema is no martial art, and that Systema is a way of life. Of course these statements were all in the context of the teaching, so the way I've written it seems more confusing than it actually is. From my humble perspective, it is an internal system. But I'm new to Systema and I've never studied another martial art.
    SilatFan, you may want to pick up the Russian System Guidebook which offers some detailed descriptions of Systema training. You can buy it online at http://www.russianmartialart.com/catalog/default.php?cPath=21
    Maybe some more experienced Systema students will offer additional insight.
    Best wishes,
    Rachel
     
  5. Jerry

    Jerry Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I suppose the short answer to this would have to be "no". I've no interested in writing a book for the benifit of a stranger on the internet who does not wish to simply seek out the higher-level instructors and find out.

    Yes. (mind you, they don't seem to be taught readily, as it's only very advanced systema people (Vladimir, Michael, some of their russian students and some students with Neijia backgrounds) I've seen this from.

    There are two passive and one active that come to mind:

    Firstly, while weighting a good deal like Taiji, Systema focuses heavily on the dropping/rooting energy to deliver and dissipate power. While systema does not use the same body connection that you see in the Neijia arts (offensive work tends to send energy out rather than to the ground), the rooted connection carries much of the same iron-body that you'll get from Taiji.

    Secondly, Systema has excellent breath work (tied very heavily into the above mentioned aspects). You'll find similar-effect breath work in golden-bell qigongs (the golden-gorilla, or lion's roar sound in Tibetian arts), with similar iron-body effects.

    Finally, though again tied to my initial point, systema teaches directly absorbing and retransmitting force. The "thake the hit and cycle it out" drill comes to mind. While a more active iron, this is also intended to ingrane the quality and behavior.

    Different path, same destination... somewhere between Yang Taiji and Five-element Xingyi.

    I know a couple Systema instructors with a fondness for the internal aspects... where in the country are you?
     
  6. mscroggins

    mscroggins Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Central California
    What is golden bell/iron shirt training?
     
  7. Pervaz

    Pervaz Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2002
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    London,UK
    Why limit yourself to thinking internal or external ??

    All MA have a combination of both - Systema has a combination of internal (ranging from shock absoration to "controling" people) and external (from "pressure points" to biomechanics)) - all it requires is dedication, blood, sweat and tears (especially when doing pressups !!)
     
  8. Jerry

    Jerry Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Qigong.

    Because otherwise all questions become "do you do stuff?".
     
  9. BoxANT

    BoxANT Guest

    a lil bit.




    in systema you get hit. and for the love of god you better learn how to take those hits. otherwise your systema will be a much more painful one than mine.

    the good news is that if you listen and do the work, you should be ok.
     
  10. Jerry

    Jerry Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Is that directed at me or to the world et al. If the former, I think you missed what I was saying.
     
  11. Arthur

    Arthur Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2002
    Messages:
    216
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms. Without defining the terms of the discussion, my guess is no one will truly benefit.

    Arthur
     
  12. Furtry

    Furtry Green Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    There is no internal training, such as 'golden bell, iron shirt, or what ever you want to call it'. There is no understanding of chi or qi or what ever term you want to use. There is psychological and physiological conditioning.
    Learning to deal with strikes is done by getting hit. When you are hit you learn what happens psychologically, as in you get a new perspective on life, and you learn what happens physiologically, as in proper breathing helps you to deal with it and recover quicker.
    No meditation is used, unless you become very focused on what you are doing but you are doing something, rather than meditating.
     
  13. Jerry

    Jerry Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    18
    So when Michael puts people to sleep with intent, that's not energetic? "A hit that makes you think" isn't either? It's interesting that you are running contrary to the heads of the system, have you even seen their "psycic energy" stuff?

    Let's compare expderiences. I've got Neijia (internal Chinese arts) experience, and have done qigong and qi work in them. I've then watched and met some of the people in upper-level systema (though my instructor has far more time with them than I do), and seen and felt and learned some of the internals they have.

    You, obviously, have not noticed / learned that.

    Your "I've not seen it so it doesn't exist" is rather non-compelling. It will appeal to those who dismiss energy-work because they simply don't believe in it; and I suspect that may be why you are dismissive of it as well.
     
  14. mscroggins

    mscroggins Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Central California
    Read closely what Furty wrote because the answers are there.

    "you learn" "you get hit" "you pay attention" "you get a new perspective" "you deal with it" "you recover" "you are doing"

    What can upper level Systema people do? Plenty, but how useful is that question? In my opinion, not very. People can be calmed by close attention. That is hardly news or magic. Spend a little time around someone with asthma or a panic disorder and you can easily see how a reaction can heal or hurt them.

    Another name, and in my opinion a better one, for the system is know yourself. What can you do?
     
  15. Jerry

    Jerry Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I read it, he claimed there was no qigong. He's incorrect.

    Now, if you choose to dismiss qigong and argue that all internal arts are "imaginary", that it's basic physiology, then it's really a different thread.

    The question is whether there's internal training in Systema, this presupposes that internal training is a real thing and asks only it's in this system. Micheal has no-contact hitting, he has hitting for qi disruption, he has healing work, he has rooting work, the sinking is remeniscent of Xing-yi, etc. I cannot speak to how or how overtly it's taught in Systema. I've met many practitioners who didn't know it was there, but it certainly is.

    I'm happy to discuss this further, but find "there's no such thing as qi" off-topic and "I haven't seen it, so it's not there" to be fallacious (specifically, an appeal to ignorance)... and thus have no further to go with those two lines. :(
     
  16. NYCRonin

    NYCRonin Purple Belt

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    New York
    Jerry,
    I believe that Furtry was stating that in 'Systema', we do not study chi to do no contact work...and Ryabco would be VERY much in agreement. Furtry, as you may not know, Is an instructor of Systema - certified by BOTH Vlad and Misha....and as such, I do beleive he was referrencing from a very experienced System-ists position...not as an attack on what you might do in your chosen arts.

    Quotes: "Micheal has no-contact hitting, he has hitting for qi disruption, he has healing work, he has rooting work, the sinking is remeniscent of Xing-yi, etc.">>>From another Systema 'teachers' point of place (and also one that has a background in numerous m.arts) I can say the points you recognize from your experience in your arts - are done differently in The System. And I also add, Furtry does these things also as does VV and MR (and many others) BUT - the training does not develop whatever you see congruent to your views.

    " I cannot speak to how or how overtly it's taught in Systema.">>>Furtry CAN speak about this from his years experience as a personal student of Vlad and Misha as well. Hence, as we are speaking about Systema, his statements, out of respect; do carry a great deal of weight re: this subject as it relatates to Sytema training and viewpoint.

    "I've met many practitioners who didn't know it was there, but it certainly is."
    <<And out of respect for you, Jerry...I will also state that many people from different arts 'see' things that are 'true' - to their point of view, using their dictionary or vocabulary of training experienced. This is a very common thing to Systema folks. After all, by nature; when a person sees something - they attempt to relate it or catagorize it to what they already know. In Systema, there are some very well versed Chinese system m.artists - such as Arthur Sennot or Larry Wall (amongst others) -- that can relate to what Systema presents and make comparisons to thier CMA training. I have a fair bit of Ba-Gua in my past, and 'see' many things apparently as similar to B-G. BUT - having done Systema under VV, MR and a few others - I KNOW that these are semming similarities from my previous training that have nothing at all, really; to do with Systema as it is passed on. MR, in particular; would be very direct to state that chi has nothing at all to do with his abilities...and although many who do believe in chi still chose to believe they are correct, and disregard Mishas personal beliefs. Some say in conversations I have had that "He and Vlad dont know that they are doing - chi, prana, cyclic life energy, whatever - But they ARE doing it"! THAT is born of the filter one has for what one sees.
    Misha could just as easily watch, let us say; a B-Gua master..and through Mishas eyes, say: "Look how he moves with Gods grace in his heart"! Out of respect for the teachers of Systema, when we 'speak' of the art - it is natural to attempt to express ourselves in their teaching base. If we were speaking of Silat - I would have to respect those who actually did this, from Silats language and base of teaching; and maybe point out similarities..but not say they were doing something but did not know why.

    Let us not quibble over terminolgy - for Furtry or myself are not as fluent in CMA/Silat terms as you might be...nor are you as experienced in Systema as we may be.
    The similarities are far more important than differences in beliefs, training or terminology, are they not? Still, if we speak of these similarites, and they occur to arise from different places - we can discuss mostly the superficial appearences.

    (And Furtry, my friend, please excuse me for attempting to answer for 'you'.
    I encourage you to correct me if I assume too much...and hope to read your views on this subject.)

    mscroggins last post is correct in content, from where I sit.
     
  17. Furtry

    Furtry Green Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    LOL... yap, first hand so to say.

    This post, by Jerry and a few others I've red, is in my opinion the starting point of the dilution of Vlad and Michaels teachings. This is a case of “People who insist on conforming reality to their beliefs instead of their beliefs to realty.”

    I’ve red a book, recommended by a friend, on survival that basically stated; those who can recognize the reality of their situation and adapt to it the quickest have the best chance of surviving. And since Systema is all about living and surviving it has taught me what the author discovered in his own journey, and is propagating to the readers.

    Final point; I have studied B-G and am aware of what is internal, chi/qui, golden bell and iron shirt, and Systema doesn't teach that. Systema teaches how to recognize the real situation so that one may adapt and survive.

    ***side note*** I remember some kind of a joke/urban legend about an African healer giving some warriors an ointment that would protect them from bullets. The guys shot each other to test the ointment. When it didn't help the survivors shot the medicine man. Just to prove to the healer that it didn't work :rolleyes: .
     
  18. NYCRonin

    NYCRonin Purple Belt

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    New York
    Well Dima, I wont go as far as to say this is the first step to dilution of Systema. As long as there are competant sources trained from the deep well, the water will remain clean. Comparison is something we are used to, arent we?
    Humans seek 'patterns'. We do so all the time.We compare any new 'this' to a previously known 'that'....and we both know how, in Systema training; many of our previously accepted 'thats' turned out NOT to be 'this'.
    We both had much previous m.art experience before 'this' - and let us look at one shared. B-Gua. If one looks at 'deflection' demonstrated in a B/G mans movement....we would see some superficial similarities (at times) to a Systemists deflections. Having done both arts - we know that they are NOT really similar at all. There is a HUGE difference in the feel and flow of the two arts.
    One can theorize and try to say that they know why 'this' works -- but unless one ACTUALLY has been trained in Systema, they are making an assumption that has no experience behind it. Much as Jerry assumed you had never seen psy-work done, although we both have done this with VV and MR, in person.
    It is a fact that your statements are the ones not contrary to the heads of Systema, for you are a personal friend and student of them. THEY would not at all agree with Jerry's viewpoints and opinions as to what is being done.

    Jerry, would you tell the leaders of Systema that they dont know the 'wherefores' of what their art is about? And since Furtry is one of the respected senior members of the Systema in N.America, he is VERY well qualified to post with authority about all of 'this'. In this case, you may think you 'know' what you see in Systema.....but experience must win this discussion, hands down.

    Dima, as long as there is a community of those authorized by VV and MR to pass along what we study and live by, this water will remain pure and clean...and the seekers will find what they need to survive. I do expect that to remain true for at least as long as we live.

    It is going to be those that watch a few tapes and think they can add on other things from other arts, see the System from their personal filters, BELIEVE they know what its about without extensive real time work with the experienced...that will attempt to take the water, add sugar, carbonation and caramel coloring to make soda pop. It is pretty much inevitable, for that seems so common in the m.art community.

    Such a soft drink might even be successfully marketed. It will not be Systema though and the buyer beware. We are very privaledged to live in the time when the well is still available to supply the pure water.
    It will be up to the next generations of Systema practitioners to see to it that it remains clean. I am confident that the future will always provide the seekers with a clean source.

    I see many posters above that are writting about what 'this' is correctly, and recognize the names as having trained with the sources.
    Oh well, 'what can you do'? You can lead a horse to water...but... :idunno:
     
  19. Furtry

    Furtry Green Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Rob, but that's exactly my point... VV and MR have never advocated or taught "iron shirt" or "golden bell", they simply explained how to take a punch by utilizing the basic fundamental principles with out the hocus pocus that my sifu put me through. So when I read Systema practitioners saying; "yes we do" I get an itch to speak up, as that is not true. These people may have trained with VV and MR, maybe even more with MR that I, but I've asked the men directly about it (in Russian) they both laughed at me. Then asked me to show them... then crushed me like an empty pop can!
    In the end; let each do what they want but Systema does not filter well, one looses all the flavour when utilizing filters on Systema.
     
  20. Paul Genge

    Paul Genge Green Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I agree with Furtry's comments on this one. The other danger is instructors adding in principles or explanations from their original styles to fill in the gaps in their own knowledge.
    The answer is simple. If you don't know don't teach or preach it.

    Paul Genge
    http://www.russianmartialart.org.uk123
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

janice systema

,

michael ryabco systema