Path to Mastery did an excellent job of incorporating concepts I have studies in Systema over the years into a single video.
by Brendan Boyle, September 21, 2010
Vladimir moved through exercises and drills that encompassed both basic and advanced concepts. The video smoothly transitioned through these concepts, and spent the right amount of time on each of them. I also feel the sections on ground fighting were very helpful to me, and clearly expressed the concepts of Systema on the ground. As usual, Vladimir was able to bring complex concepts together in a clear manner, and tie them all together to the basic principles of Systema.
This man is legit.
by Jason Michaels, September 21, 2010
What he does is so smooth, 1 2 moves and it's done. You gotta see this.
Path to Mastery follows Vladimir Vasiliev as he demonstrates an 'in the moment' flow of Systema tactics, during one of his global seminars.
by Aran Dharmeratnam, September 28, 2010
Everything from movement skills, to ground work, to work against strikes is covered in this new DVD.
Systema is without doubt one of the most diverse martial arts in existence today. It is diverse in terms of tactics, exercises and expression. In relaxed fashion, Vladimir demonstrates the fluidity of Systema's survival-orientated movement, as well as more subtle tactics such as strikes that work on the opponent's startle reflex or those that catch the moment and target the place where balance is compromised in the attacker. Vladimir also shows ways of drawing the opponents to a specific point or position (useful when working against multiple attackers). He also shows work from the ground when the opponents are still standing and trying to kick or stomp the person lying or crouching upon the floor.
There are various martial approaches which address situations where both defender and opponent are working on the ground in a wrestling style clash but Systema, as shown here by Vladimir, is good out addressing these other ground-based scenarios. To phrase it another way, this training really helps practitioners work from what might typically be perceived as uncomfortable positions and gets them to realize that with training, the uncomfortable can start to resemble realms of opportunity... Vladimir also shows ways of falling to reduce tension, enhance freedom and relax psyche. Such drills also provide students with another way to get comfortable with ground-based work. Generous in running time, this entertaining and informative DVD conveys the relaxed movement and spontaneity of the Russian martial art Systema. It is these qualities found in the art that allow Systema practitioners to keep training for many years. This DVD also highlights the variety found within Systema in terms of drills, scenarios, and strategies, it brings home the concept of looking for possibilities as opposed to dwelling on problems...
There is an ancient Chinese saying that the journey of a thousand steps begins with the first one.
by Jim G., October 05, 2010
This DVD holds a few of those thousand steps. It contains the familiar demonstrations of groundwork, rolling, hand to hand, strikes, finding tension in your opponent to strike, multiple attackers and knife work and more!
During my second viewing, I focused on what Vladimir was telling the participants. It is the messages in the words being spoken by Vladimir that are important.
Mastery of a subject by an individual is a matter of perception. Everyone defines what a level of mastery of a subject is by their own set of standards. There should be no question that Vladimir Vasiliev has mastered his body and Systema. As an example, fast-forward approximately 20 minutes and 34 seconds into the Seminar DVD to see 7 seconds of Vladimirâ€™s remarkable flexibility and control when he wiggles his toes. Also I observed how effectively he uses his legs, feet and toes to work his opponents from the ground, in a squat or standing positions.
I have participated in Systema groundwork and viewed various DVDs containing this subject matter. In this DVD Vladimir presents a great depth of how to use your body to work your opponent.
What I perceived in this film regarding The Path to Mastery is not the mastery of our body but learning how to master the body of our opponents. When demonstrating the groundwork exercises, Vladimir displays a remarkable ability, knowing with eyes open or closed how his opponentâ€™s body is situated on his body including the orientation of their head, legs, arms, hips and torso. He automatically moves the opponent in the most efficient direction using the body contact sensations he feels on his body. A truly remarkable skill but one that can be learned.
This skilled ability appears to come from an in depth knowledge of human anatomy, bone structure and psychology gained from many, many years of contact with opponents of various sizes, weights and fighting abilities. Nothing can increase the base of knowledge and experience better or faster than sparing and contact with another human.
One observation that impressed me was the a demo participantâ€™s ability to consistently perform good rolls. A foundation skill for the study of Systema is the ability to perform rolls in various directions. An observer of this DVD could learn to emulate the rolls of the Seminar participants to develop that critical skill.
There are two more steps on the Path that I observed in this DVD. One is a brief snippet where Vladimir points out to the Seminar participants that an opponent who approaches you in a boxer stance shrugs their shoulders creating tension. This area is a good target for effective strikes.
Another step on the Path is that Systema is the only martial art I know of that encourages smiles and laughter during training Summits, Camps, Seminars and classes. Vladimirâ€™s smile and laughter is so natural and contagious that it would be extremely difficult to maintain a straight face when doing the work of Systema in his presence. Laughter is one of the greatest healing medicines and Systema is a good prescription for it.
What I have concluded from the viewing the content of this DVD several times is that if you master the body of your opponents your groundwork, hand to hand, multiple attackers, strikes, knife and other Systema work will improve. Less tension, better flow, better breath, minimum energy output and higher level of self-confidence.
Japanese are very honourable people(as are all cultures).
by Yuri O., October 12, 2010
They seen masters of judo,sumo,karate,MMA...but I was amazed at how people responded to Mr.Vasilev and his awesome skills and abilities.At first the participants of the seminar were polite and very serious-after all the bushido is based on senior-junior relationship, based on seniority and belt ranking.Than slowly those people with serious faces and obvious martial arts expirience-became more and more RELAXED and began to smile and enjoy the seminar.None of the movements were pre-arranged.The way Mr.Vasiliev can move with any stylist and adapt to their movement,control them,yet teach them without hurting their body,pride or ego-IS AN INCREDIBLE DEMONSTRATION OF MARTIAL ART SKILL AND MASTERY.I believe that this is a true objective of any martial art system-not only self defense skills,they are a small part of martial arts-but a method for men and women to be positive,healthy and kind ,who bring goodness into the world,instead of death,injury,destruction and hatred.Martial arts must be a tool for good-to build strong and healthy bodies for a lifetime.So many great fighters in judo,jiu jutsu,boxing,MMA,sambo,wrestling-fight 10-50 times and than injuries force them to retire and stop practicing their respective arts.Mr.Vasiliev was the first instrucor of Systema in North America and over the years was able to share his extraordinary skills with thousands of people from different cultures and arts.The DVD will teach you how to work at short and long distances,how to work"blind" and move by feeling the movement of your opponent,how to do instant , subtle short work on the ground/standing and against multiple opponents.This DVD will show how to be FREE from tension and stress.The work is simple,graceful and relaxed.It is a FANTASTIC DVD!
Artistic, inspirational, intellectual, sledgehammer effective & surgically precise work.
by Sergey Makarenko, October 25, 2010
All Vladimir seminar films are no less than fantastic training tool for those who want to experience extraordinary vibe of his masterful teaching. This film is no different although special in many ways.
Genuine & demanding martial art culture of Japan is not forgiving to imperfection & inefficiency. Yet despite the pressure Vladimir really magnetizes seminar crowd with meticulous attention to details, humorously spiced demonstrations & down to earth accessible demeanor.
Segment of work include ground engaging mobility, work from transitional & unexpected positions, multiple opponents manipulations but above all boundless flexibility of a tension free psych.
Unfortunately only few Vladimirâ€™s seminars made to mass production â€“ who better knows path to mastery than a true Master?!
This film is one more precious piece of a roadmap which Iâ€™m grateful for an opportunity to follow.