The Russian System Guidebook By Vladimir Vasiliev



How many people here have actually read the book? For such a small and simple book you'd think that it wouldn't contain as much info and insight into Systema. Personally I think it is a must read for anyone starting Systema.

One of the parts of the book mentions, "Because students in the Russian Martial Art don't prearrange strikes or repeat them, it soon becomes unimportant what kind of attack they face in the course of training. This has ultimate practicality in the real world."

This is directly at odds with other arts that believe in Kata. What do you think about it? I just thought I would get some conversation going.
I first read the book in the summer of 2000 when some one gave it to me to see what I thought.I never gave it back, I gave them a non related video for trade they were happy. I don't think they understood pg-17, The foudation-Natural movement or they would have fought to get it back.

Kata-forms are fun and informitive but when you are tought to move life a particular animal, how could you relate to this when the movement of a tiger, crane,snake, dragon are totally unnatural for people. For fighting you-(I) would rather train with the understanding of my natural reactions that I was born with.

I had a student who was a police officer some time ago, his Delayed sword was the most painfull thing I ever had to or wanted to see again. After talking to him not teacher student but Dan to police officer he finally told me that it felt un natural for him to be continually put his right hip-( Gun hip ) facing his opponent-suspect. Who was I to argue I never carried a gun, never faced what he has to face nightly my reactions over time were not the same as his.I started to look at things differently the idea of they attack like this than you defend like that really dosn't fit in the relm of reality.

When I read the guidebook and it talked about Natural reaction is something your born with. When each person was unexpectedly attcked they would preform different body movements to evade the same kind of strikes. It only made sense that each person being unique would react differntly, and that they would build his fighting abilities on those NATURAL reactions.
The Russian System Guidebook is a wealth of infomation it dosn't matter if you agree with what some people have posted or not . I recomend getting the book and reading and deciding for your self

It's late or early depends on how you look at it I;m in a hurry I to make another tour soon so please pardon spelling errors on the thread Arts I want to master mine is spell-check
The book is great. When I first got it I was wondering if it was just going to be a primer for other books and I did not realize how much info is in it.

One time at Vlad's I asked him about a certain movement. "So you mean be like water here and a tiger here?" Vlad turned to me and said, "Why are you like water or a tiger? Are you a tiger? Are you a dragon? You are a person. Be a person. Act like the person you are." Then he smiled, slapped me in the melon and told me to get back to work. So now I don't try to be the snake. I don't try to be a dragon or tiger. I just try to be me. It's the easiest thing and yet the hardest thing I have done. I have said it before and I will say it again. Systema frees you from the shackles of a cage. I believe EPAK was meant to do the same but people spend too long in the cage and when they have finally studied the entire cage they give up trying the door to get out to freedom. Just my 2 cents.

As for the Gun and facing the opponent. I had Zach Whitson up here in Canada giving a Gun & Knife Police tactics seminar. An awesome seminar Dan and I suggest if you want to give your police students a seminar then you bring in Zach. Tell him I told you to call if you want and you want the police Gun&Knife tactics seminar. You won't be disappointed.
And think I am due for another.
Some stuff is so simple, but like I tell my students, the simple things are the easy ones to miss.
Sometimes something is so true, we take it for granted and never really allow oursleves to think about it, or experience it, because we "know" it already.

I have taken the part where Vladimir talked about over hydrating ourselves to heart, and have seen health improvements for myself. And have also seen lines of research in the past month that supports what he says.
I've read it about 39 times now. Each time I read it I discover something else. Its an amazing little book.

Whenever one of my students asks to buy one, I generally try to read it again myself. It sort of keeps me current with what my own level of understanding will allow me to get from the book.

Arthur,What was your first impresion aftr reading the book the first time?

Gou, thanks for the feedback. but I was teach ing for someone else back then you know my school my rules, and I understand that.People who needed that kind of personal attention and were unable to get it under those rules would leave. It sucks but thats life. thats why I'm on my own and starting fresh, so the only person I have to disagree with is me.That gets ugly at times to.
Hmm my first impressions Ill do this free-write style as I think its the only way to make it real or part way accurate. So no grammar, spelling or other technical concerns.

I got the guide book cool lets see what this says that the videos dont. I cant wait for more videos. Man its late Ill just read the first chapter to get an idea. Wow this is great! Damn thats so simple and obvious why didnt I think of that. Of course, that only makes sense. I cant wait to try that out when I have a partner. Damn that must have been brutal training. I gotta go to Canada. I cant wait to go to Canada. Thats funny those concepts are the same as we have in Sotai (a Japanese medical art I do). Man Im tired. Cant put it down Ill read just a little more. Crap Im done maybe I should read it again. Cant wait to go to Canada.. Cant sleep maybe I should get on the net and check fares to Canada.

I think that about sums up the experience.

Originally posted by D_Brady
I'm on my own and starting fresh, so the only person I have to disagree with is me.That gets ugly at times to.

Yeah, it's hard to argue with yourself...mostly because you're both always right.
I thought I would reserrect this post again after a couple of incidents recently while training.

My belief is that many people do not know the main reasons why many katas are performed in a specific way (in Japans MA this was due to the equitte of a function, the clothes (especially of the Samurai) and the weapons). Many katas were designed to transmitt certain key principles that no one thought of writing down (and in some schools for the knowledge to be kept secret) - e.g. they knew that you would be riding a horse, they knew that you would be holding the reins in the left hand thus leaving yor right hand to draw the sword. Some of the Jap katas (and the schools) were developed from the type of battles - e.g. the heavy armour developed a school of fighting was was based to attack the opening of the armour, the throws were simple and effective becuase if you were thrown on the floor with an full-battle amour it would be difficult to get up.

Now in the 21st century we have to keep some of those principles alive but bring them forward. (Does it matter if you stop someone drawing a sword or a gun on the right hand - you already are in the red-zone!)
I read a little bit of it each day every day!
still getting lots out of it...
still can't figure out why simplicity should be so hard to achieve!!
Sounds like a great book! How can someone get a copy??

Thanks for the link Michelle!

I am resurrecting this thread in hopes that someone will know where there are copies still available or if someone has one they wouldnt mind parting with. thanks.
It appears that the link on the previous page is still good. You should be able to buy it directly from the source.
The link only shows you the "Let Every Breath..." book which I just picked up a week or so ago along with the DVD. I had heard about a book called the "Russian System Guidebook" that was printed quite a bit ago and is now out of print (as far as I know). But thanks for the help folks, I appreciate it!

I'll have to see if my instructor has his own copy of the book. I know he has read it but not sure if he owns one. Thanks again!

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