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Old 05-24-2004, 05:44 PM   #1
George S. Ledyard
 
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Systema

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.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 05-24-2004, 09:00 PM   #2
Bronson
 
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Re: Systema

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
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

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 05-25-2004, 01:49 AM   #3
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Systema

Quote:
Bronson Diffin wrote:
Hi George,

Where might these tapes be had?

Thanks,

Bronson
Russian Martial Art Website

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 05-25-2004, 02:03 AM   #4
Bronson
 
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Re: Systema

Thanks!

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 05-25-2004, 02:31 AM   #5
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Re: Systema

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...
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Old 05-26-2004, 08:31 AM   #6
Jorx
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Re: Systema

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)
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Old 05-27-2004, 02:29 AM   #7
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Re: Systema

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?

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 05-27-2004, 03:34 AM   #8
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Re: Systema

Quote:
Jorgen Matsi wrote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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)
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Old 05-27-2004, 10:13 AM   #9
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Re: Systema

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.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-27-2004, 12:17 PM   #10
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Systema

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
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.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 05-27-2004, 12:35 PM   #11
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Re: Systema

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
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.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-03-2004, 02:00 PM   #12
Jorx
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Re: Systema

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)

Last edited by Jorx : 06-03-2004 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 06-03-2004, 09:20 PM   #13
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Systema

Quote:
Jorgen Matsi wrote:
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.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 06-03-2004, 11:24 PM   #14
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Re: Systema

Touchy George

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
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.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-04-2004, 12:04 AM   #15
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Re: Systema

Quote:
Jorgen Matsi wrote:
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.
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Old 06-04-2004, 12:04 AM   #16
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Re: Systema

The top two people will be at the Aiki Expo next year in Los Angeles. Lets all meet on the mat.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
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Old 06-04-2004, 01:36 AM   #17
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Systema

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
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.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
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Old 06-04-2004, 04:48 AM   #18
Jorx
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Re: Systema

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".
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Old 06-04-2004, 06:57 AM   #19
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Systema

Quote:
Jorgen Matsi wrote:
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.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 06-04-2004, 10:10 AM   #20
akiy
 
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Re: Systema

Hi folks,

I wrote about my experiences with Vladimir (amongst others) that I had at the Aiki Expo 2003 here. Here's what I wrote on my exprience with Vladimir:

Quote:
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

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Old 06-04-2004, 01:11 PM   #21
Jorx
Dojo: Pärnu Aikidoclub Singitai
Location: Pärnu, Estonia
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Re: Systema

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
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
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Old 06-04-2004, 03:04 PM   #22
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Systema

Quote:
Jorgen Matsi wrote:
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.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 06-04-2004, 04:54 PM   #23
Mark Jakabcsin
Dojo: Charlotte Systema, Charlotte, NC
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Re: Systema

Quote:
Jorgen Matsi wrote:
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
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Old 06-05-2004, 11:02 AM   #24
Jorx
Dojo: Pärnu Aikidoclub Singitai
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Re: Systema

Quote:
Mark Jakabcsin wrote:
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.
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Old 06-05-2004, 12:14 PM   #25
Mark Jakabcsin
Dojo: Charlotte Systema, Charlotte, NC
Location: Carolina
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Re: Systema

Quote:
Jorgen Matsi wrote:
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

Quote:
Jorgen Matsi wrote:
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
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