Russian Martial Art Systema
Don’t just survive, prevail.
Systema (Система, literally meaning The System) is a martial art originating out of Russia that has been brought over to the United States after the collapse of the Soviet Union. There are a few Systema styles taught through out the world, the primary variation we study here comes from Vladimir Vasiliev (Vasiliev Systema) out of Russian Martial Art Systema HQ in Toronto Canada: http://www.russianmartialart.com/ With us being out of Texas we have a stronger emphasis on firearms and knives than some other Systema schools.
In Systema, the body has to be free of tensions and filled with endurance, flexibility, effortless movement, and explosive potential; the "spirit" or psychological (psyche) state has to be calm, free of anger, irritation, fear, self pity, delusion, and pride. We focus on breathing, relaxation, and fluidity of movement, as well as utilizing an attacker's momentum against him and controlling the seven body levers (elbows, neck, knees, waist, ankles, knees, and shoulders) through striking, movement, leverage, and weapon applications.
Only a strong body can afford to be relaxed ~ Sonny Puzikas (The Forge)
We start every class some Combat Conditioning. Combat Conditioning is a uniquely designed to optimize your body, reflexes, coordination and mindset to survive and prevail in both a fight and your everyday life. More than just a good workout, Combat Conditioning develops physical attributes and mental toughness that will serve you well in all aspects of life. We concentrate on slow precise movement instead of numbers and reps allowing us better control over our muscle and skeletal systems. Combat conditioning is broken up to cover the three major sections of the body: Upper, Lower and Mid.
Upper: A strong upper platform allows for accurate and devastating strikes and deflections. To work this area we employ planks, push ups and slow kettlebell work to strengthen our joints and tendons.
Lower: A strong and separate lower platform allows for precise movement and elevation changes allowing us to fight in a full 3d realm. So expect slow squats, get ups and more!
Core/Mid: A strong core allow us to work the entire body with up most efficiency. Sit ups, leg lifts, lean backs and more allows us to work towards a strong unified core.
Provide an illusion that your opponent still has control, but make sure he does not. ~ Mikhail Ryabko
For Systema we like to try and have a "focus" for each month:
These are based around the 9 "Steps" of Systema, these topics can be combined and mixed.
- Walking in Difficult Conditions
- Dynamic Work
- Tactical Work
These nine steps are based around basic human development principles, and all include movement, striking, grappling, weapon work and more.
For our more advanced classes we follow the "Work Cycle"
- Ground Work
- Striking and Evasion
- Hand to Hand
- Weapons (Short/Long sticks, Knife, Firearms, Chains/Straps, Improvised, Ect.)
By having a "focus" for each month and rotating weapons we believe that this allows us to easily be a well rounded and to make sure everyone on is on track and progressing. It also allows a easy way of keeping classes structured. We generally follow a reverse engineering and enhanced discovery learning based methodology. This allows each student to develop their own "System" while still following the Four Pillars of Systema: Breathing, Relaxation, Movement and Structure.
- Hand to hand
- Grabs / Throws / Take downs
- Ground fighting
- Multiple attackers
- 3rd Party Protection
- Cornering and CQB
- Low light
- and more!
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