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i had a dream last night of attending an interstate aikido seminar/gasshuku and then half-way through the dream, i went into a change room and changed into a systema t-shirt and camo pants (closest thing to their uniform). hmm, i wonder what a psychoanalyst would make of it...
so it's been a year and a few months since i started cross-training in systema approximately once a week (give or take) along side my regular aikido classes, and it's been great. there was an initial period of time where i got quite infatuated with it to the point of contemplating giving up aikido to focus on systema, but i stuck it out past the honeymoon phase, and i'm now in a more or less comfortable, polyamorous relationship with the two.
i hope it doesn't come to a point where i have to choose between one or the either down the track, but at the moment, they seem fairly complementary - although there is a natural tendency for me to pop up stuff from one when i'm practicing the other.
has my aikido improved since doing systema? hmm, i suppose it's impossible to isolate completely the variance of my continued training in aikido, but i can safely say yes to a few particular things as they have been absent or at least not emphasised in my regular aikido training in the last year or so. these almost exclusive benefits that i've gained from my systema cross-training include:
ability to take hits, and subsequently reduced fear when being attacked (especially when doing irimi);