What my friends think...

Discussion in 'Russian Martial Arts' started by HeartOfLion, Jan 4, 2003.

  1. HeartOfLion

    HeartOfLion Guest

    I had some friends over at my place and while I was busy cooking, one of them shoved Tape 1 of Vladimir Vasiliev's H2H Cobat set without me knowing. A while later, I heard laughters from the lounge, so I went there to see what was happening.

    They were watching the tape and they said it was pathetic and the least realistic thing they ever saw. I wanted to explain that it can be effective, and that it's not based on rote techniques, but I know they wouldn't have listen. So I pressed STOP and switched to a 'nature' documentary and they went to say that a squirrel can beat that russian guy on the tape.

    I know Vladimir has real skills because a lot of credible people say he has, including, Pavel, Oleg, and others.

    But my friends did raise one good point... how can one learn from these tapes? I know they have some value, but how are you suppose create your own techniques from these tapes? Are you suppose to first understand why and how the 'moves' work, and then create variations, the variations working based on why the shown examples work?

    I'm really confused. Please help me out.
     
  2. Jay Bell

    Jay Bell Master Black Belt

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    The tapes are not designed to be a primary teaching tool. They are for getting a glimpse of how things are done in Systema, as well as giving you exercises to work on.
     
  3. Phil Elmore

    Phil Elmore Master of Arts

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    I've not had the opportunity, yet, to view any of Vladimir's Systema tapes, but I have viewed several of Scott Sonnon's instructional cassettes. The reason there is a connection between the two is that both Vladimir and Scott respect each other (despite the fact that adherents to either individual's teaching often cannot say anything good about each other -- I've seen threads in which Coach Sonnon called the controversy that often erupts around the two a completely fabricated Internet phenomenon, though those are my words interpreting his comments).

    I imagine that Vladimir is a product of his culture and teaches accordingly; Coach Sonnon teaches like, well, an American athletic coach, so you may find his tapes to be more to your liking than Vlad's purely on a cultural basis.

    I do have it on good authority that Vladimir has produced several tapes that are worthwhile, and I have taken steps to acquire these in the hopes of producing reviews of them. I know he's taken some flak for some of the "psychic powers" or some such demonstrations that are alleged to appear on some of his cassettes, though that's hearsay in that I've not viewed this for myself.

    I believe Systema and ROSS students can glean much from each other. If you've looked at one of the two, I think you'd do well to look at the other.

    Flow Fighting Review

    Fisticuffs Review

    Leg Fencing Review
     
  4. dc8ball

    dc8ball Guest

    I agree with Phil,

    I have often been rewarded when I acted responsibly from my opened mind even inspite of the opinions of others. When I get more than one perspective on a subject, I see more clearly the original one.

    HOL,

    I have replied to your other post concerning your training I hope it helps.

    Dani'l Chomycia
     
  5. HeartOfLion

    HeartOfLion Guest

    To those people having experience, in BOTH Systema and ROSS, can they can complement each other well? By this, I mean tape education for the meantime.

    I've got Vlad's H2H tapes and will soon get Shock-Ability as recommended by the forum members.

    Cheers
     
  6. Arthur

    Arthur Blue Belt

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    Wow! who would have thought... oh the coincidence..!!! All the same people spontaneously show uo on this thread as the othe great newbie thread in this section.

    I'm dumbfounded, truly!

    Isn't it amazing how many peple wit the exact same interest all decided to join and post at the same time, the internet is an amazing thing!

    Arthur (same screen name I alway use) Sennott
     
  7. Phil Elmore

    Phil Elmore Master of Arts

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    It's a miracle how I managed to fit about a hundred and forty posts in a couple of days' time. I know that each day when Scott Sonnon faxes me marching orders for the day's wide-eyed, sycophantic posts, the degree to which I've surrendered my free will for the sake of being in his good graces begins to chafe, somewhat. When that happens I beat myself soundly about the head and neck with a clubbell until the sensation subsides. :rolleyes:
     
  8. drusin

    drusin Guest

    I think students of ROSS and Systema could benefit from training videos of each system. I've trained in ROSS under Scott Sonnon for about three years and have seen some of the Systema videos. The training videos of each system seem to me to be complimentary. Scott does have a western approach to teaching and breaks things down very nicely in order to illustrate principles. The Systema videos that I have seen are replete with examples of applications that seem to derive from the same core principles. Scott is an excellent teacher and I've heard the same said about Vasiliev, though I've never trained under him. Both are obviously very skilled practitioners of their respective systems. There seems to be far more common ground between the two systems than there is difference. It seems primarily to be a difference in pedagogy.

    Any tension between these two camps, to me, is nonsense. The study of each can improve the other. And we are, after all, talking about Russian Martial Art. Someone truly interested in RMA should be interested in both approaches as well as other forms of RMA. Wouldn't it be cool to see a weekend camp devoted soley to RMA in its many forms? Imagine if detractors would cease and each could see the value of the other. Imagine Sonnon, Vasiliev and other RMA instructors coming together for an RMA bonanza weekend. How cool would that be - ROSS and Systema students training alongside one another with common purpose.

    A dream perhaps, but all reality starts with a thought...

    As for your friends laughing at the video...

    only a fool mocks that which he does not understand...

    Be well and strong everyone!!

    Dave Rusin
     
  9. Yakimovich

    Yakimovich Guest

    There is a biblical saying, something like "having ears will hear..." (and as applicable to martial art instruction tapes that would be "having eyes will see...") But if in the Bible it is about an INTENT, a will to understand, in martial arts instruction it is also about possessing certain "cognitive framework" acquired either through immediate training with an instructor or combination of attending seminars, camps, exploring (not merely watching) tapes and books and, of course practical training.

    Martial art community in North America is lucky to have Russian Martial Art to be presented from different angles by two prominent leading trainers -
    Scott Sonnon (ROSS) and Vladimir Vasiliev ("Systema")
    having different teaching styles and original martial art backgrounds.
    For a thoughtful viewer possessing that "cognitive framework" and some practical experience the ROSS and "Systema" video materials are valuable and complimentary training tools which can enrich viewer's understanding and benefit the training.

    I personally know both Scott Sonnon and Vladimir Vasiliev and greatly respect them personally and as outstanding instructors and athletes.
    I am historically, organizationally and personally related to ROSS being an Instructor Trainee. I attended a number of Vladimir's seminars held in Bridgewater, NJ (at Alex Wilkie's Martial Art Academy) and was able to speak to him on these occasions on a variety of subjects and check myself that he is a "concrete" as a hurricane. And, believe me, the guys at Alex Wilkie's are not softish types, quite an opposite - they've checked it too and the dojo is full whenever Vladimir visits them. I highly recommend to those doubting effectiveness either of ROSS or "Systema" (and having guts) to attend a seminar or a camp and check it themselves before mumbling flat jokes in a comfort at the TV set.

    Now, more concretely, about how I consider ROSS and "Systema" materials to be complimentary:
    each martial arts instructional tape (or series of tapes) has a balance of motivational, demonstration, combat psychology, biomechanics, conceptual and principal aspects. Another dimension is self defense and/or military applicability vs. sport combat. On my opinion, "Systema" video materials accentuate demonstration and motivation (for those who are already ready to perceive fluent and natural ways of Russian styles). In other words, Vladimir focuses of "WHAT" can be done. ROSS tapes accentuate presentation of concepts and principals, in other words "HOW" one can get into the shape to perform these movements and what biomechanics phenomena are behind the scene.

    If progress is generally well modelled as a spiral you may want, within one cycle of your evolution to check the "Systema" tapes to get the general idea and get motivated to become a versatile, light and effective fighter, then explore ROSS materials on the subject to understand how to develop needed attributes and what strategies back up the effectiveness; further down the road, having these principles covered one can retain to "Systema" tapes again to be able to gather the mosaic of tactics presented into really "internalized" manner when you can not merely formally repeat "the shape" of what you see but to generate techniques "as needed", as a result of attributes acquired multiplied by strategies realized.

    To a some extent (and that is explained by original authors backgrounds) ROSS tapes are "tinged" with sport fight accent (typical example being "The Grapplers Toolbox") and "Systema" - more immediately addressing self defense (e.g. "Defense inside a car"). On the other hand, ROSS have military CQC "Bayonet" series and 'Systema" - great combat fitness tapes. Again, that difference is rather an angle of view. Applying well established ROSS biomechanics frameworks makes you highly effective in all range of self defense and military scenarios. Working on "Systema"
    fluency drills will benefit any striker or grappler.

    Best regards and keep strong,

    Oleg Yakimovich
     
  10. Arthur

    Arthur Blue Belt

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    Now that my fit of sarcasm is over, and I'm back in my regular mind.... yeah what Dave and Oleg said. Good posts guys.

    Arthur
     
  11. HeartOfLion

    HeartOfLion Guest

    Thanks to those who replied.

    I intent on using both ROSS and Systema tapes to complement each other. With the Systema tapes that I own, I'll use them to view what the possibilities are in Russian Martial Arts. Vladimir has nice flow and I particularly like watching his demonstrations at the end of tape 2.

    ROSS tapes from what I read are rooted in principles, concepts, biomechanics etc. I have an analytical mindset and really like learning principles.

    No intention of starting a ROSS vs Systema thread....
     
  12. Arthur

    Arthur Blue Belt

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    A good exercise if you have some of both sets and your analytical in nature, is to watch a ROSS tape. Think about the ideas presented. Then throw in a Systema tape and pick an example vladimir shows. then try to figure out which of the different principles you learned on the ROSS tape are in there.

    Make sure you understand why the opponent falls down in each example. The ROSS tapes that talk about Joint Mass Center, I think its "Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force" will be really helpful for understanding the downing part of Vladimir's tapes.

    The material on Shockability is great as an expanded set explaining many of the receptions tyou see on Vladimir's H2H tapes and also really in the Knife Defense tape.

    One of the best things to do with Vladimir's tapes is to just try to immitate his general movement. There is a unique quality there, and as it becomes more familiar to you, you will feel more commfortable doing the material, and the material will tend to flow out of you in a more spontantous way.

    At any rate after attempting sample movements, you should always do free unrestricted movement. Spontaneous creation. You can go as slow as you need to. there is a speed where ANYONE can create spontaneous "technique".

    If you ever played "Batman" when you were little. Slow motion fights with your buddies, pretending "Biffs, Bams and Pows were all in there... well imitating the spirit of that game will be a great place to start.

    As you get more experieince you can bring the speed up.

    Arthur
     
  13. GouRonin

    GouRonin Guest

    In the end they are just training tools.

    If I give a hammer, nails, and 2X4's to 5 different men, they will build 5 different things.

    If you don't so anything with the tools you have, you're not building anything at all.

    :D
     
  14. GouRonin

    GouRonin Guest

    Well, according to the Russian Guidebook...

    But if worse comes to worse let your friend hit the mat with Vlad. I find that there are many people out int he world who laugh and scorn but will never hit the mat. Only then can your make a decision.
     
  15. jellyman

    jellyman Green Belt

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    You know, it's funny how different people react to H2H.

    The guy who got me into systema thought it was crap when he first saw it too. Then some midget even smaller than he was beat on him until he was cowering in a corner. It still took him a year of battering to begin to accept it at face value. Now he teaches.

    I saw the H2H tapes as being immediately interesting, somehow familiar, yet different. A lot of people would probably interpret that as trying to be like the familiar (and therefore 'correct') thing and the difference being a failure to acheive this end. Others may look at the difference as 'window dressing'. I was fortunate in that I had a live instructor before I ever looked at a tape, so I was prepared to accept it on its own terms.

    A simple guide to using the H2H tapes (which btw I still watch over and over, and still learn stuff):

    With a partner, replicate the movement. In doing so, you'll figure out why it works. If you can, find an instructor to critique what you are doing. Failing that, go to a seminar.

    I used to be of the opinion that it is impossible to learn a martial art through tapes, that they were only supplementary material. However, I have since met people from far away who never got an instructor, and have absorbed quite a bit. Once they got to Vlad's (where I would meet them) their understanding would increase quite a bit, but still, they were not without some skill coming in.

    A lot of what Vlad does looks unfamiliar - many of the moves he demonstrates are 'illegal' in modern sport grappling and striking, and for this reason the adherents of those arts will not recognize them, because they've been inadvertently conditioned to think that 'illegal' = 'ineffective', or 'lacking in skill'. This also explains why so many cross over once they are physically exposed to this stuff, but not before.
     
  16. jellyman

    jellyman Green Belt

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    I should mention that I know one guy at Vlad's who thought the ROSS stuff was interesting. From the adverts, I got the sense of a really good explanation of what we do. 'Weaponize your architecture' for example, speaks to me of hitting and manipulating with all your body surfaces, instead of just the usual hands, elbows, knees and feet. Which resonates with what I've seen systema people do pretty well.123
     

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