Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Non-Aikido Martial Traditions > Events Listings: Non-Aikido Martial Traditions

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-15-2007, 11:17 AM   #1
gdandscompserv
 
gdandscompserv's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,214
United_States
Offline
Systema Workshop, Charlotte, NC area, April 14th

http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36727
I really want to feel this stuff.
This guys power definitely seems to be internal.
http://www.russianmartialart.com/cat...clips/L.A..wmv

Last edited by gdandscompserv : 03-15-2007 at 11:31 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2007, 08:11 PM   #2
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,641
Offline
Re: Systema Workshop, Charlotte, NC area, April 14th

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36727
I really want to feel this stuff.
This guys power definitely seems to be internal.
http://www.russianmartialart.com/cat...clips/L.A..wmv
I couldn't tell from the announcement who was actually teaching the seminar. Just as in Aikido there is a huge divide between the skill levels of the folks who are doing this stuff. This is nothing against the folks who are teaching out there, it is the same with Aikido, most of the folks running dojos are not Shihan.

If you want to get some sense of Systema as you see it in the clip shown here, you have to train with Michael himself (shown), Vladimir (Toronto) or one of Vlad's students who are traveling around. You need to feel what the guys can do who trained directly under Vlad in Toronto. There are some excellent up and coming folks who are what we would consider "soto deshi". Several of my former students ar now instructors in Systema and could give one a good presentation of what it's about. They can do some great stuff, even after only training a few years. But if you want to see the "magic" you need to make sure you are seeing someone senior (they don't have ranks like we do so it's more of a resume kind of thing - who did you train with, how long, how often, are you still training with them regularly, etc?) You don't want to be making decisions based on seeing just anyone. It would be like deciding Aikido isn't worth doing after training with some Nidan from some obscure dojo somewhere...

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2007, 09:50 PM   #3
gdandscompserv
 
gdandscompserv's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,214
United_States
Offline
Re: Systema Workshop, Charlotte, NC area, April 14th

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
It would be like deciding Aikido isn't worth doing after training with some Nidan from some obscure dojo somewhere...
George,
If there were enough shihan's to go around, we wouldn't HAVE to be training with some shodan/nidan at some obscure dojo somewhere.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2007, 01:14 AM   #4
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,641
Offline
Re: Systema Workshop, Charlotte, NC area, April 14th

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
George,
If there were enough shihan's to go around, we wouldn't HAVE to be training with some shodan/nidan at some obscure dojo somewhere.
Don't get me wrong, I was that Nidan teaching at an obscure dojo... and I sure wouldn't have wanted someone judging Aikido by what I was doing at the time...

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2007, 03:00 AM   #5
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: Systema Workshop, Charlotte, NC area, April 14th

Just to stir the pot, I thought I'd post this from Bullshido...

Quote:
King of Nigeria wrote:
I'll start this post off by listing my martial arts history prior to beginning Systema.

I had a year worth of experience in Chinese wrestling, but wanted a more "complete" System. Not knowing the merits of cross-training, I simply wanted to find an all-in-one, which is what led me to find Systema in the Martial Arts section of the local yellow pages.

When I saw the ad for Systema I thought "fantastic!". A history of special forces use, no katas, no gis, no rituals or archaic principles that would hinder my combat training. I checked out the website, saw some of the clips and was once again very impressed by what I saw. I paid over $200 for a "foundations" package from the website and couldn't wait to start.

I started my first class right at the mecca of Systema, the club of Vladimir Vasiliev. I was immediately paired up with people who were considered to be the more seasoned practioners, and of course I was quickly subdued in all of my attacks. The principles of this system seemd to me to be solid. Movement and exploitation of your partner's very exagerated movements.

Over the new two years I was thrilled at my progress. I was taking people down with ease and using my own "intuition" was able to submit most people on the ground, as well as effectively strike people while standing up.

The one common theme I noticed in all my years of systema was that the top students always have years of other training behind them. The top student at Club Vlad is a rather large fellow who was a national wrestling champion in his home country, as well as a ranked boxer. Someone like myself, having only trained in Systema at this point in the story could never hope to out-wrestle or out-strike this man.

All of my fellow students, as well as myself, were routinely brainwashed by each other into adopting this sort of "do without effort" method of training, in that we would be so relaxed and so free-flowing that anyone who applied any strength or effort would immediately move us. This was however a good thing in systema, as the idea was that you can then work with this person's aggression to dispatch them.

The explainations of how exactly to fight were not very educational. The instructor (Vlad) would explain some obscure principal and then the demonstrate 30 different takedowns and defences he could perform against his unrealistic, although fast-moving opponent. For a student like myself who was almsot completely green to fighting, this was not useful at all as it simply made me rely on my own wrong perceptions of the right thing to do in a situation. I developed incredibly bad habits but at the same time felt invincible because I could easily beat most people at the club.

We were never taught ANY techniques at all. Not a single time in my 3 years was I instructed on how to do something properly, like a choke or a double-leg. I was so insulated in the group-think cult-like mentality of most systema practitioners that I convinced myself I didn't need technique.

The physical aspect was laughable. most of the people at the club were 40, overweight and in bad shape. They didn't understand the benefits of weight-training, cardiovascular exercise, or even things like shadow boxing. We were constantly told about breathing, and very vague and downright confusing explanations were given to us. I was always told the essence of my breath would deliver power to my punches, however when I tried to apply this in real life to a seasoned striker, it didn't do anything. not to mention the simply ridiculous ways that we were told to punch, namely rotating the body and keeping the arm still, etc.

When my friend offered to take me to his BJJ and boxing school I was thrilled to be finally able to use my Systema on some people who were trained. I went in and received the biggest ass-kicking I have ever felt. I was getting tapped in seconds, was unable to bring anybody to the ground, and during the striking portion of the class I was outmoved and out powered. Simply put... I sucked.

A top student at Vladimir's school, with 3 years of Systema training. I was incredibly angry at the fact that I wasted 3 years of productive training time. The very next day I enrolled in the school and have been attending for the past 2 months. In these two months I have learned so much more than in my three years with Systema.

In summary... Systema on its own is a joke. The Principles can be applied by someone who has training in other forms of combat, but on its own, it is worthless. Let this be a final nail in the coffin to the already dying debate on Systema. I seasoned student of Vladimir himself has come out to share his experience, so I hope I am seen by Systema apologists as credible.

Feel free to ask me any questions you might have about the system, the teachers, students, etc.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2007, 03:05 AM   #6
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: Systema Workshop, Charlotte, NC area, April 14th

Annnd before people get their panties up in a bunch, lemme just say that I think the kid paid to much attention to the "movement" principles and not the hard core physical conditioning / solo training that Vlad and Mika both advocate but seemingly less and less of the guys do.

Just some food for thought that, even if you train under someone like Vlad, but you don't think for yourself, you can still end up like "#$t
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2007, 07:53 AM   #7
gdandscompserv
 
gdandscompserv's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,214
United_States
Offline
Re: Systema Workshop, Charlotte, NC area, April 14th

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Just to stir the pot, I thought I'd post this from Bullshido...
That has to be one of the most interesting "sources" I have ever seen used to advocate solo/hardcore training.

"King of Nigeria"
Bullsh!do

Just some food for thought;
don't believe everything you read on the internet.


But I agree. There is no substitute for thinking or training.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2007, 08:58 AM   #8
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,641
Offline
Re: Systema Workshop, Charlotte, NC area, April 14th

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Just some food for thought that, even if you train under someone like Vlad, but you don't think for yourself, you can still end up like "#$t
I think what you should say is, "If you train under someone like Vlad, don't be too full yourself and make sure you listen to your teachers." I see Vlad's students all the time since we have a Systema school right next door. These are folks of tremendous ability...

The idea that everyone's out of shape... that's pretty funny as the guys I've trained with are some of the best conditioned people I've trained with. These guys do constant pushups, situps, and squats as part of virtually every class. They do them slowly using them to develop their breath control as well. These guys are hard as rocks.

The striking system they have uses energetic principles that are unlike anything I have seen. I have no doubt whatever that one of the senior guys could kill you with a strike that would look like nothing. Is it possible to have the best training in the world and still not get it? This guy is living proof.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2007, 09:32 AM   #9
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,641
Offline
Re: Systema Workshop, Charlotte, NC area, April 14th

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Just some food for thought that, even if you train under someone like Vlad, but you don't think for yourself, you can still end up like "#$t
I had a technical issue and my whole post didn't come through the first time...

I think what you should say is, "If you train under someone like Vlad, don't be too full yourself and make sure you listen to your teachers." I see Vlad's students all the time since we have a Systema school right next door. This guy's description doesn't square at all with the reality i have seen. It doesn't even square with what i have seen from students out in the hinterlands who are training seriously but only see Vlad occasionally. These are folks of tremendous ability... It's absolutely true that many of Vlad's seniors have a broad background in martial arts. They do progress faster than the folks who don't. But isn't that true in Aikido as well?

The idea that everyone's out of shape... that's pretty funny as the guys I've trained with are some of the best conditioned people I've trained with. These guys do constant pushups, situps, and squats as part of virtually every class. They do them slowly using them to develop their breath control as well. These guys are hard as rocks. Yet they are amongst the most flexible folks you'll encounter. The control over distinct body areas they have looks like what you'd see with some of the folks at the Cirque de Soliel.

The striking system they have uses energetic principles that are unlike anything I have seen. I have no doubt whatever that one of the senior guys could kill you with a strike that would look like nothing. 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. He is incredible and he's a super nice guy. I can see why they are so enthusiastic. They also love their art and like many enthusiastic Aikido folks, will tell you about it at length if asked. But no way it's "cult like" in the least.

In any art, I tend to judge the art as much by the people I see doing it as I do the technical aspects. The Systema guys are one the classiest group of people I have met. I haven't yet met one of Vlad's seniors who isn't an amazing person as well as a top notch martial artist. Of course, I am sure that if I went to Vlad's own school there would be folks who weren't stellar. I've only been interacting with his top guys. Most of them have their own schools now.

Anyway, I hate it when stuff like this comes out because it creates a bias that can keep people from checking things out for themselves. My former students are now Systema instructors (meaning they have the ok from Vlad to run a program, not that they have "mastered" anything). I have watched the changes over the few years that they have been training and it's miraculous. What is most impressive is how they have changed as people. Aikido is supposed to be a practice that results in personal transformation. We could learn something from the Systema program.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2007, 09:42 AM   #10
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Systema Workshop, Charlotte, NC area, April 14th

I echo Georges opinion-particularly about judging and training with those who know what they're doing- not low level students. As a side bar-I formed my opinions of the Aiki arts from training-WITH-Shihans.

As we have seen here with so many, including "teachers" naysaying this method and slamming that mode of training only to find out THEY themselves were the ones who were so full of S#$# after all-I'd suggest doubters go see.
Go to Toronto and tell Vlad you think his stuff is weak and you'd like to unload on him.

George
Again, I argue on two fronts. Internal skills or body work training and MMA. MMA being the great equalizer, and good body work as the best way to do anything.

I probably wouldn't be so strong about the Vlad "killing you with a punch" stuff. The human body in full resistance and- a trained fighter at that- can be difficult. MMa being the great equalizer- Vlad would not find many fighters at his level "easy pickin's." There would be a fight.
In a general sense - I don't like seeing semi-cooperative playing and rolling around and defending against a knife attack when the knife attacker just plain looks silly being considered fighting either. Training to "give aggression" so someone can play with the energy is training-not fighting. Fighting is fighting. Full resistance with fients, set-ups staccato broken rhythms and someone "playing" you with the intention of truly taking you apart is where the testing is.

In regards to systema I am equally -scratch that- I am more impressed by the spiritual and relational aspects and what I hear him teaching folks about embracing and forgiveness. Though I haven't met him- I like Vlad just by the message I hear him imparting to his closer students. I've enountered the like before. That message cannot be echo'ed, it has to come from a changed mind, through a great heart

Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 03-16-2007 at 09:52 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2007, 11:14 AM   #11
Upyu
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 591
Offline
Re: Systema Workshop, Charlotte, NC area, April 14th

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
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.

However,
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...
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Training the Body for Martial Movement Upyu Training 25 01-03-2007 12:24 PM
Systema Seminar with Vladimir Vasiliev, Part 1 aikibaka131 Seminars 2 07-22-2003 01:45 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:06 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate