RMA dvd's which art and dvd set is best for a beginner.

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Krowley

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hello, this is my first time posting here... normally i try to get the hang of a forum before posting, but i really needed some information from people with experience. So please excuse any mistakes.

me and one of my friends are looking to start a training group and get back into martial arts. We are former students in the bujinkan, but our lifestyles don't really allow us the time we need to study that art as fully as we'd like to... We aren't into martial arts as a way of life... it's more of a minor passion for us... We are looking for strong realistic self defense and a way to keep fit.

I recently discovered these Russian systems. In particular, Ross, systema and the Kadochnikov system. The thing that has most impressed me in my reading is the lack of formalized techniques and the emphasis on slow motion training to develop your own style. The idea of giving people a set of physical and movement principles and letting them figure out how to use them. There are similar concepts in the bujinkan, but they are not emphasized in the early training.

In the beginning our training will have to be based on DVD's and learning as much as we can in that way. We plan to bring a few other friends in and have formalized weekly training, and we have some experience training in this way. Some of our bujinkan training was in person and some by video through Mr. van donks tapes... We were not very advanced in that art, but we learned the footwork, how to fall, and roll, as well as wristlocks, punches kicks and a few takedowns... It was difficult to get to that point but we struggled through. these arts, at least on the surface, seem to be the kind of arts where that sort of training could be more fruitful than in other systems because of the freeform mentality.

I intend to buy some video tapes. What Im trying to decide is which set i should buy.. I know each of the primary systems are very different on a theoretical level, but many of the movements seem similar. It seems like something that we could pick up very easily because of our ninjutsu background, there are some similarity's in the approach to body movement.

The most intriguing thing for me about these arts is the focus on improvisation, and I understand the systema practitioners are the ones who emphasize that most, but I must confess I saw a knife fighting clip from mister vasiliev that didn't look very practical to me and it has me a bit worried about the whole system, I like most of what Ive seen from him so Im still considering it, but knife fighting is very serious business. In most other respects it seems like it might be ideal for us.

Scott sonnon's ross tapes sound fascinating, but I can't figure out if he is teaching a martial art, or just a revolutionary approach to coaching and conditioning. Do his tapes teach you how to fight? do they teach something that me and my friend can immediately pick up and start practicing? is it comprehensive or does it assume previous knowledge? And Which of his packages is best to start with?

Kadochnikovs system is the one that Im most interested in so far, but because the tapes are in Russian with dubbed English, i worry that the instruction will not be passed on as it should be and it is difficult to find any kind of reviews for those tapes online. for any with experience, are they comprehensive instructional tapes, or just an overview of his system? Can you learn at least the basics from them if you are not currently training formally? Because his system is a purely military system, Im assuming that it would allow you to achieve competence more quickly than most other programs.

I have no experience in these arts, so i am forced to ask for help. We are simply looking for something thats practical and real for self defense were we can get together a few times a week and slowly make progress through exercises and drills. If it builds on our earlier training, thats great, but if we have to start from scratch, that's fine too, as long as it's simple and direct. We may eventually attend seminars, or maybe even join a school, but at first, we would have to train alone. Thanks in advance.
 
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kage110

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Hi Krowley,

Welcome to Martial Talk! I have to warn you that I think your post is either going to be ignored by some knowledgeable people or attract some negative comments. Try to go with the flow and don't worry - it is only the internet after all!

First off, it is going to be very difficult for you and your friends to learn without training with competent instructors of whatever art you choose. Even if all you manage to do is get along to a seminar one weekend and then go home and study from the videos you will do yourselves a lot of service. Secondly, your experience in the Buj will be both a hinderance (because there are all sorts of things you will need to unlearn) and an advantage (because you will at least be familiar with martial movement and I think the Buj is closer to the RMA than some other arts). But you have the knowledge you have and you cannot simply forget it so just train!

I will do my best to offer you some advice but please understand that I am only one voice and not a particularly knowledgeable one at that. I came to RMA from a Bujinkan-like background (as did a good many who study RMA) and I do not study any of the styles you mention. I have practiced RMA for 2-3 years under someone who has considerable experience in Systema but who is doing his own thing now. I have not physically studied Systema, ROSS, K-Sys or RMAX and my impressions of them are purely from video footage and my own interpretation based on my training and discussions with my teacher. I do not endorse any system or single out any for particular criticism but I do have my own views on how to train and fight that are sometimes at odds with the systems you have already mentioned. I am also going to make suggestions based on what I think you can learn via video and if you were to be training in person with someone with skill I might suggest doing something else.

K-Sys: I don't know how K-Sys performs as a fighting art but over all I am not overly impressed. I feel it is very mechanical and not as free-flowing as I would like. The physical and mechanical concepts taught can be extremely useful for helping people understand why they are doing a particular movement but I think you need to have a good teacher who is present to really get the ideas across well. I do not know anything about the quality of the training tapes available, or the instructors in you part of the world.

ROSS: I am not hugely knowledgeable about ROSS and I know nothing bad about it but I have no interest in it either, and that says something too! If the videos are good quality then you could learn well in this system but I feel Systema or RMAX might offer better products and access to teachers. I could be wrong.

RMAX: Scott Sonnon used to be the head of ROSS in the US (among many other qualifications and experiences) so RMAX is based, to a certain extent, on ROSS. Mr Sonnon has researched in great detail the 'science' of movement and has done a very good job at getting it across on video but you do need brains and patience to learn the lessons he has for you. As a video teaching system I cannot think of one that is better or more comprehensive (but there are a lot of tapes and it won't be cheap!). RMAX can be thought of as a physical training system rather than a fighting art and one idea is that RMAX can be used to improve your existing fighting art by exposure to new concepts and freeing up your mind and body. To my way of thinking, movement is the key to survival, the actual fighting component is important but not as important as movement. RMAX would be a good choice for you.

Systema: The other good choice for you is Systema. There are a number of videos available and Mr Vasiliev is as knowledgeable a teacher as you are ever likely to find (but it is good to remember that there is a world of a difference between a really knowledgeable teacher and one that can pass on that knowledge). That said I don't agree with various aspects of the way in which movement is taught and some of the exercises on the tapes are a little too stylised for me. I too share some of your misgivings about certain aspects of knife and gun work shown in Systema but it might be worth remembering that some of the 'techniques' shown might only be used where you know you are going to die if you don't do something. They may not be intended to be used in a less hazardous situation.

I have another suggestion for you though: Rather than deciding to pick a style and train in it why don't you gather as much information as you can from different sources and try and train with them all? I have a good friend in the Buj who has simply taken the ideas from Systema (mainly) that are available on the internet and appplied them to his Bujinkan taijutsu. He says it has made a huge difference to the way he moves. If you have a small group of people who are dedicated to training and who are utterly HONEST with themselves and each other you can learn a whole lot without buying into anyone's system. Go and train with anyone you can from different styles as well and you may find that there is one that you particularly like and want to train in full-time. But with the huge amount of info available in video or the internet it is possible to train yourself to a very high standard if you have honesty and brains.

Just two words of advice: Train SLOWLY and HONESTLY. You will learn so much more this way than by trying to pull off some trick move at full speed. Have fun!
 
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Krowley

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kage110 said:
I have another suggestion for you though: Rather than deciding to pick a style and train in it why don't you gather as much information as you can from different sources and try and train with them all? I have a good friend in the Buj who has simply taken the ideas from Systema (mainly) that are available on the internet and appplied them to his Bujinkan taijutsu. He says it has made a huge difference to the way he moves. If you have a small group of people who are dedicated to training and who are utterly HONEST with themselves and each other you can learn a whole lot without buying into anyone's system. Go and train with anyone you can from different styles as well and you may find that there is one that you particularly like and want to train in full-time. But with the huge amount of info available in video or the internet it is possible to train yourself to a very high standard if you have honesty and brains.

Just two words of advice: Train SLOWLY and HONESTLY. You will learn so much more this way than by trying to pull off some trick move at full speed. Have fun!
actually, i have considered that, and we'll probably end up doing something along those lines... basicly taking the systema tapes, focusing on the drills and some of the movement principles, mix it with what we already know and see what comes out. Things like certifications are not really important to me at this point, we're just looking to learn what we can and have some fun. a big part of our goal is simply to get back into shape.. since we quit training seriously a few years ago our fitness levels have both gone down hill a bit.

Unlearning the bujinkan will be somewhat difficult for me because i immediatley reflexivley fall back into that kind of footwork any time i'm sparring, but at the same time i'm excited about the prospect of learning something new. In my training with the bujinkan (which was less than ideal, and partially video tape based) i didn't learn everything they have to offer, but i feel that we developed a decent level of skill with the things we did learn, and the skills we learned did become pretty deeply ingrained.

Thanks a lot for the reply. I'm thinking more and more that i should probably buy a few of mr vasiliev's dvd's. Probably HTH combat, systema strikes, and the one on defense against grabs... Maybe even the new wrestling one. I like to go ahead and commit to something and i'm planning buy enough of the material to get a good overview.
 

mscroggins

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Get a copy of Vlad's New York Seminar tape, the new Wrestling DVD, Systema H2H, and the new Escaping Locks and Holds DVD. All of these have class footage or very detailed descriptions of foundation Systema exercises. Hearing and watching Vlad and Mikhail demonstrate and explain the core principles and basic exercises is a very good place to start. And try to make it to a live event at least once a month. Person to person transmission is where the real learning happens. Everything else is window dressing.


And everyone might want to avoid calling RMAX Russian Martial Art. Sonnon has written an article explaning that RMAX is not Russian Martial Art, not to be confused with Russian Martial Art, and certainly not to be mixed up with anything of Russian origin. Anyway, as a point of housekeeping it might be a good idea to move RMAX video and discussion to a non Russian forum.
 
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kage110

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mscroggins said:
And everyone might want to avoid calling RMAX Russian Martial Art. Sonnon has written an article explaning that RMAX is not Russian Martial Art, not to be confused with Russian Martial Art, and certainly not to be mixed up with anything of Russian origin. Anyway, as a point of housekeeping it might be a good idea to move RMAX video and discussion to a non Russian forum.

While I utterly accept that Mr Sonnon can describe his art as he choses and that there is an awful lot in RMAX that isn't 'Russian' per se I think it is hard to excape that fact that the origins of Mr Sonnon's martial skills are very much Russian and the stuff he does that is derived from other cultural backgrounds have a certain Russian 'flavour' to them. I certainly haven't seen the type of movements in RMAX conveyed by any art that doesn't have a link back to Russia in some way or another and other 'Russian' arts have more than a passing resemblance to RMAX.

RMAX may not be truly Russian but where would you suggest it should find its home? Is 'American Kempo' a truly American art or does it have links to karate and other eastern arts? Certainly it has more in common with them than it does Savate, the only non-eastern kicking art that I can think of right now? I must make it clear that I don't really care where RMAX, or any other art, considers itself at home but I do think it is more honest to acknowledge the origins of a particular style. Anyway, the designation we give it here does not change the way the art is performed and the same can be said for any art. Which grouping we put an art in is purely an arbitary way for people to find it and learn about it.
 

mscroggins

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When Mr. Sonnon stridently claims his art isn't of Russian orgin, yet his minions insist on posting videos of Mr. Sonnon competing in a San Shou tournament in the Russian Martial Art forum, you have to start scratching your head over why this is allowed. RMAX is not Russian, and neither is San Shou. Something is amiss in the logical fabric.

Refer to Mr Sonnon's article
" Ourselves & No One Else!" http://www.circularstrengthmag.com/33/sonnon3.html In this article he clearly makes the case that RMAX is not Russian Martial Art. Perhaps Andrew Usher missed this article and posted the videos to the wrong forum?

Think about this, if someone were to claim they do not practice, or have interest in, Karate, yet posted videos of themselves fighing with the Dog Brothers to the Karate forum wouldn't that make you scratch your head? It defeats the point of having categories and leads only to confusion.

I suggest putting RMAX in

forum_old.gif
Western Martial Arts - General



It is a Western Martial Art and belongs there.

 
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kage110

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Now that we are well into thread drift....!

I can't say I disagree with you in any great way but neither do I agree. I have always thought that for something to be considered a 'Western Martial Art' it should have its roots in the armed and unarmed combat systems of western Europe (as opposed to eastern Europe which would fall under the banner of 'Russian Martial Arts' - which is then a misleading title but non-the-less it is what we have got). Is this what others generally believe or am I mistaken? If this is the case what claim does RMAX have for being a 'Western' as opposed to 'Russian' martial art? I, personally, would say that there is more claim to calling RMAX and American Martial Art (but what American roots does it call on?) or, from an old-European perspective, a 'New World Martial Art'. We could also call it a 20th Century Martial Art but then we would have to add in Jeet Kune Do, most of the Russian arts and Aikido to name a few! Anyway, hasn't Mr Sonnon suggested at other times that RMAX shouldn't be considered a martial art at all (more a system of movement)? In which case can we not argue that we shouldn't be discussing RMAX on Martial Talk at all?

If I am mistaken in believing that the origins of Mr Sonnon's martial arts skills and experience are primarily Sambo, ROSS and Olympic wrestling (if that is the correct term) please correct me. If I am right then ROSS has the largest influence on RMAX and on that designation alone the categorisation of being a 'Russian Martial Art' seems fitting to use, at least in the narrow confines of this forum.

Edited to add: I have just read MR Sonnon's article and see a bit more clearly the point you were trying to make. RMAX is not 'Russian Martial Art' (if that term is used to designate Systema) but I still maintain it is 'A Russian Martial Art' in terms of its origins. I didn't realise that this section in Martial Talk was exclusively for the discussion of Systema and it has been stated on many occassions that it is not a Systema forum (even if majority of people posting here do have a Systema bakground - incidentally I don't, though I do practice 'A Russian Martial Art' not disimilar to Systema or RMAX). I disagree with Mr Sonnon that there are no similarities between what he does and what goes on in other arts, such as Systema, but he is very correct to say he is doing something different. I hope that clears up what I have been meaning by my posts.

Hugh
 

Brad S.

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If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck....

Russian Martial Art (RMA)

SOMBO-a russian martial art
ROSS-a russian martial art
AMEROSS or AARMACS or whatever the correct letters were

AARMACS--RMAX

RMA(X)

RMAX is not an acronym for Our Maximum because an acronym is technically made from the first initial of each word (according to Webster's)-but that is nitpicking.

Call it whatever you want but eventually people over time will place it where it belongs.

If it is not a martial art then why is there what laypeople would call combat involved-hence confusion. All semantics.

I have been made to sit through several ROSS/AMEROSS/AARMACS/RMAX by a friend and not once have I ever seen anything that was not contained in the RMA that I have been taught both in the US or in Russia.

As for politcs-they will arise in RMAX as surely as they have in every organization. I have seen people come and go in Systema and every other art I have studied. If you like your teacher then good you-happy training. If not find someone you like and train but please refrain from the slights against other teachers. Anecdotes about people leaving Systema to go to RMAX or anyone else are just that-people come to Systema from RMAX et al as well.

There are those of us who have been around long enough to have seen the progression stated above. There are also those of us who know enough about business, marketing and the need for personal branding to make cash. I for one applaud RMAX marketing and their content.

I think I am going to post a clip of me striking a guy in an RMAX shirt...or maybe Mikhail Ryabko punching Pavel Tsatsouline in LA, but see that wouldnt be very respectful.
 

Brad S.

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oh, as for thread drift....

Buy one of each DVD and see which one you like.
 

mscroggins

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The past, the political, and the personal are immaterial. Let us focus on the issue at hand, or that evolved to be at hand.

People come here looking for information about the various forms of Russian Martial Arts both the well know forms and the more obscure. Right up top as of today, visitors are presented with an advertisement starring a man who claims not to practice Russian Martial Arts fighting in a USASKF San Shou tournament. How is this germane to the discussion of Russian Martial Arts?

It isn't. Off topic posts featuring adverts are usually called spam. Fish or cut bait. Discuss something germane to the various Russian Martial Arts, or take the San Shou videos to a more appropriate venue.

RMAX shouts it isn't Russian Martial Art. Bully for them and congratulations on their new direction. Good luck in all your future training. I am sure it will be a great success, just like Mr. Sonnon's, and Mr. Murdock's San Shou victories. You are brave explorers of the inner cosmos and cosmonauts, err, astronauts of the martial future. Onwards and upwards. Go in peace and victory. Bang your emotional molecules loudly and clearly and swing your clubs to the high heavens. Via con dios my martial amigos.

Now, RMAX argonauts, please stop the off topic posting.

BTW, feel free to use the phrase RMAX argonaut all you want. It is my gift to you. May it give you strength in your new adventures.
 
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Ironman

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mscroggins said:
BTW, feel free to use the phrase RMAX argonaut all you want. It is my gift to you. May it give you strength in your new adventures.

you're encouraging more trademarking?? :uhyeah:

As for Mr.Krowley, welcome to the forum. I can't possibly add to what has been said by these gentlemen, except possibly emphasize the point of going to a live meeting, private session or a seminar as often as possible because then you will be able to see not just what you are doing right but more importantly what you are doing wrong. You can't go wrong with with VV's material and also Sonnon's condition tapes like warrior wellness (tm).
 
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kage110

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mscroggins said:
The past, the political, and the personal are immaterial. Let us focus on the issue at hand, or that evolved to be at hand.

People come here looking for information about the various forms of Russian Martial Arts both the well know forms and the more obscure. Right up top as of today, visitors are presented with an advertisement starring a man who claims not to practice Russian Martial Arts fighting in a USASKF San Shou tournament. How is this germane to the discussion of Russian Martial Arts?

It isn't. Off topic posts featuring adverts are usually called spam. Fish or cut bait. Discuss something germane to the various Russian Martial Arts, or take the San Shou videos to a more appropriate venue.

RMAX shouts it isn't Russian Martial Art. Bully for them and congratulations on their new direction. Good luck in all your future training. I am sure it will be a great success, just like Mr. Sonnon's, and Mr. Murdock's San Shou victories. You are brave explorers of the inner cosmos and cosmonauts, err, astronauts of the martial future. Onwards and upwards. Go in peace and victory. Bang your emotional molecules loudly and clearly and swing your clubs to the high heavens. Via con dios my martial amigos.

Now, RMAX argonauts, please stop the off topic posting.

BTW, feel free to use the phrase RMAX argonaut all you want. It is my gift to you. May it give you strength in your new adventures.

mscroggins (Sorry, I would love to address you by name but I am afraid I don't know it!)

Whatever your concerns with Mr Sonnon and his San Shou achievements don't you think it might have been more appropriate to voice them in the thread discussing said events rather than hijacking someone else's quest for information? Just a thought...

Respectfully,

Hugh
 

Pervaz

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Krowley

You answered the question yourself

"..Thanks a lot for the reply. I'm thinking more and more that i should probably buy a few of mr vasiliev's dvd's. Probably HTH combat, systema strikes, and the one on defense against grabs... Maybe even the new wrestling one. I like to go ahead and commit to something and i'm planning buy enough of the material to get a good overview..."
 

mscroggins

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First off Hugh, I led with information. Secondly, the particulars of Sonnon and San Shou are just the trees, not the forest. Thirdly, it takes two to tango and if you are that concerned about thread drift you should steer a clear course as well.

If I wander into the Feng Shui Do forum to look over some Feng Shui Do clips, I want to have confidence that those are actual Feng Shui Do clips, and not clever viral marketing for High Five Ryu. That is the issue.

MartialTalk is a unique and wonderful resource. If you would like to know about a particular Martial Art (even rare arts), or some obscure martial topic, you can wander into any forum, ask a question and have a high degree of confidence in the quality of the answer. Here, unlike so many places on the internet the signal to noise ratio is low and people from far corners of the globe have a place to share some local knowledge free of commercial interruptions. Here educated opinion and experience trump commercial interests. In my opinion, this unique feature of martialtalk is worth protecting. Once the confidence in the quality of information is lost, it will never come back. It is in everyones interest to preserve the high quality of information and discussion.

After all, among the Martialtalk rules are:

· Please post to the correct forum, for a reason and on topic. Do not cross post to multiple forums.
· No Advertising except in the advertising forums

If someone wants to advertise on Martialtalk, let them do the ethical thing and by an ad on the top level, or post in the ad forums. It is good for martialtalk, and it helps keep the information clean. Viral ads distort and prey upon the high quality of the information here in two ways:

1) They prey upon the kindness of Martialtalk by using up martialtalks resources and not paying - hence the viral.

2) They prey upon perceptions of what constitutes, in this case at least, Russian Martial Arts. They often give false impressions, intentionally confuse, or seek to shape the discussion in subtle ways that distract and hinder the open trading of information. Those most vulnerable to this are people who happen into the forum out of curiosity, or as I like to call them "future training partners".

Clever or not, viral ads and posts don't belong in the forum. Fish or cut bait. Discuss the art described by the forum, or find another host to prey upon.

I have said my piece and now I am done.

Merry Christmas to everyone. Happy New Year. And good luck with next years training.
 
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kage110

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Hi J, you have a PM!

I love to tango and we had a good exchange of ideas so thread drift is no bad thing at times! MartialTalk is certainly one of the better venues for exchanging information on martial arts (which is why I am still here while I have deserted a few places I used to post in) and we want to keep it that way. Unfortunately there is some bad blood between RMAX and Systema but it is usually kept to a absolute minimum in this forum and I, for one, want to keep it that way. Both styles have their plus points and their minuses and it would be a real shame that those of us who are interested in learning far more than we are the politics are unable to freely exchange information about different styles and ideas because someone, anyone, gets their 'panties in a bunch' over some little matter.

What you say about advertising may be utterly legitimate (I don't know as I am not a moderator or site owner) and maybe the point needs to be brought to the attention of the 'authorities' as well as being made public. My point is in line with what you are saying about keeping the 'noise to signal ratio' acceptable and I believe that the point you were making would have been better placed in the thread at the centre of your concerns. By adding it to this thread I feel the 'noise' has now overshadowed the intial question and advice given. But I accept that I am as much to blame on that score as anyone else so please don't think I am 'pointing fingers' at anyone in particular.

But seeing as we are on the subject of whether RMAX has a legitimate place in a 'Russian Martial Art' forum then I would say it has for all sorts of reasons and despite what the founder of the the art says. The article you mentioned earlier has a number of points where I disagree with what the author is saying and I think it should be read as a venting of emotion as much as it is a statement of fact. I, and a lot of other people, consider RMAX to be an essentially 'Russian' art, albeit with some radical 'western' changes applied to it and seeing as it doesn't readily fit into any other category of martial art that I can think of (most of which are arbitary distinctions anyway) then it looks like it is here to stay. On that basis the people who train in RMAX have a right to offer information about things that are happening in their art in the same way that someone in Systema (for instance) can promote a seminar somewhere. Seminars are rarely free to the participants so is that not commercial advertising then?

Undoubtably the post on Mr Sonnon's San Shou fight is a form of advertising for RMAX but it is also a way of pointing out to those people who have doubts about the effectiveness of the art or the person of Scott Sonnon that here, at least, is a man who is prepared to walk to talk and enter a tough competition. He has the fitness and skill to make his techniques and principles work against an opponent who want to beat him for real. It is a good advertisement for RMAX in the same way that claims of the 'real life' military experience of Vladimir Vasiliev, Mikhail Ryabko or any number of other Systema instructors is a good advertisement for Systema. You may have differing views about what a competition fight proves about someone's martial arts ability or the effectiveness of their style if you were to take the art out of the ring but that is no more or less valid than someone who questions the validity of someone else's military experience and how it compares to martial arts in a civilian context. Personally I don't consider military experience or competition prowess to be of major importance in how I evaluate an art or a teacher as I am neither a competition fighter or a member of the military (though I have done a little of both), but that is just me and my opinion.

I hope this post of mine doesn't fall into the 'noise' category and please accept it for what it is, an attempt at a civil, honest discussion about a topic we all share an interest in (albeit to varying degrees!).

Best wishes,

Hugh
 

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