Systema Philosophy

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A Practical Martial Art

(with Every Breath)





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Practical Martial Art
Russian Systema is perhaps the fastest growing martial art in the world.  At at time when many traditional schools are suffering with low attendance or closing their door, Systema is prospering and flourishing.  Why?  The answer is embedded in the simple fact that people want something that goes beyond technique...beyond memorized movements... beyond a belt.  People want something practical...something that they can utilize NOW!  They want something that is adaptable and enjoyable while offering a relatively safe training environment.  They want The Russian Martial Art or Systema.


While hard style schools offer belts and competition, Systema simply offers valid and rewarding training.  We don't tell you that you must perform rituals, forms and katas.  There is no board breaking and no bowing. 
We could care less if you foot is in the right place for some canned attack. 

Systema becomes your martial art very quickly.  Afterall, a 99 pound woman will likely move differently than a 200 pound man.  A successful martial artist has to draw from his or her intuitive skills rather than cognitive thought so that they can act in a natural and effective manner.  In fact, the action becomes pro-active and the fight is effectively over before it begins.  In Japanese arts they call this "Mushin, no" which translates to "no Mind." It is your logical (left brain) mind that inhibits progress.  The Right Brain is a wonder to behold:  Therein lies one's ability to develop the feeling that is appropriate when dealing with any conflict.  THIS is where we need to reside, train and revert to when we are stuck or fearful. 

One of our favorite ways of describing the goal of Systema is by describing the reaction of those who try to strike or grab the Systema practitioner.  "It was like hitting a cloud."  "I couldn't get hold of him (or her)."  "The next thing I knew was I was laying on the ground." 

Systema trains non-standard situations which makes it vastly more practical, variable and interesting.  Our awareness of the situation is keen and there exists a vibrance of the senses.  The attack that you may encounter one day won't be in a well lighted dojo with soft mats.  More likely; it will be at night, or on uneven ground, or when you least expect it...possibly all of the above!  This is why we could care less if your foot is in a certain place or if you grab the correct arm.  We train your senses to be in an optimal state as often as needed and as often as possible.  Relaxed and aware will soon become your normal way of being.  

How do we do this?  What we ingrain is the ability to relax through breath and movement.  Simply knowing how to breath may be the difference between life and death.  Relaxed movement is taught as a byproduct of the breath.  The movement may be subtle or swift, but it is always smooth. 

Our training is based on a vast array of exercises that are all designed to wire your brain in such a way that you really won't fear an attack.  This calmness alone may be enough to prevent an attack by someone who is looking for you to react fearfully.  But, if the attack becomes physical, then the ingrained effect of Systema training will be available for whatever is presented.