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#266933 - 06/26/06 09:01 PM Anyone has any experience with Systema?
Darthmaul Offline

Registered: 06/22/06
Posts: 16
I been reading up on Systema on the web, it looks interesting, I might check out a class. I was wondering, has anyone had any experience with it? What kind of martial art is it? From what I am reading, it looks like a grappling type art? What type of martial art would you compare it too? Does it seem like it is a good self defence? What is a typical class like? Thanks.

#266934 - 06/26/06 09:14 PM Re: Anyone has any experience with Systema? [Re: Darthmaul]
JKogas Offline

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
Never heard of it before. I'll have to check into it.


#266935 - 06/26/06 09:51 PM Re: Anyone has any experience with Systema? [Re: JKogas]
SEAL Offline

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 139
It's a system that I think LOOKS (doesn't mean it is) similar to aikido. It involves lots of breathing excercises. It also includes many other health-related exercises. It's categorized as a combatative and, from what I read, is not a one-dimensional art. I also saw in a video this instructor punching the guy in a stomach, presumably as part of some exercise. It also focuses on pressure points.

That's as much as I know. I've been trying to find evidence that this art is very effective. My gut tells me that, because it's still very new to the international community (and even within Russia, as it was supposedly concealed to all but a select number of russian military units), there is a lot of confusion about the art.It's not unlike the Eastern craze in the 1970s. That mysteriousness and nuance lends itself because I think some people, some martial artists, want to find the next big thing, perhaps the holy grail of martial arts, if such a thing exists (it doesn't).

I wish I could find definitive research to support an argument for or against it but I can't. I have three well regarded sources who don't think much of it, that's about it. The only thing I can say for sure is systema is not for me, based on their testimony and what little research I have. Maybe systema is for you. If you can, try out a class and report back. I'm sure we'd all love to hear your feedback. Cheers.

#266936 - 06/26/06 10:49 PM Re: Anyone has any experience with Systema? [Re: JKogas]
Fletch1 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/21/04
Posts: 2218
Loc: Florida
Is it just me or is there a thread like this posted by a brand new member every week on pretty much every internet MA forum? Must make the Systema people happy, that many Google entries......


#266937 - 07/03/06 02:43 AM Re: Anyone has any experience with Systema? [Re: Darthmaul]
saleem Offline

Registered: 07/03/06
Posts: 6

I have been a systema student for the past year here in Dallas and I can just tell why I like this style.

First let me say that it would be a mistake to say one martial art style is better than another because the person applying it also has some input.

Systema not only teaches grappling/wresting but is a complete "system" that is taught to Police, SWAT and body guards as well.

There are some underlying priciples in systema that are just plain common sense and can be found in all cirles of life:

1. THE BODY SHOULD BE RELAXED OVERALL AND ALL TENSION DUE TO FEAR SHOULD BE REMOVED. The body will not effectively move, react, defend or counter-strike when stiffened with fear. Sure, a person can still defend himself when tense but the full potential is not realized. Also it is fair to say that a person will likely bypass techniques and revert to instinctive reactions when in a panicked state. We aim to confront this fear through slo mo drills with a partner, first with just plain evasion. Later when the natural fear of this confrontation has gone, then the partner throws a punch and the other evades/redirects/counters. A person naturally feels fear when encountering a knife. So, in knife work we start out with drills that have one partner poking or stabbing the other (in slo mo). The person now has a chance to relax and remove the natural fear of the blade. Next the person learns how to move and evade the knife. Evasion is one of the first reactions to work on. The body natrually knows how to evade, now we refine it by removing the fear. The body is then trained to sense the attack and can move before the person can think.

2. TECHNIQUES AND SECONDARY TO THE PRINCIPLES OF RELAXATION AND EVASION. After a person learns to move in response to an attack (punch, kick, knife-stab) then the training focuses on exploiting any unguarded points on the attacker. So if the evasion results in the person blocking a punch with the elbow, then the counter can be done from the elbow or the nearest body part or the other arm or legs. Here is where the TECHNIQUE GROWS OUT OF the evasion. We can then focus on pressure points, and take-downs. There are a million different attack possibilities and to focus on techniques can be difficult. It is better to focus on relaxation and evasion and be ready to counter using whatever the person sees fit at the time. Techniques are still important, just not the inital focus.
To counter punches, we start by blocking/redirecting without hands, just with the shoulders or chest. Then we move to the elbows and then the hands. Here we train the whole body to react to a strike, special hand blocks won't work if someone has tried your arms or is holding them. The same idea is with knife defense. We learn to redirect stabs with the body first, then move on to the arms and legs. Slashes are especially quick and dangerous and we first learn evasion and later add the arms. Concepts first, techniques second

Maintinaing a relaxed body has the following benefits:

1. It conseves energy, needed to fight off multiple attackers or a stronger single one.

2. It enables one to continue self-defense while one is injured or tired.

3. The person can absorb kicks and punches for it is impossible to prevent all strikes from reaching you. When we do striking work we learn to absorb strikes on the body before moving up to full power and full speed. This takes practice and consideration of the partner's ability to handle the strikes.

These are a few of the principles that I have learned and that I am working to put into practice. Krav Maga is an excellent and well rounded practice that I would personally pursue had I not seen systema.


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