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George S. Ledyard
05-24-2004, 04:44 PM
I was asked about my opinion of the Systema work being done by Vladimir Vasiliev and Mikhail Ryabko. I was not able to pots this via private e-mail back to the fellow who asked so I am posting it here.

Re: Systema

I can assure you that these guys are 1) for REAL and 2) about the nicest bunch of folks you'd EVER run into

First, as to the history... everybody has their mythology in the martial arts. The only reason we don't is that our art doesn't have any history in the sense that O-sensei died in 1969. Even then there is the "official" version of events in his life and the real version, usually only available from someone like Stan Pranin.

That said, as near as I can tell the art definitely goes way back. There is sword stuff that according to James Williams (who is a Japanese style swordsman) is awesome. He got to spar with Mikhail Ryabko who is Vladimir Vasiliev's teacher in Moscow and he said the guy just played with him. I think the art has been passed down through the Cossacks, which would make it a bit controversial in some ways as they don't occupy a place in Russian history that is viewed very positively by other minorities. They were the enforcers of the Czars for centuries.
The association with the monks can't be proved but we know this was true in the East, why not in the West?

The Spetznaz connection is not questionable. Ryabko is an active Spetz commander, heads the hostage rescue teams in Moscow amongst other things. He actually just got promoted by Putin to General. He is the real meal deal. I have heard a few stories about his combat experience and he is a real heavy weight. There are a couple of other lines of Russian Martial Arts traditions that don't run through Ryabko and they all come through various military figures. So that isn't in dispute. It isn't at all what the SEAL Team thing has become here where every Tom, Dick, and Harry is a former SEAL or DELTA Force guy. These guys actually run trips to Russia to train and they work out with active military folks on active bases so it's not faked. (The Russians love hard currency and will allow their facilities to be visited by these outside groups; keeps their boys busy when they aren't deployed I guess). I know guys who went to Moscow on one of these trips and they said it was fantastic training. They met some really scary dudes (in a good way from the standpoint of training).

As for the training... I have trained with some of the best Aikido and Aiki Jutsu folks in the world. Vladimir is operating at a level of sophistication that matches or anything I have ever seen. You absolutely have to train with him before you make any decisions about what they are doing. I watched him do this little acupressure number on a guy he had just taken down during a knife jiyu waza. He tapped him on the back in a few places with his finger tips and then walked away. The guy wasn't able to stand up when he tried and when he finally was able to do so, it looked as if I was on his back. You could tell from the look on the guys face that he wasn't faking it... he had no idea what Vlad had done to him.

These guys are the most generous, least commercial folks I know. We have a study group at my dojo which is run by Brian King, one of my Defensive Tactics students. He was buying all sorts of videos and stuff from them. One day Valerie, Vlad's wife, calls and says "Brian, you are buying a lot of stuff. You are paying too much. We're going to charge you less.." Where do you ever hear of that happening? Now Brian is very junior in the Systema world. Sort of a Brown Belt running his own study group. In the Aikido world he would be beneath the notice of any of the Shihan. Well, Brian went to an instructor's seminar in Toronto at which Ryabko was over from Moscow. The next time Ryabko came over he brought a Russian Bear carving holding a bottle of Vodka for Brian to put on display at our school. I couldn't believe it. This is the TOP guy and he is paying attention to this little guy with seven people training under him in Seattle.

The training methods are quite interesting. They start with no form, just movement. This allows them to focus on total relaxation. I have trained with guys who trained for five to seven years under Vladimir in Toronto and the level of their skill is comparable to some of the best Aikido folks you've ever trained with in terms of how relaxed they are doing their stuff. It has caused me to try and re-work how I train my own students. They have a very detailed and sophisticated method for training kokyu power. More sophisticated than anything I've seen in Japanese martial arts. They do a lot with energetics. Their atemi waza is all energy based. I have no doubt whatever that these guys could kill you with one punch if they chose. We had a seminar with Jim King, one of Vlad's American students. Nicest guy in the world. He quite simply shut one of my big guys down with a punch that looked like a flick of the arm, loose as can be. My student stood there, unable to breathe, totally shut down, and then Jim brushed his hands down the guys front and the effect was gone in an instant! If you saw this on a film, you'd think it was fake.

No, these guys are for real. And I can't stress enough how nice a group they are. Vlad is so sweet, and a total gentleman. His students love him (not just fear him like some Aikido Senseis). We have hosted several of his top students this past year and every one of them was humbling in how much they knew and what they could do. And they all say Vlad is way above them in ability. And Ryabko is, according to Vlad, even better. I judge a lot by what kind of folks people are and these guys are amongst the best I've ever trained with.

Get the TRS tapes first. They have the best overview. Fighting from the Ground is awesome. They have the best ground fighting system I have ever seen and I have training in several. I don't mean just grappling but fighting when you are don and multiple attackers are coming after you. If you want to see some of the most amazing stuff, get the Energy Tape. You'll swear it's fake but just remember what I said about having seen it first hand. It is not fake. Even their senior students can do it. I can absolutely guarantee that if you play with their stuff a bit it will make your Aikido better. It has changed mine drastically.

Bronson
05-24-2004, 08:00 PM
Get the TRS tapes first. Fighting from the Ground is awesome. ...get the Energy Tape.

Hi George,

Where might these tapes be had?

Thanks,

Bronson

George S. Ledyard
05-25-2004, 12:49 AM
Hi George,

Where might these tapes be had?

Thanks,

Bronson

Russian Martial Art Website (http://www.russianmartialart.com)

Bronson
05-25-2004, 01:03 AM
Thanks!

Bronson

drDalek
05-25-2004, 01:31 AM
Thanks a bunch! I am definately going to get these tapes, now if only I can find someone willing to work with me on this stuff... :D

Jorx
05-26-2004, 07:31 AM
http://www.angelfire.com/oz/romogracie/dimmak.zip

http://www.angelfire.com/oz/bscdthrasher1

http://www.angelfire.com/oz/bscdthrasher2

So much of pressure points...
Before ordering THOSE tapes check out these videos.

Some things that I know about systema (and I think I know some 'cause I live far more near to where it's coming from. Also the head instructor of Aikikai Estonia has quit active practice of Aikido and is now into Systema):

Systema is not yet a complete system as it is presented in west. There are many teachers who have different opinions about different things.

Some of the "historical" background is AS highly exaggerated as chinese Wu-Shu myths.

Some of the knife-fighting is a total suicide. (wait... going barehanded against knife IS a suicide)

...so is some of the groundfighting...

Yet... I've heard they have some exellent teachers who really know a lot. Weather they can give it forward to their students as well as they ADVERTISE they can is yet to be proved...

(being 16 and in speznaz? stalins killers? people... before following the new hype put in some critical approach as well)

batemanb
05-27-2004, 01:29 AM
Some of those clips look very interesting, I saw a lot of similar stuff to what we do with regards to kuzushi, although I'm a little worried about doing some of that knife work. Now, do I/ can I go to the seminar in London?

drDalek
05-27-2004, 02:34 AM
http://www.angelfire.com/oz/romogracie/dimmak.zip

http://www.angelfire.com/oz/bscdthrasher1

http://www.angelfire.com/oz/bscdthrasher2

So much of pressure points...
Before ordering THOSE tapes check out these videos.


I have to say I dont realy believe in dim-mak or pressure points, sure there are places on the body you can strike that would hurt a lot more than other places but switching someone off like spock on star trek? please.


Some things that I know about systema (and I think I know some 'cause I live far more near to where it's coming from. Also the head instructor of Aikikai Estonia has quit active practice of Aikido and is now into Systema):

Systema is not yet a complete system as it is presented in west. There are many teachers who have different opinions about different things.

Some of the "historical" background is AS highly exaggerated as chinese Wu-Shu myths.


Can you post some of this exaggerated historical background please? I only have the stuff they post on the russianmartialart.com website to go on.


Some of the knife-fighting is a total suicide. (wait... going barehanded against knife IS a suicide)

...so is some of the groundfighting...


All knife fighting is suicide, even Filipino MA teachers remark that knife fighting is suicide, there is a popular story that you can determine the winner in a knife fight by checking which guy dies last.


Yet... I've heard they have some exellent teachers who really know a lot. Weather they can give it forward to their students as well as they ADVERTISE they can is yet to be proved...

(being 16 and in speznaz? stalins killers? people... before following the new hype put in some critical approach as well)

Please post some of your sources for the speznaz stories, I am interested in reading them (and making my own critical determination on their validity)

SeiserL
05-27-2004, 09:13 AM
Just did the seminar last year at the Aiki Expo. Like Aikido, IMHO, Systema is not a spectator sport. You can't understand it from a spectator position.

When I saw Systema it only looked like multiple subtle attacks towards multiple balance points until the system is overwelmed and falls down out of confusion, executed with the relaxed grace of patty-cake meets break-dancing.

When I felt it and did it, I got a sense that there was somthing here I did not understand, but wanted more.

George S. Ledyard
05-27-2004, 11:17 AM
Just did the seminar last year at the Aiki Expo. Like Aikido, IMHO, Systema is not a spectator sport. You can't understand it from a spectator position.

When I saw Systema it only looked like multiple subtle attacks towards multiple balance points until the system is overwelmed and falls down out of confusion, executed with the relaxed grace of patty-cake meets break-dancing.

When I felt it and did it, I got a sense that there was somthing here I did not understand, but wanted more.
Hi Lynn,
What we all saw at the Expo was only a small portion of what they do in practice. Vlad didn't want to scare anyone away so he specifically told his boys to take it easy, especially on the striking stuff they do. Every once in a while you'd see Vlad move suddenly and you'd realize that he had just hit his pertner three times in the blink of an eye... but they really went easy on the striking which is a big part of their training, both delivering and taking the energy strikes they do.

To the disbelievers:

It's amusing to me to watch a bunch of Aikido folks who have not ever participated in this training with a senior instructor much less Vlad or Ryabko, sit around and make statements about whether they think it works or not. This is precisely the situation when Morihei Ueshiba got started and all sorts of guys from other traditions bad mouthed Aikido as not working. You'd think that Aikido folks of all people would be sensitive to the fact that there is a lot of stuff out there that one doesn't understand and that ones belief or disbelief in it is quite irrelevant to its validity.

Go try it. Get to a seminar, preferably with Vladimir and or Ryabko but at least one of the senior students who are scattered around, It will be both humbling and exciting to see some folks who are more aiki than many of the people who are supposedly doing The way of Aiki.

I know that there will be some people who leave Aikido for the Systema. I for one, don't think that is necessary. I think that we should all look at what is there, the ways in which they do some things more effectively than we do, and then think long and hard about how we can accomplish the same things within Aikido.

I wrote a blurb on the Aikido Journal site a while back that talked about the fact that I think that Aikido practitioners, in an attempt to execute technique introduce a lot of tension into their bodies as they try to make their technique look a certain way. The Systema guys don't teach technique, rather they teach principle. It's as if they start with Take Musu Aiki and allow themselves to discover the technique through their movement.

Now clearly, if Aikido is to be Aikido and not something else, it will have the techniques which we all are familiar with. So our challenge is to ask ourselves, "if these guys have no specific form or technique and achieve a very high state of relaxation in their technique, is there a way to get that same level of relaxation (aiki) but keep what we do Aikido with its outward form unchanged? I believe so. I have trained with Angier Sensei of the Yanagi Ryu and he has this type of total relaxation in his technique and he has developed a very sophisticated way of teaching it.

I believe that there is a way to do this within Aikido but it requires a shift in awareness about what one is shooting for in ones technique. One of the people with whom I have trained who is very far along on developing a training methodology that fosters this kind of abilty is Chuck Clark Sensei. Every time I have trained with him I have come away with very specific exercises to both pinpoint and identify the places in our body where we introduce tension when we do technique but also exercises which are designed to reprogram the body / mind to understand that that tension isn't effective and that it can trust that it is really relaxation that will protect it.

I think that if we are serious about our training it makes sense to grab and take hold of anything which will improve our practice.

SeiserL
05-27-2004, 11:35 AM
I think that if we are serious about our training it makes sense to grab and take hold of anything which will improve our practice.

Greetings,

Enjoyed your workshop at the Expo last year too. Stan also recommended your product to me.

Totally agree. When you get in Aiki concepts, it opens the eyes to see what is availble in all arts

I know I will do more Systema. I see no reason to leave Aikido. I still do a couple FMA seminars a year.

Jorx
06-03-2004, 01:00 PM
Okay here I come.

The pressure point things they seem to do... energy based atemi and so on I don't see how it differs from what George Dillman does... and he is right now being proved as a big fake.

The guys here who practice systema seem to run under Kadashnikov I guess. And they don't do "energy" strikes as far as I know it.

History: they claim all sorts of weird stuff. As for example that there existed a strong martial arts scene back in 19 - hundreds where every member of aristocracy had their own bodyguard + the members themselves learned the very advanced stuff. Even ladys. That's why noone dared to attack a lady in the streets. They could kill with umbrellas and handbags. THIS IS UTTER HISTORICAL BS.

Also they claim that there existed martial arts styles as we know them from china. Maybe every landsideplace had it's own "svobodna borba" - freestyle wrestling or catchwrestling. But it wasn't organized as such. And there were no striking arts as there were in china.

About being 16 and in SpezNaz - highly unlikely. SpezNaz are killers. They wouldn't take a boy even if he'd be really good at whatever he does.

About trips to SpezNaz camps: I DO NOT THINK SO. SpezNaz is really an ELITE force. Trained killers who very often are not able to melt into society after their time is done. They wouldn't waste time to train with some foreigners who came to train SYSTEMA. Their bases and missions are a national secret and so on.

ALSO: This is a military unit. The main thing they are taught is how to end things in the end of a
5,45x39 round. They don't train in highly complex martial art system. Though their training includes (sometimes giving and) getting SERIOUS WHOOPASS from older soldiers.

The connection with Orthodox church is artificial.
SYSTEMA is a big melting of European Wing Tsun / EBMAS Wing Tsun; Filipino Martial arts; Aikijutsu; Sambo; Aikido etc etc.

I have myself seen it too little to say if it is REALLY anything worth. Yet I have to say two things:
ONE: It VERY MUCH seems to me that this what you are getting there in the west is a marketing trick. And people are falling for it.
TWO: "The System" has not yet proved itself. (At least to me) ;)

George S. Ledyard
06-03-2004, 08:20 PM
Okay here I come.

The pressure point things they seem to do... energy based atemi and so on I don't see how it differs from what George Dillman does... and he is right now being proved as a big fake.

The guys here who practice systema seem to run under Kadashnikov I guess. And they don't do "energy" strikes as far as I know it.

History: they claim all sorts of weird stuff. As for example that there existed a strong martial arts scene back in 19 - hundreds where every member of aristocracy had their own bodyguard + the members themselves learned the very advanced stuff. Even ladys. That's why noone dared to attack a lady in the streets. They could kill with umbrellas and handbags. THIS IS UTTER HISTORICAL BS.

Also they claim that there existed martial arts styles as we know them from china. Maybe every landsideplace had it's own "svobodna borba" - freestyle wrestling or catchwrestling. But it wasn't organized as such. And there were no striking arts as there were in china.

About being 16 and in SpezNaz - highly unlikely. SpezNaz are killers. They wouldn't take a boy even if he'd be really good at whatever he does.

About trips to SpezNaz camps: I DO NOT THINK SO. SpezNaz is really an ELITE force. Trained killers who very often are not able to melt into society after their time is done. They wouldn't waste time to train with some foreigners who came to train SYSTEMA. Their bases and missions are a national secret and so on.

ALSO: This is a military unit. The main thing they are taught is how to end things in the end of a
5,45x39 round. They don't train in highly complex martial art system. Though their training includes (sometimes giving and) getting SERIOUS WHOOPASS from older soldiers.

The connection with Orthodox church is artificial.
SYSTEMA is a big melting of European Wing Tsun / EBMAS Wing Tsun; Filipino Martial arts; Aikijutsu; Sambo; Aikido etc etc.

I have myself seen it too little to say if it is REALLY anything worth. Yet I have to say two things:
ONE: It VERY MUCH seems to me that this what you are getting there in the west is a marketing trick. And people are falling for it.
TWO: "The System" has not yet proved itself. (At least to me) ;)
Look, the only reason you participate in a "discussion" group is to exchange views. You have heard mine and I have heard yours. Mine are based on personal experience and the experience of people directly known to me, yours are not. Your belief or disbelief is completely irrelevant to these folks. Since you don't seem to care about the feedback being given by people who do have direct experience with it why keep stating your disbelief. And to restate that you remain unconvinced sort of assumes anyone cares if they convince you. You will either get some personal experience with Vladimir and or Ryabko, or you won't. If you do it is my belief that you will be happy you did. If you don't you can steadfastly remain unconvinced and learn nothing new by it. Great. It's your choice.

PeterR
06-03-2004, 10:24 PM
Touchy George

Mine are based on personal experience and the experience of people directly known to me, yours are not.

An earlier post of Jorx stated the level of his connections. Frankly speaking some of the claims I heard sound a bit wild to me also. It's been toned down a bit but the aftertaste remains.

stuartjvnorton
06-03-2004, 11:04 PM
About trips to SpezNaz camps: I DO NOT THINK SO. SpezNaz is really an ELITE force. Trained killers who very often are not able to melt into society after their time is done. They wouldn't waste time to train with some foreigners who came to train SYSTEMA. Their bases and missions are a national secret and so on.



lol
They'll put a guy into space for stack of $$. They'll let some soldiers beat his ass for a whole lot less.

SeiserL
06-03-2004, 11:04 PM
The top two people will be at the Aiki Expo next year in Los Angeles. Lets all meet on the mat.

George S. Ledyard
06-04-2004, 12:36 AM
Touchy George



An earlier post of Jorx stated the level of his connections. Frankly speaking some of the claims I heard sound a bit wild to me also. It's been toned down a bit but the aftertaste remains.

Yes, I get a bit impatient with this whole thing. It's one thing to be skeptical. But you go the next step and a) inquire of some people who do have some experience or b) you get some yourself.

There is a reason that Stan Pranin invited Vasiliyev to the Expo last year... He went to Toronto to check things out for himself. I have a study group going in the Systema at my dojo run by a guy who has travelled all over the states and Canada training with Vladimir and his top students. We have hosted several of his top instructors at my school. I went down to Colorado for a seminar with Vladimir. So this is something I have had some direct experience in. So people can decide that a) I don't have any idea what I am talking about or b) they can hear what I am saying and suspend their disbelief long enough to get their own direct experience.

I don't have much patience for some folks I have seen who have for some time been publicly pooh poohing these guys and have actively avoided some invitations that have been extended to attend some training where they would find out for themselves.

The mythology of the history of the art is something I don't pay much attention to. There's not a martial art out there that doesn't have some historically dubious stuff in it's official history. Hell, Aikido history has already been rewritten a few times and that's just within a couple generations.

I judge things on two levels. Can the guys really do their stuff? From what I have seen the answer is a definitive yes. I haven't yet trained with Ryabko but I trust the skill and experience level of my friends who have and they all say he is amazing. I also judge people based on their character. These guys are some of the nicest, most generous folks I have met.

This stuff about marketing... it's a bunch of bull. These folks go out of their way to be fair and very uncommercial in their approach to the art. Valerie, Vladimir's wife, actually called up my student, brain King, and told him that he was buying a lot of videos and they thought he was paying too much so they LOWERED the price. He didn't initiate this, they did.

Brian isn't a very advanced practitioner. He's only been doing Systema a couple years but he is serious about conducting the study group and they have recognized him as having legimate program. Well, he trotted himself up to Toronto for one of Ryabko's visits and met the man. This is the head guy, the big kahuna, the "doshu" of their system. When Ryabko came over from Russia the next time he brought a carved wooden Bear holding a bottle of vodka for our little club. Now I have been in Japanese martial arts a long time and I can tell you that in my experience, a relatively low ranked guy, maybe running a program out of a community center somehere, who's got a half dozen students or so, would be beneath the notice of most of the Japanese senior instructors. You'd be lucky if you got a chance to talk to them much less have one of them remember you like that. These guys have impressed me with their skills and their character. I encourage anyone who is really interested in seeing a really interesting approach to aiki, one that has something to offer Aikido people quite a bit, to go out of their way to experience this stuff directly. I frankly don't give a **** whether it was passed down through the middle ages by Orthodox monks or invented ten years ago. It's really good stuff. Don't blow a lot of effort on trying to disprove it, go try it then you'll really know.

Jorx
06-04-2004, 03:48 AM
I'm not saying the russians aren't a nice bunch of folks.
And okay... when considering the level of corruption in Russian military it sure is possible that one commander actually arranges ppl to train with elite troops.

Lowering some videos price is not an argument (have you any idea how chep manufacturing them here would be?). These kinds of things ARE marketing tricks. Of course marketing tricks are not always a bad thing.

About Ryabko being the "big boss". What I know and I stated that before - in actual RUSSIA Systema is NOT YET a unified system. There are many teachers who are not united. Who have some dissonances. Who do different things under the name Systema. One branch has made a successful leap into west but I think it's only a matter of time when someone comes out with "more authentic systema".

My knowledge of Systema comes from: Vassiliev's videos / ppl who have seen even more Vassilievs videos / the Estonian Systema group (of what they do and what they say) (their head instructor is also the head instructor of Estonian Aikikai) / my own knowledge of Russian history and overall scene / my own healthy critical approach towards any "new better things".

George S. Ledyard
06-04-2004, 05:57 AM
I'm not saying the russians aren't a nice bunch of folks.
And okay... when considering the level of corruption in Russian military it sure is possible that one commander actually arranges ppl to train with elite troops.

Lowering some videos price is not an argument (have you any idea how chep manufacturing them here would be?). These kinds of things ARE marketing tricks. Of course marketing tricks are not always a bad thing.

About Ryabko being the "big boss". What I know and I stated that before - in actual RUSSIA Systema is NOT YET a unified system. There are many teachers who are not united. Who have some dissonances. Who do different things under the name Systema. One branch has made a successful leap into west but I think it's only a matter of time when someone comes out with "more authentic systema".

My knowledge of Systema comes from: Vassiliev's videos / ppl who have seen even more Vassilievs videos / the Estonian Systema group (of what they do and what they say) (their head instructor is also the head instructor of Estonian Aikikai) / my own knowledge of Russian history and overall scene / my own healthy critical approach towards any "new better things".
I am quite aware that what is known as Systema is not unified. It isn't going to be unified. Ryabko's line of the tradition is just that, his line. There are others. However the folks with whom I am familiar consider Ryabko to be the head of their art, regardless of other folks who are doing something similiar in Russia.

As for the rest, there doesn't seem to be anything I am likely to say that is useful to you.

akiy
06-04-2004, 09:10 AM
Hi folks,

I wrote about my experiences with Vladimir (amongst others) that I had at the Aiki Expo 2003 here (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4422). Here's what I wrote on my exprience with Vladimir:

During one class over the weekend, I was sitting in the bleachers during Vladimir Vasiliev's class (Systema) when my teacher, who was also watching, said to me, "Let's go down and try this out." Vladimir was showing in that class how to escape from headlocks and other joint locks. He noticed that my teacher had gotten onto the mat, came over, and thanked him for participating and trying it out. My teacher then asked him to show him what he was teaching and Vladimir happily obliged. I also got to feel Vladimir a few times during that class including a minute or two where both my teacher and I were attacking him at once, trying to lock him up. Later, my teacher said, "There was nothing I could do to lock him up. As soon as I started to apply something, he just 'slithered' away..." Vladimir's timing, ability to see and exploit openings, and capability of transforming his body into some very interesting wave oscillations (to produce other openings that he could take advantage of) were utterly incredible. During one demonstration, he basically just put his foot into places where his partner would need to step, thereby already occupying their strongest place and causing them to fall; the timing, location, subtlety, and variety within this one or two minute demonstration was nothing short of breathtaking. All in all, I found Vladimir to be very effective in his art, an interesting teacher, and an approachable person -- always very nice to encounter.
Not trying to sway anyone's thoughts -- just expressing my own from my own experiences...

-- Jun

Jorx
06-04-2004, 12:11 PM
Look, the only reason you participate in a "discussion" group is to exchange views. You have heard mine and I have heard yours.

Mr. Ledyard, I'd like to point out that there are not only two of us in this forum. My intention was never to DISCUSS the subject of systema with you but to present an opinion from the other end of the spectrum to people who might be intrested in this subject knowing very little about it.

I think we two could argue for HOURS about martial arts not getting anywhere as I believe we have very different opinions about training methods, sportfighting, reality in MA etc etc and it would be quite pointless. But when there are others listening they get two very different opinions to build their opininon on. And that's a really good thing.

But let's talk music now... I guess we could do much more friendly in this subject ;)

George S. Ledyard
06-04-2004, 02:04 PM
Mr. Ledyard, I'd like to point out that there are not only two of us in this forum. My intention was never to DISCUSS the subject of systema with you but to present an opinion from the other end of the spectrum to people who might be intrested in this subject knowing very little about it.

I think we two could argue for HOURS about martial arts not getting anywhere as I believe we have very different opinions about training methods, sportfighting, reality in MA etc etc and it would be quite pointless. But when there are others listening they get two very different opinions to build their opininon on. And that's a really good thing.

But let's talk music now... I guess we could do much more friendly in this subject ;)

Hey nothing personal at all... I feel strongly about these guys based on my experience so I try to support them when I can, especially as I think they have a lot to offer Aikido practitioners. Working just a bit with them has helped me change my Aikido quite a bit for the better. So I am a booster. But I certainly wouldn't hold to my position to the extent that I would lose a potential friendship over it. What a waste. I mean, I have students who think George Bush is great! If I can handle that I can handle a minor disagreement about the systema. Little arguments like this are definitely good for the folks on the forum, I agree. Take care... we'll talk again soon I am sure.

Mark Jakabcsin
06-04-2004, 03:54 PM
My intention was never to DISCUSS the subject of systema with you but to present an opinion from the other end of the spectrum to people who might be intrested in this subject knowing very little about it.


But Jorgen, you ARE one of the people that know very little about the subject. Your opinions aren't based on real knowledge or first hand experience from what I have read. Although I admitt I only skimmed some of your posts. Your comments about Spets guys all being killers that can't fit in to society is amusing and only one of several items that shows your lack of knowledge on the subject.

It's fine to have an opinion but voicing it publically when it's based on nothing shows a lack of.......ah....something good. (Hey it's Friday and my brain turned off, I can't think of the word I want.) Keep your opinion, it makes no difference to me. Enjoy.

mark

Jorx
06-05-2004, 10:02 AM
But Jorgen, you ARE one of the people that know very little about the subject. Your opinions aren't based on real knowledge or first hand experience from what I have read. Although I admitt I only skimmed some of your posts. Your comments about Spets guys all being killers that can't fit in to society is amusing and only one of several items that shows your lack of knowledge on the subject.
mark

Cut the crap.
Russian army and US army are very different things. There are over 3000 violent deaths per year in Russian army OUTSIDE of Chechnian war. Beaten to death, suicides, murders, careless accidents etc.

And SpetsNaz DO get a really dehumanizing training. There have been couple of documentaries out lately on the subject.

And my experience with Systema is more firsthand than most guys in this forum.

You live on the other side of the world.

Mark Jakabcsin
06-05-2004, 11:14 AM
And my experience with Systema is more firsthand than most guys in this forum.

You live on the other side of the world.

and earlier


I have myself seen it too little to say if it is REALLY anything worth. Yet I have to say two things:
ONE: It VERY MUCH seems to me that this what you are getting there in the west is a marketing trick. And people are falling for it.
TWO: "The System" has not yet proved itself. (At least to me)

So let's sum this up. A) You admit you haven't seen enough Systema to make up your mind if it is worthwhile. B) You believe your geographic location gives you some sort of advantage in understanding something you haven't experienced enough to understand by your own admission. C) You use geographic location to validate your point but then you claim special knowledge of what is being done here in the west. 'We are falling for marketing tricks'. If you are going to use geography to tell people in the west they can't know about your area then how can you claim knowledge of what goes on outside of your geographic area? How do you know what is being taught if you haven't experienced it yourself, here in the west? If you haven't worked personally with Vlad how can you know what he teaches? Videos? LOL. The videos are an aid at best. Only a fool would make a solid opinion from only videos. Only a fool would think he/she completely understood what is happening in the videos.

I have taken the time to read your posts completely. 15 minutes of my life I will never get back. There are so many errors and fallacies it is amazing. It's obvious you have even less first hand knowledge than you led us to believe. You are entitled to your opinion but those opinions aren't based on anything, hence their value is meaningless.

You aren't far from Moscow, go see Mikhail for yourself, get some first hand experience and present your opinions there. I would say seek your answers there but you haven't asked any questions, merely stated a hollow opinion. You say 'the System hasn't proved itself to you', and it won't when you hide behind a keyboard. In order to find proof you have to make the physical effort. I have.

mark

Jorx
06-06-2004, 05:27 AM
and earlier
So let's sum this up. A) You admit you haven't seen enough Systema to make up your mind if it is worthwhile. B) You believe your geographic location gives you some sort of advantage in understanding something you haven't experienced enough to understand by your own admission. C) You use geographic location to validate your point but then you claim special knowledge of what is being done here in the west. 'We are falling for marketing tricks'. If you are going to use geography to tell people in the west they can't know about your area then how can you claim knowledge of what goes on outside of your geographic area? How do you know what is being taught if you haven't experienced it yourself, here in the west? If you haven't worked personally with Vlad how can you know what he teaches? Videos? LOL. The videos are an aid at best. Only a fool would make a solid opinion from only videos. Only a fool would think he/she completely understood what is happening in the videos.

I have taken the time to read your posts completely. 15 minutes of my life I will never get back. There are so many errors and fallacies it is amazing. It's obvious you have even less first hand knowledge than you led us to believe. You are entitled to your opinion but those opinions aren't based on anything, hence their value is meaningless.

You aren't far from Moscow, go see Mikhail for yourself, get some first hand experience and present your opinions there. I would say seek your answers there but you haven't asked any questions, merely stated a hollow opinion. You say 'the System hasn't proved itself to you', and it won't when you hide behind a keyboard. In order to find proof you have to make the physical effort. I have.

mark

Oooh... I made someone get angry for a sec...:freaky:

a) Systema hasn't been presented in a way which would make it automatically valid for me. Russia has quite a strong MMA scene already (and guys like Fedor Emelianenko or Igor Vovchanckyn in the absolute top) It wouldn't be hard to PROVE some of claims they are making simply in the ring.

b) Blah-blah. Sure I haven't worked with Vassiliev and Ryabko. But estonia has a 4 year old Systema group and I know more or less what and how they are doing. (Want to see more of those knife disarms... I still smile about hitting with a baseball cap). And I sure believe that because of very obvious reasons I have more knowledge about Russian background and scene than an average citizen of US.

c) Falling for marketing tricks is a geaographically universal thing;) And in obvious reasons something from russia is more exotic to you than to me. The design of www.russialmartialart.com is a clear example of this.

Videos - of fighting multiple armed opponents from the ground, of one touch knockouts etc. Fills me (others can be more open minded yes) with scepticism beforehand. Yes I MAY believe that YES MAYBE some toplevel instructors with tons of previous fighting experience (what Vassiliev and Ryabko claim to have) might do some really incredible stuff. But I'm very convinced that for most of the practioners it's just another mystical Self-Defence system filling them with false confidence and a proper athlete could prove them wrong very well.

And with you dear Mark I already see that we could take the short road of:
"Let's put it in the ring!"
"I must prove nothing to you and I don't need to prove anything to me!"
"You're a p*ssy who knows nothing about fighting!"
"You're an ignorant bully who knows nothing about martial and nothing about art!"

I probably have already seen people of your kind and you've probably seen people of mine. Let's both live in the happy world of labeling 'cause unlike for example Mr. Ledyard in this post you even haven't ATTEMPTED to understand what I am saying no matter what I'm saying.

John Elliott
06-06-2004, 07:57 PM
a) Systema hasn't been presented in a way which would make it automatically valid for me.

Believe me, nothing is ever presented to me in a manner that requires automatic acceptance. Anyone I've studied under, I've sparred.

Russia has quite a strong MMA scene already (and guys like Fedor Emelianenko or Igor Vovchanckyn in the absolute top)

Interesting, isn't it, how their strikes, (especially fedor's in the last Pride) look like something straight out of VV's H2H video? Almost as if this striking technique is a Russian cultural thing...

It wouldn't be hard to PROVE some of claims they are making simply in the ring.

They prefer people to come to them. The ones that do almost always want proof, you know.

b) Blah-blah. Sure I haven't worked with Vassiliev and Ryabko. But estonia has a 4 year old Systema group and I know more or less what and how they are doing.

Ah... you've almost constantly watched near-experts on the subject, then, (more or less). A formidable foundation to base an opinion on. How many times did you more or less beat them?

Videos - of fighting multiple armed opponents from the ground, of one touch knockouts etc.

Where can I get those one touch knockout ones? They sound cool. Fighting mutltiple opponents with or without weapons in the ground is not as easy as it looks on the videos, btw. You find this out when you practice the drills - you get "killed" pretty often, progress is about how long you can survive.

But I'm very convinced that for most of the practioners it's just another mystical Self-Defence system filling them with false confidence and a proper athlete could prove them wrong very well.

Mysticism... interesting. Which tape is that?

False confidence? I get beat up way too much for that! :dead:

So how long have you been training with Fedor, anyway? That is sooo cool. I would never have thought a Pride MMA fighter like you would frequent an Aikido board.

Jorx
06-07-2004, 03:04 AM
Believe me, nothing is ever presented to me in a manner that requires automatic acceptance. Anyone I've studied under, I've sparred.


Very good... keep it up;) Alive training is good and then you must understand that cooperative reps is not a very highly efficient method of learning nor fighting nor self-defence.


Interesting, isn't it, how their strikes, (especially fedor's in the last Pride) look like something straight out of VV's H2H video? Almost as if this striking technique is a Russian cultural thing...


Ah, so you mean good 'ol western boxing?


Ah... you've almost constantly watched near-experts on the subject, then, (more or less). A formidable foundation to base an opinion on. How many times did you more or less beat them?


A style or system is AS GOOD as the regular practioners. I do not really care weather one or two people who lead their organisation can do really amazing stuff (which I however have doubt in anyway). It's the people who have practiced one year, 3 years, max five years on whom I base my opinions. I have never seen or heard any Systema guys spar with an alive opponent using the same techniques they learn in class. I don't count "two Aikido guys trying to get a headlock on Vassiliev and him always slipping out of their grabs" as sparring.


Where can I get those one touch knockout ones? They sound cool. Fighting mutltiple opponents with or without weapons in the ground is not as easy as it looks on the videos, btw. You find this out when you practice the drills - you get "killed" pretty often, progress is about how long you can survive.


"Beyond the pshysical". I don't think it's easy. I think it's quite impossible. And can you survive 5 seconds or ten it doesn't make much difference.


So how long have you been training with Fedor, anyway? That is sooo cool. I would never have thought a Pride MMA fighter like you would frequent an Aikido board.

Ah, stop it... I sometimes wonder it myself too. And I don't train with Fedor that much nowadays as he is travelling around a lot but still call him sometimes and say like: "Yo Fedja, the armbar that you got on Mark... it was really nice..."

But really... it is the delivery system that matters - if Jason DeLucia does a triangle choke and calls it "snakestyle" and has a toehold picture saying "praying mantis" and hits and kicks people and says it is Aikido and tiger and dragonstyle then guess what... whatever you call it it's the same delivery system that is used by boxing, muay thai, and wrestling and bjj on ground. If systema guys use JKD trapping and Aikido modified throws and kali knifefighting and in sparring still box and clinch then what difference does it make? What use were all the drills and these reps?

Jorx
06-07-2004, 03:20 AM
Here's another systema to you...
http://www.combatexpert.com/NEW%20PRO%20SITE/A-linking-page-f.htm

John Elliott
06-07-2004, 05:36 AM
Very good... keep it up Alive training is good and then you must understand that cooperative reps is not a very highly efficient method of learning nor fighting nor self-defence.

Oh yes, that's what attracted me to systema in the first place. Compared to countless hours of uchi-komi and recipe-style techs, the amount of skill I gained over time using the systema method, as measured in successes sparring with live, resisting opponents my weight or better, was nothing short of breathtaking.

Ah, so you mean good 'ol western boxing?

No, I mean spiraling looping punches, hooks with inverted fists, stuff that looks like uraken on 45 degree angles, punches that wrap around the arns that block them and hit the head behind them, with the arm bent to avoid getting the elbow locked... you know, the stuff that created SUCH HUGE BUZZ when he fought Coleman and Minotauro. Not your vanilla jab/cross/hook/uppercut/overhand by any stretch. The mechanics behind the power are different, more rotation from the trunk and wave motions, rather than being thrown from the feet, doesn't have the striker commiting his weight forward like in boxing, which is good in an event where takedowns/throws are allowed, no?

Beyond the pshysical".

Now that's odd, you must have a version they don't sell over here, because there's no one-touch knockouts on "Beyond the Physical", and I have both the old version and the new version with extra footage. :freaky:

May I ask where you got your copy?

I think it's quite impossible.

I used to too, until I saw certain individuals in action, and I participated as an attacker. Hands on, remember?

And can you survive 5 seconds or ten it doesn't make much difference.

It does in terms of skill at evasion and being able to move while on the ground under pressure. Not to mention philisophically, if you were to offer me a choice between living for 10 seconds or 5 seconds, I know how I'd decide (after delaying the descision as long as possible, of course). We're all living on borrowed time, after all.

It's the people who have practiced one year, 3 years, max five years on whom I base my opinions. I have never seen or heard any Systema guys spar with an alive opponent using the same techniques they learn in class.

That's an interesting observation, since as you must know systema is not about techniques per se.

Having said that, I have come across a web site that shows a guy using systema moves from the H2H video series in a sport japanese jujutsu tournament, and catalogues the movements, with the time they occur, in the clip. This site also shows some drills, with such things as (for example) shooting and sprawling, where the outcome is not predetermined (sometimes the shooter wins, sometimes the sprawler wins) and some live sparring with some stirkes, throws and groundwork, all of which look systemaish to me. The students apparently have been doing systema for varying times - from less than a year to 6 (1 guy).

Of course, if I show you this stuff (say the word, and I will), that will only be two of many sattelite schools. One might almost say too little to really mean anything either way, which brings the discussion back to: finding out for yourself. Same as any club - you walk in, you try it, you draw your conclusions for that club. The drunken ex-soldier down the street won't give me as good a SAMBO lesson as the guy fresh out of Dynamo, and in fact there's variability across practitioners in all disciplines, from aikido to zulu stickfighting. I've passed the gaurd of a BJJ blue belt in my time, but I'm not going to ignore the fact that Rickson beat me in an eyeblink in my assessment of BJJ. (Yes, even BJJ never got a free pass from me, even after the UFC).

Thus far, it sounds as if you have entirely the wrong impression of how systema is trained, what is taught, and what the objectives are. It sounds like you have no first-hand experience with anyone who can claim authority. It sounds like you haven't been watching Fedor's Pride escapades as closely as all that either. ;)

And those guys in the link are doing something sort of like systema, in that they are moving, but the pillows on the fists, and the listing of the X number of skills, and the Y number of moves, and the Z number of arts, shows a theoretical underpinnig entirely antithetical to systema's. Plus, I see no knees, elbows, footwork, etc. Launch code sequences and different modes of operation are not part of any systema I know of. I could go on, but really, this seems like a straw man - you build a caricature of what you think we advocate, and attack that.

So really, your understanding of systema on a theoretical level seems to be sorely lacking as well.

You're just not that convincing to me as someone with anything more than an opinion, and not a particularly well-informed one either, on either side of this debate.

It seems to me the best advice one can give anyone interested in any martial art is as follows:

Try the school. Ask if you can test it in some manner. If you like what is being done, give it a couple months so you're comfortable with it (3 - 6 is generally good), and try that stuff on a friend or a classmate from an old school that you had trouble wth before. Did it help? Draw your conclusions.

Better method than relying on internet gossip and videos, IMHO.

And if you think it's too much trouble to go through to find something you want, well, some people are harder workers than others, and some people want different things more than others...

Jorx
06-07-2004, 11:44 AM
No, I mean spiraling looping punches, hooks with inverted fists, stuff that looks like uraken on 45 degree angles, punches that wrap around the arns that block them and hit the head behind them, with the arm bent to avoid getting the elbow locked... you know, the stuff that created SUCH HUGE BUZZ when he fought Coleman and Minotauro. Not your vanilla jab/cross/hook/uppercut/overhand by any stretch. The mechanics behind the power are different, more rotation from the trunk and wave motions, rather than being thrown from the feet, doesn't have the striker commiting his weight forward like in boxing, which is good in an event where takedowns/throws are allowed, no?


I will come back to it later as I have a difficult exam coming up and need to study but.
For everyone not seen the Emelianenko vs Coleman match: www.hot.ee/mart1n18 and right click Save Target As on "Fedor".

This was the match's standup part. A jab and then some really wild haymakers which I don't imagine creating a huge buzz. They were done using the same delivery system as boxing uses. And not done very well. This ended up Fedor literally tripping into the takedown and landind in halfguard.

Same kind of punches he used against Nogueira when he just BASHED him from open guard. It was just good submission defence and typical "I am a strong guy"-punching from the same delivery system used by same styles that carry the names "boxing" "muay thai" "kickboxing".

Jorx
06-07-2004, 11:50 AM
Not your vanilla jab/cross/hook/uppercut/overhand by any stretch. The mechanics behind the power are different, more rotation from the trunk and wave motions, rather than being thrown from the feet, doesn't have the striker commiting his weight forward like in boxing, which is good in an event where takedowns/throws are allowed, no?
.

And by watching this part of the fight several times I came to the same conclusion that was so neatly put by the NFL legend and early UFC commentator Jim Brown:

I did NOT see any discipline in that. I just saw SWINGING.
.

It was just a jab and couple of head-on looping punches which got him falling into that takedown.

Jorx
06-07-2004, 11:52 AM
What created a HUGE BUZZ was maybe the facts that Fedor beated Nog... and properly beated. And the fact that Coleman was submitted for the second time with oh-so-sweet armbar.

John Elliott
06-07-2004, 01:49 PM
Lol

So now your erstwhile mentor has no technique, and the punches within the gaurd were muscle shots, and he was slipping those subs, btw... Well, okay - you said he was the top of Russia. Don't sound like much of a fan to me. I suspect you're playing devil's advocate now...

And Jim Brown? Lol @ Jim Brown, one of the least informed comentators I ever heard.

[edit - as for the clip, Coleman is a good wrestler, but if Fedor hadn't closed, he was at risk for ko. He went for a head hold when he didn't connect, survived to finish, the fight. That's how I see it. But of course now we're arguing chocolate vs vanilla. You can interpret any way you like.]

John Elliott
06-07-2004, 02:35 PM
It was just good submission defence and typical "I am a strong guy"-punching from the same delivery system used by same styles that carry the names "boxing" "muay thai" "kickboxing".

But with a very Russian flavour... which was my real point in bringing him up.

Jorx
06-07-2004, 11:52 PM
Lol
So now your erstwhile mentor has no technique, and the punches within the gaurd were muscle shots, and he was slipping those subs, btw... Well, okay - you said he was the top of Russia. Don't sound like much of a fan to me. I suspect you're playing devil's advocate now...


The point was never of being / not being Fedors fan and the sub on Coleman was sweet. I haven't said ONE bad word about Fedor. Every shot takes some mucle to shoot. And he is the top of Russia - he beat some of the toplevel guys in Pride.


And Jim Brown? Lol @ Jim Brown, one of the least informed comentators I ever heard.


This was not the point. Everyone knows Jim Brown didn't know jack about fighting. But he made a really good point.


[edit - as for the clip, Coleman is a good wrestler, but if Fedor hadn't closed, he was at risk for ko. He went for a head hold when he didn't connect, survived to finish, the fight. That's how I see it. But of course now we're arguing chocolate vs vanilla. You can interpret any way you like.]

Why do you think Fedor was at risk of KO? I think was at much greater risk of KO when tripping into a takedown after the looping punch. Halfguard is NOT the position you want to be in in a fight. Especially getting kneed right after that. And Fedor is much more standup striking person than Coleman (who's all ground and pound).

BUT that is not the point here either. Point is that these punches had nothing to do with redirecting commited attacks and blending and stuff used in Systema.

John Elliott
06-08-2004, 05:00 AM
Point is that these punches had nothing to do with redirecting commited attacks and blending and stuff used in Systema.

There's a bit more to systema than simply that. You must have it confused with some other MA. All ranges, all weapons is the scope of our unarmed work. It's not like all we do is stand there like a matador waiting for a bull. Don't get me wrong, blending etc. is good policy, but that doesn't preclude striking. I find individuals have their own preferences. And you misconstrue - I never said that Fedor was doing systema, I said that the favouring of round punches over straight, and the wrappers on the GnP (you see them in the Goodridge fight as well), remind me of systema, and I hypothesized that perhaps there was a cultural influence at work there. Vov, for example,.also used a lot of hooks standing, and unorthodox wrapping strikes on GnP. Actually, on defense, systema has some definite boxing influences, eg using shoulder to protect against a punch etc.

Look, this can go o forever. How about, we simply refer to my general guideline for evaluating a martial art a couple posts back, and leave it there. After all, if someone has a satisfactory experience first hand in whatever art, who are we to tell them to stop? It's a free country... erm, planet, erm... internet chat forum?

shihonage
06-15-2004, 05:08 PM
I have to agree with several points Jorgen made.

As a former citizen of USSR, all I've ever heard of in this department was SAMBO.
My uncle, who's been a fighting enthusiast/athlete/trainer(in USSR) for most of his life, and studied Judo, boxing, Sambo, TKD, Karate... never heard of SYSTEMA either.

I think the notion of it being a Spetznas system is absurd.
It just is. They wouldn't do such a thing in USSR when they already had the tough, reliable SAMBO.

Also, I would be willing to bet money that SYSTEMA did not in fact exist, say, back in 1917.
This is all marketing hype.
Someone probably came up to Mr. Ryabko and said "Listen, we know how to sell your system in the West, but leave the marketing up to us."
The result was a a bunch of tall tales about it's history and origins.

I think SYSTEMA is something that a selected circle of people came up with.
It was never mainstream until now.
I think it is an art which is not much older than Aikido, if not younger.

As for technical issues, I'm way too low ranked to qualify to judge.
However, on the other hand, there's such a thing as common sense.
Given from what I observed from many Systema videos, I think the two founders of Systema are exceptionally skilled people, but I'm not so sure that this level of skills was successfully transferred to the majority of their students.

IMNSHO, what Vladimir and Michael do is perfectly viable because he is VERY FAST and yet relaxed at the same time.
If you lose the "very fast" part, much of the "magic" that they do will become impractical Tai-Chi hogwash for most people.
Without his combo of speed and relaxation, hitting pressure pressure points and gracefully redirecting and slapping away knife strikes during a chaotic fight will forever remain a theoretical exercise done in slow motion by the students who succeed him.
With all due respect to the potential of Systema, the slow-motion demo that they did on Aiki Expo 2002 (i think) was pretty ridiculous. Let's not even mention the gimmicky military costumes.

Bronson
06-16-2004, 09:11 AM
I wonder how people would react to an aikido instructor who was a really nice guy with really great technique who made impressive claims about his history and training that couldn't really be verified?

Bronson

Sam
06-18-2004, 10:36 AM
Hello,
I used to post here from time to time, but a while ago I changed from aikido to systema after 8 years of aikido training. I was 2nd dan at that time with more than a few years of judo and karate experience to boot. Needless to say I am a very different person to then but I still have a look here from time to time, I have happy memories from my previous martial arts practice.
I don't know what my opinion is worth to you, but I have stayed with Mikhail Ryabko and learned from him. I'm returning there next month.
When I was there, I met a lot of Mikhail's regular students and some people from other parts of Russia and Syberia. I also met and trained with people who happened to be spetznas.
So here are my points:
1. The regular spetznas are not trained in systema. They chose to in some cases now - this is under their own steam. However previously systema was only privy to special ops units. You may find more info on this if you look for it. Indeed sambo and other martial arts are practised by spetznas.
2. The system did evolve but did not originate during the period when it was repressed.
3. Whilst Mikhail and Vladimir are very skillful, I also met a great number of students who were fighteningly capable.
3. These same people trained THE SLOWEST during drills.
4. To Aleksy; do you even know who Mikhail Ryabko is? To Bronson; Mikhail doesn't need to make claims about his history - he is living that life right now. Also - if a person can do something, then they can do it. Then maybe you should take their word for a few things.
Systema has been marketed in the US. Yes, name a martial art in the west that hasn't. At least this time is does what it says on the tin.
5. Jorgen; I don't understand what most of your links have to do with systema. Also, you seem very emotional - maybe its more than just not approving of a training method - has someone upset you? You are certainly too young to be purposely so narrow minded.
5. To Bryan Bateman - if you want to try your hand in systema, please contact me and I can point you in the right direction (I'm UK based too) or we can talk about the upcoming seminar if you like.
6. The problem is that it takes a certain skill to look at the type of videos we have all seen and understand what is happening. That is why its often easier for people who can't see these things to feel it for themselves. That this is happening here seems particularly ironic given that Aikido suffers the same problem to a certain extent. For example Aikido gets a lot of stick from the MMA crowd ( bullshido etc) because they can't understand what they are looking at from any other point of view than a physical wrestling move.
There seems to be a particular friendship developing between Systema and Aikido. I hope this continues in the future.

John Elliott
06-18-2004, 02:28 PM
"IMNSHO, what Vladimir and Michael do is perfectly viable because he is VERY FAST and yet relaxed at the same time."

Now you see, if you knew systema, you would know he isn't fast, yet relaxed, he is fast because he is relaxed. Muscles are no match for waves and whole-body power. It's straightforward physics/biomechanics.

And don't trash TJQ. One of my favourite MMA fighters is TJQ. As is one of my favourite BJJ blackbelts (got it in record time too). They understand relaxed = fast better than you seem to.

John Elliott
06-18-2004, 02:29 PM
It's straightforward physics/biomechanics.

Example, what is faster, the tip of a spear when yu stab with it, or the tip of a whip of equal length when you snap it?

shihonage
06-18-2004, 06:03 PM
Now you see, if you knew systema, you would know he isn't fast, yet relaxed, he is fast because he is relaxed. Muscles are no match for waves and whole-body power. It's straightforward physics/biomechanics.


Way to pick on the words, John.

The fact that relaxation allows for greater speed is well-known, and by no means is not a "trade secret" limited to the practitioners of Systema.

This does not have much to do with my statement that you addressed. Perhaps you should try reading it again, this time the entire thing.


And don't trash TJQ. One of my favourite MMA fighters is TJQ. As is one of my favourite BJJ blackbelts (got it in record time too). They understand relaxed = fast better than you seem to.
[/quote]

So, because your favorite MMA and BJJ fighters happen to also study Tai Chi it makes it a viable martial art on it's own ?
What if your favorite fighters also play Tennis ? Does that make Tennis a martial art ?

Tai Chi may have been martially effective a long time ago, but it's common knowledge that it's mostly been distilled into health and self-improvement study.

John Elliott
06-19-2004, 08:07 AM
Way to pick on the words, John.

I can't look at your face or listen to inflection. Telepathy is not an option...

I look at the rest of your words,

Without his combo of speed and relaxation, hitting pressure pressure points and gracefully redirecting and slapping away knife strikes during a chaotic fight will forever remain a theoretical exercise done in slow motion by the students who succeed him.

And it seems rather essential to your point. Rest assured, then, that systema students are aware of the neccesity for speed through relaxation, and actively cultivate it. As for the student's capabilities, I believe Sam has made some comment on this already.


The fact that relaxation allows for greater speed is well-known, and by no means is not a "trade secret" limited to the practitioners of Systema.

I'm not sure where you got that implication, since I alluded to at least one other art that understood this.

Tai Chi may have been martially effective a long time ago, but it's common knowledge that it's mostly been distilled into health and self-improvement study.

*supresses urge to be sarcastic*

Well, the MMA guy only does TJQ, so I guess perhaps the comon knowledge isn't all that correct. True, most TJQ teaches do 'health aspects' only, but there are some genuine articles around. Bruce Pac (the MMA guy) learned and studied his TJQ in British Columbia. You can talk to him on emptyflower

http://www.emptyflower.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi/YaBB.cgi


There's Jimmy? Wu in Toronto, whose guys practice a sort of jacketless wrestling with locks, apparently there's an international league to compete in... Wu is head of the Wu clan in North America, originators of Wu style TJQ.

Tim Cartmell's TJQ is very martial, and he almost immediately started distinguishing himself at the Mundials when he started doing BJJ. He has said that there' a lot of skill crossover between BJJ and TCIMA. As a brown belt he cowrote a book on passing the gaurd and gaurd attacks which was very well received by the BJJ community. He has written 2 books before that that I know of, one on throwing, the other on locking. Ask him about TJQ on his web site. It has clips and a forum.

http://www.shenwu.com/

If you look at Yang, Jwing Ming's school, you'll see that free sparring begins very early in the curriculum

http://www.ymaaschool.com/training/ymaaprogram/taijiquan/taijiquan.php

etc. etc. etc.

JasonFDeLucia
06-20-2004, 07:22 PM
But really... it is the delivery system that matters - if Jason DeLucia does a triangle choke and calls it "snakestyle" and has a toehold picture saying "praying mantis" and hits and kicks people and says it is Aikido and tiger and dragonstyle then guess what... whatever you call it it's the same delivery system that is used by boxing, muay thai, and wrestling and bjj on ground. If systema guys use JKD trapping and Aikido modified throws and kali knifefighting and in sparring still box and clinch then what difference does it make? What use were all the drills and these reps?

i.e bruce lee came to a conclusion of no way as way .with that conclusion you must keep a system that you start from until the point of improvisation ''takemusu'' always returning to the basic form .the reps ingrain the basics to the point of reflex .so make them simple.to quote musashi ''if any thing is anything then every thing is everything.if your toe hold is the same as your praying mantis kata ,then there is less to have to absorb and retain.smplfi

JasonFDeLucia
06-26-2004, 08:09 PM
But really... it is the delivery system that matters - if Jason DeLucia does a triangle choke and calls it "snakestyle" and has a toehold picture saying "praying mantis" and hits and kicks people and says it is Aikido and tiger and dragonstyle then guess what... whatever you call it it's the same delivery system that is used by boxing, muay thai, and wrestling and bjj on ground. If systema guys use JKD trapping and Aikido modified throws and kali knifefighting and in sparring still box and clinch then what difference does it make? What use were all the drills and these reps?
Aikido Arm Bars and Chokes from Aikido Masters (http://venus.secureguards.com/~aikidog-/aikicenter/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=138&sid=662ba5002cade555b9df3645a5254175#138)

I did not want to be out of line with administration,so I put the link to the pictures I would like you all to see.That is for those who wondered ,does Aikido have arm bar ,rear choke ,guard position?these are accomplished masters from Japan.Once some one criticized me saying that my fights ended in such a way and so where was the Aikido in what I do.If it were ok with the boss here ,next time I would put the pictures on my post instead.these are things that you get to study in many Japanese aikikai .please enjoy

akiy
06-26-2004, 10:03 PM
Hi Jason,

Interesting pictures! Can you please scan in the cover of the book so I can take a look at its title and author?

-- Jun

Jorx
06-27-2004, 09:34 AM
Aikido Arm Bars and Chokes from Aikido Masters (http://venus.secureguards.com/~aikidog-/aikicenter/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=138&sid=662ba5002cade555b9df3645a5254175#138)

And now were all supposed to be surprised and say that oh my... All the MMA guys do actually AIKIDO!?!

It's the same thing with BJJ vs / is Judo discussion...

Yes there are these and these techniques in BJJ (open guard, omplata locks, sweeps etc) YET this is not JUDO anymore... it's BJJ which uses and evolves these techniques regularily...

So guess what... armbars and full guard is still BJJ... not Aikido... because the majority of the schools does not use these techniques and does not train alive.

If it weren't so then we all could say that oh my, I'm not doing BJJ, I am doing ancient greek wrestling... no I'm doing ancient caveman wrestling. Or that I'm not doing boxing / muay thai / wing tsun I'm doing ancient pancrease or ancient egyptian fighting system.

And a link as well for all of you to check out on the Systema subject of which I will join this "discussion" again later:)

http://www.mma.tv/TUF/index.cfm?FID=21&a=127&TID=0

(for those who don't get a direct going to the site take from the lefthandside bar the topic "MMA vs Force Training")

John Elliott
07-03-2004, 06:53 PM
So guess what... armbars and full guard is still BJJ... not Aikido... because the majority of the schools does not use these techniques and does not train alive.

LMAO

Jason Delucia, even though you're an mma pioneer, apparently where you say you get your knowledge doesn't matter, aikido still sucks. Thank you for gracing this thread with your presence, but your opinion just plain doesn't count.

as for the mma.tv thread, unimpressed.

I for one, am still curious as to what Marc Scott was talking about in the LA school. He says he 'stepped outside' of the drill and it fell apart. Well, I know if me and anyone else is doing a drill, any drill, and I step outside of it, that drill will fall apart and something new will result. So I guess if I slug a judoka diring randori, that proves judo sucks...

I also note that his hostility to Ken diminishes with the amount he divorces himself from systema. Funnily enough, unlike Marc Scott, I've actually worked out with Ken, in systema classes. What Scott didn't pick up was that no, PCR is not systema, because it's boiled down specifically for the policeman - a lot of stuff isnot covered. But systema is not just unarmed combat either - it includes gun tactics for those (like Ken) who want to learn them. In fact, Ken's rebuttal refers to an operating system - that's the relationship to systema.

This is what I don't understand about these 'resistance' types who practice any form of grappling: If a guy pushes you, and you are a good grappler, do you push back, or borrow the force and redirect to a lock or throw? Most everyone agrees in theory that yielding is best, it's what separates technique from muscle. So if the guy is a good grappler, a really good grappler, then you should see no sign of resistance. Two guys grunting and struggling without movement means they've stopped thinking for that time. Everyone agrees that's how the top end of grappling fights - all flow, no stop - but nobody seems to think it can actually happen like that...

akiy
07-03-2004, 07:10 PM
Hi Jason,

I'm still interested in seeing the cover of the book(s) from which you scanned the images so I can see its author and title (and perhaps its back cover if it has text on it). Can you please post them?

Thanks,

-- Jun

PeterR
07-03-2004, 07:37 PM
Jason Delucia, even though you're an mma pioneer, apparently where you say you get your knowledge doesn't matter, aikido still sucks. Thank you for gracing this thread with your presence, but your opinion just plain doesn't count.
Well that's deep - who are you and what are you doing here?

John Elliott
07-03-2004, 08:36 PM
Thank you for gracing this thread with your presence, but your opinion just plain doesn't count.

Well that's deep - who are you and what are you doing here?

I forgot to include the sarcsam tag. Of course what he has to say counts, more than most I would think. But apparently, according to others, whatever evidence he digs up showing aiki armbars and chokes doesn' matter, at least, that's what I got from this post:

So guess what... armbars and full guard is still BJJ... not Aikido... because the majority of the schools does not use these techniques and does not train alive.

I completely disagree, of course. It doesn't matter what everyone else does, just what you do. If JD trains aiki and makes it work, it means his aiki is strong. Of course that takes away people's ability to make sweeping generalizations, and some people need those. Some people don't want to fit strong aiki into their universe, makes it too complicated.

As for who I am, well, my name is John Elliott. I've spent some time studying various MA, enough to know that when the right style meets the right person, great things can happen.

Chris Birke
07-04-2004, 12:41 AM
"Two guys grunting and struggling without movement means they've stopped thinking for that time. Everyone agrees that's how the top end of grappling fights - all flow, no stop - but nobody seems to think it can actually happen like that..."

No, I disagree. That is not how the top end of grappling fights. Watch Pride FC, Olympic Judo, Mundials, ADCC, or any similiar top team competition.

True, a master grappler (or anyone who knows how to deal with energy) must be a master of flow. To roll with someone who flows, and is far technically superior, you feel only the result of their adaptation to you, and it is as though they are unmovable.

But, to someone of similar skill, or superior power, the flow is quickly matched...
...and suddenly stregnth, conditioning and explosiveness become very important.

In my expirence, knowing and using your own physical power is no less important than knowing how to deal with the energy of others.

John Elliott
07-04-2004, 06:14 AM
But, to someone of similar skill, or superior power, the flow is quickly matched...
...and suddenly stregnth, conditioning and explosiveness become very important.

Sure these things are important, but only if used properly.

In my experience, which involves dealing with guys bigger, stronger, younger, uninjured (I'm injured), faster, and in way better shape, the ONLY thing that can save you is superior skill, and THAT should be your primary attribute targetted through MA training.

In real life, you can bet the other guy (unless you're the type of person we train to defend against, ie a thug) will have some kind of edge on you. Size, a weapon, something. Do you think a mugger will attack someone bigger than him, or smaller than him? Maybe you live in an area where culturally the 90-pound weakling goes after the 250 pound monster, but in my 38 years in this veil of tears, it's invariably the other way around. Of course your answer is not to be the 90 pound weakling. But the fact remains that unless you're genetically gifted or on the juice or both, and even then, whoever attacks you bare-handed will be bigger and stronger. And everyone gets old. When you are 60, and a prime target to be mugged or even shat on in the pub, remember this conversation, and ask yourself what the most important attribute is.

Not that I'm against conditioning - it's good for you, and makes you live longer. Within systema is a vast body of knowledge of gruelling bodyweight excercises. I used to be a gymn rat, and there is really no comparison between the two. But besides that, THAT'S ALL STUFF I DON'T NEED TO GO TO A MA CLUB FOR. Otherwise I'd be doing Tae Bo. I maintain my health outside of class. It's a recommended part of the systema lifestyle.

In my expirence, knowing and using your own physical power is no less important than knowing how to deal with the energy of others.

Do you think Ueshiba, Tomiki or Mifune relied on strength at the end? There is a time to use your strength, and that time is when your enemy is in no position to resist it - like when you have an armbar. Anything else is substituting muscle for brains and technique.

Not, you understand, that this doesn't happen with beginners in systema. Almost ALL people start like this. However, over the weeks, as these people get tossed and rolled and locked and hit, the steady mantra of the people administering the hurting slowly sinks in... relaaaax... relaaaax... mooove... moove... don't bend ooover... don't bend ooover... and they start to pay attention, and relax. Then, a transformation begins to take place. Instead of being tossed in seconds, you start to survive a little longer. Then one day you're throwing some new guy who's stiff as a board and struggling at every turn. Perhaps you chuckle, which makes him struggle even harder. Doesn't he see it's his tension that lets you destroy him? You tell him to relax, but he doesn't listen, so you just enjoy, and try to tell him through deeds, not words... Maybe he'll come back.

Chris Birke
07-04-2004, 03:32 PM
Well, I certainly don't know anything about Systema. I was just explaining how top grapplers use lots of strength, and why.

Someone attacking you off the street does not seem to me like a "top end of grappling" situation. Perhaps I misunderstood and you meant "how a top grappler fights someone off the street."

In all cases, yes, you must rely on as much technique as possible - but in most arts (again, I don't know systema) this doesn't mean abandon all power. Just to use it correctly. Leverage is worth nothing if you apply no energy to it.

Relaxation is a slightly different issue. Often top level matches are very relaxed, and fighters strive to be as relaxed as possible, both to keep their wits and preserve their strength. Often too, though, this relaxation goes out the window - even at top level someone is losing - but they strive to be relaxed.

Of course skill is more important than strength, otherwise why study a martial art at all. I'm just saying don't fall victim to seeing things as black (only strength matters) and white (only skill matter) because reality is a much grayer picture. They are inseparable, and both are very important.

I've grappled with world class people, and they were very strong at 40 years old. When they held me down, they did so with technique, balance, and surprising strength. I was told things like "be tight here crosside, use your muscles" "don't just lay and pray" etc..

Maybe Systema is different, I'm quite curious about it - I was just speaking for the other grapplers.

PeterR
07-04-2004, 07:33 PM
Apologies John - I read what I quoted in isolation. I thought you were being crass.

One thing I have noticed over time (and reminded again this very weekend) is that there are things in Aikido tend to pop up in out of the way places. Aikikai Honbu has its way but there are all sorts of weird and wonderful things that can be found. Jorgen seems to define Aikido as a particular set of techniques and way of fighting - I've learned better.

The most interesting thing about Systema for me right now is that Sam Benson (see this thread) has found it interesting and suitable for where he wants to go. I've trained and drank beer with him. His opinion alone wants me to take a closer look - the videos I've seen do not.

Chris Birke
07-05-2004, 03:24 AM
I must say I've just reread this, and judging from the passion in this thread, Systema can be some pretty powerful stuff.

I'm with Peter. It sounds kinda hokey, but also some expirenced people are sold on it. I'd like it if those who are in the know could explain more on how Systema specifically uses body and relaxation. What of this wave energy stuff? Please keep discussing, it's very interesting.

John Elliott
07-05-2004, 06:35 AM
Chris Birk

I think we are somewhat in agreement.

Leverage is worth nothing if you apply no energy to it.

That's sort of what I was getting at with the 'no position to resist' thing.

Before I go further, I should note here that this is one aspect of systema, albeit an aspect VV told me I'm getting not bad at, so I feel okay talking about it.

Anyway, I'll be the first to say, in the real, you use whatever advantage you have. That's just human survival. Superior strength, superior weaponry, whatever. What we hope to do is optimize your behaviour under these conditions, optimize your use of these resources under stress, so that you instinctively seek the path of least resistance.

So far, this is really not much different than what they talk about in judo or BJJ or whatever. But, as you note, the thing is many people within these arts don't neccessarily take this least resistance thing that seriously.

My basis for the following statement is based on my judo/jujutsu background, grappling tournies, grappling classes and seminars, working out with wrestlers. This is not systema propoganda here, this is my personal opinion. For whatever it's worth. Just remember, it's me talking, and my opinions, so if what I say offends you, just curse me, not anyone else.

Consider a tournament. You are evaluated based on your skill level, your weight, your gender and maybe your age. Ideally, you will be paired with someone just like you. What, then, will determine the winner? Maybe skill. Maybe athletic ability. Probably a combination. Arguably, by making the contest safe, the you could say it's skewed towards at least a little towards athletic ability - all the 'easy' stuff is illegal. And that's all fine, but... when the guy wins, what lesson is he learning? His sensei will praise him. His teammates will praise him. He may get a new rank. He is doing it right. But where in this is he made to question his win and how he won? Say he was simply the better athlete - he simply overpowered the other fellow. Will he recognize that? Will he try to polish his skill, or simply hone his 'power move' and equate that with skill? In theory, as you get to the higher levels of these things, skill becomes more neccessary. So eventually, the educated brawler becomes the smooth technician. But not everyone stays in that long.

For a bunch like spetsnaz spec op units, there is no time to learn the lesson this way. The soldier does not have years of mat time to learn to be subtle through the school of competition.

Yet, for a spec ops guy the subtlety is very desriable - it will save precious calories behind enemy lines when you don't know what or how or when you will eat next, it will leave you ready to take on the next assailant, it will buy you time to get the hell out of there. So, unlike what I learned as a journeyman grappler, in systema for this you are basically told to work like a master. Yes, this is hard initially. We have all these bad habits we carry. But these habits are targetted almost immediately in systema. Verbally and with physical reinforcement. We also focus on tactile sensitivity as a tool in this. For example, we may blindfold you, and have someone try to grab you or lock you or something. You must counter by feel. Or you grab someone's wrist, and you can't let go, no matter which way they turn. This teaches sensitivity and footwork as a defensive tool. You touch someone and must maintain contact as they move around, while you have your eyes closed. Or perhaps you cross arms, and you must follow the others arm without offering any resistance. Work like this will start teaching you to feel which way the person is moving without looking. Often you can tell body orientation in the same manner. So now, when a man pushes you, in a relatively soft manner, or in an explosive manner, you are trained to feel and react to the tension. You automatically know where he is weak, you automatically adjust your balance, you know what you can do from there, etc. etc. This is, of course, backed up with practice, but because the emphasis is on softness first, even above 'winning', the flavour of systema grappling (we call standup grappling "grab escapes" and ground grappling "wrestling") is a bit different. The feet rarely stop moving. If I push your shoulder, and you brace against it, I would try to move around it while it is frozen by tension. So basically, the struggle scenario should never happen if your systema is good.

So here is the dillemma: to honestly use the skills we have learned, to do good systema, we aviod struggle. You might see lots of back and forth, but hopefully never stillness. Stillness is embarrassing, and considered 'wrong'.

How, then, short of feeling the forces at work yourself, will you as a guy who recognizes stillness and struggle as signs of your reality, be able to recognize what is happening without feeling it? I put up a sparring clip and a drill clip on my site, and it was a funny thing: Aikidoka loved it, internal kung fu guys were enthusiastic and respectful, even a San Da dude thought it was realistic... but from much of the combat sport crowd, the feedback I got was that is was a bunch of nerds playing make-believe. Why? No struggle, just flow. And if a recognized fighter from outside systema is shown being worked with, the lack of struggle and sometimes the brevity of the encounter causes cries of compliance as well. Success is thus punished.

More on the other stuff later, gotta work a bit.

John Elliott
07-06-2004, 06:19 PM
Whole body power:

Basically, your body working as a unit is more efficient than your body working in isolation, especially if it's in motion, because then it also has momentum. Move things with your body, and move with your body. Put your body into your movements, behind your movements. Using body motion, you can deliver a strong punch with almost no arm muscle involvement at a variety of ranges. Pull with your center of gravity, not your arms, etc. etc.

Wave energy

Can't remember if I used the term energy, but if I did I should clarify I mean in the sense of kinectic energy. Just thought I'd say that because "energy" is a loaded term.

Anyway, imagine your skeletal structure as being built like nunchaku. It can be a flexible weapon, like a chain or a whip. The handle can be any extremity, joint, or center. The wave issues out of the contact points for power transfer. Because the limbs are loose and flexible, strikes in this manner can be hard to block. You can also use wave motions as part of your overall movement to lend power.

The body as a unit and body as a wave may seem contradictory, but are really just ends of a continuum. Often you can combine the two in your movement.

As well as offensively, these attributes can be used as methods to dissipate or transfer shockwaves from blows. (see clip below of Mikhail in his younger days)

http://systemaclips.com/clips/absorption.wmv

codec is here:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/format/codecdownload.aspx

JasonFDeLucia
07-07-2004, 08:10 PM
Whole body power:

Basically, your body working as a unit is more efficient than your body working in isolation, especially if it's in motion, because then it also has momentum. Move things with your body, and move with your body. Put your body into your movements, behind your movements. Using body motion, you can deliver a strong punch with almost no arm muscle involvement at a variety of ranges. Pull with your center of gravity, not your arms, etc. etc.

Wave energy

Can't remember if I used the term energy, but if I did I should clarify I mean in the sense of kinectic energy. Just thought I'd say that because "energy" is a loaded term.

Anyway, imagine your skeletal structure as being built like nunchaku. It can be a flexible weapon, like a chain or a whip. The handle can be any extremity, joint, or center. The wave issues out of the contact points for power transfer. Because the limbs are loose and flexible, strikes in this manner can be hard to block. You can also use wave motions as part of your overall movement to lend power.

The body as a unit and body as a wave may seem contradictory, but are really just ends of a continuum. Often you can combine the two in your movement.

As well as offensively, these attributes can be used as methods to dissipate or transfer shockwaves from blows. (see clip below of Mikhail in his younger days)

http://systemaclips.com/clips/absorption.wmv

codec is here:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/format/codecdownload.aspx
forgive my spelling please.as a proponant of ueshiba juku i agree completely with this synopsis as an integral kihon for every kyu.the reason it doesn't matter where you get your knowledge is like music.it's all been done before ,you simply are refining to current popular warfare.in the azabu aikikai in tokyo takano sensei himself showed me mount escape ,guard pass using pureland aikido from his back.this notion of what is or isn't an aiki technique is erronious.mr.ueshiba himself rarely ever could do two entering throws in a row the same way .it doesn't work like that.

Chad Sloman
07-08-2004, 05:46 AM
I agree Jason, isn't it the principles that really sets us apart? Sure we have some signature techniques, but these can be found in other Japanese Jujutsu can it not? And the argument that groundfighting belong solely to BJJ is ridiculous. Aikido/BJJ/Judo all come from traditional Japanese Jujutsu which is why there is so much technical overlap. From what little grappling I've done, I've found it to be pretty compatible with aikido. Things like attacking your opponents center, keeping your hands connected to your center, redirection, all are shared between both arts. The first time I saw Systema, I thought it was Aikido. I'd like to check it out firsthand. Every MA has its strengths and weaknesses, but it's worth checking it out firsthand before writing it off.

Keith R Lee
07-17-2004, 11:24 PM
Hi Jason,

Interesting pictures! Can you please scan in the cover of the book so I can take a look at its title and author?

-- Jun

I would bet good money that is Terada shihan in some of those pictures. He often drops to the ground for arm bars and the like in the seminars I have taken with under him. I remember taking his uke from a shihonage into which he dropped into a modified arm bar style lock that was extremely effective.

For those of you who are not familiar with Terada shihan, there is more information about him available at Miranda sensei's website (http://www.seikeikan.com/) under Instructor Profiles. I'm sure Miranda sensei could confirm my thoughts as to whether or not that is Terada shihan. Also, I believe the pictures are taken from this book (http://www.buyubooks.com/product_details.cfm?id=10407).

Hope that helps.

Osu.

akiy
07-18-2004, 08:04 AM
I would bet good money that is Terada shihan in some of those pictures. He often drops to the ground for arm bars and the like in the seminars I have taken with under him. I remember taking his uke from a shihonage into which he dropped into a modified arm bar style lock that was extremely effective.
I can't say I know what Terada sensei looks like...

In any case, I am still curious as to see what the title and author of the book is. Jason, can you please post a picture of it?

-- Jun

Jorx
07-19-2004, 02:27 AM
Just finished watching Fighting from the ground vol. 2... Oh my GOD... I thought that the systema guys at least put up some good demos but one can actually SEE on the tape that these guys are NOT hitting him. The kicks really stop midair and ukes wait for their legs to be grabbed and then fly away after a slight touch. :yuck:
And the best part was the advertisement in the end of the tape for the whole series... "Learn the secret techniques of "SHADOW", learn to defeat your opponent by touching him only slightly or not at all..." :D And the "Defence in a car" The platic bag put over his head... Guys please have SOME healthy sense of criticism!

There MAY be some Systema branches that really fight and learn to fight but this what is marketed by Ryabko and Vasiliev... they may be really nice guys as mr. Ledyard said but...

JasonFDeLucia
07-24-2004, 12:08 PM
I would bet good money that is Terada shihan in some of those pictures. He often drops to the ground for arm bars and the like in the seminars I have taken with under him. I remember taking his uke from a shihonage into which he dropped into a modified arm bar style lock that was extremely effective.

For those of you who are not familiar with Terada shihan, there is more information about him available at Miranda sensei's website (http://www.seikeikan.com/) under Instructor Profiles. I'm sure Miranda sensei could confirm my thoughts as to whether or not that is Terada shihan. Also, I believe the pictures are taken from this book (http://www.buyubooks.com/product_details.cfm?id=10407).

Hope that helps.

Osu.
yes that is in fact the book, thanx