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.