Ground Fighting Seminar by Adam and Brendon

December 20, 2011 by Systema HeadQuarters  

Review by Valentina G. (Systema Student)

I’d like to describe an exercise we did at the seminar that I found most interesting and helpful.

ROLL AND CONTROL is a perfect preparation for fighting from the ground.

Partner # 1 is walking in various directions. Partner # 2 follows him by rolling on the ground. All this is done with proper breathing and continuous movement for both practitioners.

This drill provides relaxation through good pressure and stretch to the cervical spine.

Cervical vertebrae from 1 through 6 are covered with fascia. When we make a roll, we cause the fascia to stretch in a natural way. This relieves pressure from the nerve endings and improves blood flow to the head and to the entire spine and well as normalizes the status of the nervous system. This dynamic stretching of the fascia and muscles attached to it is the best way to relieve the tension.

This exercise is a simple and fun preparation for ground contact.

The drill progression was as follows.
Partner #2 aims at his opponent and tries to contact him with the feet in order to re-direct him and control his movement. All this continues on the move.

As a further progression, Partner #2 also adds his arms into the work. He continues to roll after his opponent and attempts to control him with both his arms and feet in order to finish with a takedown.

While doing this exercise progression, a realization comes that the legs can be used just as effectively as arms for grabbing, re-directing, free movements and as a very powerful lever for takedowns. At the same time, because there is large soft tissue areas on the legs, the takedowns are very save and not damaging to the partners. It is almost as if you have two extra strong arms to use.

I want to share an additional note with you, just for a more complete understanding of ground work in general. When I train at Systema HQ school with Vladimir, he introduces these drills to us as training tools. We have to keep in mind that in real confrontations, we would not be able to roll around in this way. The terrain might be too hard or steeply slanted or uneven or with obstacles, our opponents might be stepping on our clothing, etc.

Unlike the ground training Vladimir does at his camps, these rolling practices should be viewed as gym training variations to remove tension and develop movement and orientation skills.

I saw once again how great Systema is for improving and maintaining health, psychological condition. There are amazing opportunities for everyone to grow and excel.