The reason why the Russian System has caught my eye is because it is somewhat complimentary to Uechi in some of the applications [ in cross training] and it maximizes the body's natural response reactions under attack ! It is a refreshing simple concept as opposed to the ongoing bull we all have to endure about systems of doom and traditional hokum littering these web pages and other lists !
According to the history I read , The 'system' is thousands of years old and it was highly respected by the Romans , Greeks , Arabs , Avars , who all tried to adapt it for their own armies ! Under communist rules these great skills were nearly lost and The revolution of 1917 suppressed this tradition along with others ! The masses were supplied with the "sambo" substitute but the true "system" continued to flourish in secret !
Be that as it may , a few of the concepts are very intriguing to my way of mind setting :
1] Pressure points are said to NOT be fixed as in other martial arts ! The message is that different points evoke different emotions in different people at different times , i.e., fear , aggression etc.
2] it teaches that overall mood of the combatants plays a role in pressure points strikes under combat /survival mode and the system teaches to seek the appropriate points by ' intuition' !
3] It espouses the concept of mobility as opposed to fixed , stable stances found in the oriental arts evolved from life in the mountains conducive to seeking a lower center of gravity !
4] European conditions were different and stability principles were second to mobility mind set !
5] In contrast to Oriental arts < cultural focus on imitating animals > … The Russian system believes that the world of people is much different than that of animals , and animal -like moves do not naturally comply to human body patterns !
" Every being , in nature , has it's own identity "
6] Humans playing the roles of Snakes , dragons , tigers, cranes etc. disrupt the path of nature and limit and bind their natural reactive movements !
7] It takes the position that traditional martial arts are not really spontaneous , heavily dependent on prearranged stimulus response routines [ i.e., kumites ]
8] Each person is unique in reacting with his own brand of natural responses to fear and attacks ! Something we are born with and revert to naturally under attack in spite of traditional martial arts training !
Spetsnaz forces are trained to build their fighting abilities based on the individual 's first observed " natural reactions" under sudden surprise strikes by trainers !
9] Whatever the natural response , learning to move properly is the primary goal of the Russian System !
10] It teaches the "flying center of gravity" , the pelvis moves ahead of the shoulders which also spin on their own horizontal axis in figure eight continuous motion ! The body moves and slides as a pendulum , hitting power comes from the pelvis !
11] It teaches the body to "think" to find a spontaneous solution to any unexpected situation !
12] The whole body moves as a complete system !
13] It mindsets to absorb the concept that " conflict can take place day or night , heat or cold, heavy forest or open park , elevator , a car , virtually anywhere " and the body will react to it's peculiar natural reactions from a variety of positions i.e., lying down , sitting etc. ; sick or wounded , close quarter or distance , crowed hostile environment !
14] It teaches energy conservation under extreme stress !
15] It teaches that no two combat situations are the same and it discards ritual prearranged moves in favor of developing consciousness of the person's natural unique individual movement under extreme stress ' nudging' the body to think !
I find these concepts refreshing and very much in accord with my mind set beliefs !
The human body does funny things under panic situations ! Lots of karate students I debriefed after a real fight always wondered why their stylized kata skills were very minimal in the conflict !
Imagine for a moment the so called "torture chamber " at our Brockton dojo where we retire for hours on end with the high dans for intense training in darkness / semidarkness ! Now imagine all the lights shut off with a flickering candle light from around a corner !
Then imagine all the doors shut after someone throws a live rattle snake into the room and you are not allowed to leave until after you have completed sanchin, seisan, sanseiryu and a full contact sparring match past the snake you won't see in the almost total darkness !