George S. Ledyard
Is it possible to have the best training in the world and still not get it? This guy is living proof.
Anyway, Systema is really a health system for mental and physical well being. The fighting capability is just a byproduct of proper training. From this guy's post it is clear that he didn't even get that.
Lastly, I would like to address the "cult" issue. One of the absolute danger signs of cult behavior is isolationism. Cults try to keep their members under control, try to keep them isolated from the outside, keep them away from ideas that interfere with the cult beliefs. The Systema guys are amongst the most open groups I have encountered, far more than most Aikido groups, in truth. Many of their guys do other martial arts. They like nothing better than to have visitors from outside come and play with them as long as they do so in the right spirit. There are a number of funny stories about folks who showed up who didn't have the right spirit... This is no cult... They do love their teacher.
That's more or less my point George
And I'm sure you understand I didn't mean anything really negative by that post, just a dose of reality if you will.
I do feel a liiiitle bit of the sensei/instructor worship going on with some of Vlad's students. Not that I blame them, he's a phenomenal guy. But even with that kind of system, you do have students that are subject to a bit of the "SYsTEMA is the BEStesT!" train of thought.
As my body started to become more stable, some of the systema guys over here were finding me more difficult to handle in certain exercises and invariably the " you aren't doing the exercise properly!" excuse would pop up.
That's not a diss at Systema in general, just a dose of reality. Whatever system you undertake, no matter how "great" just remember to think for yourself, is my point
That being said, I can't wait to get my ass kicked by Mika at some point...i'm sure it'll be an enlightening experience in a painful sort of way...