Systema Seminar in NY with Martin Wheeler - Oct 24/26 2003

Bob Hubbard

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Systema Seminar in NY with Martin Wheeler

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Systema seminar with Martin Wheeler at Fighthouse
122w 27th street 2nd floor, New York, NY 10001 (bet.6th and 7th Ave)
Friday October 24th, 2003 from 6:00pm - 10pm
Sunday October 26th 2003 from 11:00am - 3pm
Contact Edgar or Peggy (212) 807-9202
Or visit http://www.fighthouse.com/syseminar.html
 

ABN

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Yep, I'll be giving you a call today or tomorrow about meeting up.
 

ABN

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David,
Please refrain from any battle cries while at my house. You'll freak out the cats!;) We're looking forward to seeing you guys tomorrow.

andy
 

Jackal

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Although, I am rather interested in hearing David's rendition of a Systema battle cry. :eek:

Sunday then...

Don't forget to set your clocks back. Yay sleep!
 

Jackal

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"Not I" said the woodchuck...
I don't think a topic's been established.
Another "make it up as we go" seminar, I suppose.
 

ABN

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Wow, just had to pull the pin on that grenade didn't you? It had it's good and bad points. I enjoyed seeing several of the people from the RMA board. I got a lot out of working with them and working on my weak spots. (slowing down and tension were two of the biggies). I did like the progression from crawl = walk = run rather than other seminars I've seen that we're all technique focused rather than form focused.

There was quite a bit of discussion between stages of progression and sometimes that seemed to distract rather than enhance. I was very impressed with Martin's movement and his "stage presence". He does a very good job of engaging and maintaining contact with a group throughout the seminar.

I guess most of the criticisms I had were more on the personal experience level such as those who were more concerned with expressing their comparisons of Systema with Jiujitsu or using the knife work as a chance to demonstrate their Kali skills.

The facility is incredible and Edgar and his staff did a wonderful job of hosting us. I can't wait to see it when the construction is completed. I had a great time all told. It was great to see people from the community and do the work. To everyone who was there, we've got to do it again some time.

andy
 

Jackal

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I guess most of the criticisms I had were more on the personal experience level such as those who were more concerned with expressing their comparisons of Systema with Jiujitsu or using the knife work as a chance to demonstrate their Kali skills.

Darn. I didn't get to work with any of those people. :( :btg:

I had a blast during the seminar. Great atmosphere & great company. The entire seminar was centered on knifework and the exploration of distance. Work was done from standing, on the ground, with multiple opponents, and from unusual positions.

Can't wait until the next one.
 

NoSuchChick

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I realize that this may make me unpopular, but I also have a mixed review.

I would second what ABN said: it was great to meet up with all of my Systema friends from the board and community, and get some good work in with them. That alone made the trip worthwhile, and was the high point of the seminar for me.

Likewise, the downsides that I saw with the seminar were also of a "personal preference" nature, and certainly do not neccessarily apply to any other participant, or as a reflection on Martin's teaching style.

First: 1 out of the 4 hours was spent on excercises.

I wish we could have known in advance what would be covered. Some people were without training knives, and the whole seminar was knife work. Also, it does affect whether or not I will attend a seminar, if there is an area which is being covered, on which I know I need to work.

I agree that there seemed to be a lot of explanation time, versus
time to actually "do the work", which I found frustrating. At one point, Martin showed something, had us do pushups, and then went on to show something else.

My pet peeve is when you get into a flow for a brief moment and you have to stop for twice as long, before you've had a chance to really "get the movement into your body". I suppose I should be grateful that Martin took the time to explain, but it felt like there were brief interludes of work interjected into a lecture/demonstration. (Versus the other end of the spectrum: say, a Vladimir class where there is a 30 second demo and then you're told, "Now you do it" :D ) Every instructor has their own
teaching style.

I also had a little trouble reconciling all of the work we were doing with our legs against a knife-wielding attacker. While I understand that you should work with your whole body; Martin demonstrated a lot of work trying to use only his feet to counter his knife-wielding attacker. It wondered why the persistent footwork was shown, when at times it seemed neither the most efficient response, nor was it (repeatedly) successful.

Also, working against stabs to the legs (which I considered unusual as a realistic attack scenario... I don't often hear about guys walking up to strangers on the street and stabbing them in the thigh as a first preference attack, but I don't have as much experience as many.) However, I understand that it is good to be prepared for such a thing if it were to happen.

I had trouble "waving" my legs out of the way of the oncoming knife, when it seemed more obvious and reasonable for me to just step out of the way, thereby removing my leg from the path of the knife and not compromising my form. For me, I found that drill to be somewhat counter-productive and a step backwards, but then, I tend to try to do more Ryabko Systema.

Also, I was surprised to see that a puta kapala (sp?) (arm over head throw) was being taught as a Systema technique. I believe (and I may very well be wrong about this) that it is Kali (?). Still, it's all good.

What did disappoint me: I did witness a few unpleasant exchanges between individuals who either instisted on teaching their partners some other MA exclusively (much to their partner's frustration), or who fancied themselves as the embassadors of Systema and made a point of berating less experienced participants in a fashion which I found non-constructive,
counter-productive, audatious, and simply uncalled for. But you see that at any seminar (MA or otherwise), and in any genre.

I did enjoy my few minutes of sparring with Martin, knife vs empty hand; that was very enlightening for me, and one of my high points.

And of course, Edgar and Peggy were very accommodating! The new place looks fabulous and it was a great working environment.

Overall, I can't say I didn't get my money's worth: I was sore for days from the intense workout I got with ABN, Jackal, and Dave (to name a few).

I look forward to catching up with all of my fellow Systema practioners as soon as I can to do this again!

Jennifer
 

Arthur

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I wasn't there... but playing devil's advocate to some extent and also just commenting from a teachers point of view...


I agree that there seemed to be a lot of explanation time, versus

When I teach a seminar as opposed to a regular class, I reason that the people there will not have access to me next week or tomorrow, so it is much more important to be thorough in any explanations given. I will tend to lean towards the "teaching" side rather than the "doing" side in an attempt to get participants to have the most benefit from the experience.

Granted a certain amount of doing must be done... so the students have something to reference the explanations to, but getting people to be competent at the material that day is never one of my goals. I instead hope to leave them with the tools to perfect it later, and the information ot expound on the specifics greatly.

My pet peeve is when you get into a flow for a brief moment and you have to stop for twice as long, before you've had a chance to really "get the movement into your body".
Having you in my own classes... I've become quite aware of that ;)

Every instructor has their own
Yup. Thats one of the reasons I encourage my students to go to other instructors seminars. One of the great things about that process is you can better learn what your stregths and weaknesses are in terms of learning style. Then you can communicate that back to your regular teacher, enhancing your regular class learning greatly.

I also had a little trouble reconciling all of the work we were doing with our legs against a knife-wielding attacker.
A lot of the time when teaching Systema, the point of a given exercise isn't to show a practical application... but to trick the body into learning to move a certain way. This creates skills in the body that might really be used for a different purpose. Sometimes however "unrealistic" games can be the best way of initiating someone into a useful skill set that can be applied realistically in a different context.

I have a habit of usually explaining when a drill is for something other than it looks like, but I think that's the exception. I tend to talk to much ;)

I had trouble "waving" my legs out of the way of the oncoming knife, when it seemed more obvious and reasonable for me to just step out of the way, thereby removing my leg from the path of the knife and not compromising my form.
In theory that might be all the more reason to practice it. Though I know in your case Vladimir has specfically told you not to work that way.

In those situations sometimes the best thing is to let the instructor of the seminar know you have an issue with a particular exercise, perhaps because of injury, or instructions from your regular instructor or what have you. Explain you don't want to be rude, but you have a reason for not doing that particular exercise that way... and ask if it is okay if you substitute a different style of work.


Also, I was surprised to see that a puta kapala (sp?) (arm over head throw) was being taught as a Systema technique. I believe (and I may very well be wrong about this) that it is Kali (?).
Actually that "technique" is all over the original TRS H2H tapes. You use the principle all the time in your own work... you just normally do them one handed, so its not so obvious that its basically Puter Kepala.

I did witness a few unpleasant exchanges between individuals who either instisted on teaching their partners some other MA exclusively (much to their partner's frustration), or who fancied themselves as the embassadors of Systema and made a point of berating less experienced participants in a fashion which I found non-constructive, counter-productive, audatious, and simply uncalled for.
That's too bad. I've heard that from several people actually. It happens... and as an instructor there isn't a whole lot you can do about it. You can try talking to them, but as soon as you turn your back, people like that generally just go right back to what they were doing. Sometimes talking to them, makes them even worse.

But you see that at any seminar (MA or otherwise), and in any genre.
You know it! In Systema we are very lucky... we have far less of it than most arts have to deal with. Then again, thats also why it stands out so much ore when you see it at a Systema event.

I ran into one of those types myself last Vladimir seminar I went to in NYC. After he fell down several times without contact... he stopped. At least gave me attacks committed enough that I could do that kind of work to make him take notice. Usually the troubled people won't give you anything to work with but words.

I did enjoy my few minutes of sparring with Martin, knife vs empty hand; that was very enlightening for me, and one of my high points.
Excellent! Thats one of the wonderful things about the RMA community, the instructors let you work with them. I've been to many seminars in my pre-Systema days... and very rare was it that a seminar instructor would let you interact with him a free form way.

I look forward to catching up with all of my fellow Systema practioners as soon as I can to do this again!
Me too.

Arthur
 

Gulo

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Originally posted by NoSuchChick

Also, I was surprised to see that a puta kapala (sp?) (arm over head throw) was being taught as a Systema technique. I believe (and I may very well be wrong about this) that it is Kali (?). Still, it's all good.

Jennifer


:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
hey Jen, did they really say it like that. must be some Ruskinized kali then.

i find it amusing when instructors teach certain tech and can't pronounce the 'foreign' word well enough so there is no misunderstanding. the bad thing about it is when i try to pass it to someone else who knows that language too well and starts to laugh his butt off making me feel something like i don't want to be. especially when i'm not certain what i've been missing.:erg:
 

NYCRonin

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Good point, Gulo.
The only thing worse is when an instructor can say "Next we are going to do the 'Hakuna Ma Tata' technique"...then cant seem to make it work effectively. ;)

We kinda got off subject for this thread though.

Anybody else attend Martin Wheeler's Systema seminar?
 

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