Quotes from Systema Masters

July 03, 2012 by Alexander Shostko  

The quotes below are from my notes taken at Systema camps and seminars in the past two years. With some things lost in translation, I hope they can still be useful to Systema practitioners.

Mikhail Ryabko

If someone attacks you or your family and you already know that you will be fighting – do not be nervous and do not add emotional content, just work.

Do not break the person; break his desire to attack you.

Provide an illusion that your opponent still has control, but make sure he does not.

Those who think they are very strong die first in conflicts.

Every person that works with you is your instructor. And those who want to beat you up are your best instructors.

Vladimir Vasiliev

When you know there will be a fight – start relaxing beforehand. Do not try to fight, just work.

Control the situation in such a way that nobody understands how you control it.

Remove yourself not just from the line of attack, but from line of opponent’s attention.

When you counter on the move, the strikes seem to come out of nowhere.

When you hit somebody – remain human.

People die from non-lethal wounds, yet do not die from lethal ones, all depends on whether you mentally give up.

Konstantin Komarov

Endurance is a psychological phenomenon.

Your emotional base controls the situation.

The more you discover yourself, the more tension you see in yourself.

There are several ways to remove stress, the most important are breathing and movement.

The stronger someone grips you, the more you need to relax.

People do not die from wounds or impact, they die because they cannot handle psychological effect of the impact.


Alexander Shostko Alexander Shostko is a Systema Instructor, certified by Vladimir Vasiliev.
Alexander is teaching Systema at RMA Northern Virginia, USA. He was a Master of Sport in Russia and has over 20 years of martial arts experience. He can be contacted at: systemanova@yahoo.com