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 Post subject: Comfort
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 10:06 am 
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Location: Virginia
Found a Systema club here :) I tried that out, as I am dojo less, and free to try every school within a 25 mile radious :lol:

It's hard to tell if it's Martial Masturbation or something usefull(systema). I like some of the principles of it.. no kata, no ranks, no ego.

Check out the article....

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Last edited by benzocaine on Fri Nov 04, 2005 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Comfort
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 10:07 am 
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from:http://www.systemauk.com/art4.htm

We all like a bit of comfort in our lives, whether it’s an extra 10 minutes in bed or just the knowledge of being "safe" in our regular routine. But comfort is not necessarily a good thing in our martial arts training. Too much comfort can lead to laziness, not to mention a false sense of skill, with very damaging consequences should the skill ever be called upon.

Vladimir Vasiliev has said many times that in Systema "you must learn to be uncomfortable". In fact you must almost grow to enjoy it!

Of course Vladimir comes from a special forces background, with many years active service in Spetsnaz. You would expect the training of these elite troops to be extremely hard and brutal - and it is. But that brutality of training has a specific purpose - to allow the operative to work efficiently and effectively under extreme conditions. The training breeds not only a physical toughness but also a mental toughness and adaptability, crucial elements for professionals of any army or nationality.

Now we are not special forces soldiers, for the most part martial artists have regular jobs and lifestyles. So a lot of that training would not be appropriate or practical. But there are many elements within Systema that can help jog us out of that comfort "groove" and into a place where we maybe have to dig a little deeper and, in the process, get a little stronger.

EXERCISES

Broadly speaking, martial art classes use very similar warm up and stretching routines. Systema takes those same exercises and puts a different slant on them. IF we take just one example, push-ups, Systema has several variations, here’s a few ideas:

move the hands into different positions, wide, narrow, one hand out to the side etc

use different parts of the hand or arm - the wrist, the fist, edges of the hand, elbows

rotate the hands in different angles, 90 degrees out, 90 degrees in, fingers facing back

do the press-up very slowly - to a count of 20 (what has become known as the Inch Press-up)

try 10 press-ups breathing in / out as you go up/down, then 10 breathing out / in, then 10 not breathing at all

These are just a few examples, we haven’t even got on to press ups with a partner yet. Of course the same is then applied to leg raises, sit ups, squats, stretching drills, youget the idea.

The same is applied to conditioning methods, again whether being punched, kicked or hit with a stick or chain, or any other type of training. Take your usual exercise that you are comfortable with, and change it. Try practicing your kata blindfolded. Work out in heavy street clothes. Practice in the freezing cold. For full effect adpat this to your daily life too - every now and then try something completey different in your routine. Challenge your view of the world with seomthing new and fresh.

SPARRING AND APPLICATION

If we go back to our Spetsnaz soldier, let’s imagine he has been parachuted into enemy territory, tabbed 10 miles in full kit, maybe been wounded, and finds himself in close quarter battle with the enemy. In that situation he needs something that will work but that does not rely upon using strength and lots of energy. Now scale that example down to the average person. In a class you have the luxury of arriving in plenty of time, knowing exactly the format of the class, having a warm up session, wearing appropriate clothing, having a nicely lit, matted area, and away you go.

The problem comes when you get mugged coming home half -cut one night in a dark alley, wearing your tight Calvin’s in the snow and ice. Bouncing back into a stance is not going to work and there’s certainly no time to limber up or get your pads on.

So quite often in Systema you will see sparring going on where one guy has an arm behind his back. Or is blindfolded. Or rolling exercises where you have to keep a leg out straight, as though it is broken. Every now and then all the lights go out, and half the class have training knives. We recently ran a seminar in a clubhouse, which involved almost 40 guys "fighting" amidst the tables and chairs.

At other times the class will be put through a hard exercise session then thrown in "every man for himself" - the idea being you are so tired you have to learn how to move the body efficiently and effectively otherwise you keep getting hit. Remember, the emphasis with all this stuff is not to fight and win, but to fight and survive.

Of course this training is done at differing levels of intensity. There has to be a strong understanding amongst everyone taking part of what the boundaries are - in that way any training method will always full short of the real thing because no-one wants to seriously injure a training partner. However it is surprising how far you can "push it" given the right group of people. It is also an exhilarating experience and can help overcome a lot of fears and anxieties.

Mass fist fighting is something of a tradition in many parts of Russia. I’ve seen film footage of two opposing villages (about 50 guys on each side), lining up then going for it in a mass all out scrum. No-one was taking any prisoners, yet the whole thing had a strangely festive air about it - people were laughing as they hit and were being hit (in fact that is not uncommon in Systema classes either, which may lead casual observer to wonder if we are not a little crazy!).

EGO

Comfort also has to do with questioning ourselves and our place in the scheme of things. Martial arts can sometimes be a way for the individual to "puff himself up". Big titles, grades, lots of students, there is nothing wrong with these things per se, but they can sometimes be the mountain atop which our almost god-like figure stands. Of course you will rarely find such an individual "mucking in" with the lads, it may burst the bubble.

The other problem with ego is that it hands your opponent another weapon to use against you (and of course this is something that should be studied along with your physical techniques). If you are never tested you get used to everything going right. But this is not real life! To quote the old saying "no plan ever survives first contact with the enemy". If it does go wrong suddenly you are left without a plan, wondering what the hell to do. And of course, speed being of the essence, you find yourself overwhelmed. So it is very important in training to put the ego aside, don’t worry about winning or how good you look, or pulling off a "perfect" technique. Instead learn to accept and work with what you are given.

I’m sure 99% of other instructor’s will have been in this position - you are demonstrating a technique. It works on all the students expect one, who seems to be anatomically different from the rest of the human race and punches or grabs you in a way totally beyond all previous experience. While the ego takes a knock, in reality that student is doing you a big favour, because - GUESS WHAT - in the street no-one is going to punch or grab you like most of your students.

That’s why in Systema we sometimes start from a position of "muck up". Things have gone wrong - the knife is touching you, the guy has got a lock on, you are sitting down - then see what you can do to work out of it. Again we can work at various levels of intensity.

PAIN

Pain is nature’s way of telling you something is wrong. However there are two types of pain, good pain and bad pain. Bad pain is when something is being damaged - a finger broken or ligaments tearing. Good pain is the sign that you are working but are not actually being damaged. Learn to deal with pain. There are breathing methods, beyond the scope of this article, that can substantially increase a person’s pain threshold in a very short space of time. Relaxation is another key component to this work.

One method of working pain control is to have partners apply locks to you. They slowly build up the pressure, all you have to do is relax and breathe! The "full monty" on this exercises involves six people. One lays down, two grab arms, two grab legs and lock and twist, while the sixth hits any tense areas of the body. The first time we tried this people were literally screaming. The interesting thing was though, on their second go (yes, everyone had a second go, I told you we were crazy!), there was not a sound. People had started to learn how to control the pain. Now of course no-one was going to break a joint, there was an element of control. But in a real life situation, with speed being of the essence, that extra half second of non-compliance on your part may make all the difference.

I think it’s important to mention that the reason for doing this training, or for writing about, is not to make us out to be "tough guys". We aren’t, we are just normal people interested in training. Some of our people are professionals in the field of law enforcement or similar, but regardless of that this sort of work can have a profound influence in many areas of your life. You learn to stop wishing for what you don’t have and instead focus more positively on what you do have. You learn not to take so much for granted (lets face it compared to 80% of the population on this planet we have a very easy time of it) and, probably the most important - you learn to deal with adversity in all its shapes and forms with a quiet confidence born of knowing just what your limits are








COPYRIGHT@ 2005 R POYTON

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 10:42 am 
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Benz, check this out: http://www.russianmartialart.com/forum/ ... php?t=1550

Very interesting article, and lots of relevance to uechi! HA HA!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 1:04 pm 
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Thanks Five :) Looks good.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:11 pm 
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I like this:

Quote:
Russian doctrine teaches that there are only two types of unarmed combat:
combat to kill and combat to capture. The difference between the two goals of combat exists
only in the intensity with which the techniques are delivered, and whether the practitioner
continues the attack, or alters it to prisoner control techniques, once the opponent is
neutralized. Anything else is a sport or a martial art, and according to one Spetsnaz colonel,
and one of their premier hand-to-hand experts, once you turn any combat system into an
“art,” it has completely lost its combat effectiveness. Rules and aesthetics are restrictive,
and to survive actual combat you can function with no restrictions.
When our police are
called on to battle a trained, combat-hardened enemy it will be war, not art. If you have
trained for “art,” and the enemy has trained for war, you are going to lose.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:16 pm 
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Quote:
Striking is largely done with extremely high speed, continuous and
whipping open hand strikes. Experience in CQB has taught the Russians that there is
greater speed and therefore greater energy delivery with such strikes. This is like the
difference between shot-putting a baseball versus a pitcher’s windup and throw. Stored
kinetic energy is transferred from the body to the hand, and from the hand to the ball, just as
it is transferred from the hand to an opponent on contact. The greater the energy delivery -
the greater the effect of the strike. No one would be afraid to be struck by a baseball that
had been shot-putted from someone’s shoulder, which is exactly the movement of a
conventional closed-fist punch. But no one wants to be hit with a high speed, whipping,
open-handed slap.


:wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:23 pm 
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Bill G would like this..

Quote:
As well, Russians generally eschew even kicking in bare feet. The lack of foot protection
that everyone will usually be wearing when engaged in combat, alters the manner in which
you deliver your foot strikes. Rather than learning to tuck up the toes and front kick with the
balls of your feet – which bare feet necessitate – you should practice kicking with those
toes.
When protected by shoes, combat boots or even light wrestling shoes, the sole and
foot position creates a devastating spear-like strike the Russians call a Brik.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 4:01 pm 
Ben go to this site
http://www.aikidojournal.com/media.php? ... eo&page=16

You can see Vladimir doing his stuff.it looks good but then so does Aikido :roll: ..if it's free then go for it :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 4:08 pm 
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Yeah, but remember, it's an aikido site. Of course they are going to post something that looks similiar to their stuff. If anything to validate what they are doing.

Anyways..... It's free for now so I'll see how I feel about it after a month.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 5:41 pm 
Yeah, but it is the guy you were talking about, so he isn't going to change it much...looked phoney to me :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 5:56 pm 
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I have some of Vlad's tapes and they are interesting. Not sure what to make of it but fun to watch.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 6:08 pm 
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Jorvik, Check out these clips here. I admit, some look kinda wimpy, but check out the wrestling segment.

http://www.russianmartialart.com/main.php?page=clips

You have to remember that some of this stuff is drilling.. in slow- mo sort of like the way Rick does night of the living dead drills.

Heck you could watch just about any martial art train and say it looks like BS.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 6:20 pm 
Yeah I know.I'm just very sceptical nowadays :oops: ..I've done so many different styles, and that's not a boast...after a time you tend to look at things with a jauniced eye :roll:
Systema is the latest art to surface, but before too long there will be something else.
One of the guys at work is doing capoera.and he thinks that it's great, I guess it just comes down to individual choice.I'm thinking about giving Uechi another go :D

here's another link to Russian MA's
http://alliancemartialarts.com/kadochnikov.htm


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:03 pm 
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I hear you Jorvik :)

I confess, a big red flag went up when the group leader started singing the praises of Vladimir. It felt similiar to the pedistal placing you get in the asian arts.

I figure I can ignore the hero worship if the hero has anything worth learning.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:43 pm 
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Ben, Vlad is very impressive and at least in the videos didn't seem too full of himself. So far I've not heard a negativ about the man so I'd try out the affiliate school.

Quote:
That’s why in Systema we sometimes start from a position of "muck up". Things have gone wrong - the knife is touching you, the guy has got a lock on, you are sitting down - then see what you can do to work out of it. Again we can work at various levels of intensity.
Sounds like old karate training where we worked from kneeling and seated positions. Whatever happened to that part of training?

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