Fisticuffs or Shock-ability?



I can't choose between 'fisticuffs' or 'shock-ability' from . I'm not sure which to get.

I'm not very good at defending against strikes or kicks. I'm lacking in co-ordination so whenever I try to defend with my arms or even evade, the arms or my body never appear at the right places.

Does 'fisticuffs' contain defensive tactics/drills against strikes? I wanna improve my defense before moving on to the offensive side of pugilism, because my build is very small and my reach is not long, so attacking first is not a good option for me, especially against skilled/trained fighters. If I want to stand a chance of defending myself, I'll have to rely on counter-attacking, so having solid defensive skills is a must.

Does 'fisticuffs' contain different defensive tactics to the ones in 'shock-ability?'

Your reviews are very good, so do you think you might be able to review Shock-ability soon?


I have been a member of the ROSS tribe going on for 3 years now, so I'm pretty familiar with both tape series and their content.

While you can't go wrong by purchasing either one of these video series, my suggestion would be to start with Shock-Ability. This will provide you with a foundation that will better prepare you for the material found in the Fisticuffs series.

Shock-Ability will guide you through the process necessary for removing fear-reactivity. This will afford you the ability to then inoculate incoming threats thereby reducing or eliminating trauma caused by physical impact. From this, you will then be capable of creating your own counters, which can include the transfer of impellent force; this is detailed in volume three of the series.

This third volume is also a beautiful segue into the Fisticuffs series as it introduces you to the mechanics necessary for creating and depositing force into your opponent. Fisticuffs further explores this idea of creating a platform for launching force, as well as looking into the medium through which force is transferred, biomechanical movement.

These two series compliment each other perfectly, but if you want my advice, begin with Shock-Ability before moving into P3. ROSS training is about progress through incremental development. I believe that by starting with SA, you will be able to more easily replicate that experience.

Best of luck.

Train Hard,

Doug Rowell

Based on how you describe your needs I would recommend "Shock-ability."

The tape series addresses the idea of "Shock Inoculation", how to deal with incoming strikes from punches to kicks and most importantly (IMHO) provides drills that will not only improve your movement but lesson your fear reactivity.

Many students grow slowly or fail to grow as martial artists because they a strong foundation. Shock-ability will help get you accustomed to receiving impact and lesson your fear of contact. This is fundamental to being mentally and physically prepared to engineer strikes against your opponent.

I hope this was helpful. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any other questions.
I've had the pleasure of reviewing several of Scott's tape series, including the standalone tape Flow Fighting (which is a great "virtual chat" with the Coach), the Leg Fencing series, the Fisticuffs series, and (soon to be published on my site) Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force.

Flow Fighting Review

Fisticuffs Review

Leg Fencing Review

I have not yet had the opportunity to review Shock-ability, but elements of what are covered in it are discussed in the other tapes I've reviewed.

Notable about Scott's work is the fact that it is all interconnected. While each tape series stands alone, one series reinforces or expands on others. Elements of Leg Fencing are covered in less detail in the earlier Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force, for example.

If you're curious about what, exactly, is covered in Fisticuffs, you'll find the content covered in pretty fair detail in my review. To be honest, I would actually recommend starting with Flow Fighting, as it is a great overview of the philosophy behind what Scott teaches. There are no drills or techniques covered in that tape -- it is simply Scott sitting and speaking into the camera, discussing the formulae and concepts to which he teaches. It was actually the first tape of his I ever viewed, and I'm glad I started with that one out of blind luck.

Regarding the original dilemma, since I've only seen one of the two sets between which you're trying to decide, I can't be of much help there. I will say, though, that if you find one set of Scott's worthwhile, you will find all of them worthwhile, for each one is a component in the overall body of Coach Sonnon's material.

I think the whole is more than the sum of the parts, too.

I admire your honesty and courage in sharing your problems with us. I have trained with the Author of the Series' in question for many years and very closely this last year. From my experience and your discription I would recomemend Shock-Ability as my friends Doug and Shawn suggest. Most people are less coordinated when under duress those who are not are usually mentally injured or impaired.

SA will help with this aspect of your training, If after your begin your training with SA, and you still feel a lack in coordintion I would suggest you take a look at the Warrior Wellness Series. This Series is designed to Strengthen your joints and recover your coordinated movement, the later parts of the series contain exercises that increase your coordination to a very high degree.

Dani'l Chomycia
As has already been stated the two series build upon each other and extrapolate on things mentioned in each other at different points, as with what I've seen in my limited experience of the ROSS system everything you see furthers your understanding of what you have already seen and vice versa.

What I found with Shockability (and again with all of ROSS that I've seen so far) is that to gain the maximum benefit from the material you must be prepared to view and review the material with an analytical mindset, drawing parallels between points and uncovering the intertwined nature of all the material.
Also, be preapared for a few lightbulb moments.

My personal preference would be to start with Shockability and if you like what you see move on to Fisticuffs followed by Leg Fencing.


Thanks to everyone who replied!!!

Does Shock-ability also decrease reaction time and total response time?

Because one of my friends throws fast strikes, and even if by luck I manage to bring my body parts to the right place to respond, I don't get to respond on time.

Between the two, I would suggest starting with the Shock-ability series. It will build a integral foundation for your striking curriculum, albeit kicking or punching. Incorporating Grappler's Toolbox and Zdorvye/Warrior Wellness routines wouldn't hurt either.
Gosh n begora! amazing how many brand new members all spontneously happened to post on the same same subject, in the same area, with the same opinion! I think we've witnessed a miracle!

Arthur (you know who I am) Sennott

I'm not sure what you are implying, but the ROSS tribe is a close-knit community. If we discover that someone has expressed interested in our training methodologies, we try our best to share our knowledge and experience.

We definitely are not from the same area. You can view my website at
Phil's website is
and Shawn's website is

Best Wishes,

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:
Phil that makes me laugh!

Arthur if you are absolutely convinced that Doug , Shawn, and I are the same person there is nothing we can do but pray for your sanity, however if this is not the case you can verify that we each have our own seperate bodies by visiting Doug's and Shawn's websites respectively each of them has pictures and Shawn's website has a picture of most if not all of the tribe. You can also verify our seperate contact info @

My apologies to all of those viewing, as this thread has deviated from the original subject.

Dani'l Chomycia
I wasn't referring to Doug, Phil or Shawn. I'm quite aware of who you guys are.

The voicing of my concern was as much for the sake of ROSS as for Systema. I don't think the majority of people in either art would like to see the cyber wars flare up. Especially not if they are started by unknown parties that may not actually be related to either System.

I probably shouldn't have made my remark on this thread as well as the other one. My mistake. I apologize for that. However, the other thread definately starts out with words we really don't need in the effort to make a happy RMA world.

And while, I made some general sarcastic comments which weren't targeted at a specific individual, the responses to it were certainly less than ideal in promoting the effort to all move forward together.

And now to add something of substance to the thread. I haven't seen "Fisticuffs" yet, but would like too. I own the Shockability series and thought they were a good set of tapes. I'm sure you'll get plenty of benefit out them. My guess would be that the Fisticuffs tapes are excellent too. Buying both would probably be a good idea.

Since I was the last to post before Arthur's reply, I would like to clarify that I am not Doug, Phil, Shawn, or any of the ROSS Tribers that have posted above. I am not even related (directly) to Ciilan!

I thought my opinion of the material in question would be of some benefit to "HeartOfLion" and decided to refrain from "lurking" and post. I do appreciate your concern to the thread being hijacked.

Travis McHugh
Arthur wrote:

'However, the other thread definately starts out with words we really don't need in the effort to make a happy RMA world.'

Arthur, my sincere apologies. I am definitely not a troll, but I'm genuinely seeking training guidance and advice. Reading back what I wrote I do understand though that my thread could have been misintepreted as an attempt to discredit Systema or Vladimir Vasiliev, eventhough that wasn't my intention.

Like I mentioned, I do believe that Vladimir has legit skills and experience and also that Systema can be an effective art, with proper supervised training.

Eventhough I haven't met Vladimir personally and never had any supervised training sessions , I trust the positive testimonials of reliable individuals I've communicated with, who had nothing but great things to say about Vladimir and Systema.

My question on the other thread is, I wanted to know how I can use Systema videos to learn, and I was just expecting Systema members to make suggestions, with the limited resources that I have.

Again, my sincere apologies....
Apology accepted. I've written you a legitimate and helpful (I hope) response over in the other thread.

Good morning everyone. I just wanted to express how happy I am that this thread and the other one concerning ROSS and System have really turned into something useful.

Beyond the great technical stuff mentioned in both threads there are System and ROSS practitioners sharing and appreciating eachother and that is the way it should be.

For those of you that have been involved in the martial arts for long enough to have war stories about politics and ego maniacs you will appreciate how rare and wonderful strong friendly working relationships are. The Systema and ROSS communities have very dedicated practitioners. It would be great to see both tribe members learning from and respecting one another.

Great stuff, everyone.


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