Thread: Good distance ?
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:45 PM   #32
Mark Jakabcsin
Dojo: Charlotte Systema, Charlotte, NC
Location: Carolina
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 207
Re: Good distance ?

Hmmm. Thanks for the positive comments and I am glad that some found it useful. Unfortunately I think my main point got lost in translation.

Personally I do not care for the word harmony as it is not overly clear (to me at least), hence my use of the word comfort frequently in the previous post. Comfort is physical, mental and emotional. All three are inter-related and when one is out of balance it will affect the other two to varying degrees. When we learn to listen to our bodies we find a barometer about our mental and emotional state. This is often difficult to accept as the tension never lies and frequently tells us things about ourselves we would rather not listen too.

In the context of maai, I think the harmony is learning to find comfort at all distances and levels of contact. Years ago Vladimir told us that people (especially adults) have a fear of being touched. At the time it went over my head but now I really see it (in myself and others). Reach in to grab someone and see the reaction, normally with the hands attempting to block or remove the grabbers hands. This is simply a sign of what is going on inside, it shows discomfort with being touched/grabbed.

When one is comfortable with being touched / grabbed they see the many opportunities to react and control. The fear that wants to remove the hand, narrows the vision of opportunities and is a fear reaction. You do not own a fear reaction, the movement is not yours, it is the other person's, hence it is not good movement and the probability of it working is greatly reduced.

Hence, imo, training that helps us be comfortable at any and all distances is what will help us be harmonious with distance. Training maai by first finding the comfort within, allows us to find harmony at any distance. A very different twist than the normal concepts of maai. The advantage as I see it is that it helps us deal with the reality that we do not control the distance, more often than not it just happens, control is an illusion. Learning to be comfortable, no matter the distance, overcomes the illusion.

The question is how to train to gain that level of comfort/harmony. I imagine there could be several methods that could work. In my training we 'experience' all ranges, at varying levels of intensity and work to find comfort. This can be as simple as laying on the gound and have 3-7 people lay on top of you. First you have to learn where you can and cannot breathe. Breathe where you can, do not force to breathe how you always do, find comfort in what you can do. Then slowly moving to escape.

Another drill is #1 places a fist on #2's face and pushes (increasing intensity throughout the drill), and repeats and repeats and repeats. #2 learns to move and escape but they also have to deal with the emotional impact of repeatedly being touched in the face and the pain involved. The sooner #2 can accept the sooner they will find comfort. Note that #2's face should be red relatively quickly and it is best to do this for at least 5 minutes so #2 can experience the emotional roller coaster.

So much of this is nervous system training. When we can feel our nervous system as a separate part of our body we can start to learn to relax it on demand, or at least recognize excitment and attempt corrective action.

I cannot find the link directly on YouTube so I will try the link from a facebook page. Hopefully it will work:!/...type=3&theater If not look do an FB search for 'Carolina Systema' and watch the stress inoculation video.

This training may look brutal until you understand what is going on and experience the benefits. Listen to the entire discussion afterwards. When done properly this type of nervous system work helps to remove latent built up stress and helps us to relax and accept the world around us. Note that much of the real work doesn't begin until the instructor starts to bring the student down from the highest point of excitment. It is not uncommon that people have emotional releases at this stage as many folks are not used to having someone help them recover from such an excited emotional state.

The more one does this type of training the more harmony we find in any distance and any situation.

I am not suggesting that anyone train like this, it is not easy and it is not for everyone, but the idea of training the nervous system and finding comfort in the body, mind and emotions is very solid and worth looking into.

Take care,

Mark J.

Take care,

Mark J.
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