Systema a discussion

Discussion in 'Russian Martial Arts' started by Gweilo, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. Gweilo

    Gweilo 3rd Black Belt

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    The 2 questions you have are linked, what happens to your body when you get scared, or when your body gets tired, as you breath harder, your chest stomach and shoulders move more, your body will fill with tension, once tension is within the body, your mind and muscles have to work harder to compensate, which brings more fatigue, more doubts which = more tension.
    Systema breathing is a process where you teach yourself to combat this by using breath techniques through training and every day life, we learn to take the right amount of oxygen for the work we do, and also techniques for recovery, the better you breath the you can keep the tension at bay, the freer and more natural you move, to give a simplified example, watch a dad play fight with his son, dad is relaxed, no matter how hard the child tries dad has it covered, dad is confident in his movement, that process of being relaxed, confident, moving freely, is what we are aiming for in our work, our striking is done differently, it is similar to the Wing Chun relaxed punching with a difference, heavy and at different depths.
    Our techniques will be familiar to other MA, we do not use blocks like you see in arts like Karate etc, but with our natural movement we avoid, blend, deflect, we have ground techniques, on guard, half guard, escape, and on the floor is the only time we may use tension, in a choke, blood hold, or other form of submit ion. We use takedowns that can be locks, structure manipulation, we seldom use sweeps as we prefer to counter attack when the body is most vulnerable, for example a front kick, we will avoid, deflect, and strike the lead leg just before it lands, our techniques are counter attack and are done with free natural fluid movement, that is in directly linked to our breathing.
     
  2. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    You can find a variety of interpretations, organisations and skill level. Almost anything could be called Systema, by definition... Have a look there. Not much to loose (2 hrs of your time?). Then tell us your experience :)
     
  3. Gweilo

    Gweilo 3rd Black Belt

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    Systema breath work is a core basic or the art, as mentioned before our breath work is used for stamina, and recovery, and to remove tension from the body.
    We have several breath patterns that are linked with our movements, this is designed to expand our breath capacity, and increase or breath stamina, but also we use these patterns to put our body under stress in order find and release tension, in order to train ourselves to relax keep calm in a stressful or dangerous situation.
    The first breath pattern is a ladder, in its basic form we breath in for 1 step, then out for 1 step, breath in for 2 out for 2, and climb as high as we can as long as it is comforcomfortable a good 1st level to get to is 30, but it must be done at your regular walking pace, then you can move it along to jogging, or other excercise's. On from this we go to triangle breath which is 1 in breath one full hold 1 exhale, again up to 30. We then introduce a square breath which is 1 inhale, 1 full hold, 1 exhale, 1 empty hold, we can do these breath patterns in class or our everyday life, which is encouraged, for example whilst walking to work or he dog.
    As mentioned we do this with our basic 4 excercise's, , the push up, the squat, the leg raise, and the sit up, so we start with breathing in for the whole of the push up out for the squat etc, this then moves on to eventually, doing 1 of all 4 on an in breath, so 1 in breath covers all 4 excercise's, followed by 1 of all 4 on an exhale, and the exhale must last for all 4, we are aiming to do this calmly, relaxed, with out the uncomfortable need to breath, and without tension, not easy give it ago, if you are not sure about the last set of excercise's follow the FB link for a video of it being demonstrated.
    Matt Hill
     
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  4. dunc

    dunc Green Belt

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    Hi

    Chipping in with my tuppence worth

    I trained systema for a year or two when it first came to light in the UK. Several of my friends really got into it, visited Vladimir and Michael regularly etc etc
    I really liked systema's focus on developing natural, relaxed and responsive movement - nothing unique about this, but they did seem to be able to use this concept to deliver strikes (in particular) from unusual angles and positions
    I also liked how contemporary it was: You trained in street clothes, they use modern weapons etc - this is somewhat unique I think

    I didn't continue my training for a few reasons:
    - They seem to suffer greatly from the "walled garden effect". Where the techniques overly rely on your opponent responding in a systema way
    - It was very free form, but without the hard sparring necessary to test new movements. I found that things that had worked wonderfully in the systema class were useless when I tried them on practitioners from other styles
    - I didn't feel that their distancing or control was safe enough to deal with the reality of bladed attacks
    - At that time there was a lot of mystical jedi like stuff being peddled, which may have its place, but only as a tool to control susceptible people

    Probably it's moved on a lot since then so my view is likely somewhat out of date. I have a very good friend, who I respect enormously as a martial artist, who's trained systema in a more pressure tested way and seems to be making it work well

    Best

    D
     
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  5. Gweilo

    Gweilo 3rd Black Belt

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    Hello Dunc, many thanks for your response, it is a typical comment I hear, the problem with some Systema instructors is they tend to use the same class schedule or syllabus over and over, this tends to bring a rythem into training and in practioners, which does make their response predictable, which is why some people believe it is highly coreographed.
    Systema is all about freedom to move, to react, the instructors need to mix the lesson up, I spoke to a person who trains at another club, who was suprised that in our class we change the syllabus monthly, this month is multiple strikes and multiple attackers, next month may be knife defense, or groundwork, but according to him, their lessons are pretty much the same month on month, so it becomes a routine, rather than freedom, and of course, it takes 3 to 5 years to master the very basics.
     
  6. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Your criticism of systema matches a lot of my thoughts after watching some videos. My main thing is it has the same issue as aikido with a lot of over compliment partners who throw themselves to the floor when they're barely touched. Also the fact that pretty much every description of systema focuses on their breathing not their actual fighting system.

    I mean hey I might be wrong I'm happy to hold my hands up and say I'm wrong if I find out otherwise. I'm planning to visit the local school and see. I may love systema even despite the faults.. Because to me martial arts stopped being about self defence a long time ago...I'm a fairly strong guy with years of training and experience as a doorman. I know I can handle myself if I need to.
     
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  7. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    You see that's my problem....3-5 to even get the basics....that's not much use for self defence is it. I mean hey it's fine for learning an art but say I'm mr average guy who gets beat up in a nightclub and I want to learn self defence and I go to systema class...that means I'll have to prey like hell that I don't get attacked for 5 years of my training.
     
  8. dunc

    dunc Green Belt

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    I understand that systema clubs operate in very different ways and presumably achieve very different results in terms of effectiveness and that's fairly normal I think

    You can see a fair bit of the "walled garden effect", distancing etc in this clip

     
  9. Gweilo

    Gweilo 3rd Black Belt

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    Then go to a academy where they give you a black belt in 4 weeks, and see how that works in a night club
     
  10. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Where did I say that would be any better?
     
  11. Gweilo

    Gweilo 3rd Black Belt

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    I agree and have said several times Systema does not translate well in video, this video was part of a training seminar, so would be done to accommodate that, but yes I get the walled garden comment
     
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  12. Gweilo

    Gweilo 3rd Black Belt

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    .Hapkido which I also trained in, was 3 years minimum per Dan, to stop the loss in quality of the techniques. The same is true of a lot of arts, not just Systema,
     
  13. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Again....never said it wasn't
     
  14. Gweilo

    Gweilo 3rd Black Belt

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    So how long do you think, after joining a MA do you think you should be proficient at self defence, because in a night club, there ain't no better technique than a good old smack in the face, or guts.
     
  15. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Think about it like this. Does it take a boxer 5 years to be able to understand how to throw a decent punch
     
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  16. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Depends on how you define "proficient" obviously. I can teach you to deliver a good punch in a short time. Is that enough to win a fight? Maybe. Maybe not.
     
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  17. Gweilo

    Gweilo 3rd Black Belt

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    No, but he will go through the amateur ranks learning his craft before he turns professional, learning to throw a few punches or kicks can be seen as self defense, but that is all you have until you become more skilled.
     
  18. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    well that very much depends on the abilities of the student, someone who has good athletic ability and learns quickly, should have more than enough in the white belt class to make him able to fight drunks in a night club, for others , never,
     
  19. dunc

    dunc Green Belt

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    To be honest it was pretty much the first one on youtube
    Any chance you could point me to a better reference video?

    Thanks
     
  20. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    I agree, Systema does not translate well in video.
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