Martin Wheeler demonstrating some Systema

Discussion in 'Russian Martial Arts' started by Brian King, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Brian King

    Brian King Master of Arts

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiuXkP9WWaM

    Some nice clips of Martin Wheeler doing some Systema.

    Warmest regards
    Brian King

     
  2. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    very interesting stuff, Brian.
     
  3. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Cool. Thanks for posting it Brian. [​IMG]
     
  4. David Weatherly

    David Weatherly Black Belt

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    Nice, thanks for posting.

    David
     
  5. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    Looking at the Systema videos that have been posted here a few things really come stand out...

    • The demonstrators are very relaxed and loose-jointed
    • They move, as Mushtaq Ali says, between the joints rather than at the joints
    • The evasions are very, very small but still there
    • They don't try to time the opponent
    • Even when things look large and loopy they never lose their center or their structure
    • The arms, body and legs often don't move in unison or even the same timing but support each other
    • This lets a sequence of slow movements have a much greater effect on the other guy
    • A lot of time the arms are doing what a person would expect the legs to do and vice versa
    • I don't even want to think about what it would feel like at speed
    • Lots of spirals, generally in to pin or stop motion, out to throw, or around to redirect
    • They generate a lot of power very unobtrusively. That loose shimmy could hit like a freight train
    • The movements could be a lot smaller. But if they were the students would never figure out what was going on. The students should be grateful the instructors are showing so much of what they're doing. A lot of teachers wouldn't
    • Even in the grainier shots it's clear that they have a very soft focus, never fixing on the opponent. That's rarer than it should be in the martial arts world
    Again, very impressive. This stuff bears careful re-watching.
     
  6. clash1977

    clash1977 White Belt

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    Very nice work! I have heard Martin is working on a dvd. I definately hope so, it will be a must have....anyone here heard anything about it?

    Regards, Daniel
     
  7. David Weatherly

    David Weatherly Black Belt

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    Haven't heard anything about a dvd available by him but I'd definetly be interested in it.

    David
     
  8. Gordon Nore

    Gordon Nore Senior Master

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    Thanks, Brian,

    Now I'm all the more excited about visiting the Systema school nearby. The system seems to have a nice mix of stuff that I like. I've been at a point for some time now where I don't want to do Hapkido anymore because I'm tired of the ukemi. I really don't want to be thrown over anyone's shoulder ever again. I'm at the point where my body refuses to take these big falls.

    Time for a change.
     
  9. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Interesting material and I like the analysis outline by tellner. I still need to feel it to believe it (and would like to do so).
     
  10. erich

    erich Yellow Belt

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    Tellner - very nice analysis.

    Regarding your comment about at speed: Many of the qualities you describe (especially mobility and joint relaxation) enable this to be done at greater speed than you would think.

    That said, it becomes very very scary as the full extent of potential damage that someone like Martin (one of the best under Vlad) can deal becomes apparent. Martin, and some others including of course Vasiliev himself, fortunately have enough control to make sure that you feel the danger without ever receiving too much of the damage... just enough :)

    By very very scary I mean that it causes the body to react at a subconscious level; cold sweats, hyperventilation, involuntary movement, and adrenaline dumps. learning to deal with these effects is a critical & constant component (as in continuous improvement) of the training. This process is sometimes referred to as tempering.

    Not to send this thread into drift but this video is a good example of tempering:



    Note the guy start in short order to hyperventilate, sweat, and flinch (over-react). Final, though he jokes about it, it becomes clear that he has had enough and the exercise ends.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  11. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    Thanks for the kind words erich and arnisador. That's just a few of the things that really stand out about how he's doing things in the clips. There's a lot more under there that I'm just not skilled enough to see. And it's not even getting into what he's doing.

    Let's just say that a lot of it looks very different from what I've spent the last few years doing. But what's happening underneath and the way he makes it work are very familiar. If Guru Plinck stepped in front of a beer truck tomorrow I'd be heading up in your direction and applying for instruction. The things that are going on - how to put it - look strange but feel like home. There would be some hope of my calcified middle-aged brain being able to adjust to the old essence in a new form.

    Your point about about fear really hits home. One of the things that Mr. Vasiliev does very well is control the situation. Control the lines. Control the other guy's center. Control the time and so on. Most of all control the other guy's mind. In no particular order he uses disorientation, things coming from strange directions and in syncopated timing, loss of physical equilibrium, pain, an altered perception of time, fear and finally the loss of the will to fight. The attacker? victim? The poor S.O.B. who's having his day in the barrel has his metaphorical legs swept out from under him and never has a chance to find solid ground, much less stand back up on it. What's more, he knows it could be worse which makes everything more confusing.

    There's more to winning a fight than just pounding the bejesus out of someone until he falls down. If it were pure physicality my money would have been on the most of the attackers. That's not the way it's going, and not because of a compliant uke thing. They're obviously trying until their minds get led around to a place where they can't continue. We ride horses and not the other way around not we're stronger than them. A Shetland Pony has more raw power than any man who will ever live. It's because we control what's going on inside their heads. In these clips the demonstrators do a lot of very skillful manipulation of the other guys' minds, partly through the obvious things I mentioned earlier like loss of equilibrium, pain and time distortion and certainly others that are beyond my ability to perceive.

    Once that's happened, well, it's like my old teacher says "The beef won't do you no more good than it did the cow."
     
  12. Brian King

    Brian King Master of Arts

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    I realize that the posters asking about Martin's Systema DVD's have now closed their accounts but in case they are still lurking on the forum and to let others that want to view more of Martin's work, I thought I would post a link to Martins web site.
    http://wheelersystema.com/

    He now has two very good Systema DVD's out. "Moving and Striking" is one and the other is "The Secrets of Systema Ground Fighting" There are short clips of each DVD on his site as well as a portion of a filmed interview shot for a show on A&E that is interesting.

    I was at a seminar in Mexico a couple of weeks ago (A Systema summit in Cancun) and was able to spend some time with Martin. In addition to a teaching a bunch of Systema seminars he has a couple of other DVD's in the works and just finished work on an upcoming film with Richard Gere (the Double).

    Regards
    Brian
     
  13. RachelK

    RachelK Purple Belt

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    I am really impressed by the insight into Martin's clips from people who aren't regular Systema students. I hope you will get a chance to try Systema one day, even though I can see by your posts that you are already training with your own instructors, but based on your written comments about Systema, you'd very much enjoy Systema class.

    In addition to the DVDs that Brian mentioned, Martin also frequently travels to conduct Systema seminars all over the world. Check his seminars page http://www.wheelersystema.com/martial-arts/seminars and maybe he'll be coming to a town near you.
     
  14. brainfreez

    brainfreez White Belt

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    One thing I noticed from watching Martin Wheeler and also Vladimir is that they dont put up any guard with thier hands. I don't see how in doing this they arn't opening themselves up for attacks... would anybody like to explain this for me? Thanks.
     
  15. al mcluckie

    al mcluckie White Belt

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    Well --- unless you've been on the floor with some good Systema players / instructors I don't think it can be easily explained . There are times , moments , where one's "guard" hands are up but rarely as you would find in boxing mma wing chun etc. More often in Systema , your "guard " is your awareness as opposed to a defensive hand placement .

    One example might be the art of deflecting a jab with your shoulder while simultaneously using the hand of the same limb to strike in a variety of ways , or wrench/break the jabbing arm . Another example of not having your "guard " up can be tactically similar to the filipino systems of seeming to be open to draw a punch , then striking the attacking limb .

    Again , impossible to really convey in a post - one thousand Systema posters could attempt dissertations on the dynamics and rationals of why things are done the way they are - it always ends up like explaining swimming .

    Hope you can check out a class sometime Mr. Freeze , you might like it !
     
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  16. brainfreez

    brainfreez White Belt

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    I have been attending a Systema class for 3 years and I have never come across this, and I am yet to ask my instructor about it. We use the kadochnikov upper stance (hands up at eye level) and we train to defend ourselves from that position. I don't understand what is stopping the attacker from stiking the opponents jaw, for example, when one is defending without a guard up. Furthermore, one never sees boxers (or any other martial artist that I am aware of) dropping their guard like this. Coud you please tell me what would happen when somebody goes to punch the jaw when dropping ones stance like this?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  17. al mcluckie

    al mcluckie White Belt

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    Two points --- one - your spelling shows a marked improvement . Two - perhaps you should ask your instructor initially instead of strangers . Hope you receive an enlightening response .
     
  18. Mark Jakabcsin

    Mark Jakabcsin Green Belt

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    Hands are for offense.
     
  19. Robert Gergi

    Robert Gergi White Belt

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    A good suggestion is for you to also try it... work on it with your partner and see what happens or how you react.
     
  20. zendo

    zendo White Belt

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    I Like this systema guys - 123
     
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