Systema Camp 2014

Systema Camp 2014

Systema Camp 2014

Systema Camp 2014

Unlike Systema Camp 2012, I was right on time. This Systema Camp was a full day shorter than the last one, so we arrived there on Monday and left on Saturday. The plane out of DFW airport left at around 7am in the morning and arrived around 10:30/11:00 in Toronto, which means the plane would arrive right after the big charter buses would leave for camp. Traveling with a few other guys from Big D Systema we informed Vlad and Valerie of our late arrival and they had a van ready for us at no extra charge. We made it there just in time for lunch. We all also decided to stay in the same tent as last time.

The head instructors planned for this week was the same as last one, Vladimir Vasiliev, Valentin Talanov and Konstantin Komarov. Konstantin was having some trouble with his visa this time around and was scheduled to arrive as soon as possible. To warm us up for the week Mr. Talanov started us off with some breathing and mobility exercises, which was great after being stuck in a plane and then a van all morning.

Just like for Systema Camp 2012 we spent a good majority of the time split into a advanced and non advanced groups then at the end the instructor group would break off for some more specialized training. Unlike last time, Talanov was not left alone to run the instructor groups and tests, Val was with him each time. At this Systema Camp instead of there being four major tests focused on each area, there was just one test at the end. I think some people complained about failing the test last camp which is a shame. The testing set up was near perfect at the last camp. Everyone had to perform the four major training sections of Systema: strikes, grappling, ground, and weapons. In front of their piers and in front of the camera, it really added a great amount of tension and importance to the test. Everyone was able to see where everyone stood, and not everyone should be able to pass. I’m pretty sure everyone who went up passed this year.

Systema Camp 2012

Systema Camp 2012 group photo

Systema Camp 2012 Group Photo

Every two years Systema HQ in Toronto has a Systema Camp, its a week long training camp where Systema practitioners from across the globe meet up and train together. Its held at this beautiful camp site a few hours north of Toronto with a forest and a lake. This is my write up for 2012 camp that I originally wrote in January of 2013.

For quite some time I have been wanting to go to this Systema Camp and this last year i was finally able to make it. The plan was that this camp/trip should fit nicely after my summer college courses and right before my fall semester started. It would give me a chance to get some great training in, make some new friends and unwind from the last semester by punching people from other countries right in the face (and vice versa).

Leading up to camp…

As I got closer to to the 2012 Systema Camp trip, I found out that my dates where off, and that Tuesday of that week is the same day as my summer college course final exam. Well that’s a problem. Figuring that it wont be that big of a deal, I went and visited my professor to see if i can do the final before or after my trip. I met up with him and explained my situation, told him i leave the Sunday before the final and wont be back until the Monday after the final.  I gave him a whole sad story to try and get his sympathy. He listened and paused. “You know what…maybe there is something i can do to help you” he said. “Yes!” i though, “this will all work out.”  He then said, in a way that sounded like he truly thought he was doing me a favor: “Instead of Tuesday you can take your final on Wednesday.” “Wednesday? Of the week i get back? That would be perfect!” I responded. “No, the day after the scheduled final, that Wednesday.” he says. “That Wednesday? I will be gone the WHOLE week, that Wednesday is even worse that Tuesday.” “Well that’s to bad then, if you don’t show up for your final you will fail the course.” He stated.  Well we never came up with a agreement.

Dual Wielding ALIVE! Workshop with Steve Miles

Duel Wielding Gun and Knife

Duel Wielding Gun and Knife

Duel Wielding! – ALIVE! Workshop with Steve Miles

Date: February 7th 2015
Instructor: Steve Miles
Location: Salado, Texas
Length: 4 hours

This months ALIVE! Combatives Workshop was dedicated to the idea of dual wielding either knife and knife, or knife and gun. We follow the idea that “Two is One, One is None” especially when it comes to carrying defensive tools. So a lot of our guys carry at least two accessible knives on them and that’s not including their daily firearm. So the idea of using two at once, or fighting against someone using two is not a completely unrealistic situation. So the first then we discussed was in what situations would you find yourself with two knives, or knife and gun. One thought was during the encounter you deploy and present you off hand knife, and in a null in the fight, you deploy your strong hand knife instead of switching hands. Another way you disarmed one opponent and know you have two against your next. What if you draw your firearm and reach for a mag reload but grab your knife instead? What if you don’t carry extra magazines? What if instead of two knives its a knife and a flash light? Gun and flash light? Gun and empty magazine? It did not take much thought though we might have stretched a bit on some logic on where you would end up having two weapons.