Systema Camp 2018

Systema Camp 2018

Systema Camp 2018

Systema Camp 2018

Systema Camp 2018 makes my fourth Systema camp. At the end of the last one in 2016 it was announced that the camp location we where using at the time was being sold and that a new location will be used in 2018. And just like in all the camps before, my plane arrived just after the buses left, which was no issue since I just road with the rest of the Dallas crew. Unlike the last three, we decided to not use tents this time, for they announced that this location had actual dorms instead of kids cabins. So we all decided to share one together. Even though each room was supposed to be labeled, it ended up being a free for all before we arrived and we ended up not in our assigned room, but a different one in the end with two other people.  This ended up being a blessing for the two other guys we roomed with where great people, with one always running off to pick up alcohol for the after training parties.

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…

Machete Fighting Duels Dec 2014

Machete Fighting Duels December 2015

Even more so is the difference between knife and machete fighting than short and long knife work. A machete is much longer, heavier and has much difference point of balance. This extra weight and leverage allows even the most cheap machetes cause a great amount of damage in a fight. Its no wonder that they such a popular weapon through out the world.

Machetes are one of our favorite weapons to work with in class and for sparring. The silver ones in the video come to us from our friends at Armed Combat and Tactics (ACT) branch from Israel.

Overall

Machete fight duels and sparring sure are a blast.

Robert Klenka
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