Systema Camp 2016

Systema Camp 2016

Systema Camp 2016

Systema Camp 2016

Just like in 2014, I shown up at Toronto international airport right as the camp buses were leaving, and just like in 2014 I thought well enough ahead to make travel arrangements with the camp. So for the ride up yo Systema Camp I basically had my own personal driver. On arrival Big Sergei was one of the first to greet everyone with a shot of vodka to get camp started right. Unlike in previous years, this year I brought my own personal tent instead of staying with a group. This made traveling a bit more cumbersome since I prefer to just bring everything as a carry on, but there was no way to make this tent fit in a over head bin. I quickly set up my site and met with everyone at the mess hall.

At the last two Systema camps, you not only had Vladimir Vasiliev teaching but Valentine Talanov and Konstantin Komarov. This allowed everyone to break up into groups based on their skill level and topic they which to train in, but also allowed instructors to have some free time instead of teaching for 13+ hours a day. But this year Vladimir was basically teaching everything himself. Other well established Systema instructors such as the Systema Twins (Brandon and Adam Zettler), Big Sergei, and few others where there to assist but it was mostly all Vlad.

We started off just after lunch in the big field with some warm up exercises: squats, push ups, sit ups, breathing and moving. I have always enjoyed these on long seminars. It gives you a chance to take in the scenery a bit and center yourself for the training ahead. From there we work on some basic movement work with some light striking, into take downs and grappling. Everyone was cheerful and friendly. We then spent some time in the lake, dinner, and then some light evening work. But the next day…

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.