This DVD has left me nearly speechless!
by Larry Wall, October 29, 2004
Each and every time that Vladimir introduces a new instructional video or DVD, I am surprised at the breadth and depth of the presentation. I keep saying to myself 'this is it! This is Vladimir's finest video yet! It cannot get any better!' and yet it does.
I would charactorize "The Fundamentals of Knife Disarming" as expressing the profound simplicity of Systema. The Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky introduced the concept of "scaffolding" and the "zone of proximal development" to the vocabulary of modern education. Vladimir's approach illustrates the educational principles perfectly.
Vygotsky compared the process of learning to the act of climbing a ladder, where the student has to mentally reach above him or herself to move to the next rung of the instructional ladder. In constructing the educational "scaffold" or ladder, the teacher has to be careful to place the "rungs" of the ladder high enough that the student has to conceptually stretch him or herself enough to reach the next rung. Yet the teacher cannot place the next "rung" of the educational ladder so high that if the student reaches for it he or she will be unable to reach it. The proper location of the next educational "rung" of the conceptual "ladder" is what Vygotsky calls the "zone of proximal development." As I'm sure you can imagine, constructing an educational ladder that will reach a broad audience of students ranging from rank beginners to advanced professionals is quite a task. Vladimir in this DVD was clearly up to the job.
Step by step, Vladimir explains the principles behind what he does in a way that is immediately comprehensible to the beginning student. He then shows exercises designed to practice those principles that take the student one step at a time to the next level, and then the next, and then the next, until the student is at a point of practice that appears to an outside observer to be highly complex and skilled. While Vladimir is instructing the beginning student on the basics of body movement and knife disarming, at the same time he makes explanatory side comments connecting the lessons to the core philosophies of Systema that most likely will be missed by beginning students but will be deeply instructional for the more advanced students.
I could not watch this DVD in one playing from the beginning to the end.
Every five minutes or so into the instruction, I found my mind exploding from the numerous insights I was being taught about the essence of the System. I found that I had to stop the DVD, get out of my chair, and then in the middle of the night practice the illustrated moves by myself against an imaginary partner.
This DVD is so profound it can serve both as an "elementary school" introduction to Systema for an individual who has had no previous exposure to it, while simultaneously it serves as a "doctoral seminar" for an advanced student who has studied all of Vladimir's previous productions and attended many of Vladimir's live instructional seminars.
I am continually impressed with the purity of Systema. I even had spiritual insights while watching this DVD.
The DVD does multiple things on multiple levels at the same time.
by Demetry Furman, March 27, 2007
For example, on the surface it explains how to use benign objects in a dynamic manner to defend your self. On a deeper level, Vladimir demonstrates the philosophy of Systema; non aggressive and natural work.
Another thing that stood out for me, as it is a remake DVD and many similar objects were used as in the original; the material was presented with a very new and fresh approach, with lots of new ‘twists’.
This DVD is essential for our loved ones who are not practicing martial artists. They will see that they always have a means of defending themselves in-hand.
I have been offered the truly landmark new release "Russian Stick Combat" DVD for preview.
by Scott Meredith, October 08, 2007
People have been clamoring for coverage of Russian Stick work for many years, and now finally our ship has come in!
I know somebody will quickly write up a full frame-by-frame blow-by-blow review, which isn't my style. I want to hit the personal highlights of where this DVD took my understanding of weapons work and Systema fundamentals to a whole new plane. The topics list below should say it all:
Preparation for Contact
Evading Under a Stick
Using Body and Limbs
Stick Held with Both Hands
Prepare for Stick Strikes
Defense on the Move
That list may seem exhaustive, but in fact that list does NOT "say it all" because while that shows the stick work coverage, it gives little hint of how deep the presentation really is. There are innumerable meta-themes radiating from beneath the surface.
In particular, I was struck by 2 such meta-themes that resonate through the whole art but are emphasized and focused by stick work. One was "filling the body". This is something everybody always wonders and asks about. Even long time students often wonder HOW can we train for a "full body". Sometimes people ask more narrowly only about "full arms" or "heavy hands", but this presentation makes it clear that an arm focus is too parochial; we are really trying to "fill" the entire body.
People, this DVD is finally the last greatest word on this topic. In Russian Stick Combat, Vladimir offers a whole segment, and related material across many other segments, all the details of exactly how to work on "filling" the body. This is an essential mega-step forward in Systema training materials. It's obvious that the stick is the secret tool that hugely expedites this development. Another hidden gem, like so much of the Systema training catalog, the stated topic is a keyhole opening through which the entire panorama of Systema becomes sharply visible.
The other meta-theme that especially struck me was the core idea we often have heard of "working against the opponent rather than the weapon". Again the equivalent of more than an entire segment is devoted to examining and illustrating this idea from every possible angle. Others more expert than myself would be able to say definitively, but in my view this idea could be the foundation for all weapons disarming and survival work. And in my opinion, the bedrock fundamental ideas of "working against the man not the weapon" are better presented here than I have ever seen anywhere.
The sub-themes I have singled out above are just examples of the many deeper parts of Systema that are covered in this DVD. The foundational work of breathing, relaxation, movement and form are the constant threads, with absolutely superb in-depth emphasis in every single frame. It's another amazing example of how every Systema presentation operates on two levels at once; the particular application or immediate situation, and the deeper principles that are evident and explicit always.
Another key point, for me personally, was that while other stick fighting materials that I have collected tend to emphasize the stick per se, and be limited and specialized to a particular single type of specialized implement, it is radically obvious that the stick fighting principles of Systema are completely general across any kind of impact weapon. I felt that mastering the material here would enable me to survive and prevail in any kind of impact weapon assault, such as club, bat, pool cue, metal pipe, 2 by 4, etc. As I have witnessed such attacks on several occasions, I have a lively personal interest in such generalized skills.
And naturally the "master at work" jaw-dropping inspirational value of this DVD is beyond compare... actually I always say that about all Vladimir’s tapes. He's embarrassing me by constantly emitting these works of serious kinetic genius, leaving me speechless, having uttered every possible praise.
by Jeanmarie Pick, August 18, 2003
My name is Jeanie and I am very new to SYSTEMA. After first watching a couple of DVDs, including 'Personal Protection', I attended classes. I found that the DVDs were a great introduction to a highly effective and practical system of combat fighting. In 'Personal Protection', both Konstantin Komarov and Vladimir Vasiliev cover practical psychological principles that are a natural part of SYSTEMA. They are easy to understand because they are so natural. The presentations in these DVDs/videos allow you to practice while watching. Only practice will develop this knowledge into a useable skill. Even with law enforcement Defense & Arrest Tactics training, I found that having an instructor for practicing SYSTEMA is very, very helpful. I think this DVD/video would be great for any man or woman. Especially as a female, I can tell you that I already feel even more comfortable walking alone in the city of Chicago with my beginning understanding of SYSTEMA. I found that the material contained in this DVD/video is very practical in offering ideas of what could actually be done for yourself, a friend, or a family member, if any emergency were to happen.
Just viewed "Strikes" for the first of many times.
by Demetry Furman, September 04, 2003
It is as entertaining as it is informative. (I give it two thumbs up)
Where to start?
It is not orthodox in any sense what so ever. Leave all your preconceived notions at the door. So if you think you know how to hit, you will think again. If you think you don't know how to hit; it's easier than you thought. This tape will answer many questions and will bring up a few also... like: How did Rob G ever survive his first meeting with Mikhail? Or his second?
Vladimir demonstrates that no flash is needed for maximum affect or effect. Frank demonstrates that it is easy to make a living as a human bunching bag. Mikhail Ryabko explains the fundamentals and then drops a couple of bulls in the process.
This tape is a must for your collection! Strikes compliments the H2H four tape set perfectly.
For those who are are not as lucky as us, torontonians.
by Dmitry Li, September 08, 2003
... I thought I would give my review of the SUPER Video I've just watched.....
Once again VV's video has exceeded all my expectations! What a blast!
Having two great masters showing and explaining the WAYS, TYPES and
NATURE of strikes in the same video, is like getting two for the price
If you think you know how to strike, think again. This video is
unbelievable! I (as well as many others) have been on the receiving end of both V.V.'s
and M.R's strikes, have seen others getting hit by them, but never quite
got as much information out of it as from watching the "Strikes" DVD.
The information is not limited on only how to strike, but also how to
receive hits (breathing, redirecting the energy of the strike), to deal with the pain and to
heal the opponent with the strike.
From placing your hand on one's body to generating power for the strike- it is
all there... and more.
There is a wave work described and demonstrated by V.V in such a simple
and powerful way I have never seen anywhere else before!
M.R. delivers different types of strikes: the ones that relax you, make
you think, give you energy, etc.
I remember when I started to practice Systema; sometimes, Vladimir would
treat me with a punch that would cheer me up, make me smile and want to
shake his hand. Well, I thought it was only me; then someone else
mentioned it, then someone else... Then there were the other types... Could it
be that over the years I have become too cheerful, and that I am now in need of the other kind
of strikes to cool me down?
This video is a MUST. I would highly recommend this video to anyone who strikes for training or for living.
I highly recommend DVD if you can get it, the slo-mo capability is worth it.
by John Elliott, September 11, 2003
This release has a lot of very useful information, especially in a bare-knuckle context. Vladimir shows some of the tactics he uses for handstrikes, and how to turn your body into a conduit for kinetic energy. The work is especially relevant to true no-rules bareknuckle fighting, as it incorporates tactics that, while certainly skillful, would get you kicked out of most rings were you to deploy them there (assuming the referee could recognize what you were doing - some of the work might not be recignized as an attack to an observer not on the receiving end).
Mikhail astounds with seemingly insignificant punches having devastating effect (which, as many can attest to, they do). The most efficient delivery of power I've ever seen, short of a pistol. Body hitting seems to be a dying art these days, maybe it's the use of gloves, or the fact that the head is a bigger target than the liver, for example, but this video shows that it should by no means be overlooked. One good shot there can finish it very easily.
Everytime I see Systema demonstrated I become more fascinated with the system and its methodology.
by Joe Neal, October 01, 2003
"Strikes" is the best instructional video I have seen on this topic. It provides an excellent foundation in the basics of striking.
Awesome just barely begins to describe this DVD.
by Scott McQueen, November 04, 2003
For someone without access to a certified teacher of systema like myself, this kind of study material is invaluable. There is enough information in the STRIKES DVD to keep me practicing and re-watching for years to come. Although the strikes may not seem conventional to asian martial arts player, they are natural, logical and downright effective!!! Especially of interest is the idea of stiking someone give them energy, indeed to help them. If you are interested in any kind of martial art then you must have "STRIKES"
An amazing DVD.
by Steve Montgomery, November 20, 2003
If you haven't bought a copy, go and do so. The information is priceless. Everyone that I have shown the video to are awe struck, including myself. The video is well worth the price. The techniques are powerful yet subtle. I can't say enough good things about the Strikes video. You have to get to really appreciate it.
There are no other words to describe, this DVD is an excellent training material, not only for all Russian Martial Art practicioners, but for anyone who is serious about his combat training.
by Vadim Dobrin, November 25, 2003
Systema can help people to survive, persevere and prevail in so many different environments.
by Aran Dharmeratnam, October 08, 2007
It contains urban tactics, water based work and knowledge that’s useful when adversity occurs within forest, jungle or desert. But there is another environment – one where modern day humans spend a great deal of time. This environment is the car…
Increases in traffic, work commitments and other travel demands have all resulted in a much greater dependence on the car. Look into the interior of new cars and you can see how we have accepted the car as an environment. We try to make ourselves more comfortable in the car. We fit them with music systems, navigational equipment, access points for our phones, various travel items and even coffee holders! We treat our cars like small, grotto like habitats. We even try to make our cars into mini fortresses with alarms, locking devices, and other security devices. So the car is no longer something that just gets us from A to B. The trouble is, while cars are becoming more sophisticated and more comfortable, the risks and dangers that penetrate this environment are still there…And the criminals are constantly developing new ways to carry out vehicle crimes. So when Vladimir told about me his latest DVD - Car Fight, I was pleased that he had decided to address the important subject of road based hostility. Actually, this DVD covers much more than self defence. And now, having viewed it, I would like to share some feed back….
First of all, what’s really inspiring about this DVD is that it is going to raise a lot of people’s awareness about the nature of car crime. It’s going to give people a close look at some of the ways aggression is displayed in and around road vehicles. The camera really zooms in on the action and as the insights come rolling in, the viewer is openly given the chance to familiarize themselves with car based survival.
It is Konstantin Komarov who presents the first part of the film. Konstantin is an encyclopedia of modern day survival knowledge. And here, along with his probing observations, he also demonstrates Systema’s principle of movement in a remarkable fashion. He shows the viewer that even within the restrictive confines of a car - mobility and decisiveness can give the individual that trigger point edge they need to overcome challenging situations. Konstantin is decisive not only with his movement skills, but also with the way he conveys information. He covers many different angles: looking at the psychological aspects of survival; as well as some of the practical safety measures civilians or professionals can apply. Konstantin has a great deal of experience in training people from diverse backgrounds. He is good at presenting information on progressive levels. So this film contains insights that can benefit both experienced practitioners and those beginning their training path.
Now Konstantin’s presentation also addresses other car based scenarios. These are the scenarios where there is danger; but not necessarily an aggressor. He reveals some of the factors to take into account, when escaping from a damaged vehicle. He mentions ways of helping other passengers to free themselves and the importance of a calm psyche. He even discusses ways of exiting a car that has entered deep water. Car Jacking and other car crimes are also addressed by the Russian survival master. He reveals how deceptive criminals set up ambushes, theft or vehicle raids. Incidentally, with his extensive law enforcement and security experience, Konstantin knows a great deal about criminal mind sets and methods. And this comes across in the film. But for now, rather than list all the principles and drills he covers, I will just say this- a key message he conveys is that when it comes to conflict- a ‘never say die’ attitude goes a long way.
The second part of the DVD is all about free flowing, intuitive action! And here, Vladimir goes to work with fists, feet, hands and psyche. This is the part of the DVD that shows ways of countering direct, unpredictable physical attacks. Vladimir demonstrates his ‘on the spot’ sense of timing and tactical creativity. He shows how to work within an environment and how to use the surroundings as your ally. For those who enjoy the subtle aspects of Russian counter work, you will see some interesting ways of exploiting the opponent’s pain spots and their ‘perception of victory’. You should also observe the way Vladimir neutralizes and jams the attacker’s movement, by shutting down their desire to attack. Again the work on display contains both accessible and subtle lessons. Credit must also go to the tough practitioners working as the attackers. Facing fist, concrete and car, they step into the action with energy and intent!
One of the useful things about Vladimir’s approach to self defence training is that he is prepared to cover some of the more gritty aspects of survival. And in Car Fight he addresses some of the vicious tactics that muggers or kidnappers might use. He covers ways of handling chokes and strangulations, carried out from the rear passenger seat. Knife attacks or threats involving edged weapons are also dealt with. Once again, the ‘never say die’ survival mind set is expressed, as various options and movements are revealed.
And so, with the two instructors sharing their professional knowledge in different ways, this DVD is almost like two films in one! And just as Systema helps people to know themselves, it also highlights the importance of knowing the environments we dwell in. Car Fight will show people the versatile nature of the Russian martial art. Beyond this, it represents a banquet of information to be watched, deciphered and absorbed.
The only thing not included is a free strike!
by Clive Jefferies, December 16, 2003
Informative and inspiring.
This is a great DVD.
by Thomas H., January 14, 2004
Its both entertaining and educational.
Strikes consists of actual live demonstations that have been filmed. The Camera work is very basic, but you can see everything you need to see. Basically, the instructors demonstrate striking techniques using full contact hits to their students.
In the first half of the DVD, Vladimir Vasiliev goes through the basic strike concepts. Though there is nothing mindblowing, it was good stuff. Because it was full contact, you could see how the body reacts. In several situations, VV gave the following type of advice "you could do this, but its better to do it this way. Only do this if you have no choice." What impressed me, and my friend who watched it with me, is the multi-hit wave concept, where one focuses on letting one strike lead to another.
In the second half of the tape, Mikhail Ryabko takes over. He shows the impact of hits. Besides, seeing that, he gives some very good training tips on 1) taking a punch to the chest & stomach, & 2) developing effective punching technique & form. From a training perspective, I disliked the fact that Ryabko basically gave very limited commentary on his strikes, you had to absorb it all visually. However, by stopping it and watching it in slow motion, you can learn alot about how certain strikes affects a persons body.
What impressed me with both instructors was their ability to generate alot of power in a very small space. There were no huge windups. What they do show you is that a punch can come out of no-where fast. In several demonstrations, Ryabko put big guys on the ground with punches that started 5-6 inches out, from the side, with no chambering.
I think that the information would be useful to anyone studying any art. I found it particularily useful as a student of Aikido, especially after watching Vasiliev's moves. And for that matter, Ryabko's instruction as well. Watching Mr. Vasiliev, I saw how easy it was to integrate strikes into basic Aikido technique, and Mr. Ryabko's "pushing" training, was almost custom made for learning a proper strike to put someone off balance. When I saw it, I knew I had spent my money well.
Ok, I said it was educational, and it was, and its worth it just for that. However, its also entertaining.
Its entertaining because, it uses full contact strikes, and the look on the students' faces when they get hit is priceless. It appeals to my mildly sadistic side. Lets just say, my roommate and I are planning a Strikes party, where we invite our friends, grab a few beers, and watch it.
SUMMARY: There is a huge amount of useful information and training ideas, but you have to be proactive in your analysis to get the most out of it. Its good, get it.
I thought I recognized William James in the personal protection DVD and John Saylor in the strikes DVD both of whom are great martial artist in my opinion.
by R.D. Lawrence, January 24, 2004
It's great to see martial artists such as yourself and Mikhail teach, as your technique shows the competence of real life experience.
R. D. Lawrence
by Chi Y., January 24, 2004
I had the privilege of witnessing the demonstration/filming of Konstantin work in the Russia trip (and certainly Vlad’s is ever aspiring and constant challenging what I do and don’t know), and I was so trilled to see it all over again on DVD.
I still recall how fast the coin dropped from Konstantin hand when he held it at shoulder level, and in a split second, everything seems to go into slow motion—how he dropped and slided across the ground; while pulling his gun out and shot it twice. (My jaw probably dropped just as quickly as that coin…)
In the second part, Vlad had shown us many various valuable and relevant exercises of bodyguard work. While many of the takedowns and movements are built on the foundations of RMA, some of the body suggestion work could be learnt and applied quickly. I still recalled the ‘military punch’ (see ‘hand to hand combat’ tape 1) variation done on Jim for one instance in the DVD, how original, simple, and efficient! Beautiful work that is, and one could simply feel it from the smiles of assistants.
If RMA is one of the best tools I did pick up in my life, then I must say thank you to Vlad and Konstantin, for you have enriched me with a glimpse of what I can do with that tool (and constantly dropping my jaw). Great work!
by Vadim Dobrin, February 18, 2004
Must for all professionals out there...
Basic and very helpful to all who are in the VIP protection field
and those who want to learn to defend people around them
this video is astonishing!
by harmen asado, March 21, 2004
I love to see the full contact demonstrations and the material is top notch. I recommend this video to anyone interested in furthering their self defense skills thruogh real life know how.
I would have to say this probably the best example of bodyguard exercises I have ever seen on film.
by John Tunney, April 01, 2004
The information is presented in an organized and professional manner. This dvd is a very effective learning tool with practical exercises you can use immediately to aide in training yourself as well as your employees if you are a professional in the personal protection business. I was very pleased with my purchase.
As a relatively new student to Systema, I purchased “Strikes” with the hope of getting some more insights into the striking methodology of this art.
by Brian Freisinger, April 08, 2004
I was not disappointed. What I found very important as a beginner, was watching Mr. Vasiliev’s movements, posture and blending when both delivering and taking strikes. I find these to be invaluable to my growing understanding of this training. I’m constantly reviewing this DVD before and after class in the attempt to glean further insights into my own body positioning and motion.
I can’t recommend this DVD enough.
by Jim King, June 08, 2004
Defense in Confined Spaces is THE film to own this year!!! Without any debate, this is my favorite film from Vladimir. His movement and explanation leave me speechless and inspired. I am re-energized in my training and have since found myself using many of the principles he demonstrates so easily in the film. My colleagues have also seen the remarkable difference in my training and application and have asked where did I get such motivation. I am honestly confident Defense in Confined Spaces will revolutionize much of the training and philosophy found in the Russian Martial Arts community that Vladimir was so instrumental in establishing more than a decade ago.
Confined Spaces is the most realistic and practical self-defense video on the market!
by Jacob Goldblatt, June 08, 2004
The latest in Vladimir Vasiliev’s extraordinary/revolutionary series, Confined Spaces demonstrates once again that the Russian System works in any environment. Utilizing what would normally be considered obstacles (chairs, desks, drawers, walls . . .), Vladimir reveals that these are merely self-imposed limitations. This video opens our eyes to the possibilities, thereby freeing our minds and in turns our bodies. Always exciting to watch, Vladimir’s work is exceptionally quick, smooth, devastating, . . . real.
by Scott Connor, June 08, 2004
Sound track is pro sounding. It is perfect for a wide range of skill levels. Something for the beginner, the more advanced, even instructors and those aspiring to instruct. There is some very advanced work in there, so real top-level people will be enthusiastic as well. Scenarios, drills, demos, all aspects of working with limited or no space are covered providing a complete close-quarters package along with the training materials to properly develop these skills. I really liked how it begins with the door opening to see Vlad sitting reading a book and then a moment later… Mild-mannered Mr. Vasiliev during a regular day at the office, until an unwanted visitor shows up…
Vladimir takes you through many common scenarios where you must work quickly to save yourself from being harmed.
by Kwan Lee, June 08, 2004
You are given in-depth instruction on how to work in all states of physical restriction against kicks, grabs, chokes, all types of knife attacks, and multiple assailants. You are even shown what to do while being pressed against the wall while in various “impossible” holds under knifepoint! Filmed from multiple angles, and demonstrated at both slow and regular speeds, the format of this film ensures quick absorption of the material and concepts.
Just watched Vladimirs new DVD "Defence in Confined Space" WOW!
by john walker, June 08, 2004
!!!!!!! this has got to be the best yet from RMA.
Vladimir demonstrates how you can defend yourself while sitting behind a desk,up against a wall or when you are cornered. He explains how to use the desk and the wall to your advantage,and this is demonstrated in Vladimir's fashion, SWIFT, ACCURATE,FREE and VERY VERY EFFECTIVE!!!. Many thanks for sharing this with us all Vladimir. Keep them coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Vladimir has produced the most accessible DVD on systema to date.
by MARTIN WHEELER, June 10, 2004
Vladimir's ability to express the movement and deep understanding of the art comes over as easily as his command of the multiple and varied situations. A great DVD.
This DVD has quickly become my favourite because of its brutal honesty when dealing with close-quarter situations.
by Jim Rigopoulos, June 14, 2004
I never realized the potential limited spaces provide until Vlad brought it to light thru this DVD production. It's amazing what restricted spaces can provide in terms of elements of opportunity. Watch and learn. I really liked looking at the work in full motion and then the breakdown of ideas that Vlad provided. A treasure to add to my collection of RMA material. Thanks Vlad...
Also, kudo's to Nick and the others who provided their assistance to the production of this video. I think they deserve a drink after some of the techniques used on them - ouch!
Just finished watching Defense in Confined Space and was once again amazed at the excellent work shown by Vladimir on how to work in small and/or confined space.
by Terry Cruickshank, June 14, 2004
Small office or against the wall, there is a way out - and you're shown exactly how, along with some nice practise drills. From dealing with threatening or menacing gestures while sitting at your desk to outright aggression froms holds, punches, kicks or knives , this DVD covers it all. Anyone who works at a desk, from teachers to security guards and even pilots, can appy these concepts for self defense. Standing or sitting in confined space is no longer a liability, use a book or the chair you're sitting in and watch the results! Great to see Nick get beat up too!
On this tape, Vladimir Vasiliev demonstrates examples of defensive work and movement studying drills.
by Andrei Balandin, June 16, 2004
In the demonstration he gives perception of confined space not as a set of obstacles to be avoided, but as a number of opportunities to be used.
Examples of defensive work are given multiple times. Slow speed used to show details; normal speed to show full effect and several variations of techniques are repeated at slow speed.
Vladimir's partners provide the demonstrations with extra realism and honesty.
Drills cover simple defensive manoeuvres: this leads to a deeper understanding of given examples. Simplicity allows for spontaneous work thus broadening the range of defensive possibilities. Some drills teach to avoid an attack in the presence of an obstacle and some teach to use obstacles to control attacker(s). All drills build up skills and confidence necessary to perform demonstrated defensive work.
“Defence in Confined Space” gives an overview of work usually omitted due to its complexity. It’s an absolutely necessary guide for those who want to achieve defensive skills, efficiency and confidence in awkward places and situations.
"Defense in Confined Space" is an instructional film demonstrating that even in confined spaces Vladimir is able to use his environment to assist in his movement and remain connected to his partners.
by Brian Hammond, June 17, 2004
Vladimir reveals that even when confined to a small area, his movements are still highly effective and he remains calm and at peace. There were so many great drills used in this video. A few of them are Vladimir sitting at a desk, standing against a wall, and knife defense while against a wall. My favorite part is the ending demonstration when Vladimir is attacked by his partners -- It was amazing to watch him move so freely and with ease. The new film was so real that it felt as though you were actually in class with Vladimir!
It is important and essential to extend your practice through the videos, especially when you are unable tomeet for class. If you have not yet been fortunate enough to work with Vladimir, expect an eye-opening, fun and exciting experience. I recommend watching and studying all the videos produced by Vladimir!
I got my DVD just couple days ago.
by Chris Misek, June 23, 2004
Ive gone through it and I must say I found it excellent.
Technical aspects,explaining/demonstrating the principles,as per usual A1,and the way Vladimir teaches and explains always seems to keep attention span.
And also,as with most of the vids/dvd's,from safety of the TV room far far away,you do have a bit of a laugh!Vlad does inflict some pain doesnt he!!
Working in a prison, you deal with an environment of confined spaces, as
well being in close proximity to cement walls nearly all the time.
by Roland Labrague, June 23, 2004
Vladimir's new video, "Defense in Confined Space," provides the knowledge and teaches the skills necessary to enable you to better defend yourself when a
situation turns violent. A must for anyone in the field of corrections.
by Serge Gerlach, June 23, 2004
! This video is a riot!
Vladimir in a sport blazer with hush puppies beating the piss out of some poor soul as he quietly explains leverage with the desk edge, using a book of poetry to crush the throat or kicking a stool at the oncoming 'crazed-postal worker'; With total finesse- I might add. Awsome.
Although technically this is not the first video in the Systema catalog to deal with confined space conflict resolution, defense inside cars is, this video is an example of Vladimirs genius.
by Demetry Furman, June 23, 2004
Vladamir once again shows how to think outside the box even though you may be stuck in one. One major thing that stands out, in my opinion, is how much this work is applicable to persons confined to a wheelchair. Also this is one time Vladamir focuses on control of the subject instead of elimination of him.
On a side note, a student of Vladamirs survived a knife attack from one of his clients in his office. Witnesses later stated that the student looked like he was controlling the attacker in such a way that the attacker had fallen on himself with out any appearance of a ‘martial application’ from the student. Those of you who have been with Vladamir for a while will remember Doug, who due to very unfortunate family situation isn’t studying at this time.
The second half of the video is brilliant in its detail and explanation of the movements. For those people who cringed at the translation and explanation of the TR* tapes you will be very pleased with Vladamirs thorough attention to detail and his personal explanations. The drills are something we practice at Club Vlad on a regular basis, and now the rest of you can join us by proxy.
Over all the video is a must have. For those who have previous videos you will see how much Vladamir has improved in his abilities, which is astonishing in its own rite, you will also gain even further insight in to Systema.
I just received the Defense in confined spaces DVD and it is simply
by Marcel Fabian, June 23, 2004
I don't believe anyone has
ever covered defense from these positions so thoroughly. Especially not
with such useful accompanying
practice drills. It really is what is needed in the world today since most
attacks occur from these positions.
Can't praise the film enough!
by David Hohl, June 23, 2004
Like on Christmas morning I remember as a child, I excitedly tore open the package with a big grin. Inside the box was the new Confined Space DVD! Before my wife knew what was happening, I had the TV off and the DVD player running the newest Systema video by Vlad.
All aspects of this product are A+! The DVD features include easy menus to get where you want. The videography showed creativeness lacking in most instructional type videos.
And of course, the instruction was outstanding. In his usual coolness, Vlad showed how to defend against an opponent while in a confined, real world space - not a dojo environment. Inside an office, in a doorway, against a wall, sitting, they were all covered. You will see things you never have, and learn them using this DVD. My San Francisco training group already went over much of the video material in practice. Everyone commented on the freshness and practicality of the information.
With all that, the price of the DVD is well worth it, but there is icing on the cake too! The demonstrations by Vlad show fast speed "short work" that should take away any doubt from skeptics of Systema. My heart goes out to Nick, Jim and the others who were the short lived "attackers."
You won't be disappointed.
I have just received my copy of defense in
by Chuck, July 02, 2004
This DVD should win the instructional DVD of the year
award!!! it is an outstanding DVD, that is a must for the reality martial
artist. Your methods are truly combative and a joy to watch. I look forward
to future projects that you release.
Defense in Confined Space (DVD)
by Sergey Proger, July 07, 2004
Spectaqular restraining and gaining controll techniques with the effective use of surroundings in tight corners of any office space or residence.
The film appeared to be very dynamic and interesting to watch.
by Denis Dmitriyev, July 08, 2004
Vladimir demonstrated fast and slow movements with explanations between them, which make more clear what is happening after his fast demonstrations. In the first part, Vladimir gives an idea, how to work effective in the office and put in use different objects like the office desk, book, wall etc. The second part is attracting to me as Vladimir shows, how to use the wall and doors effectively to defend you self from punches, kicks, and knife. Vladimir gives detailed explanations and demonstrations for his every movement. The movie is really look great and one of the best Vladimir’s films.
P.S. Some people will ask: does it really work? In New York seminar Vladimir showed his short-fast work on my friend Franki and me. It is fast, shocking–painful feeling, the experience, which you should breath through. I tested on myself; believe me it works quiet well.
Right to the point!
by Frank DiMeo, July 15, 2004
Economy of movement and time.
At 53 years old, that is very helpful.
In a time when American business loses 36 billion dollars a year due to workplace violence, comes a program called Defense in confined Space.
by Wesley Manko, July 20, 2004
Available in DVD, this rare, insightful and much needed presentation deals with the issues all businesses and employees face; specifically, how to deal with violence in the workplace. Vladimir Vasiliev, a ten-year veteran of the Russian Special Forces and Russia's Special Operations Unit reveals his secrets for subduing aggressors and multiple assailants in a straight forward and easy to understand manner. Most people can benefit from these maneuvers regardless of physical stamina, martial arts experience, gender or age. this program should be mandatory for every human resource department, small business and everyone who works in an office.
I have to honestly say, this is the best systema film I have seen yet.
by frank fileti, August 03, 2004
I was amazed by the speed, power and effectivness of vlads work. while remaining so calm and relaxed. the moves were so swift and soft. But at the same time so powerful and dangerous. The film answered so many question's I had. As Im sure It did for a lot of people. And being a systema student for almost five years now, in time you develop your own style of the art. and after viewing this film, I feel my style has improved. and my train of thought has definitly changed for the better. It is truly a wonderfull addition to the world of systema. thanks Vlad.
Defense in Confined space is excellent.
by Bob Juarez, August 17, 2004
It is very straight forward and easy to follow. This is the first DVD I have bought from Russian Martial Artand the next will be "Strikes" that also looks very good. Is there any dates for the possible release of other Titles being put out on DVD. There are 4 more I would buy if they come out on DVD.
I have to give the man in the DVD who is working with Mr. Vasiliev alot of credit. You could tell the routines shown were full contact and follow through. The poor guy was in pain most of the time. Bravo to Vladimir he shows it like it is supposed to be done.
This is an excellent resource for bodyguards.
by Stephen Maiken, September 23, 2004
It shows tricks of the trade as well as some excellent training exercises for reflexes and quick thinking, things that are needed in that line of work. The second part of the DVD shows some amazing Systema approaches to conflicts in this line of work, i.e.; how to diffuse a situation with or without violence as well as some excellent take-downs. It demonstrates the versatility of Systema and the un-structured approach to combat.
I've watched this DVD 3 times in a couple of days and it is outstanding!
by Russell Empey, October 04, 2004
Not only does Vladimir and Mikhail's incredible skills and technique get displayed in this DVD but also the passion and caring for both the "Art" and the students.
FUNDAMENTALS OF KNIFE DISARMING shows the pure genius of Vladimir's knife
work and is packed with a wealth of exercises and tips that will directly
prepare you to survive against all conceivable knife attacks.
by Kwan Lee, October 19, 2004
Vladimir takes you from start to finish, and by the end of this video,
even the complete novice will develop the movements and mentality
necessary to get out of harm's way. Each exercise and movement is shown
from different angles to illustrate and ensure absorption of key concepts.
This material will put you on the path of developing your own instinctual
system of movements whether you are standing, kneeling, or lying down, at
any speed. Vladimir gradually builds on his concepts so that you progress
at your own level of comfort. He also gives many other hints and
suggestions for more advanced work.
There is a significant portion dedicated to impromptu knife seminar
demonstrations that shows the possibilities of this work at the higher
levels. This section is truly inspirational and is an example of what is
attainable through a bit of hard work and dedication.
This is yet another incredible film coming from one of the most talented
Masters and Founders of Russian Martial Art. You will rarely find such
clear and quality instruction in the area of knife defense.
"I was lucky enough to preview the all new "FUNDAMENTALS OF KNIFE
by Dmitri Li, October 19, 2004
What can I say? … Another absolutely outstanding video
you will never get tired of watching!!!
The generosity with which Vladimir gives away information is priceless.
The new DVD is professionally structured and so easy to navigate (very
useful when you need to go back to a certain chapter).
Not only are movements shown from all the different angles, but also
explained in great detail. Defense against stabbing, slashing, knife-holds
in all different positions. Redirecting knife with body only, with body
and one hand, body and two hands, using legs… Front, back, side…
Developing and using sensitivity… it's all there!
All the exercises are well thought-out, with great progression and fine
There is also a whole section for people that constantly ask for techniques…
The "Techniques and Variations" section gives actual examples of work that
can be applied in certain situations. Locks, strikes, escapes, working
from the ground… and of course demonstrations!!! Nice and slow and at
full speed, with both training blade and real knife!
Get one when it's out! Trust me, it is invaluable!!! Cheers!"
"This movie is a masterpiece.
by Arkadiy Stepankovskiy, October 19, 2004
There is no "voodoo" magic, but clear and
simple instruction on how to train yourself to be sufficient against a
real knife confrontation.
The topic of knife protection is very appealing and important for most
people since the percent of deaths from knife stabs are high and not going
be lower in the near future.
The new movie ended up exceeding my expectations overall. I would use it
as a template
for all other movies that Vladimir will be producing in the future.
It is clearly broken down on such topics as "Principle," "Techniques," and
Material". Each portion was filmed from different angles, exceptionally
edited, and with professionally clear studio sound.
During the first part I found very simple explanations of principles that
are all based on natural instincts. Plus step-by-step instructions on how
to practice those principles with both training and real knife. Some of
the exercises were really eye-openers for me.
The next part, "Techniques," is an outstanding way of showing how to be
trained within Systema. Right away Vladimir tells us that he is not
teaching us techniques, but movements. He shows that each movement is
created from principles that were covered during first part. Techniques
are shown only as examples of what you can do against knives on various
levels and with different speeds.
And let me tell you that most movements were simple and at the same time
devastating! All motions at real-speed are natural and pretty much
invisible for the human eyes. But when Vladimir shows slow motion work it
makes a "wow" effect, since the motions are effortless and easy to use.
However, my favorite part was "Supplement Material." Imagine watching 10
minutes non-stop of Vladimir's free work against any possible knife
attack! It makes you wonder how Vladimir can make his movements so natural
and subtle but at the same time devastating and beautiful.
I am fortunate enough to have seen this DVD -- thanks to Vlads generosity!
by Rob Green, October 19, 2004
I have all of his work -- all viewed many times.
THIS is perhaps one of his best offerings...so far. There is a wealth of the best recorded Systema 'work' against blades on this particular DVD.
Fundamentals? LOL! A generous mix of this and the more advanced work that Vlad just does naturally.
I sincerely doubt that even the MOST experienced Systemist would not find pure gold in this vid.
Kracevia robote, moy horosho druk Vladimir!
You should be proud!
Another timeless classic, Vladimir takes you through a steady progression of excercises designed to heighten body awareness and relaxation under a very stressfull situation - knife attack.
by John Elliott, October 20, 2004
It starts from actual contact with the knife, and works it's way through to interceptions from a distance, how to move and manipulate with your body, what to do if you get 'caught' being tense.
Throughout Vasiliev demonstrates breathtaking control of his body, and the sort of casual, off-the-cuff invincibility people known so well by viewers of his other tapes. The finale is a series of seminar footage where he puts it all together.
Very useful information I'll be reviewing for months to come.
Fundamentals of Knife Disarming Review
I have just watched Vladimir’s original Knife Defense video followed by his new Fundamentals of Knife Disarming DVD and would like to offer a review comparing the two, especially because the former tape will no longer be available.
by Brad Scornavacco, November 16, 2004
The main difference between the two videos is that the Knife Defense video is more of a “technique-oriented” video while the new Knife Disarming video is more in line with the true Systema principle of responding to the situation as it is versus trying to remember and apply a technique.
The Knife Defense video showed many practical disarms, although in isolation. This type of video is very popular with technique-collectors who are looking for a new move to add to their repertoire. I used to recommend this tape as a good place to start learning Systema for someone who has had experience in another martial art because it showed moves that they could easily understand. They could also readily accept the material presented because the training methodology was more in line with what they already have been through in other martial arts.
One critique of the tape I have heard comes from a lack of understanding of Systema in its totality. People would look at one disarm and doubt its effectiveness only based on what they saw on the tape, again, only in isolation and not in the greater context of motion. People who train in Systema know that, as Vladimir says, the moves are only ideas. If one movement he chose to show did not work then there are many other moves to draw from. For example, Vladimir shows an idea of how to disarm a knife with the legs. Some might say they would never try that. However, what if you had to use your legs because you are bound and cannot use your arms. A casual observer of this tape does not understand this. Vladimir was showing the possibilities.
The new Fundamentals of Knife Disarming DVD, by contrast, shows more of the actual Systema training methods against a knife that were missing from the first tape. The DVD does not even begin with disarms but how to move your body against the knife. This section is one of the unique aspects of Systema in that Vladimir shows to move your body first for defense and not your limbs. He also explicitly explains the rationale for learning to move the body to prevent the knife from penetrating your body. The teaching methodology of moving from the worst-case scenario, the blade touching your body, then only later showing how to deal with the knife with your limbs and before body-contact is made is truly revolutionary in its approach. This training idea alone will improve anyone’s martial skill no matter what art they study.
At one point in the DVD Vladimir says that it is not correct to try to reduce everything to specific techniques because each situation is different. But this is what people like to see so he obliges and shows specific examples in the second part of the video. So, like the previous Knife Defense video he shows some basic disarms. So if you are concerned about not having the Knife Defense video, rest assured the material is covered thoroughly here.
The end of Fundamentals of Knife Disarming is the real bonus for students of The System. This section contains actual seminar footage of the movements “in action.” Vladimir shows how everything comes together in a montage of clips from his teachings all across the world on attackers of all sizes and experience levels. These clips end the video on a high note and are inspirational to say the least. In the midst of the attacks you can see how trying to force a specific technique is next to impossible and constantly moving and adapting is much more effective.
Another critical improvement over the older tape is the explanation and narration offered by both Vladimir and Valerie Vasiliev. The new DVD is buoyed by Vladimir’s vastly improved command of the English language and when he needs something translated from Russian Valerie explains things clearly and concisely. The narration on Knife Defense was more mechanical and directed toward the physical motions while the explanations on Knife Disarming are an invaluable insight into the philosophy and underlying principles of The System. Watch the video but also take the time to listen to the explanations, as they will lead to you to new levels of understanding and skill.
Overall, Fundamentals of Knife Disarming is a vast improvement over Knife Defense and makes it unnecessary (although I can say that as I already have a copy). The only lament is that it always leaves me wanting to see more. Of course, that is what going to seminars and training with Vladimir is for.
I just saw the video and it was very impressive.
by Tony Pang, December 08, 2004
I have never seen anything like that before. The moves were very simple and easy to do. Before I saw this tape I was very confused when I viewed the systema clips on this website. The movements by the people on those video clips were very strange. But now when I see these clips, it makes alot more sense. I wish there was a systema school near my house.
by Anonymous Anonymous, September 13, 2006
I have just finished watching a pre-release copy of the new and wonderful Systema Hand to Hand. Get excited people. It's incredible. This is a superb effort by Vladimir.
As with the most recent works by Vlad, this isn't just a collection of techniques. It's step-by-step explanations with fabulous demos to facilitate the learning process. It's like a private lesson with Vlad! You lone trainers and groups who are not close to a certified instructor will appreciate the extra attention to detail and the sheer mass of information. As you know Vlad and Mikhail don't give a whole lot of extra details when they teach you. They prefer you to discover things for yourself.[I prefer this method as you'll own it when you find it for yourself.] Not with this production. There's a ton of info and not much left out in the explanation department.
It opens with an introduction to the Russian system. History, ideals, principles, it's all here. Vlad even slipped in some of the most recent footage from seminars this year including the Summer camp. It's a real treat to watch.
I know I say this about each new offering when it's released but this is definitely his best effort to date.
Kudos to the students who gave their bodies up to demonstrate the work especially Nick who seems to be getting most of the full speed stuff [mind you Alex Kostic took one in the nads at slow speed and it still looked pretty uncomfortable]. Yes there are full speed demos as well as the more familiar slower-paced work.
Then, just when you think it's all over, you are treated to two small [but tasty] bits at the end. All you folks who have been calling for stick and chain work will be pleasantly surprised. Both are featured. This video is outstanding in all respects and the bonus material at the end makes it just so much nicer. I'm rapt in wonder not only by Vlad's ability on the mat and off but also by his efforts in the production studio. We can only stand to benefit from his love for creating.
Just my biased view folks.
Prepare to have yourself amazed and your interest revitalized. A wonderful piece of work is on the way to y'all. Enjoy, people. Life is good and this film is just another reason for you to smile. Order your copy now.
Volume & quality of the informational & instructional material presented to the ‘Systema H2H’ viewers are far beyond any expectations & the real value of this masterpiece is simply not adequate to the price tag.
by Sergey Makarenko, January 14, 2005
This latest addition to the Vladimir Vasiliev’s video collection is long awaited by international Systema community but paradoxically it will equally benefit ANY & ALL combative professionals, martial artists & fitness enthusiasts who’re willing to enrich their experience with the most natural & efficient way to survive.
The famous time & battlefield tested Systema’s non-technical approach to the combat training is presented in a comprehensive form of private lessons given by the true Master & Teacher. Highly professional performance, clear instructions & brilliant demonstrations along with the rare footage of bonus material leave no doubt in practicality of the generously offered instructions.
The ‘Systema H2H’ is not an aged version of the ‘Russian Fighting System’ produced by TRS & Vladimir Vasiliev a decade ago. In fact the resemblance between two is the resemblance between grape juice & wine: same source – different flavor. If TRS product is introductory informational, the new ‘Systema H2H’ is practical & instructional to the full extend of a private lesson.
For those who lack an opportunity to benefit learning from the Master himself or his numerous students-instructors this item is by far the best starting point in an exiting journey to the unique art of Systema.
Those who currently practice Systema hardly need an encouragement to acquire this masterpiece – now we’ve got our own private lesson available 24-7 -- I just wish it would be a bit longer…
I have thoroughly enjoyed the demonstrations and techniques shown, and have no doubt that the material is of the highest quality, however my concern is how it is conveyed.
by Ilya Kleyman, January 18, 2005
While I learned a lot from this video, I learned most of it by slowing it down to 1/10th normal speed.
Highly reccomended, but to get the maximum out of it you'll have to slow it down so you can catch up.
I am a professional educator by trade, so I always view this type of material with teaching and learning in mind.
by Kevin Secours, January 20, 2005
That being said, I can give this video no higher praise than to to say it contains the absolute foundation for correct learning. More important than "what" you train is "how" you train it and this newest H2H DVD clearly outlines the exercises you need to reach all of your training goals no matter what style you train in or what skill level you have. There are no secrets, just good training methods and this video gives you a clear map of how to build your skill sets and reprogram your body at a reflexive level. Once again, Vladimir touches on some of the most cutting edge theories and principles of modern education without an apparent ounce of effort. Many of us are used to seeing him fight off multiple attackers as easily as if he were swatting flies. Now, I'm happy to say that there something out there that illustrates his equal skill as an educator. Even without any understanding of the fantastic research and science that drives his training method, this video will change you. I urge everyone to try these exercises honestly and to integrate them into their personal training. If you are truly committed to learning to protect yourself and your loved ones, you should be willing to use anything that will work and this video works. Time and time again, this approach has worked for me and my students and at last there is something on permanent record that clearly outlines some of the most important aspects. There is enough material in this video to train for the rest of my life on. Absoultely superb.
I have been studying Systema under Vlad for a while now, and the great thing about this DVD is that it is an awesome distillation of what we have done in the last few years for Hand to Hand.
by Jim Rigopoulos, January 25, 2005
For anyone who is serious about the core curriculum of Systema, this is a must have. I cannot stress this enough. If you are an instructor, this DVD has an endless repetoir of exercises that you can use in class to teach your students and how to break HtoH down effectively. If you came to Toronto to train for 2 weeks or for 2 months and forgot some of the material taught or didn't video tape it or write it down, this is a great refresher. I am rewatching this as I type on my PC, because there is a lot to be seen and learnt on this DVD. Thanks :)
This is the best DVD yet.
by Sy Ali, January 26, 2005
The production quality is excellent and the explanations are excellent.
I really appreciated that the usual demonstrations and explanations are joined by topical clips from other filming. It's obvious that the crew worked hard on finding the right situations and scenes to enhance each scene. The flow of the explanation, the filming angles and timing work beautifully together.
It was also very nice to see the clips of faster work.
The chain and stick work at the end is interesting, but I didn't like it nearly as much as the main topic.
I felt this DVD was definitely worth watching. If you liked the earlier DVDs you will love this one.
by Jerome Kadian, February 03, 2005
..I think its Vladimir's best creation till now...the most important principles of the art are explained and demonstrated...lots to learn and understand for beginners and advanced knowledge seekers...SOLID GOLD....
Very well done!
by Frank DiMeo, February 08, 2005
This DVD is exceptionally clear and understandable.
I'm currently going through it for the third time already and it is time well-spent.
A must have DVD for those who also train in Aikido.
by Ros Bassalow, February 15, 2005
I have been training in Aikido only for 2.5 years but to me it seems that the two systems perfectly compliment each other. It is like you open another dimension for yourself by combining the two systems. Now I begin to actually understand some of my Aikido DVDs which are in Japanese language.
As an instructor, I am often asked what is the difference between Russian Martial Art and other martial arts.
by Wesley Manko, February 17, 2005
My response is that everything a person needs to know about Systema is in the Systema Hand to Hand DVD. This DVD not only illustrates the core value of what Systema is but honestly puts forth sound principles that are perfectly suited for expereinced martial artisits as well as those who have never studied a martial art before. Veiwing this DVD, it is easy to realize why many people feel that Systema is not just a martial art but a force for good and a way of life.
I'm still picking myself up off the floor.
by Scott Meredith, August 19, 2005
.. what can you say when you see such work? All you can do is shake your head over and over and wonder that you've had the personal privilege to learn from this historical-level master of martial arts.
Today I was visually slammed to the floor once again, with another video preview I got of Vlad's newest production on escaping from holds, locks, pins, chokes and grabs.
Unbelievable. What can I say?
I actually have a special interest in locks/grabs and their counters, because my very first martial arts teacher way back in the Cretaceous Era was a famous Chinese master who pioneered kung fu arts in the USA and who specialized in the extremely subtle and complex ancient Chinese art of locking and counters. He wrote a groundbreaking 2 volume series on it, Chinese Grappling Tien Shan Pai Chin-Na. He schooled us very painfully and very well, and instilled in me a lifelong particular interest in this branch of work. So though I don't usually flaunt it (yeah right haha!) I did think that I knew SOMETHING about this field, a bit beyond the norm.
But no way, think again, NOTHING I ever learned or saw prepared me for this newest dvd. Here we're running into the "adjectives are useless" problem again. What am I supposed to say when I see the top of the Sistine Chapel "Whoa, slick! Who's your interior decorator?"
This tape is so simple, straight-forward and attractive - so instantly accessible, that only as the minutes flash by and you begin to reel in your eyeballs up off the floor will you start to see that it actually has as many layered levels of interlocking explicit and implicit work as an Escher drawing.
First the bare bones: Vlad covers escapes from every conceivable kind of grab, lock, choke, mount, pin, nelson, standing, walking, dragging, charging, you name it. That goes without saying. What is just so beautiful about this work is that he does it without any struggle or strength. I own over three hundred martial arts instructional vids, of which probably one third or more are focused in whole or part on escaping from various grabs and holds, its a popular thing to teach. Trust me there is nothing out there remotely comparable to what Vlad is showing. What Vlad is doing is incredible for its quality of minimality of response with totality of effect. For LEO's, every move is establishing complete control from the first instant, with rushing, no strength, no struggle. For lethal situations, every one of those same responses has a partially expressed destroyer finish, should that be called for. The calibration that he displays in every solution is beyond genius.
He's showing at least 10 or more variations of work for any given presentation of a problem. There's an unbelievably rich harvest of specific take-way turnkey solutions, for those shopping for that. It is stuff that I have never seen and would have never thought of myself in a million years. If that's what you want you'll be feasting off this tape for years like a shark amidst an infinite school of fat tuna.
But what Vlad's really teaching here is something a lot deeper than any particular mechanical response or even beyond any single type of movement. The tape consists of two major segements, one of pure instructional work broken down by type of attack or situation, and the second an actual Systema class covering the entire spectrum of basic and advanced skill development, in the school, on the mat.
OK backing up here, I've sometimes been a critic of the tendency towards the slight creeping athleticism in Systema, by that I mean fancy body work for its own macho sake. It's always a danger to get swept up in "conditioning" and a little bit of an urge among Systema students to work on showoff stunts. But this tape is a decisive refutation of anybody who thinks you need to be some kind of physically atheletic Arnold Spetz-anager android super-hero to save yourself. On this tape, (apart from a a number of pyrotechnically spectacular moves where you'll just have to laugh out loud and smack your head out of sheer inexpressible admiration for Vlads outrageous and audacious creativity), I saw that EVERYTHING Vlad shows in the first tutorial part are things that truly ANYBODY could do. If you can stand up, if you are a small woman or a teen or a an old person or whatever, you can do these moves and instantaneously bust a grabber down to slime at your feet. Oops, now I'm sounding like TRS aren't I, but what can I say?
Another thing being shown here is the real, deep freedom of Systema, freedom from ANY restrictive concept. For example we love to say that relaxation is everything in Systema, one of the Pillars etc. Yes of course it is, but here Vlad shows that there's something deeper, the real master works with relaxation and tension BOTH entirely at his will, playing with both like a master violinist on any string, without restriction. No constraints just ultimate sensitivity and minimality i response.
You can only laugh at yorrself, when you see a grab situation in this tape, here we go, the attacker grabs him again, and you ask yourself, well ok, what MORE can he possibly DO with this ... then - Oh my God!! *smile* It's just that shockingly good but when you review it in your mind you'll realize that anybody could do these moves, no physicality or conditioning needed at all.
Vlad keys you to a few basic qualities of body (relaxation) and sensitivity and you are good to go. While pushups and other conditioning are important for all kinds of other deep reasons, on this tape what he's showing is going to work whether you can do 1000 pushups or 1. That's what I call deep teaching.
But meanwhile, without obtruding it, this tape is STUFFED completely full of ways to develop the "Systema body" and Systema mind useful for fullest lifetime development. It's an absolutely integrated presentation. Those who have lamented that there isn't enough video teaching record of the breathing and body control work of Systema represented in the video archive (to date, hardly any in fact) are going to be all smiles. The tape is worth twice the purchase price for this deep body/mind development work alone even if it didn't show a single grab attack (it actually shows hundreds).
There are so many layers in this that I'll be reviewing and reversing this for months to come. I believe is the the deepest and most seamless presentation yet of absolutely practical solutions with the conditions for full spectrum martial arts development woven in transparently.
For martial arts instructors of any art, I think this tape will be a foundational historic archive piece that they'll be drawing from for decades to come. Honestly at this point, I don't know where "Systema" leaves off and "Vladimir" begins, because frankly I never saw anything this great even in two trips to Russia, but I'm sure that's just my ignorance working. If this is just another part of "Systema" then it is is pure uncut straight from the heart of Mother Russia. If it is Vlad, then we are dealing as I've often said with one of those rare comets that streaks over the scene every several hundred years and lights everything up and sets everything on fire.
All I know is that I'm going to replay this over and over and catch a new fire every time.
Sorry I got carried away and went on for so long. Anyway the tape will be out very soon as I understand, so you can see for yourself if I'm making any sense here or not. Many of our Systema senior brothers and teachers are also featured in various great ways on this tape, yay team!
(Anything I say about Systema in this post is just my own opinion and does NOT represent any kind of official point of view on the art or established teaching. See your local certified Systema instructor for professional instruction. I just call 'em exactly as I see 'em, that's it.)
breath taking,smooth,effective and dangerous.
by mike constantinides, March 15, 2005
once again,vlad, job well done sir.
The Systema Hand-To-Hand DVD is excellent.
by John Taufen, March 30, 2005
Fascinating! There is lots of information about the technique. But, in addition, there is information providing exercises and training practices that help you make the Systema technique your own technique.
A martial arts skill that is free flowing and unique to your own body type and style. I recommend it and hope you enjoy it.
I enjoyed watching it the second time, more than the first time, and will review it again.
This is great work.
by Pietro Vitelli, June 04, 2005
Everything in this video can be used from basic to advanced. The Russian SYSTEM works great, also integrated with other types of work.
It is nice to see good quality instruction out there. Mr. Vasiliev demonstrates that.
Even though I was there; the DVD showed me a few things I missed.
by Demetry Furman, August 19, 2005
Vladimir demonstrates some of the possibilities of what Systema has to offer in specific situations by showing a few things that can be done, all of which was unscripted, unrehearsed, completely spontaneous, and mind-blowing. Many concepts are demonstrated and explained, from how to properly use your tension to recognizing that your movement can start any time. You learn not to wait for the end of the aggressors movement. This concept can be daunting and overwhelming; something like being in the middle of an ocean and not being able to see land, but knowing that as long as you keep swimming you will get there eventually. This to me opens the infinite possibilities for the infinite movements Systema teaches to what seems like straight forward problems with limited solutions. Part two is a treat for all distant students of Vladimir; here you get a chance to see how he teaches his daily classes, and his creative genius. I wasn't there when these classes were video taped, and again I saw a few things I've missed.
I just watched a second time.
by Demetry Furman, August 19, 2005
.. this time I managed to keep my mouth closed . I want to bring up a certain point as TRS was mentioned earlier; this DVD is beyond comparison to the TRS tapes. That is due to three main reasons.
1) Vlad had three cameras filming simultaneously, focusing on different aspects of the movements. The camera men were all Systema practitioners, so they knew exactly where to aim the camera. Although some of the action was to fast for them to catch it all. But you get three angles and three ranges, rite down to the finger tip detail.
2) Vlad did all the editing and production. Therefore only the most specific and exact information that Vladimir wanted to be there made it on to the DVD. The shoot took some four hours, with three cameras, and three focus points, only one hour and 50 minutes made it on to the DVD.
3) Vladimir does all of the explaining, his spoken English is improving .
In other words, nothing is lost in the 'translation'. I, to this day, will not view the TRS tapes with the sound on. Vladimirs explanations are concise and to the point. Even though I was there, Vladimirs explanations presented me with insights which I missed the first time around.
For those reasons alone the DVD is worth the money, not withstanding the invaluable information provided.
My final thought on it, as I watched the DVD, 'how did I miss all that?... '
Escape from Holds: a Review
In this title Vasiliev provides a large amount of information on a simple theoretical framework.
by John Elliott, August 20, 2005
Vladimir speaks of 3 ranges from a standing grab POV, and for the first half of the tape he explores movements you can make in these ranges for various attacks. Not big elaborate techniques, so much as the core type of movements you need to get in a good position. Much of the work here is nuanced, and it is fortunate that the key points were captured in multi-angle slow-mo shots. This approach, serves well for two reasons.
The movements are done at normal speed so people can see what they 'really' look like, and the slow-mo (with voice over from Vlad), so people can figure out how it works. The voice overs are impressive, because if you pay attention they are often lifted from Vlad as he does the movement or just after, yet the slow mos illustrate what is said in an uncannily timely fashion – you would think it was post-production commentary.
Then comes some class footage to round it out, illustrating how to put this to use, and incidentally (for those who didn't know) showing that in systema classes no moves are rehearsed or prearranged – everything is live. More importantly (to me) it relates breathing to movement and relaxation/tension, and shows how a movement can unbalance, lock, strike, or do all three, as well as lead to freedom from a hold.
For the beginner, this will give you a good knowledge of ranges of motion, how to free them in yourself and restrict them in others. For people who have done systema for a while, you will see all the principles at work, and the slow-mo gives insight into the tension/relaxation and wave movements used that make Vlad's movements effortless. Perhaps because I had just done a striking-oriented class the night before, when I watched this tape I came to appreciate how movements are what links hitting and wrestling, and really the rest should just be side-effects of that movement.
Some of the information in this tape is very specific. However, when it is, it's specific to the human anatomy which is pretty much a constant, and still has multiple applications. There is a wealth of information in this production, at many levels, and it is something you will want to watch many times, often in still frames.
To me, this screams for a groundfighting companion piece, but that's my usual complaint for all of Vlad's titles - I always want more. Too much is never enough!
Absolutely amazing MUST HAVE roadmap for grapplers, MMA, full contact competitors, peace officers & anyone who plan to survive a non striking confrontation with the utmost efficiency.
by Sergey Makarenko, September 13, 2005
‘How’s he doing this…?!’- the question surfaces over & over once I get working with the Master’s video collection. The ‘Escape from holds’ has left me glued to the screen for hours while this question was answered just as many times as it has surfaced the conscience. The clarity & simplicity of explanations & instructions allow no room for doubt of the suggested tactic’s applicability of while a breath taking demonstrations perfectly illustrate their inspirational efficiency.
But the best part in my opinion is that this latest addition to the Master’s brilliant video collection represents next generation of the RMA Systema training video which now emphasized on delivering instructional component but not at the expense of demonstrational one.
Obviously memorization of the cascading movements performed by Vladimir is impossible & less than intelligent task. Efficiency of the demonstrated work although depends of a practitioner’s individual qualification, originates within Russian Martial Art training methods which don’t rely on ability to memorize specific movements.
The ‘Escape from holds’ presents another look at the RMA Systema tactics & training methods while offers a great guidance for individual improvisation & self discovery – extremely practical & hard to find tool in today’s martial art market space.
My last ‘How’s he doing this…?!’ question is still left without answer:
How does he manage to make each new video better than a previous one which was just perfect?!
If someone finds that out – please let me know…
I just got it today and I 've already watched it 3 times once in slow motion.
by roy hatcher, September 14, 2005
The technical aspects of the escapes are explained in terms that a beginner can understand and veteran in the system can appreciate. This is an awsome DVD I recommend that everyone training in Systema should get it. Thank you Vlad once again for such a wonderful learning tool.
Escape from Holds (DVD)
by dovi lipton, September 14, 2005
great video it is something that everyone can learn from
all is super.
by cornel chelu, September 27, 2005
i make ashihara karate from 11 years but what i see is gorgeous.
i want teach somethin more from this style.thx
Systema’s presentation on DVD and video
‘Escape from Holds’
By Lex Opdam
Editor-in-chief Meibukan Magazine
Seven years ago I watched a video by Vladimir Vasiliev which was my first contact with Systema.
by Opdam Lex, October 12, 2005
I directly saw a natural way of moving and was impressed by the body mechanics as well as the clear insight and life experience in close combat Vladimir himself expressed.
Some years later there where some opportunities for me to attend seminars given by Vladimir Vasiliev in Europe and after my first video impression, I felt the need to see this man alive. During these seminars, he impressed me over and over again with his exceptional abilities.
I began practicing martial arts 25 years ago and although I have studied and practiced different martial arts, my main core of practice until this day has been Okinawan Goju-ryu karate. I have traveled around the world and have seen many Western and Eastern martial masters throughout my life. Vladimir Vasiliev is one of the few martial top instructors that remain on my retina.
Since the day that I saw Vladimir’s video for the first time, I was intrigued. By practicing (also thanks to the instruction I have received from his brother Valentin Vasiliev) and studying Systema, understanding it little by little, I have gained other views and insights upon my own martial way and martial ways in general.
When I see Vladimir Vasiliev moving, he inspires me and adds to my motivation to investigate and practice Systema, as I am still investigating and practicing Goju-ryu karate and martial arts in general.
Today, at the age of 38, I have my own little library with martial books and video’s. Although secondary, these books and video’s are a great support for me. Practice and first hand instruction always comes first, but in a technical sense the video’s and DVD’s by Vladimir, contribute to my understanding of Systema. It shows Systema’s core elements in its best way, especially since Vladimir himself demonstrates directly and intuitively.
‘Escape from holds’, Vladimir’s last DVD publication, is again a unique presentation and instruction DVD of Systema’s close combat fighting. Suitable for both beginner and advanced martial practitioner and accessible to watch (to do is something different!).
This DVD shows escapes from various grabs and holds in a natural and relaxed way. Vladimir’s comments, while he instructs and superbly demonstrates, are direct pointers to understand the way a person could move. This Systema master shows step by step different solutions to the same problem. Learning basics and performing drills, again and again with free movements and hardly with any strength, Vladimir instructs different stages on how to work when gripped, choked, locked dragged etc. From every angle or situation with a minimum of energy getting the job done.
‘Escape from holds’, shows how creative Vladimir is and again, how complete Systema is. Except for the technical part, this DVD also shows how Vladimir teaches a class in his Toronto school in Canada, going over the basics of correct breathing, moving and posture with the subject of holds.
The human organism's ability to manipulate all the necessary variables (balance, positioning, posture, relaxed musculature, sensory in-put and psychomotor out, to name a few) in order to generate a powerful, explosive and accurate strike into an adversary under the duress of a violent encounter or in the context of a combative situation is extremely difficult, making most strikes weak and ineffective.
by Arthur Andersen, October 24, 2005
The uniqueness of the Systema's approach and principles for learning how to strike under duress effectively assist in diminishing this innate human difficulty.
The details about how and why to teach and condition the individual body and mind to coordinate powerful strikes and counter movements are numerous and easily understood in this video selection. The instructions demonstrate how activate the essential mental components physical attributes needed to complete successful offensive stiking actions along with helpful methodologies for absorbing, deflecting and arresting strikes in a tactically defensive situation. It is not enough to know how to effectively execute strikes. One needs to understand the intricate psychological and physiological nuances for allowing one the best opportunity for surviving powerful and unpredictable completed striking actions.
Over all, the material contained in this DVD are strikes designed for combative scenarios. I do not observe sporting applications harbored within the movements of this instructional DVD. For those wishing to tap into a rich reservoir of offensive and defensive striking tactics under the duress of a truly life-threatening, combative-type environment (and I don't mean cage-fighting, which is still a controlled environment, however violent) it will be a hard find to locate anything superior to this production.
From: Arthur C. Andersen, RP, PLC
This is the best of the dvds on m/arts that I have ever seen.
by prashant nair, November 01, 2005
This dvd teaches simple solutions to get out of any of the toughest of locks/holds.Very practical.Highly recomended.
The unfortunate aspect of all weapons' work is the lethality involved.
by Arthur Andersen, November 22, 2005
We do not "play" with weapons. The uniqueness of this DVD: Fundamentals of Knife Disarming, has as its most fundamental theme the importance of learning how to disarm our personal fears when working against the knife. After all, it is the man that is dangerous--not the weapon. This is implicit troughout the DVD.
The format of this production progressively leads the practitioner from simple yet profoundly life-saving evasive movements to more direct, and aggressive knife disarms.
Do not be fooled by the subtle aspects of the elusive body work, relaxed disarms, and soft, circular counter actions. Though the instructional and learning environment presented in this production appears "playful" and relaxed, which is essential for understanding and experiencing the crux of the Systema (being relaxed in the midst of chaos), the counter actions and disarms are designed to cause trauma to the adversary while removing the defending person from harm's way in smooth, immediate and spontaneous fashions while under duress of a life-threatening assault.
The movements taught on this DVD, when executed full-speed, full-force in a relaxed and centered manner against an adversary fully intent on engaging in lethal force force, will result in serious and permanent damage against such an assailant.
For a real understanding about how to work against a blade with the threat of lethal force imminent, the potential buyer will be hard-pressed to find anything superior to or even equal to the methods revealed on this DVD selection any where in the current martial arts arena.
This DVD is about surviving and prevailing against the blade, not just about disarms. Learn to fight the man--not the knife.
In the martial arts world, there has always been a fascination with the ancient weapons, and so I am sure there is going to be a lot of interest in Vladimir’s latest release – Russian Stick Combat.
by Aran Dharmeratnam, October 08, 2007
This film has much to offer. More to the point, it works on many different levels. For those seeking defence tactics, rest assured there is plenty of counter work, takedowns and disarming to be seen. Vladimir’s consistent fluidity and timely movement skills are conveyed once again. But what’s also good to see in this film, is that his students also get to demonstrate their Systema skills. This allows the viewer to see how people of different builds and different attributes apply the art’s principles in motion. The students reveal good off-balancing skills and fast paced footwork; as they demonstrate empty hand counters to various stick attacks. The attacks take place in various environments; both in and outside. This allows the viewer to see how the environment affects the confrontation.
Now the advantage in learning how to counter or survive stick attacks is that this type of training also helps to prepare people for dealing with a wide range of modern street weapons. Also, stick attacks are not as rare as some might think. After all, there are so many every day ‘stick like’ tools or objects that people can carry in their cars. These items could be some type of sports equipment, such as a hockey stick or base ball bat. Other mid range weapons that have similar applications are the crowbar and various farming implements. These street adapted weapons can be launched through the air at the similar angles to a stick attack.
In the film, Vladimir does address the ways different weapons can affect the psyche of the targeted person. Actually, listen to the subtle insights that he conveys throughout Russian Stick Combat - there are some training tips being shared to the vigilant. Many of Vladimir’s productions contain profound clues to progression and this one is no exception. But again, I should stress that there is more going on in this DVD – beyond the weapons defence tactics.
Have you noticed today how more and more martial art DVDs focus on the conditioning aspects of training? Well Russian Stick Combat is also a gateway into Russian conditioning drills. And this is going to make the DVD especially interesting to non Systema practitioners eager to add some diversity to their training. There are exercises in this film that can help to enhance floor based agility (a quality often needed in ground survival or grappling). There are exercises that show the practitioner how to overcome or work around their limitations in movement. On top of this are the drills which allow the practitioner to familiarize themselves with impact work and awkward blows ( blows that target the body from unusual angles).
The exercises on display also show how the stick can be used to discover tension in the body and subsequent restrictions of movement. In other words, the stick can be used to develop a better understanding of strengths and weaknesses.
Now it’s fair to say that in Russian Stick Combat, even the drills which relate to counter work offer some conditioning benefits. They also help people to understand the unusual yet very believable scenarios that could occur and have occurred. For example, one drill has practitioner working from the floor against a standing attacker who uses the stick to prod and jab at the defending practitioner. And in one of the demonstrations, a student has to defend against the stick attack, while recovering from another opponent’s rear push attack. This type of work is a good exercise in working under pressure. It is just one of the many ways that Systema helps people overcome street based mayhem.
These are just a few observation about Russian Stick Combat volume one. Now in Hollywood, a film trilogy will usually involve epic scenes, incredible special effects and a plenty of action. Vladimir’s informative film contains no effects and no sweeping landscapes but it does contain ingenious drills and many useful insights. And like all good starts to a trilogy, there is plenty of action to get things rolling. Oh and one more thing… rumour has it, volume 3 will contain tactics with a field shovel!
Long, long ago (1968-69) I was a very successful competitive wrestler in High School.
by Arthur Andersen, December 08, 2005
Wrestling (catch-as-catch-can) and Western Boxing have served me well over the years that followed through my military career, far more than my black belt in Aikijujutsu did. So I have a personal biased for anything "wrestling," as well as a very critical eye for wrestling functionality in real world events.
If one studies carefully all of the performances of Col. Ryabko in past productions, one sees a bottomline of proactiveness appear. He attacks the head immediately without hesitation as soon as it is within range. And from here he continues to attack the person's tension (wherever is exists), which is intensified from attacking the head (where the head goes the body follows.
This video is no different when The Colonel acts--or more accurately: proacts.
What is revealed in this DVD are excellent breathing practices when wrestling, and what I believe is the most important aspect of the DVD is the emphasis placed on slow, free movement work designed to assist one in his or her personal awareness and sensitivity for "discovering" how to alter positions of disadvantage into positions of advantage.
Slow down--is the theme in this video. We all want to go faster, but there is more to life than increasing its speed. If we slow down and seriously ponder what we are feeling and experiencing while we wrestle, EUREKA, we find where the tension is and how to relax and move out through the hole.
In competitive arenas and in real world violence, things occur so quickly and explosively there is no time to think--we can only feel. Being a wrestler sensitive to spatial relationships and changes in those relationships assists one in successful SERE actions. When these skills are repeated over and over and over again--practiced perfectly in simulations for the real world--one begins to learn of the benefits of nonstoppable movement under the duress of severe violence. But we must first learn correctly by going S-L-O-W!!!
This DVD offers a solid basis for developing the essential awareness and sensitivity for understanding spatial relationships and their immediate changes in a wrestling environment. It truly is the basis of the entire Systema methodology on one DVD--but you have to F-E-E-L it to understand it over and over and over again.
Since I found Systema on the web by accident I loved it.
by Andreas Weiss, January 02, 2006
Now that I've seen Vlad in my homeland I started to pick up training with some friends! It's great this DVD shows you all you need to know!! Principles and every exercise is explained that even a beginner in martialarts can understand it!
I have experience in Aikido and Karate and some other arts and never thaught it's possible to learn something from a tape or DVD! But Vlad made it possible! it's so easy to apply it was scarry for me in the beginning!
Thanks to Systema and it's trainers!
The organised format and structure that Vladimir is using makes the information clear and accessible - very professional.
by Aran Aran, January 20, 2006
With the escape from holds dvd it was good that Vladimir used both the formal instructional part and then the second part with Vladimir teaching in the class. This second part allows people to get a feel for the atmosphere at the school and the relaxed, friendly environment. At the same time, I think it is good in future dvds to include highlights footage
The wrestling dvd is very enjoyable.
by Aran Aran, January 20, 2006
The work on this film will be easy for all people to relate to. The wrestling dvd will appeal to the people who at first seem cynical about Systema. I suspect alot of mixed fighters, Ju Jitsu players and Graeco Roman atheletes will be inspired by this film.
The content covers vital aspects of the fighting art of Systema and is heavily focused on training methods suitable for elite military and police units.
by Michael DeMarco, January 25, 2006
This DVD is well organized and finely produced. The introduction gives a brief history of Systema, said to have originated in the 10th century among Russian warriors who blended aspects of combatives from neighboring states. It seems clear that, by modern times, an eclectic fighting art eventually bloomed into perhaps the most efficiently lethal fighting system known. It became the art utilized by the Elite Russian Special Forces.
Found on this DVD are chapters that deal with particular fighting principles based on natural body movement and flowing technique. Vasiliev presents the fundamental principles of unarmed hand-to-hand combat by illustrating drills that specifically train each concept.
You will find drills that work defenses against pushes, kicks, and strikes. In addition there are drills that focus on delivering strikes, evasive footwork, takedowns and even the ability to absorb strikes with proper breathing and body movement. However, Vasiliev stresses not to concentrate on teaching techniques on this DVD, but advises one to grasp the essential principles that allow physical and mental freedom to spontaneously manifest techniques.
The “wave principle” is on of the more important principles presented on the DVD. This involves an integrated movement of the whole body as guided by the physics of human kinetics. All the drills help train an individual to move naturally in a physically and mentally relaxed, responsive manner. This serves as an excellent introduction to Systema and its multifaceted potential as a fighting art.
The DVD includes a “bonus feature” of defense against a 40-inch chain.
I just received your DVD on personal protection and I must say it was fantastic!
by Ron, February 21, 2006
I was totally amazed on how the Bodyguards of Russia operate. I loved watching every minute of it. Especially now since I am planning to get into Executive Protection.
I live here in the Los Angeles area and there is a lot of work for bodyguards here, since this is the entertainment capital of the world.
Thanks very much for doing this tape, it opened my eyes on how the bodyguards in Russia operate. I will start to incorporate these techniques into my training.
by simon kirkman, March 20, 2006
This is an amazing peice of KIT...!
As per usual, very easy to watch and to understand, it covers all angles of defence and answers all your questions to "What If..?"
A must for anyone who works in the front office or in the public, dealing with cash or any possible threat...!!
by richard harvey, May 05, 2006
great fighting system,which works,excellent teacher rob poyton in cambridge uk,try it u will be hooked ,this is better than others i have studied thanks
I have watched many instructional wrestling videos and none can compare to WRESTLING: Systema Fundamentals.
by Thomas Doty, June 12, 2006
I would be very interested in any future wrestling videos, seminars or workshops.
"Fighting in Water" is a unique contribution to our understanding of Systema from an already prolific author and producer of self-defense DVDs.
by Paul McCaughey, June 26, 2006
The instruction was culled from the 2005 Summit of the Masters and features both Konstantin Komarov and Vladimir Vasiliev discussing and demonstrating the practice of aquatic-based Systema. Mr. Komarov introduces this piece of work by inviting us to consider the watery vista behind him, and what it means to us when we contemplate, contact and enter the water. If this DVD is your first exposure to Systema, you will be impressed with the way in which Mr. Komarov illustrates our capacity for physical self-awareness and control. "As soon as you splash water on your face, there is a physiological change. If you run into the water, this physical preparation of the body happens more quickly. If you even think about entering the water, your body starts to prepare. Begin by studying your reactions to water.” From this first discussion, the viewer may infer correctly that in the practice of Systema every change of mind and body is noted for its advantages and disadvantages. Mr. Komarov points out that water can be used to relax and restore the body and psyche. Water can also inhibit movement due to its density and resistance, as well as liberate movement due to buoyancy. One of the central features of training in the water is in its capacity to confront our threshold for physical threat. “Fighting in the Water” goes well beyond the standard Systema practices of giving and receiving strikes. Here, the students are challenged to control panic response at a much more primal level, as they are completely immersed in water under the duress of combat. To prepare for water practice, Mr. Vasiliev takes the students through basic drills of push-ups, sit-ups and squats, while holding the breath after exhalation. Each exercise builds from one up to seven repetitions, and then gradually back down to one. He explains that each of these basic exercises taxes all muscle groups and the lungs in a complete way, while working to increase the threshold of our physical and psychological limits. The absence of sudden or violent changes to the body and psyche allows for a holistic method of developing the stamina. These practices progress to rolling in the water with a partner. The breath is held on exhalation while the number of rolls progress to ten. Mr. Vasiliev says, "This is to show you how long you can be effective in a fight when your air supply is at a minimum." Mr. Komarov says, "You are limited by the belief that you need air, when in fact your body can go on for much longer than the time limit your own panic places on you". It is obvious how deeply attuned these Russian Masters are when they point out such things as the reflex need to raise the head above water when immersed to the neck, and how this creates tension and upper body density that allows for easy manipulation by an opponent. If all this instruction isn’t enough, there is still the pleasure of watching Mr. Komarov dance and clown his way down the dock then fall into the water and disappear without sound or trace for several minutes, only to reappear 50 to 60 yards off shore. As he emerges from the water, he explains how one can use everything about the water and its connection to the land (the dock, tree, rocks, etc.) as a cloak to hide and preserve ones self. He then lays face to the ground, and with a wave-like ripple slips from the rocky shore into the water. Allowing his body to unite with the movement of the water, slowly, soundlessly, and without any visual disturbance, he allows the waves to carry him away from and then back to shore. His movement is so in tune with the landscape, it is as if his body is a piece of driftwood moving gently along the shoreline. This sublime demonstration of skill brings new meaning to his instruction: "Study the water and come to understand it." For those of you who crave specific training from Fighting in the Water, Mr. Vasiliev shows us how to escape from holds in the water and how buoyancy facilitates the throw. He also shows strikes above and below the water line, how to get the head to drop for a watery take down, and how to achieve quick submission by opening the aggressor’s mouth as they submerge. Mr. Vasiliev also shows knife fighting, pressure point take downs and much more. Even if you only have rare opportunities to train in the water, you will want to see this DVD for the added dimension it reveals about Systema and its Master Teachers. In this DVD is the powerful message that we are capable of far more than we know and that fear and panic can be supplanted by relaxation, intrinsic physical stamina, and an intelligent use of inner and outer resources. Beyond the instructional content, two elements made a profound impression on me. The water itself, as a backdrop to the film, worked upon my psyche and constantly evoked my own experience of water as I watched the work unfold. Secondly, the consistent ripple of empathic laughter during demonstrations, as someone would be submerged and emerge like a drowned rat only to be submerged again, created an immediacy that left me feeling like I had shared in the event. This DVD is unique, action-packed and deeply evocative on many levels. Look forward to watching it for years to come.
"Systema Breathing" DVD is the companion to Mr.
by Paul McCaughey, June 26, 2006
Vasiliev's ground-breaking book "Let Every Breath", which for the first time outside of Russia, explains and illustrates the ancient art of Russian breathing exercises and health cultivation.
Mr. Vasiliev's DVD collection on Systema, The Russian Martial Art, has received critical acclaim for its contribution to the areas of self-defense and personal protection. In "Systema Breathing" he shows us how to defend ourselves against a very different enemy, the silent killers of stress, tension, pain and fatigue. For this reason alone, this DVD makes a significant contribution to the areas of exercise and wellness education.
Mr. Vasiliev begins with concepts and principles of correct breathing, by showing us how to breathe continuously in a tension-free manner. He shows us how often we stop breathing during normal daily activities because of anger, fear, concentration, money, deadlines, etc. and how this immediately creates larger and smaller tensions in the body. "When we stop breathing, the brain demands the body’s oxygen and the body is deprived and becomes tense, which stops circulation and leads to many health problems."
Mr. Vasiliev shows us how continuous breathing informs correct movement and naturally anticipates effort, which allows one to adapt to stress. As an ex-special forces operative and trainer in the elite special operations unit, Mr. Vasiliev has a deep understanding of stress and its effects on both psyche and body. He shows us how inhalation through the nose and exhalation through the mouth allows us to breathe with a maximum of efficiency and minimum of tension. He explains, "Your movement should stay inside the breath". This has two meanings: first that we should breathe sufficiently, not more or less in quantity than we need.
Mr. Vasiliev demonstrates that too much air intake creates tension in the upper chest, which then inhibits movement. Secondly, the breath should precede and complete each movement, with each cycle sufficient in quantity to the required activity. Another accessible technique involves exploring breath control in exercises involving tension versus relaxation.
Mr. Vasiliev instructs his student to inhale and increase tension throughout the body, then release tension during exhalation. Again the task is led and completed by the breathing. Then he instructs to inhale tension into isolated areas such as the arms, while keeping all other parts relaxed. Finally, on the inhalation the tension is generated in a wave from the feet up through the body into the hands, and then released while exhaling from hands through the body to the feet. As the viewer, you can try these as you are watching. Any initial tension that the body is carrying will be cleared out with the tension you create and release with the breath.
Another useful method is "audible" breathing, which simply means breathing so you can hear it. This is used to remind us to breathe during all activities, which will eliminate more and more of the silent stress associated with forgetful breathing. Mr. Vasiliev cites three levels to Russian breathing practice. The first level is breathing without movement, such as when lying, kneeling, sitting or standing.
The second is breathing in one position, but with movement cycles, and here he uses the common exercises of push-ups, sit-ups and squats. He explains these as 'breathing exercises', not kinetic or strengthening exercises, and that these well known movements work extremely well because they exercise all the muscle groups and tax the lungs in diverse ways.
The third level is to take breathing into motion, matching inhalation and exhalation to the natural rhythm of walking or running, increasing the length of the breath up to as much as ten steps and then back down to one. In each exercise, he carefully instructs how to keep the lungs open through proper body use, such as keeping the back straight, hips and shoulders properly aligned, so that the diaphragm is not compromised and the intercostal muscles fully advantaged.
It is a pleasure to watch Mr. Vasiliev. As he explains, demonstrates and leads his students through the exercises, his body communicates an ease and effortless capacity to perform any task, giving his teachings a solid feel. In class demonstrations, I am used to seeing him run circles around his attackers. In “Systema Breathing”, his stillness, relaxation, clarity and effortless movement showed me how that is possible. Mr. Vasiliev points out that our purpose is, "to replace the physical effort with the breath effort", so that eventually the muscles are no more tired at the end of the repetitions than at the beginning.
He shows how to use 'burst breathing" with short inhalations and exhalations to switch pain receptors off, and then longer, smoother breathing to clear out tension and pain. Where Mr. Vasiliev's book, "Let Every Breath" clearly explains and illustrates Russian breath and health cultivation, the DVD shows us how it is done. One is left with the impression that Mr. Vasiliev has only begun to teach about breathing, as hinted when says, "Most of us think that the breath stops only with the lungs, but it can penetrate to wherever you need it to go." I have been involved in Eastern breath practice and teaching for over 30 years now and I can tell you that “Systema Breathing” and its accompanying book, "Let Every Breath" are seminal works in our understanding of the breath and it’s potential to change our physical and psychological reality. Useful to all, Systema Breathing gives us the capacity to significantly change our quality of life as we go about our daily routines. Now that's worth our time, isn't it?
Between our ‘entrance’ inhale & ‘exit’ exhale we huff, puff, gasp, wheeze, pant & blow in more or less successful efforts to get a grip on physical, psychological & occasionally spiritual aspects of our existence.
by Sergey Makarenko, June 28, 2006
What often get disregarded is the connection between that huffing-puffing & our trinity.
First book-DVD diptych by Vladimir Vasiliev is dedicated to the cornerstone of the astonishing Systema’s efficiency – God given bridge between physical, psychological & spiritual segments of a human being – BREATH.
Readers-viewers are guided to acquisition of effective self-control skills applicable by any breathing individual who would like to retain that quality despite various life, sport & combat challenges. Situations where stress, load or fear generated tension reduce one’s ability to comprehend, to react & to respond efficiently happen with all of us & unfortunately we often suffer from inadequate self-control.
If you already know how to navigate through a panic shock, exhaustion, injury pain, fear of failure/height/depth/width, instant or accumulated tension – you already have useful survival skills & may not need new Vladimir’s breathing set. Otherwise – get one!
Incredible content & effectiveness!
by Thong Thong, July 09, 2006
Having been a professional cyclist for 12 years, I decided to test some of Vlad's drills on the bike. I used pedal revolutions to measure the effectiveness of various exercises. The results were simply astounding! I crested my usual mountain top in 1/3 of the time w/out any lactic acid build up in the legs while pedaling a 53X18 gear. It's as if I had doubled my lung capacity instantly and the recovery period was equally astounding. Highly recommend this DVD for all & especially athletes.
This video is footage from a summer camp, set by a lake.
by John Elliott, July 12, 2006
The lake is pristine and beautiful, and by the end of the video it seems a bit more menacing. Not that the video itself is all gloom and doom, in fact it is quite spritely and lighthearted in tone, you can see everyone is having a lot of fun, but at the same time you see how even a foot of water can be a powerful ally to one who can use it. Of course the principles of systema apply as ever, perhaps more so as breathing must be optimized, and trying to move in sudden jerks will slow you down rather than buy you time. Water also changes the 'rules' of fighting in terms of what you want to do, where you want to be, it affects how you can actually move effectively. These kinds of insights and a lot more to be found in this vid.
Some feats amaze, but the explanations are down to earth and forthcoming.
When I first ordered Fighting In The Water, I thought it would be exclusively for those involved in military work.
by John Saylor, July 21, 2006
Although it is definitely presented with those applications in mind, it also applies to anyone who wants to further improve their mastery of breath and avoid the panic reaction of having their oxygen flow temporarily disrupted. Konstantin Komarov and Vladimir have done an outstanding job on this entertaining and informative DVD.
I'd like to mention how much I enjoyed Mikhail Ryabko's DVD, Wrestling.
by John Saylor, July 21, 2006
Several things stood out. First, Mikhail starts by giving the viewer exercises to strengthen the muscles around the two most common injury sites in grappling sports: the knees and shoulders. Unfortunately this approach is still pretty uncommon in the United States where most athletes just try to play the sport to get into shape.
Secondly, the idea of wrestling at a more relaxed pace while always controling the breath, is a great way to build a physical and technical base upon which to build up to more intense efforts later on. This reminds me of runners who do LSD (not the drug, but Long Slow Distance) in the off season to prepare for the more intense work leading up to competition. As always in Systema, the emphasis is on training which builds up, rather than destroys, health. That being said, it's always fun to watch Mikhail add disabling strikes, neck cranks, and the like to the equation.
by Ed Fuller, October 06, 2006
!! I purchased and viewed "Systema Hand to Hand" and was so impressed. Definitely the most useful video training I've ever been exposed to.
This training DVD is the best I've seen yet!
by Daniel Briske, October 23, 2006
, it goes through excellent training drills and explains lots of information about Systema and how to defend yourself thoroughly using this excellent system, I now study Systema and train with partners. I recommend this DVD to everyone interested in getting excellent material.
Summit of Masters covers every aspect of combat, strikes, grappling, weapons.
by Yuri Halev, November 02, 2006
..and most important, the psychology of combat and survival under all circumstances. The masters are real life professionals who show us what works in real life. The work is simple, effective and direct. The knowledge is power, and the extraordinary amount of information presented is priceless! Mr. Ryabko, Mr. Vasiliev and Mr. Komarov are the elite, they are the absolute best at what they do...yet they share their awesome skills, abilities and knowledge with all of us. It is truly great stuff!. I would like to thank Mikhail, Vladimir and Konstantin for sharing this incredible gift with the world. Spasibo (Thank You)!
Gunpoint Supremacy is the most professional DVD on the market today.
by Yuri Halev, November 03, 2006
This DVD is of tremendous value for beginners and seasoned professionals alike. I would like to thank Konstantin for sharing this incredible skill with the world. Spasibo (Thank You)!
Thank you for a great DVD.
by George Brady, November 03, 2006
This product shows real class and incredible skill. I am glad I had the opportunity to participate in this event that I can now cherish on DVD.
A brilliant DVD.
by Martin Wheeler, November 09, 2006
The most natural and efficient way to work with a pistol I have seen. The training methods and psychological approach are top notch and come from years of real-world experience and experimentation, it is some times hard to believe this information is available on DVD.
Gunpoint Supremacy is a professional production that holds many insights into the world of professional work and also contains many ideas and principles, that people not on the wall can use to better their everyday lives and survival if need be.
by Sharon Friedman, November 23, 2006
As a soldier in the IDF for 12 years now I have learned many lessons from good teachers and from experience. It is easy to spot what will work and what is a show and this product will work for you.
The beginning is an explanation of the beneficial states of mind which produce results and keep you alive. All parts of the person have to be aligned as Mikhails states and Konstantin takes care of this aspect of the work with clear and precise drills and explanations which are easy to understand and implement. This goes far beyond doing the drills as performed on the DVD. The right state of mind combined with learning by doing what works and having feedback on what you do as Konstantin displays in solo and partner drills is the way to freedom and survival in the battle fields of Asia, Europe and most importantly it keeps you free from delusions and humble of your abilities.
The principles of work allow you to construct training suitable for your line of work or special needs. As before the principle of movement and stability found within movement is superbly displayed and just as we fire between breaths, we fire between steps while on the move. This of course is just one of many insights that can do a world of good for you in grasping and implementing systema into your life. Another principle which is emphasized here is to always keep looking for the next target which keeps you free in your mind and movement alike.
My review comes from my experience in the IDF working mainly with a the M-16 family and sniper systems as the M-40. Even though the work in this DVD is with a pistol the principles stay the same and I can state that from my experience they work in real life.
It will be very helpful and beneficial for whoever gets this DVD to get Personal Protection by Konstantin and Vladimir as well.
Ever wondered about the difficult task of protecting someone else with martial arts skill as well as about a worthy goal for all this training (if you're not a pro)?
by Matt Cn, November 25, 2006
This tape has the answers. It details the full force spectrum from blocking and distraction to the use of lethal force Outstanding and eye-opening.
Gunpoint Supremacy is great.
by alan walker, November 26, 2006
as a Police Officer and Swat operator, I found his instruction very helpful. I've even incorperated some of the principles in my range practice( although some of it is best done with a inert weapon) great addition to my collection, and I will watch them again and again
This is more than a highlight reel of the summit.
by alan walker, November 26, 2006
it is practical and useful whether or not you were in attendance.
In this DVD you will get to see and hear how to use such mundane objects as keys, a baseball cap, a belt, a jacket, an umbrella, a pen, or a book, as improvised weapons of self-defense that can give you an unexpected advantage over any attacker.
by Paul McCaughey, March 27, 2007
This DVD is tightly shot at Mr. Vasiliev’s School. The action is intimate, if we were there with him, as his attacker falls again and again, in undoubted pain. Each weapon's use is shot from multiple angles, at full speed and in slow motion, along with clear instruction, so as to leave no doubt in your mind as to both their effectiveness, as well as how to reproduce these effects in your own training.
Mr. Vasiliev warns us at the start that there is a disadvantage to taking a weapons in your hand, however improvised it might be. He declares that the use of a weapon usually demonstrates psychological weakness rather than strength, usually a kind of non-confidence in one's empty handed skills, a desperate move if you will. This can also accomplish the over-excitement of the attacker, there-by making them more prepared and which takes away from your own effectiveness. He points out that we can never truly know the extent to which the opponent intends to go, so why should we fuel their fire. He shows how to practice and gain experience, without it use of a weapon can be counter-productive. Therefore Mr. Vasiliev presents one of the key concepts of Systema, that is staying very calm and seeking to control the attacker rather than damage him.
The use of improvised weapons is a delight to watch and it begins with something as common as car keys. The advantage of keys is in their concealment as they are easily palmed. A key protruding through the fingers can rake the gripping fingers of an opponent or be used to create acute pain to vulnerable areas even through clothing. In a knife attack, keys are used to distract with a quick release from an underhand throw to the face, which reflexively releases the knife. Mr. Vasiliev’s demonstration of the key release from his open palm is a thing of beauty. The force of the release comes from the opposite hand striking the releasing arm back to release the keys forward. The releasing hand here only directs the keys to the face and reads as empty and accepting open hand, rather than a hand which says, “I’m ready to toss my keys in your face…”
Later Mr. Vasiliev explains how non-damaging pain is used not to excite the defenses of the opponent, but to “make them feel such pain they can only think about themselves, not about you!”. You can see this effect quite clearly as a result of all of the improvised weapons he uses. Finally, the opponent always seeks relief from pain through complete relaxation within themselves, which ultimately diffuses their aggression towards you. Keys are especially useful because they are hard to see, they naturally magnify pain and are effective even through clothing.
The next weapon is the ball cap, which as a soft peaceful looking object is inherently an unexpected weapon... Mr. Vasiliev carefully shows the parts of the cap, hard, soft, where the handles for the cap are and the ideas for the use of each part. To see the way in which he uses the cap as a projectile, a striking weapon, a protective surface against a knife, a hook against a gun, and for concealment of intention, is a thing to marvel at. You also see that something as hard as keys or as soft as the cap, can be used in very similar ways to accomplish the same disarming results.
Now the belt is shown to be one of the most versatile weapons commonly at hand, even when still wearing it! Mr. Vasiliev shows us how the inherent softness of the belt, say in comparison to a stick, enables many short or longer range circular and figure eight movements creating evasion and multiple striking opportunities in one smooth flow. There is one very cool manipulation of the belt that creates a double looped restraint which when pulled ties the opponent's hands together in a tight noose, which gets more uncomfortable as it tightens itself on the wrists when he tried to get out.
Then there is “Russian Street Fight Grip”, which is worth the price of the DVD by itself. Mr. Vasiliev with a quick snap of the soft end of the belt, which whips around his wrist and thumb in a lightening smooth motion, creates a grip solid enough that the belt might as well be part of the arm. Then he shows, should the belt become caught in someone’s clothing, how to release with a simple opening rotation of the hand. There are moments when you see the consummate professional in the details. The ease with which Mr. Vasiliev takes this grip in one flowing motion is just one. He does this with no more concentration than tying a shoe lace. His simple ease belies a depth of training which defines the difference between a professional and a civilian. His movements are not martial artistry, they are what minimally needs to be done and he does them with no more apparent intention than breathing in or breathing out. It is here where you see his vision of Systema in action. You’re not supposed to get excited. You’re not even supposed to see him do it. It is as if it were always there part of his hand. It makes you want to go out and buy a belt just like his in the hope that it might give you just a bit of an edge when it comes to such mastery of this improvised weapon.
Next is the jacket, which can act as camouflage, protection, restraint, projectile, and a whip. If they are wearing a jacket, you can use it against them like a fifth appendage, to pull them off balance when they least expect it. The softness of the jacket and its contours can be used to obscure your motions, while you entrap a knife, fist or extended hand. With each new weapon Mr. Vasiliev reminds that as with all Systema practices you are supposed to remain peaceful. If you tense up, the person in front of you will see the jacket as a weapon and start to work harder against you. Hence, the very first skill using the jacket is in the ability to take it off normally and with ease.
After the jacket, comes the usefulness of the umbrella, both compact and long versions. The advantage of the umbrella is that it seems so innocent and not the weapon of a tough guy, and even less so that of someone with self defense skills. Especially without the cover on, with soft material hanging, as if hastily compacted and clasped together after the last downpour. This is the way most guys pack up an umbrella, when they don’t want to carry one in the first place, but have to because you can’t show up to work wet. Looking kind of sloppy like this, the umbrella certainly doesn’t read as a weapon. There were two things I liked about this part. The first was the talk Mr. Vasiliev gives on the usefulness of unexpected pain and how to create it. You’ll have to buy the DVD to get to hear and see that set of instructions. Then there was the part that left me falling on the floor laughing replay after replay, as Mr. Vasiliev drop- kicks the umbrella into Nick's face, during a knife attack. For one thing, it’s like he drop-kicks his umbrella all the time, as it flies so precisely to the target. Secondly, you’ll get to see how effective a true surprise really is. It’s what I love about Systema. It never fails to make me see another way to do things.
For those scholars out there, the next two improvised weapons are for you. First there is the pen (or the pencil, for those with commitment issues) as well as the book. So there is something for everyone in this DVD! Now I think that there is a hidden gem in the midst of all the action and that is Mr. Vasiliev’s ease and economy of effort at all times. His manner does not change from one demonstration to the next. This is not because these demonstrations are staged. I can tell you from spending extensive time with him, he is really like this pretty much all of the time, whether in combat or conversation. He often can do both at the same time!
At the end of the DVD, he finishes as he began. He wants us to know that a weapon is used to create the least damage possible; to control another’s movement and that this is not a simple accomplishment, as the object reflexively shapes our intention and thereby displaces our calm and otherwise relaxed state. If you watch for it, you will see that in the midst of demonstrating so variations of use, from these common objects as improvised weapons, the one constant is Mr. Vasiliev’s calm. It is clear that staying calm is a central message underpinning all the great action packed applications of these improvised weapons. This makes this DVD as evocative to our psyche, as it is inspiring to our desire to develop more versatile defensive skills. I think you will find this one of the best DVD releases yet by Vladimir Vasiliev.
I have viewed the Summit about ten times, most recently this morning, and I have to say it is a great purchase.
by matt hubinger, December 02, 2006
While it is not as systematic in its organization as most of the other DVDs are, which is understandable given the nature of a 2 DVD synopsis of a week event, it is still packed full of great lessons, exercises and kind beatings, leaving me very jealous of the participants who were under the instruction of three phenomenal martial masters, not to mention all the other Systema DVD regulars who are highly skilled. Action packed, it definitely haves me wanting more.
Knives, sticks, throws, flow drills, chains, laughs, punches, rolls, wrestling and kicks all make an appearance! If I were just getting into Systema, I can’t say that I would start with this DVD, since it is more of an overview and less pedagogically systematized. (I would suggest “Hand to Hand” for that.) But if you want to be reminded of key principles, see some skilled applications and feel the genuine warmth of the Systema organization, this DVD will not disappoint you. Enjoy!
The DVD is brilliant in its simplicity and fundamental educational value.
by Demetry Furman, December 06, 2006
If you never had any training with firearms, and specifically hand guns, this DVD will teach you how to shoot effectively in dynamic/combat situations. As well if you know how to handle a gun this DVD has material that will refine your skill and take it to the next level. As all Systema is not a sport, neither is the Systema approach to shooting. This DVD will not teach you how to properly align your sites and how to squeeze the trigger to hit a ‘bull’s eye’. This DVD will teach you how to maximize the effectiveness of your weapon in any situation. Combine this DVD with Constantine’s Personal Protection DVD and you have all that is necessary to learn how to use your weapon for self-defence.
The Summit of Masters is an outstanding set of instruction and inspiration in the principle and skills of Systema.
by Ernest R. Emerson, December 08, 2006
I hope that someday I will have the chance for you to work your “magic” with me as a student. Thank you again for the DVD. I have viewed it several times as it contains so much information.
I would like to thank you very much for this DVD.
by Ernest R. Emerson, December 08, 2006
I am very intrigued by the gun fighting skills of Mr. Komarov (Gunpoint Supremacy) and I am integrating a lot of his principles into my personal training and teaching methodology.
You need to be open minded to appreciate what is contained in this dvd.
by Steven Julius, December 11, 2006
So much of what we in the west are taught about how to use a pistol is based on Gunsite/IPSC/IDPA doctrine with no critical self-evaluation of the shortcomings of such styles. Movement is only done to get from one "hose down an array of targets" position to another, if at all. Major Komarov shows us some skills that truly are meant to save your butt in an extreme situation, and some subtle skills that are more effective than first meets the eye.
I thought of writing to you about a freak incident which took place day before yesterday in my dental clinic.
by Dr. Prashant Nair, January 02, 2007
won’t believe it when I tell you that sometimes Violence can take place in places where you least expect it…
There was this huge well built guy who came to get his teeth cleaned, and in between the procedure he went into syncope (loss of consciousness) probably due to the extreme heat in Dubai, as its summer or maybe he was scared. I acted fast I adjusted the chair, put his head at lower position, slapped him lightly on the face, removed the suction tube from the mouth, shook him, and he was ok. He suddenly starts shouting, jumps, and attacks me. He punched towards my face which I blocked then he kicked me twice and I blocked that too and when he attempted to punch me in the ribs I turned my body and locked his arm under my arm, my clinic assistant ran to get the cops. When the cops came and stopped him, I explained the whole. The patient thought that I was going to throw him out when I tilted the chair and shook him etc… It was a very embarrassing situation which was uncalled for. the cops had a good laugh and they asked me to forgive the patient for his ignorance. I could never imagine that Systema knowledge would have come in use in such a situation as usually fights take place in bars and on roads. I was happy that I could manage the situation without panicking.
ps- A few self defense classes can pay off in the long run, the strategy of turning the waist to on an oncoming punch to nullify the force was learnt from your video. everything happened so fast. Thank you once again. I owe it to you.
My name is Maxime and I am a 17 year old student, I'v been watching and lurning Systema for about one year.
by Maxime ..., January 24, 2007
Last night I was attacked by 2 individuals and one of them was armed with a knife, it was the first time using the Russian Martial Art skills that I studied in Fundamentals of Knife Disarming. My movement was more like a reflex then thinking what to do, I just wanted to thank you for what you for this video cause without it, who knows what would have happened.
I am 83 years old and my friend is 75.
by Cyril Abbott, February 09, 2007
We watch Mr. Vasiliev’s DVDs and just love to see him move! I have never seen anything like it in my life. He is fantastic! It seems that he has no bones in his body, he is so smooth. We really look forward to new productions.
I was totally pleased with Gunpoint Supremacy.
by Gregg Styles, February 12, 2007
After watching the DVD a number of times and practicing the simple techniques, I was amazed at how easy it is to shoot on the move. I was a stationary two handed pistol shooter. This presentation really opened my eyes to what can be done with a handgun. I now feel much more confident with my abilities and feel this information provides an advantage in any armed confrontation.
I learn Taekwon-Do.
by Yeoh Wui Liang, February 26, 2007
During 8 years of training in Taekwon-Do, I didn't learn more than 10 ways how to escapes from holds and locks. Most of the method that I learnt are not even practical. After watching Escape from Holds, there are many good, practical and effective way to escape from holds and locks.
All the methods that are taught in this dvd are easy and are suitable for anybody who doesn't have any martial art background.
When I first got the pakage, the first dvd that i popped into my dvd player was Systema Hand to Hand.
by Yeoh Wui Liang, February 26, 2007
I like martial arts very much. I learn Taekwon- Do but i like to study different kind of martial arts. I believe that every individual is fit into a particular martial art because each of us has different physical condition.
Before I got the dvd, I was still searching for martial arts that fit me. I found it, Systema is the one. I also think that Systema is the kind of martial art that fits for anyone.
Even the most accomplished martial artist may find themselves in a situation where they might need a little help.
by Terry Cruickshank, April 09, 2007
This DVD is an incredible example of how Vladimir takes everyday objects that surround us, and with some awareness and creativity, turn them into improvised weapons. Vladimir shows how to take these objects and make it an integral part and an extension of your body. After watching this DVD, common objects such as a belt, hat, keys all become "legendary weapons" that will be just as lethal as traditional weapons. The value of this training can be extended to those without any martial arts background, simple objects your wife, kids, etc, can use to protect themselves should a situation arise when they are alone. Really easy and straight forward explanations of how to use and become proficient with these benign, everyday objects.
What is so inspiring about this DVD is NOT an unbelievable efficiency & breathtaking simplicity of the demonstrated self defense mechanisms but the message so casually communicated to the viewers along with excellent instructions & brilliant demonstrations:
WEAK SPIRITED LOOKS FOR WEAPON REINFORCEMENT WHILE A STRONG ONE ENABLES HIMSELF TO SUCEED WITH ANY ACCESSIBLE MEANS.
by Sergey Makarenko, April 10, 2007
The new film illustrates how casually attacker can be forced to ‘reconsider’ his life priorities if ‘victim-to-be’ is calm, confident & prepared to confront the menace.
Car keys, ball cap, waist belt, umbrella, jacket, pencil – tools of comfort & convenience transparent to any security check convertible into a weapon when the situation calls & mind is prepared.
Exceptional & truly instructional film for any audience.
IMPROVISED WEAPONS- only soldiers,police officers and criminals walk around armed.
by yuri halev, April 24, 2007
A vast majority of normal people do not carry weapons everywhere they go(this is why they are normal).Mr.Vasiliev shows all of us that any object-keys,belt,cap,book,pen etc. may become a "weapon of mass destruction".The moves are simple and leathal.If a student of the system or a person who is not a martial artist views this DVD -they will never be UNarmed,no matter where they are.Any object may become an instant self defense tool.Mr.Vasiliev shows us the underlying principal of the correct and relaxed movement pattern(the object becomes an extension of your body,you are limited only by your imagination)and this will allow a person to survive a violent confrontation.There are no gold medals for the first place victory on a street or in a war.The action is fast,quick and furious...this DVD is a must for any person who understands that at the end of the day, we are all responsible for our own safety and those that we love-our wives,children,family .Make this DVD a part of your library!5out of 5.Great staff,easy to learn and to apply!
The new Improvised Weapons from Vladimir Vasiliev is an excellent video to add to every martial artists DVD collection.
by Brian Hammond, April 25, 2007
The video gives an in-depth look at how to turn a simple object into a weapon and gives great demonstrations to prove it! The DVD demonstrates the psychology of using improvised weapons and the subtleties of precision of movement.
I have been around many different martial artists in my career and Vladimir Vasiliev is definitely the best! Vladimir Vasiliev can teach people from all walks of life.
Buffalo Russian Martial Arts
This is a fascinating DVD that shows once again how Systema takes on all of the most difficult problems in martial arts--multiple attackers, defending low kicks, anti-grappling, disarming weapons and (in this case) improvised weapons--and provides amazingly simple and effective solutions.
by Matt Conner, May 15, 2007
Vladimir is a physical genius.
I would encourage anyone watching the videos/DVDs to make the trip up to the headquarters school in Toronto. It's a lot of fun to see the school in person after watching the DVDs; the students are very friendly and hospitable; and meeting Vladimir in person is awesome. You'll come away with a new understanding that will add a lot of value to the DVDs.
Vladimir is brilliant, humble and inspirational -- keep up the great work.
by Antonio Terranova, May 15, 2007
Many who attended Vladimir’s Colorado seminar this year reported it was outstanding and covered much new material they had never seen.
by Kritis Dasgupta, May 16, 2007
Luckily for myself and others who were not able to attend, this DVD covers many important concepts and drills from the Colorado seminar.
The DVD starts with warmup exercises to control tension in the body, combined with systema breathing. Next Vladimir shows drills that prepare the body and face for contact. Step-by-step Vladimir then covers the mechanics of striking with movement, progressing to free-form striking at faster speeds.
Overall, a terrific and much-needed DVD which bridges the gap from static striking drills to sparring.
The video is seminar footage, but well produced.
by John Elliott, May 16, 2007
The video starts off with breathing and control of tension/relaxation throughout the body. Included are some new aspects of breathing exercises, opening up a lot of new territory in that area, such as relaxation/tension waves originating from more than one point at the same time. Also included are drills involving moving through tension and interacting with tension (yours and others).
Also served up are some insights into tactical striking, going beyond attributes-driven striking (best athlete wins) and exploring what one might call less visible or less telegraphed strikes, baiting, feeling openings, angles of delivery, attacks hidden in defense, transmitting strikes back at someone and more. As per usual with Vladimir, these discussions are also reinforced with concurrent demonstrations (in a spontaneous, lively manner) and supporting drills.
Blow absorption (methods and emotional aspects) and avoidance are also discussed, including to the head, and as well multiple opponents and knife defense are also covered.
One can see how this is all related. You can see Vlad using the things he talks about in one part of the video in other contexts, so it is apparent to me that what is being given here is how he ‘does it’. If you want to understand how Vlad moves, this information and these drills will offer significant help.
Also noteworthy are the production values, very good, especially for seminar footage. The camera work is professional and the slow motion replays are unobtrusive and instructive, some with Easter eggs (for me anyway).
The demonstration partners gave an honest effort, and were certainly encouraged to. Throughout was Vasiliev’s humor, literally a laugh a minute. He used his jokes almost as punctuation.
“It is good of course if you have spirit, but no arms and legs… who cares about your spirit?”
I now prepare to try this out with my training group…
Though I attended this seminar which many affectionately call Vladimir's most brutal seminar, I'm grateful it's released on DVD.
by Thong Nguyen, May 17, 2007
This DVD serves as an essential reference demonstrating ingenious drills and mind & body preparation to commence "brutal" work. The unique sparring drills and new breath work alone are worth the price of admission. Sprinkle in how to punch and evade from every conceivable position, rapid tension destruction punches, knife and multiple attacker work and this is a must have for any Systema library.
This will become a classic along with the Let Every Breath and Systema H2H DVDs.
Thank you Vladimir!
This is one of the most enjoyable and instructional DVD in my collection (I have all of them).
by Thong Nguyen, May 17, 2007
I've watched this with 2 different groups of senior level Systema instructors. Each time it evoked the same reactions; head shaking, jaw dropping, eye-numbing disbelief.
The ingenuity, expertise and breadth of Vladimir's knowledge is not only fascinating but disconcertingly logical. In his usual nonchalance, Vladimir addresses every conceivable angles of attack with ordinary household items. He opens our eyes to fresh ways of looking at familiar things.
Highly recommended for all martial artists regardless of styles or expertise. It makes a perfect gift for loved ones and those who don't wish to feel helpless.
One of my all time favorite DVD's--an instant classic.
by Kevin Secours, May 22, 2007
I love to watch seminar footage of Vladimir, because his warmth, charm and humor really come through far more fully and through that, his interpersonal work really shows the family spirit and unity that Systema builds among its practitioners. I've already watched this a number of times with students and non-martial artists alike and everyone is impressed for a dozen different reasons.
This is absolutely a natural sequel to Vladimir's Hand-to-Hand DVD but much more profound. The beginning warm-up alone is enough to keep practitioners busy for months even without a formal school in their area. The strike work is completely de-mystified and taught in such a clear and logical format that I think this will really reveal an entirely new level of work to newer students and as for the more experienced--well, let's just say the ease with which Vladimir does everything is awe-inspiring and humbling.
A really essential DVD. A must have. I look forward to seeing the growth and understanding that this DVD alone will spread throughout the Systema community.
This DVD is without a doubt one of the coolest martial arts DVD's I own.
by Doug Grier, June 03, 2007
And I own over fifty ranging from Kung Fu to Jiujutsu to Shorin Ryu Karate and several on weapons.
Vladimir is not only a martial arts genius, he had soft spoken, easy going style that shows you don't have to have multiple black belts or be able to break bricks with your pinky finger to have a sound self defense system.
Some of the other DVD's I have on improvised weapons take basic Asian MA weapons techniques and turn them on everyday objects. IE Broom=Bo staff,
Small flashlight=kubotan, pipe/ong wrench=escrima etc. Vladimir shows you how to defend your self in many situations with things you might actually have on your person at any given time. You don't need to worry if you haven't your flashlight, Bo staff, or escrima stick with you. With this DVD you can learn to use car keys, a baseball cap (an amazing section I watch again and again), pen, belt and even a book (the most innocuous weapon I have ever seen, beware the man who walks softly and carries hardback book). Vladimir shows you how to use your jacket as weapon and then use an attacker's own jacket agains him! And all this is easy to under stand and put to almost immediate use. His brief showing of potential pressure points taught me more that three books and a DVD on Asian pressure point/dim mak/kyusho has.
Amazing stuff. Get this DVD you wont be sorry and in today's world of heightened security measures at airports, businesses and even malls, never feel unarmed again!
As a Filipino martial artist for the past 25 years, I get puzzled how Vladimir easily and flawlessly gets out of a tight situation.
by Michael Streegan, August 04, 2007
Everything flows smooth and controlled before the enemy lays down his weapons on you!
Lakan Una, Modern Arnis
I purchased Systema Hand To Hand was blown away!
by Dean Allen, August 07, 2007
Systema revolutionized the way I thought about unarmed combat. Being an ex- soldier I was pleased to see people that have applied it in the real world, teaching it. I have studied Krav Maga and Brazilian Jui Jitsu, but nothing compares to Systema in terms of real world application if you are in danger. I love this real world martial art Russia has created. Combat is a free flowing ever changing thing it shouldn't be bogged down by rules or guidelines. Great job!
This is one of a kind item – complete & nearly unedited footage of the Vladimir’s seminar.
by Sergey Makarenko, August 27, 2007
Majority of participants were experienced practitioners & did not require entertaining demonstration but benefited from experiencing applicability of the core principles.
Absolutely flawless logical flow of presented material, seamless connection of basic concepts with crushing efficiency, enormous volume of easily digestible information, stunning mix of humorous atmosphere & large doses of rejuvenating pain.
Those who need a serious look into Systema’s training methods, core principles & brutal applicability will appreciate this film greatly.
Just wanted to add that I recently got back from taking the family on vacation to Florida, and instead of driving we flew this time.
by Doug Grier, September 02, 2007
I had my baseball cap, a solid pen, my belt and long paracord lanyard on my keys. These did not so much as raise a TSA agents eyebrow and I felt far from unarmed thanks to what I learned on this DVD. Gratefully nothing occured out of the ordinary on vacation but I was prepared. Thanks Vasiliev!
This DVD has the goods.
by Doug Grier, October 07, 2007
If you've ever taken any kind of combatives training you know about the color code conditions.
Condition White: You're going along minding your own business, not tactically aware of your surroundings. You're shopping, talking to your boss on your cell, etc.
Condition Yellow: You notice things around you. Your antenna is up. Tactical awareness is active.
Condition Red: Ready to fight, actively looking for potential threats.
This is all well and good but most of us, even those trained in martial arts and street smart combatives don't walk around in Condition Yellow. Life intrudes, things happen, there are situations to mitigate. Many times we're in Condition White. That's when an attacker will take adavantage. While many other fighting systems and DVD's show you how to react from Condition Red," Escape From Holds" gives you the secrets on how to react to a critical situation from Condition White. Your enemy has surprised you, grabbed you in a headlock, an arm hold, neck lock. Vladimir demonstrates how easy you can get out. Simple unbalancing maneuvers to make your opponent release you, or you can slip out of his hold. Almost effortlessly Vlad redirects his attackers. It's kinda Russian Akido, without the years of practice and mediatation. Vlad shows you where to push, pull, or slap your way to freedom and then follow up.
After watching this video and practicing the lessons therein, I no longer fear walking around in Condition White.
Russian Stick Combat Vol.
by Demetry Furman, October 17, 2007
Brilliant!!! That is the first thing that came to my mind as I was watching this DVD.
The progression and demonstrations along with perfect explanations are amazing! I have never seen anything so exceptional from any other martial art on the subject of stick fighting, and I've seen them all, from Irish to Burmese stick fighting with everything in between. Nor have I ever seen a DVD by Vladimir of this caliber. He demonstrates his true genius in this master piece.
On a side note, watching Vladimir’s favorite stick being broken on Brandon’s hip, that's right his hip not the wall, made me laugh out loud! Way to go guys!
Vladimir displays the flexibility and variety of defensive and offensive combat fighting techniques that a stick can offer.
by Sergei Ma, October 19, 2007
This DVD offers a thorough review of the basic principles of stick fighting and then progresses into more advanced techniques, which can easily be transferred to other potential unique weapons, such as a walking cane, baseball bat, etc. A simple stick in the hands of Vladimir easily becomes a terrifying and effective defensive and offensive weapon. After this DVD I look at the stick with different eyes!
Vladimir's new Car Fight DVD is useful for the everyday driver, professional driver and professional bodyguard.
by Sergei Maslikhov, October 19, 2007
The techniques displayed are extremely efficient and relevant for a small confined space where you are limited of movement and time. The efficiency of these techniques are extremely important in the real world, life and death situations depicted in the DVD!
A true testament to Vladimir and Konstantin\'s experience and knowledge showcased in this DVD and others, is that you don't have to be an expert in any field of training in order to be able to comprehend and utilize their techniques. The instruction is clear and concise and the footage displays every detail of the movement in each demonstration.
Vladimir's Systema Classic Series: Exercises offers an amazing array of exercises that are useful for a myriad of purposes, not only for combat training but for any sports activity and rehabilitation purposes.
by Sergei Maslikhov, October 19, 2007
In my 20 years of experience with martial arts and sports, I have never experienced the diversity that these exercises offer.
This DVD is a distillation of all the stick exercises Vlad has taught us through several years of training.
by Jim Rigopoulos, October 21, 2007
Of particular interest to me was the concept of the "full body" in different positions, the concept of minimal movement when being touched by the stick, and the concept of controlling your partner's speed through your own movements. Each exercise Vlad shows is a function within a larger equation. The sum of the parts allows the practitioner to to move versus, avoid, and eventually disarm the stick with relative ease. The 2 step and 3 step sequence at the end of the DVD is a great way for instructors to get students to start putting all these concepts together. I rate this DVD high on my list of must-have DVD's simply because the stick is a very common weapon (probably the oldest weapon known to humanity) and nobody puts together defense against the stick as well as Vlad does!
Jim Rigopoulos :)
One word that is entirely over-used in marketing today is unique--particularly when describing martial arts DVD's.
by Kevin Secours, October 22, 2007
To paraphrase Bruce Lee, how unique can one art truly be over another when we ultimately have 2 arms, 2 legs and only so many ways to use them? Well, that type of logic normally operates as a running referential for me until I see a DVD like this one. Non-practitioners often say that our art looks a bit like Jujitsu, a bit like Aikido, a bit like Tai Chi and so on. Naturally, all body movement will resemble one another. What I try to convey that's it's not so much our principles or techniques but rather our way of training that defines our distinction. This concept has never been more fully and beautifully illustrated than it is in the newest Stick Defense DVD.
Vladimir's work is incredible as always--beyond words. Added to this, the DVD contains a healthy assortment of student work, displaying different interpretations of the same core concepts which as a teacher, I massively appreciate. These components alone would make the DVD a huge value to any library but what really sets this production apart is the sequence of drills and exercises to help build an individual's skills. These concepts and exercises are so uniquely "systemic" and yet so efficient and so obvious that I wonder how in 25 years of martial study, I never encountered anything like this.
Stick has always remained a large component of my training simply because it offers a hyper-accelerated learning curve. Once you can deal with the greater length and speed of a stick, the same mechanics and clarity overflow with relevance into your empty-handed work and all other aspects of your training. I could not give this DVD a higher recommendation. Beautiful work Vladimir and crew. Thank you for making this knowledge so generously available.
The first thing that comes to mind when watching this essentially informative DVD is how do they know all of this?
by Thong Nguyen, October 22, 2007
When Major Konstantin Komarov speaks of exiting a car underwater and saving your child, he does not come off as theorizing about it. It's clear that he's been there and done that.. often! Vladimir's demonstration in civilian surroundings is priceless. The ease and fashion in which he moves in the real world is indistinguishable from the classroom. A hallmark of a skills that directly translates to the world we live in. Thong
If you have a problem grasping mobility, flexibility, fullness, relaxation and tension this DVD is essential to your library.
by Thong Nguyen, October 23, 2007
The exercises and drills alone are priceless!!! I strongly recommend you use the unique training methods on this DVD to improve your overall Systema understanding. The applications are totally simple and functional not requiring complex techniques nor intense training. You will truly understand the importance of fullness after viewing this. One of my favorites.. and I have them all! Thanks Vladimir! Thong
There are several inclusions to this latest DVD that stand out.
by Brad Scornavacco, October 30, 2007
The first inclusion, which is reminiscent of the old TRS tapes, is the student demonstrations. Watching Stickwork you can see many different students moving with varying levels of skill, from good to excellent. This is an important aid for students who primarily train by DVD and can only occasionally find a qualified teacher because it allows you to see how different people express the lessons individually. Every person on the DVD is moving uniquely to his or her own body, showing how practitioners of all shapes and sizes move correctly. This in an invaluable learning tool. The varying skill levels give the viewer the opportunity to see his own progression of movement as he improves in skill level. This is in contrast to simply watching Vladimir’s virtuoso performance and thinking to yourself how do I get to be that skilled. This DVD shows that path by including footage of students at various stages of growth going through the lessons.
Connected to this student footage are the few short sections on the DVD where Vladimir has a student demonstrate and corrects him on screen. To the discerning viewer these tidbits are priceless because, once again, you can see not-completely-correct work followed by correct work within seconds of Vladimir’s guidance. Many people may pass these sections by to see the drills, but paying attention to these brief lessons gives insight as to why Systema works. I am happy they weren’t edited out.
For all the auditory learners out there the explanations on this DVD are like a Systema strike--precise and right to the heart of the matter. You could actually take the audio and put it on your mp3 player and just by listening improve your Systema. The audio gives crucial keys to accelerate your training along with exact breakdowns of the purpose behind the drills while warning of pitfalls to watch out for. Watch this DVD a second time and focus on listening; using your ears with definitely open your eyes.
The work shown on Stickwork is the brilliance of simplicity and builds upon exercises every Systema student already performs regularly. How to start work with a stick? Well, Vladimir shows a most logical progression. He takes the basic exercises--push-ups, squats, leg raises and sit-ups—and shows how they can be performed statically, in motion and in combination all while two other people poke and strike you with the stick. What struck me is how much sense the teaching progression made and how it links to everything shown in other DVD’s. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s observation, “In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity,” applies perfectly to this DVD.
In many ways Russian Stick Combat Vol.1: Defense is just the next in growing body of recordings of the masterful teachings of Vladimir Vasiliev. Russian Stick Combat Vol.1: Defense delivers on the “How the heck did he do that?” factor along with clear and concise explanation on how to develop this same skill. People often ask, “if there are no techniques or kata then how do you learn Systema”? One direct answer is to watch Russian Stick Combat Vol.1: Defense. This is the highest praise I can give to this energizing and informative DVD. I recommend you get it and start watching it with at least 2 friends. I guarantee that by the time you get half-way through it you won’t be able to resist the overwhelming urge to get up right there and start training.
This video is informative, thorough, and useful from several perspectives:
1) General Civilian Issues - the video deals with scenarios for becoming comfortable in and around your vehicle in preparation for possibly anxious situations, entering and exiting the vehicle in a variety of different scenarios - inc.
by Jim Rigopoulos, November 03, 2007
road accident, vehicle falling into water, saving trapped passenger\'s, escaping moving vehicles, etc. This is very informative. We spend time learning how to exit an airplane in case of emergency every time we fly. Statistically speaking, a motor vehicle is more likely to get into an accident than an airplane, so in my opinion this portion of the material in the DVD should be presented and offered to all civilians because it could save many lives.
2) Military and Paramilitary - for example, scenarios dealing with ballistics and weapons in and around the vehicle, how to use the vehicle to your advantage as a shield, what parts of the vehicle to use and not to use, etc. Also shown in the DVD is how and which parts of the vehicle are often used in extreme urban warfare, assassination, and terrorist situations, which was very interesting. Some of the situations that Konstantin discussed were mind-boggling and I don\'t think even Robert Ludlum or Ian Fleming would have thought about some of these scenarios.
3) Self Defense in all situations - this portion of the video deals with situations where you are being attacked with fists, legs, chokes, knives, guns, etc.. around and in the vehicle. The part I liked the most in this section was how Vlad used the vehicle itself and the edges and protruding portions of the vehicle as weapons against the attacker. This ties in well with the video on Confined Spaces, which is also a must in anyone's RMA video collection. Again, I would be hard-pressed to name anything out there that teaches this material to the general public. So I am rating this a must have to anyone interested in Systema practice.
Usually hearing about breathing exercises one thinks Yoga, Qigong, Tai Chi or styles of Kung Fu.
by Bryan Wilson, November 08, 2007
When I heard about the Russian Martial Arts using breathing I was skeptical about how useful any of it would be. I was very surprised when after reading the book and trying a few breathing exercises, just how helpful it was. It\'s not about making you hit harder or giving you more than human abilities, rather it is simple straight forward ways to increase your lung capacity and stamina. The first part explains simple ways to breathe more efficiently and ridding yourself of stress. It goes on to a few simple exercises which help to increase your lung capacity and get you used to breathing while under stress. If you are exerting yourself without breathing well, odds are you won\'t last long. Anyone could benefit from this book, if it\'s for running a mile or just reducing day to day stress.
Fundamentals of Knife Disarming (DVD)
by David Decker, November 13, 2007
Vasiliev's Fundamentals of Knife Disarming is the most impressive DVD that I own in my collection.
I have purchased Fundamentals of Knife Disarming and watched it many times.
by Clay Prince, November 19, 2007
The best word to describe it is "amazing".
Car Fight (DVD)
by Sam Smith, December 04, 2007
I'm glad there is finally a modern and urban based martial art that takes into consideration the scenarios presented in a modern world over the scenarios that would have been present when other martial arts were founded hundreds of years ago
i luved this dvd.
by Robert Jenkins, February 05, 2008
it enhanced my fighting abilities soon after i watched. im a 15 year old teen who has always liked to fight but with this dvd it fills in all the little gaps in my methods. it gives me an advantage in combat becuz i know how to take hits and make them much softer. or i cant be stopped by a simple block. i think this is a good dvd to watch even for seasoned fighters. i think it goes well with strikes and contact impact and control.
I've been practicing Martial Arts for 20 years.
by Gabriel Carlin, February 20, 2008
This is one of the best DVD's I have ever seen. It is a must for all Martialartists.
I always knew there were simple ways to have this kind of controll and technique, but good luck finding a school for it in the phone book.
by Christopher Hamilton, April 01, 2008
I have been sifting through literaly dozens of styles of MMA and pure taditional arts for 11+ years! I had a great instructor in Goju Karate and after I got my black belt I was 18 and had to take time out to work. Then I joined the Army at 20 and could never get back to his class. I have been through school after school since looking for a true combative art and had nearly given up hope.
I hate to break it to you if you think your American Kempo or Shaolin school has prepared you for real fighting than chances are it hasn't come friggan close. I'm not talking down about all those schools, but the vast majority of any school in America is teaching you basic body movements for striking and grappling, but not to actually fight. I have been in enough fights and classes to walk in to a Shoalin Kung Fu school and beat every student in the place including the asistant instructor and it is not the arts fault, but rather the way they train does not include the simplicity of taking reflexes from the forms and puting it in to a sparring drill. This guy has done just that and achieved a level of controll that rivals Taiji and Bagua masters with decades of training!
Bottom line: I know a real fighting art when I see it and I knew this was a good one from the start. In fact it is far better than I originally expected.
I just received a copy of the just published Stick Seminars from Vladimir Vasiliev.
by Paul McCaughey, April 20, 2008
This is another Five Star example of a inspirational Systema DVD. The content is from two Stick Seminars by Mikhail Ryabko, one in New York at Fighthouse and the other in Moscow. There are two parts to each event. The first part is the Preparation Drills for conditioning and development with the stick, both as solo and partnered exercises and the second part is Stick Applications.
One tends to want to jump forward to the Applications section of a DVD and that would be a mistake. These Preparation Drills with the Stick, while having obvious application to the handling of a stick, in both offensive and defensive aspects, also develop total body strength and coordination. Mikhail starts with developing proper grip of the stick, which involves using only the tension you need below the wrist to work in any direction, arm range, and body position from standing through to and including on the ground with the grip tension directed against an imaginary resistance from upward, downward or side directions.
There is a very good explanation by a student in New York during this DVD section, who used to lift weights and now uses Systema exclusively for its fitness benefits. He describes his experience with the Stick and Systema as a total fitness regime, which leaves your strong, vital, adaptable and tension free, whatever the challenge, where as weight training gives you a limited mechanical strength, increasing muscle tension, while decreasing mobility and adaptability over time.
Mikhail then demonstrates how to maintain a grip that translates as both as mobility of the wrists and strength of application, whether that be strikes or throws. He shows how easily tension can back up into the shoulders if you get it wrong, but, and this is the IMPORTANT part, if you get it right, you can build the same kind of density in the fists and the forearms that we aspire to in Systema strikes. You can see this for yourself just by watching how Mikhail holds the stick and then watch how he strikes without the stick. His fists and forearms look the same. They are very full (dense), while his upper arms and body look fluid and relaxed.
It was this gem that was so inspiring for me. I could see how this kind of stick training could be easily used to develop hand-arm density for a more effective use of force in strikes, holds and throws, while eliminating the superfluous tension (counter-force), which is the most common correction in Systema. I decided to test my observation .
That night I went to teach class at Systema Downtown and took the students through Mikhail's set of exercises. The first hour of drills after the warm-up culminated in removing the stick and using the accumulated density in our arms for fist-pushing and strike applications. The students experienced a very high level of concentrated tension-density in their fists and forearms, while feeling very light, adaptable and relaxed in the rest of their movements.
One of the most interesting comments was that the presence of the stick helped students to not become lost in their own sensations or lost in the movements of the opponent. The presence of the stick enabled them stay more clearly defined in their work, while staying more connected to the opponent. The stick seems to draw one's intention and attention into a more effective balance. The trick is to take this way of working and apply it under all circumstances, especially in the absence of the stick.
The Applications section of both New York and Moscow Seminars is well worth the wait. Here Mikhail shows how the wrists strength and freedom are able to translate into very effective application whether you or the opponent has the stick. While the Preparation Drills section of the DVD shows you how to develop proper use of forearms and hands without tension in the rest of the body, the Applications section shows you how to use the other persons tension against them. The stick makes the tension between the attacker’s hands, and how that tension crosses the body in varying dynamics, quite obvious to the observer. Time and time again Mikhail shows you to use subtle changes of direction, coupled with a measured use of one's force, to throw the opponent to the ground. Mikhail exhorts us to work slowly, so that we can 1) measure our use of power carefully, 2) minimize our movement, 3) clean out any extra tension we may be bringing to the application because of our over-use of power, body movement, or ideas about how we should move the other person.
The result of this is demonstration after demonstration of what can only be described as sublime application. Of course you can develop an inventory of techniques against the joints, as well as precise strikes from watching what Mikhail does to his opponent, but this is not what he is there for. Mikhail keeps bringing us back to the basics of how we move, breathe, relax and stay present with what is going on.
This is a great DVD from at least two points of view. If you want to know how to use a stick, offensively and defensively, you will be very happy with both the development of your skill with handling the stick, as well as being able to pin-point the vulnerabilities of the opponent. If you want to know about how Systema works and how to take you overall work to another level, then Mikhail's use of the stick to illustrate the principles of power development, tension versus relaxation in self and other, as well as stillness versus movement, then this DVD is a goldmine.
This is not only my opinion, but that of all the Systema Downtown students who tried this work out, as well as Frank Arias from Headquarters who was visiting for the evening and helped demonstrate some of this with me. Thanks once again to Mikhail for the consistency of message as to what Systema is all about, how to get there, and how to eliminate all that is unnatural in our movements and thinking. Thanks to Vladimir Vasiliev for another great production!
by david yemm, May 08, 2008
A phenomenal dvd I never thought I could have this much control over my tension and what a great way to strengthen your spirit. From were i come from i could not find any dvd of this type from were I am from this is a once in a lifetime of products. Excellent keep up the good work
1.5-hours of unbelievable, fascinating & brilliant work of the Master.
by Sergey Makarenko, May 08, 2008
Variety & depth, simplicity & sophistication, economy & effectiveness of the Systema stick applications – all of it & much more on the new addition to my video library.
Great camera work, careful editing & FANTASTIC material – there’ll be no shortage of pieces of puzzle to discover. Some of the filmed work I’ve witnessed & it’s painfully amazing how much of it was missed – not because of attention shortage or impaired vision. Mikhail’s work is so subtle & precise that even seeing it all is a serious challenge. Duplicating…!?... !!.. !!!...
Systema stick work is the world by itself – just an introduction to a conditioning segment of it makes gym membership to seem like a waste, while fighting application possibilities are endless. Add demo by Mikhail Ryabko & you have the Work of Art, but it does not stop there. Comments & explanations in Russian & English are crystal clear & truly exceptional.
Concepts, principles & specific drills offered by this film are so unorthodox & universal that familiarization with them will benefit any individual capable to move. Garden tools, walking sticks, long barrel weapon can be used for general conditioning, self-defense & combat training – there’s no tool more democratic than a stick.
Many thanks to Vladimir for another opportunity to own a snapshot of the Great Mastership.
Thank you Vladimir for releasing this DVD.
by Frank Janus, May 14, 2008
It is very informative for a better understanding of Systema!
After reviewing the Stick Seminars DVD with Mikhail showing this work to its fullest potential, I was truly inspired.
by Jim Rigopoulos, May 19, 2008
Vlad has shown many of these concepts throughout the years within the school, but this is such a profound distillation of the stick-work, that I would recommend this DVD to anyone teaching or wanting to learn more about realistic stick-fighting with no fancy mumbo-jumbo getting in the way of it all. The DVD is broken down into two sections - the New York Seminar and the Moscow Seminar, but I really found that one was a continuation of the other. I found myself envying the people who participated in these events, but realized that the DVD captures the essence of what Mikhail is trying to get across. Some of the concepts outlined in the video are as such:
1) Maintaining tension in the wrists (the full hands-arms concept) during a range of movements, distances, and angles.
2) Turning wrist exercises - from simple to more complex movements.
3) The origins of all stick movement within Systema - as u can guess from concepts 1) and 2), it is the wrists - and why. Also covered in this concept is the idea of less movement and why it's better.
4) Stick warm-up exercises and strength training exercises - an inexpensive full-body workout (I have done a number of these exercises throughout the years and let me tell u, they are a great way of building strength and getting warmed up for a workout)
5) Negating tension through the understanding of body structure - this is demonstrated on several partners.
6) Stick Applications - this is the largest portion of the DVD where Mikhail actually starts showing real work by hitting, pushing, pulling, leveraging, poking, etc. partners in many different ways. This is obviously the section that people will find the most interesting and I found that for myself, it was because of several reasons:
a) Mikhail gets people into very unusual and uncomfortable positions with the stick. Often, the person is trapped through their own movements, Mikhail's movements, a combination of both, or even because of the object of the stick itself. The last one is most interesting to see happen.
b) Mikhail actually hit's the students (not to damage, but to instruct). This is an interesting point because Mikhail himself in the DVD mentions this necessity in real weapons training and notes the fact that it is not enough to only hit stick on stick in this type of training, but stick on body. This is obviously in accordance with all other concepts in Systema where real contact is always being made to the body with legs, feet, arms, fists, etc...
c) I found one of the most interesting things to watch was how the stick was being held by Mikhail and how this allowed the stick to be used with such grace and versatility. No spoilers here - watch the DVD to understand what I am getting at with this last point. All I will say is that I don't think this work has been seen before outside of Russia before Mikhail and Vlad introduced it to the West, and looking at it, I cannot think of anyone who has even come close to these types of movements with the stick in their hands. They are fluid, versatile, efficient, deadly yet controlled and controllable...that's all I can really say on this.
There were also some great 3-man exercises with the stick I have never seen before but would love to try in class and intriguing ways of removing the stick from the opponents possession.
It was very funny to watch one of Mikhail's own students, Sergei, work at the very end of the Moscow seminar. He was an older gent, but possessed
all the things that Mikhail was talking about in the DVD within his movements. His work was an inspiration to watch and served as a summary to me.
I would highly recommend this DVD to any individual seeking to learn more about the stick as a weapon.
This DVD is unique in that it almost entirely centers on a single combative concept.
by Marc Bresee, August 05, 2008
This work is so fundamental, so functional and so beautiful, and it is easy for the mind to grasp since it is natural and intuitive. An attacker cannot reach out, push, punch or stab without putting their limbs at risk. It requires no strength to take the opponent's limb because he freely gives it. This is somewhat true of Systema theory in general but in this case it is so easy to see and use.
The principle works by fulcrum and lever. Whatever the attacker extends becomes the lever. Wherever you support becomes the fulcrum. The weight being leveraged is the body. The body is gently directed by the lever if you go slowly. But if you want to damage a joint, the body is a dead weight that can’t move fast enough.
In the course of training with this material one learns to find the fulcrum and lever very easily. This allows a joint extension to be applied quickly and smoothly. And this makes joint-trapping and hyperextension a very functional part of a hand-to-hand combat system. One can even accentuate the attackers offering with a little tug to extend him further. Or push the body away gently to start an opposing wave to straighten the arm and make the work more effective. It works equally well against an attacker with weapon in hand – perhaps better as he is somewhat weapon-fixated.
Joint extension can be adjusted for a variety of results. If one applies it in a small dose it can simply stop a person, or it can be used to move and steer them. And taken abruptly to its extreme, it can destroy the joint and leave them momentarily preoccupied with internal problems. It provides a whole continuum of physical conflict resolution in a single and simply attainable concept. And this works in every dimension. You can work up, down, and sideways. You can work from the floor with someone attacking downwards or standing with someone attacking upwards. It works for head grab, waist grab or attack on the legs. Whatever the opponent reaches for, there it is. And any part of the body can be used for a fulcrum point, as can another opponent, or a nearby object. It works on legs too.
Due to the simplicity and effectiveness, It is very appropriate for multiple attackers. A broken arm can occur in a split second, like falling into a hole, almost as fast as you can pass by. This would give almost any attacker something to think about, hopefully eliminating them and quickly reducing the group. It is very easy to discover greater efficiently with group work. The complexity of the crowd brings out the skill of applying force with any part of the body, whatever is closest.
This DVD is an essential part of the Systema library. The work contained within could be a fighting system all in itself… even without the rest of Systema’s storehouse of treasures. This is definitely a weapon you will want to develop.
Systema Hand to Hand is a must have for both seasoned and beginner level fighters and Martial Artists.
by Michael Marks, August 09, 2008
Vladimir Vasiliev's understanding of kinetics and human physics are both inspiring and easy to understand. This is a lesson that needs to be in your DVD collection.
Very easy to study and apply all the movements you can see on this DVD.
by Nick C., August 13, 2008
This movie makes it fun to watch and learn at the same time.
What amazed me is the short demonstration at the end by Vladimir’s students, not only Vladimir can work so well but so can his students. It is good to see a different take on the training by showing the great and interesting work.
Only one thing with this movie, it ended so quickly…
What I like about this video is that in one movement of the attacker, you can break his knee and elbow instantly.
by Jayson Feldman, August 13, 2008
Your eyes become open to the possibilities…
Very rare to see such smooth transition from one attacker to the other, very subtle, real professional moves, keep up the great work.
Previews of the systema camp and all of the dvds sold, it helped me decide which dvds i wanted to buy.
by Martin Tonothy, August 16, 2008
.. all of them!
This film is truly exceptional in many aspects & stands far apart from other relevant instructional & demo materials.
by Sergey Makarenko, September 16, 2008
‘Dynamic joint breaks’ is a remarkable illustration of already traditional for Systema & still revolutionary for other arts approach to accelerated development of practical combat tools.
Brilliant simplicity of effective opponent control offered by Vladimir Vasiliev in ‘Dynamic joint breaks’ is delivered in a comprehensible format & requires no training background even for immediate application.
Without exaggeration instructional progression contains no deficiencies typical for traditional training methods:
- Memorization is not required - furthermore it’s counter productive. Mind locked on specific technique is subjected to a dangerous tunnel vision effect & associated tension.
- Dynamic precision essential for effective joint manipulation is easily obtainable & requires no special training or background.
- Extend of an opponent control is purpose driven & adaptable to situational variables: armed, multiple opponents, aggressive environment, etc.
Usual for V.Vasiliev films exceptional combination of clear instructions & brilliant improvised demo are proven to produce impressive learning curve for practitioners of various proficiency levels.
The ‘Dynamic joint breaks’ represents much more than another long awaited addition to Vladimir’s award winning video collection. Magnitude of the selected subject, quality of the presented material & proficiency of assisting students indicate enormous amount of committed work of the talented Master & gifted Teacher.
That work & any outcome of it are priceless while we’re fortunate to have a piece of it wrapped in plastic.
The material presented is found in many other martial arts but it is the way that it is used that makes it unique and typical for Systema.
by Koen Vandersteene, October 03, 2008
In Dynamic Joint Breaks everything's done while moving and Vladimir teaches you to always look for the next joint as a target. Great instructional dvd and easy to study.
People are like birds. Indeed.
Fluid movements, justifying the title.
by Victor Jose Machado Jr., October 11, 2008
I liked it: worth watching!
Although you can understand all the explanations, I think it would be a great improvement if next videos from Systema come with subtitles ou spanish spoken option. Foreign customers would be pleased and grateful. Also, allowed the suggestion, some few more scenes with "slow motion" should increase interest for
most martial arts enthusiasts.
I must tell you all again of my admiration for your work.
by Eric Wipple, November 25, 2008
All martial artists, (whatever that could mean), have long suspected that their was something at the other end of the spectrum from brute, animal force. Even Bruce Lee, with his obsessive denouncement of fixed forms, could not have imagined something as fluid as Systema. The relaxation down through the bone and to the spirit seems to produce a near immediate movement which is at once un-self-conscious and un-predictable.
Thank You all for your help.
I am in a military police instructor, my specialty are guns.
by Mr Anonymous, November 26, 2008
I am a black belt in ninjutsu, jujitsu.
Since I bought this video, I was shocked. It is practical, fast and clean.
All I request is give me more.
Beat the Odds (DVD)
by Jason Padly, April 07, 2009
An excellent training tool regardless of your martial arts experience, this is a must for anyone wishing to study what is takes to break multiple attacks.
Sometimes when you want to explain to people what Systema is like, you wonder where to begin.
by Koen Vandersteene, April 16, 2009
Here is the solution: just give them this dvd and they will have a very good idea.
From there on you can answer the more detailed questions. :-)
Facing multiple attackers is the nightmare of most martial artists or anybody else for that matter.
by Koen Vandersteene, April 16, 2009
These assaults often escalate and Vladimirâ€™s techniques give you a solid basis to counter the wolf pack mentality with its multiple angles and levels of attack.
Usually you donâ€™t have time to think about the situation so it is necessary to experiment with it now in your training. And that is exactly what this dvd is for. It gives you possibilities, drills and tools. It teaches how to anticipate, strike precisely and preemptively, move and evade fluidly and constantly without tension no matter what is thrown at you.
Everything is simple, short, fast and as usual very effective.
Vladimir's best yet I think.
by Rob Poyton, April 17, 2009
For one it's on a topic that is so rarely covered in martial arts, yet is so common in real life - no-one attacks you one at a time while their friends stand and watch. Secondly it has some great explanations alongside the drills. And number three Vladimir's work is immaculate and a pleasure to watch!
Thank you for the DVD Vladimir.
by Thong Nguyen, April 25, 2009
I've spent a lifetime studying many arts which purports to teach combat against multiple attackers yet turn out to be little more than un-realistic concepts and theories which require a vivid imagination and compliant "opponent" to succeed. Vladimir deals only with the most realistic scenarios and un-predictable attacks which would serve well in a real situation. The instruction build up on this DVD is excellent as he walks the viewer thoroughly through each phase of the encounter: preparation, pre-emption, contact and resolution. Somehow he manages to squeeze in escapes from multiple weapons, multiple grabs, strike/fear removal along with recycling pain into a more productive outcome.
In an era where sequels are often disappointing, it's nice to see someone capable of out-doing himself. This quality makes Vladimir's Systema truly unique; his ability to overcome challenges in order to create harder ones to surmount keeps him fresh and constantly growing.
Ok this is the video that started it all for me.
by Edward Harcourt, April 29, 2009
After watching this video I was bitten by the systema bug.
I was impressed by his lazy almost noninterested nonimpression emotionless attitude about some one attacking him with a knife.
I also enjoyed the demotrations of Valdimeir taking on up to three knife attackers to sound of electric guitar music.
I enjoyed the fact he came off as this lazy styled sala dancer and this slippery fish concept of using the body as much as the arms to deflect the knife thrusts.
Most of all was this consept of not needing to memorize techniques
Just watching this DVD, it is fantastic!
by Alexander Tery, May 05, 2009
I have been doing oriental martial arts for best part of 30 years in different styles, I was blown away with the effectiveness and simplicity with the freedom of no technique...
Well worth the price but not the best videos in the collection.
by Edward Harcourt, May 11, 2009
Valdimir does an Amazing demo against three knife attacker.
Mikhail offers some usful insight as he is a deep thinker but he does talk a lot however he explains some of the finer points of knife defence.
However, I wanted to see more of Konstantin and find out the deal-e-o about him but he was not on the video long enough.
During the demos I would like to hear some music in the background like I did with fundamentals of Knife defence.The electric guitar music gave the video more of an edge.
Ok all newbee to the art.Put these video off for a while and get (Hand to hand) and get (fundamentals of knife defence) first.I also bought( Against the Odds) which I thought was Excellent and I bought(Dynamic Joint breaK) also excellent. and I got escape for holds also excellent.All of these videos were 5 star in my opinion
I give these videos three stars however I gave all the other videos I have seen 5 star.These videos are more Demo then instructional.
by Edward Harcourt, May 11, 2009
Do all the drills and games.
Valdimir shows you how to be creative with eblow and knee breaks and he teaches you have to pratice safely learn quickly and have fun.Dynamic Joint Breaks is one more excellent need to have tool for the tool box.
Very good stuff.
If anyone can teach you to fight and defend yourself like Wolferine it is this man.
by Edward Harcourt, May 11, 2009
Valdimir shows you all the core basics to giving punks and preditors the wracking ball treatment they so love and need to appreciate.
Valdimir teaches you how to become a total wracking machine and how to be relaxed at the same time so you can take time out to slip an afternoon latte and smell the roses in the park all while you bitch slap them to the pavement.
In this video Valdimir is giving the wracking ball treatment to three very fit strong men half his age and you can see those young men this give him repect from the expressions of pain and surprise on their faces.Basically anyone foolish enough to take on this man in a real fight would be riding the shit your pants rolling coster ride of busted teeth and broken bones.
I got this video last week,I have watched it about 10 times so far.EXCELLINTE or in Russian Hor-Ra-Show
GET THIS VIDEO
However if you did not get the hand to hand video get that one as well because he picks up from there.
One of the BEST titles I have seen on dealing with multiple attackers.
by John Tunney, May 13, 2009
Really shows the movement and relaxation essential to proper Systema, congratulations on another great DVD!
A must have video.
by Edward Harcourt, May 15, 2009
Pratice all the drill and games.You will have power in your punches.If you do exactly as he says.
If your a newbee it will change all your concepts of what you may think fighting is.
He walks around with his hand down by his sides with out the need to take a fighting stance or pose.Half the time he looks like he is day dreaming or he has his mind on something else other then the two guys he is beating down with no effort.
There is meny ex sample where he simply punches the arm that is attacking him and then there are other ex sample where he simple takes a step in a direction that is hard for the attacker to get him and then there are the subtle foot sweeps you will learn about.
Get this video if you don't have it and get "Beat the Odds" and or "Dynamic Joint Breaks" .THese videos together wil make a nice set or package to recieve in the mail.You will be very happy to own these videos.
This DVD is the most incredibly effective and easy-to-learn DVD on knife defense I have ever seen!
by Manuel Cortez, May 18, 2009
It covers everything from stab defense to getting out when it is held at your neck from behind, ready to cut at your slightest move. It also contains very helpful supplementary material of Mr. Vasiliev "doing his thing" at assorted knife defense seminars. It was well worth the price!!! thanks Vladmir! this DVD is AWESOME!
FREE DVD – SYSTEMA INSTRUCTION AND PREVIEW
by Chad Genereux, May 26, 2009
This is the martial art I have been looking for my entire life!
Watching Vladimir work in this DVD is like watching a master chef.
by David Orman, May 29, 2009
Every ingredient has a purpose. Nothing is ever wasted. When blended together, the end result is a whole tasty dish.
In the case of this DVD, every movement has a purpose and Vladimir has an incredible gift for blending the attackers into a "whole;" that is, 3 attackers are treated as one unit. Movements are continual, flowing and powerful. The one characteristic that strikes me about this is that there is never any doubt who is in control. Vladimir's knack for maintaining poise despite the variety of attacks and number of attackers is most impressive.
All of Systema's main principles are expertly demonstrated in this DVD -- structure, movement, relaxation and breathing. Regardless of the number of attackers and positions of the attacks, precise movement is taught to avoid, evade and engage at the right moment.
The quality of the DVD is excellent (sound, lighting, angles etc.). Mostly, the teaching is why people purchase DVDs in general and the level of detailed instruction is top notch. From basic drills to more advanced movements, this DVD is a must for every Systema practitioner and anyone who wants to learn how to defend themselves against multiple attackers.
Multiple attackers are a true test of your combat skills and very few martial arts address this as effectively as Systema.
by Ray Hardy, June 21, 2009
In fact, it would be unusual to face just one opponent on the street as lowlifes usually hunt in packs. Yet again Vladimir demonstrates his exceptional skills and shows you how to overcome the challenges that come when fighting multiple opponents.
This DVD is a must have for all martial artists and you will feel sorry for the guys in the DVD
(I did!) as they are taught by Vladimir over and over again that being alone in a fight doesn't necessarily mean you are at a disadvantage.
This video is wonderful and amazing.
by Edward Harcourt, June 27, 2009
It was more then I was expecting when I decided to ordered this video.
You will learn how to deal with a stick attack when on the ground either face first or back first lying down supine.
You will learn about how to make you body soft and yet be able to absorb the strikes wither thrust or swing.
You will also learn how to deal with a stick swing to your legs.
you will learn disarms
You will learn how to deal with multiple stick attacks
You will learn how to deal with a stick attack while your back is against the wall.
You will have a whole heap of excises and games and drills to improve you skill sets.
GET THE VIDEO.you will have your hard earn money's worth
Just got it in the mail Today and just finished watching it.
by Edward Harcourt, June 27, 2009
I am so glad I decided to perchase this video.
Watching Vadimir in this video is very much like watching a master magician or slieght of hand artist.
His form of self defence is very much in the style of thinking as a slieght of hand artist doing a coin trick.
That is no overtly obvious movements,no need to show any emotions and complete economy of motion and two steps ahead of you just like a expert slieght of hand artist and yet very James Bond like.
watching him so cool and relaxed sitting in a chair with out a care in the world just seem almost disrespectfully reverant to almost all other martial art form.
Just like you would never have a chance at calling out a master magician with his slieght of hand tricks because you read a couple of magic books when you were a kid is the same as you thinking you can catch this man off guard because you studied martial arts for years and he is \"defenceless\" and unarmed while sitting in a chair.Nothing would be more of a illusion.
GET THE VIDEO and you will see what I mean
Defending oneself against knife attacks is significantly more difficult and dangerous compared to empty hand or most other weapons.
by David Orman, July 07, 2009
An attacker with a knife is a dangerous individual.
In this DVD, Vladimir in his signature fashion, presents clear, concise and creative methods for protecting oneself from knife attacks. Regardless of the angle of attack, solid Systema principles are again utilized here - from proper breathing, matching opponents speed and seemingly effortless flow.
There are 2 main features about this DVD that I really liked:
1. The same movements are executed with a knife in this DVD as they are shown in empty hand defense. Instead of something brand new to learn, knife fighting becomes an extension and expansion of existing knowledge. You already know the alphabet and the words, now you will learn to speak sentences.
2. The other major factor I really like was the variety of angles, attacks and speed demonstrated. Side attacks to the ribs, overhead strikes, direct (straight) thrusts and hidden slashes are all defended smoothly in this DVD.
The reality is that knife defense is a difficult aspect of any martial art.This tape makes it learnable. With enough practice and viewing, it can become a skill in your arsenal.
The latest DVD, 'Beat the Odds', is by far one of the best RMA DVDs I have purchased to date.
by Nicholas Davies, July 26, 2009
What can I say? Excellent! If any DVD sums up the principles of the style, itâ€™s this one. The reason for this is the content - pure and simple.
Iâ€™ve always thought that RMA has been at its most effective when the practitioner works against multiple opponents, the reason for this being that the pressure of fending off more than one attacker means that you have to keep moving â€“ and movement, along with breathing, are key to this style. This has always struck me as being particularly acute when engaging in defence against multiple attacks from the opponents whilst training at my club, because of you donâ€™t move you get taken out. This soon teaches you very rapidly about the importance of applying this key principle!
Vladimir manages to demonstrate this effectively in the DVD. He begins with the basics of body movement in the style, demonstrating first the concept of â€˜escapeâ€™ then building this up to show how the opponentsâ€™ movement and energy can be used effectively against them so as to redirect their lines of attack, preferably against each other! This then further evolves to include defence against weapons as well as empty hand attacks. Itâ€™s always a pleasure to watch this type of work where Vladimir is concerned, especially when sticks are involved!
Many of the exercises demonstrated are particularly illuminating, particularly the multiple punch exercise whereby each partner in turn strikes the next in a free-flowing manner. This is another useful aid to help the student learn how to receive as well as give strikes.
All-in-all, I found â€˜Beat the Oddsâ€™ to be one of the most enjoyable I have ever seen. I would recommend this as a priority purchase for anyone who is new to the style and wants to find out a little more about how it works, because, to be honest, you donâ€™t get a better demonstration of Systema versatility than in this DVD!
This is an absolutely awesome DVD, just trust me.
by Military Mike, August 22, 2009
I'm in the military and i never learned anything like this.
i have trained most of my life thinking you had to be tough never knowing that a true warrior is calm and relaxed especially in the face of bad odds,the buddhists talk of prajna or wisdom i think this system of being calm and relaxed yet delivering a massive knock to the others ego is a true way a wise way .
by daniel mcquaigue, September 17, 2009
id like to thank the masters for there kind guidance, thank you Vladimir!!
A couple of weeks ago, I purchased a copy of Systema Strength and Flexibility by Kwan Lee.
by Keith Whatley, September 27, 2009
I have viewed it twice now and had a chance to start putting the information on this DVD into practice. This video is quite simply superb.
I have 27 years of martial arts experience that includes Japanese Karate, Aikido and most recently Systema (about 3+ years now). I have trained with a wide variety of people and seen an equally wide variety of conditioning methodologies and strategies for martial arts fitness. The information on this video surpasses all of that. It is simple and straight forward, yet it contains a huge amount of insight and information, as does much of the training we do in Russian Martial Art. Veteran practitioners of Systema training will likely recognize a few of the things presented. What stands out however is Mr. Lee's strong command of the subject matter and excellent, concise explanations of the principles and methods. These explanations leave the watcher with a very solid and pragmatic understanding of the information presented.
What also stands out for me is the fact that the drills and methods Mr. Lee presents on this DVD are adaptable to most any level of skill or fitness. The practitioner can make the exercises as easy or as challenging as they wish depending on their ability and level of conditioning. If you follow the advice of Mr. Lee and do the exercises properly they are also very safe as opposed to some of the more extreme methods I have encountered in other styles. Don't get me wrong, there are some VERY challenging exercises on this DVD. However, they are presented in such a manner that you can build up to them and still get maximum benefit as you do so. They are not the â€œall or noneâ€ type methodologies I have encountered in the past. This is a real boon to those who teach mixed groups that have varying levels of experience in their ranks (which I think describes most martial arts teaching environments).
On top of all this, I must say that the filming and editing of the video was also extremely well done. All exercises are clearly illustrated and easy to see. The manner in which it is filmed and perspective of the camera allow the viewer to see exactly what is going on so there is no confusion about what is being presented. Mr. Lee also makes plain, logical and easy to understand use of diagrams and illustrations to ensure the viewer understands the exercises. It is not presented in the "monkey see, monkey do" manner many instructional DVDs are made. Like the videos from Russian Martial Art headquarters, this DVD gives you a solid foundation to work with and learn from. It is the next best thing to hands on instruction and I highly recommend it to any martial artist whether they practice Systema or not.
Thank you for a beautifully produced DVD.
by StÃ©phane Beaudin, September 27, 2009
I have watched it many times in the 2 weeks since I have received it and am amazed at the depth of the material presented. This video does presume the viewer is a Systema practitioner, or at least familiar with the practices of the art, but it contains exercises suited to any level of fitness. These exercises will provide you with instant as well as continuing benefits, the level of relaxation I felt after my first try at them was one of the deepest I have experienced. There is a lifetimeâ€™s worth of work here, and it is highly unlikely you will exhaust the possibilities even the simplest exercises from this collection have to raise your fitness, mobility and self awareness. Your nervous system and connective tissues will thank you every time you practice these exercises, they will thank you with capabilities you did not suspect you could ever develop.
Finished watching "Systema Excellence" and that's just what it was, excellent.
by Eric Kin, January 09, 2011
A must for anyone wanting to have a deeper understanding of the internal workings of mind and body mechanics.
I had the privilege of seeing Kwanâ€™s new video on Systema Strength and Flexibility during my recent visit to Arizona to co-teach a seminar with Kwan.
by Frank Arias, September 27, 2009
Kwanâ€™s years of Systema training with Vladimir Vasiliev at Headquarters in Toronto, and his many seminars around the world, have given him the strong knowledge and experience that is clearly translated in his new video.
What impressed me was Kwanâ€™s ability to show Systema movement in such a clear and concise way. Not only does he show the â€œhow toâ€ of movement but he also explains the principles of Systema through a series of practical drills that are easy to follow.
Anyone who knows Kwan knows that he has high standards of himself and his students. The video illustrates his standards well. The quality and the camera angles are professional and easy to watch. Kwan shows the work and how the students implement the exercises, which are ultimately very applicable to any real combative situation.
With my many years of experience in Systema, I recognize the value of what Kwan is offering. Whether it is groundwork, standing work or transition work, this work will help to improve any new or experienced Systema practitioner.
I highly recommend this video but donâ€™t take my word for it. Experience it for yourself.
Frank Arias - Toronto, Canada
Frank is also a Senior Systema Instructor at Vladimir Vasilievâ€™s Systema Headquarters
Those of you who have had the opportunity to work with Kwan Lee and the material he has been presenting over the years on strength, flexibility and dynamic stretching are in for a real treat.
by Brandon Sommerfeld, September 27, 2009
I first had the privilege to work / struggle through this progressive series of exercises some years back during Vladimir Vasiliev's "Dynamic Limb Destruction" seminar in New York. Kwan later shared this unique set of work with us during last year's "Systema Summer Camp." Since then there had been a huge demand for this particular information with the promise of a soon-to-be available DVD. Well the DVD is finally out and I received my copy today. It was definitely worth the wait.
The production is professional and concise, and the demonstrations by Kwan and his assistants are inspiring and at the same time humbling. Kwan leads us through a complete lower and upper body progression that allows you to gradually strengthen and improve your flexibility with varying degrees of difficulty. With a little self-study and research the combative application of each movement becomes obvious. During the Extra Features, Kwan does a nice overview on the important aspects of Systema breathing. He also demonstrates the flow and freedom of dynamic stretching during the warm-up portion.
One of my personal favorites was the "Outtakes" segment. Without giving anything away, lets just say some of the thoughts you may have been thinking during the main instructional portion may be answered. For me (someone who seems to be challenged with endless tension), this was one of the most inspiring segments of this excellent DVD. Thanks Kwan; I am looking forward to the next in what I hope to be a continuing series of instructional and supplementary Systema material.
Best, Brandon Sommerfeld
Brandon is a U.S. Special Forces combat veteran and Master Instructor/Chief Combatives Instructor at International Training Inc.
Mr. Lee's presentation is one of the finest instructional videos that I have had the pleasure of viewing.
by David Hollowich, September 27, 2009
Though I have a limited amount of exposure with Systema, the principles illustrated by Mr. Lee and his students offer the viewer an immeasurable amount of practical applications for the real world.
After sixteen years of being a professional soldier, attendance at numerous combative programs, and graduation from the Master Fitness Trainer Program, I have to say that the simple and principle-based training offered by Mr. Lee in this video is by far the best!
Having integrated these principles into my own routine I can already notice immense changes in just one week, and will most definitely begin to share these principles to my soldiers. My thanks to Mr. Lee and his students.
David Hollowich - U.S. Army
Active Duty - Afghanistan
Its been nearly three years since I first wrote a review of Major Komarovs instruction, having seen him both in person and on DVD.
by Steven Julius, October 07, 2009
I expected for it to take the American shooting community by storm with its insights, but I was wrong. People would rather be making a nice little grouping on a paper target than deal with the fact that someone who is shooting at you is dynamic, dangerous, and watching your moves and demeanor BEFORE and during the fight. Put aside some of your range habits and buy this DVD and learn something new!
great dvd, ive always had problems with movement, stiffness.
by paul hollingsworth, October 08, 2009
...............this is great already seeing improvement after the first week........
INSPIRED BY MOVEMENT - Film reviews
"It is not what you look at that matters, it is what you see.
by Toronto Systema practitioner, October 13, 2009
It is always nice to have a video of a seminar you have attended. It is also rather annoying to see the things you missed while you were there.
Vlad's newest DVD: Movement and Precision is now among my favorites of his videos. The first thing I noticed was the superb camera work. The work itself takes place during the May 2009 seminar with Sergey Ozereliev and Vladimir Vasiliev, and what work it is!
Take your pick, there is something for everyone in this video: slow work, brutal work, partner work (one against two, two against one, two against two), exercises, and drills. There is also some fun! Seeing Vlad and Sergey doing knife work against one another is worth the price of this video alone. In all that Systema is (brutal yet fun, serious yet enjoyable), this video shows it if you will but see it.
In the midst of this video, a medical doctor and student of Systema, gives a great explanation on the difference between thinking, and feeling and the effects of learning.
Something a little different in this video is a Camera 2 segment. You see some of the same material except from another angle, from a different camera. This actually provides you with a greater sight picture, if you will.
Thankfully, what this video does not have is any fluff. There are no time fillers such as crowd scenes and the like.
This video really reminds me of what keeps me in Systema, the sheer fun of brutality.
Ok, that did not come out quite right.
The sheer joy of two professionals doing the work and sharing that work with us...
This is video is one to have.
Systema Instructor teaching in Stevens Point, Wisconsin
In Movement and Precision, this latest addition to the extensive DVD library library from Vladimir, you will learn to develop precise and effective movement. Clear and relevant demonstrations enhanced by comprehensive narration will give you unparalleled insight into the methods employed by the top masters of this art.
Watching Sergey move effortlessly while still keeping "inside" the movement of the attackers will inspire even the most senior students and instructors. You will see how the movement of attackers is picked-up and how he stays with them or "inside their movements". In this way you will see how your own work can be more effective because you are already with the attackers not trying to catch up. The precision develops because you are always in the right place to work.
This is short-work defined.
Vladimir keeps impressing in this film. He even allows himself to be attacked with a knife in one scene where you know he could finish off the opponent, but does not, allowing the attacker to come again and again, truly revealing how to stay with the attacker's movements.
A wonderful and necessary DVD that will leave you feeling as if you were actually there for every moment of instruction. A must-have of any worthwhile collection.
"It is not what you look at that matters, it is what you see.
by Brad Scheel, October 13, 2009
It is always nice to have a video of a seminar you have attended. It is also rather annoying to see the things you missed while you were there.
Vlad's newest DVD: Movement and Precision is now among my favorites of his videos. The first thing I noticed was the superb camera work. The work itself takes place during the May 2009 seminar with Sergey Ozereliev and Vladimir Vasiliev, and what work it is!
Take your pick, there is something for everyone in this video: slow work, brutal work, partner work (one against two, two against one, two against two), exercises, and drills. There is also some fun! Seeing Vlad and Sergey doing knife work against one another is worth the price of this video alone. In all that Systema is (brutal yet fun, serious yet enjoyable), this video shows it if you will but see it.
In the midst of this video, a medical doctor and student of Systema, gives a great explanation on the difference between thinking, and feeling and the effects of learning.
Something a little different in this video is a Camera 2 segment. You see some of the same material except from another angle, from a different camera. This actually provides you with a greater sight picture, if you will.
Thankfully, what this video does not have is any fluff. There are no time fillers such as crowd scenes and the like.
This video really reminds me of what keeps me in Systema, the sheer fun of brutality.
Ok, that did not come out quite right.
The sheer joy of two professionals doing the work and sharing that work with us...
This is video is one to have.
I just finished watching your Strength & Flexibility DVD.
by Nate Zeleznick, October 28, 2009
Wow! I only made it through about 1/4 of the DVD yesterday before I went to work, and did the exercises I had viewed as part of my warmups and felt great afterwards. I will be working on the rest of the exercises from here on out. I was an attendee at the Systemanar in Park City last week and I wanted to let you know that even though I found many of the materials you shared with us to be very difficult and bruise-inducing (solely my own fault through unconscious tension and breath-holding), my joints and muscles are more relaxed and feel better than they have in years!
As a Pencak Silat stylist, I have trained my body to be maximally tensed in my training, but it didn't dawn on me just how much I kept that tension throughout my daily life, especially in my jaw, neck, trapezius and glutes until you helped me awaken this awareness. I never would have imagined that the most effective way for me to acknowledge these chronically tense areas would be by taking strikes to them, but that is exactly what worked. Once again, thank you for every strike you gave me...For me, the education that experience provided extends deeply within my psyche, bringing things I was consciously unaware of to the forefront of my mind. Now I have the opportunity to address those things which have been hidden for my my entire life. I feel that your training will continue to help me improve and strengthen myself not only as a martial artist, but also as a human being.
Kwan, I cannot say "Thank You" enough for every single second of your training at the Systemanar, and now I can also honestly say "Thank You" for producing such an excellent DVD. I can only hope that all who watch it get as much out of it as I have. I plan on watching it many more times as repeated exposure is sure to bring even more to my mind that I didn't catch on previous viewings.
Unquestionable MUST HAVE piece of MASTERWORK!
by Sergey Makarenko, November 18, 2009
Neatly filmed & carefully edited presentation of pure efficiency in a format of live seminar. Over two hours of jaw dropping simplicity delivered by two Systema virtuoso in step by step training progression.
Spectrum of the material delivered during this seminar is outstanding from basic mobility through endless applicability wonders to nearly undetectable short work. Somehow between two of them Vladimir & Sergey managed to compress HUGE amount of monumentally amazing material into one seminar with fantastic focus on key details & logical learning sequence.
My Systema video library is over a hundred titles but this one is among GET & KEEP items - it is all workable material with years of enjoyable revelations.
Mr Kwan Lee, Sir, I am a 52 year old Corrections Officer.
by Marlin Leybold, November 25, 2009
I started Systema last month by attending a seminar in Chicago. I have plenty of experience with kettlebells and bodyweight conditioning, however It wasn't until I did the work presented did I begin to realize how much damage I was doing and how limited my range was, and I am considered very flexible by those who know me. This material is excellent and I thank you very much for your contribution to all practitioners of Systema. As a person just starting I would consider these movements invaluable.
Unlike many exercise programs I have tried in the past.
by Daniel Pittman, November 29, 2009
The material presented on this dvd leaves me feeling energized and rejuvinated...not beat down. Even with neck and back pains, I have been getting relief through these excersises. Great dvd for anyone wanting to enhance their active life!
This DVD is not only essential for any serious Systema practitioner, but it is also the highest quality solo training product I have ever encountered.
by , November 29, 2009
I already knew Kwan to be a first-rate instructor with practically unparalleled knowledge in this area. But nevertheless, this DVD far exceeded my expectations.
The drills are expertly structured and comprehensively explained. The production values are very high, utilizing graphics and close-ups to reiterate key points of structure and form. And the action itself flows from subject to subject with all of KwanÂ’s trademark fluidity.
Along with Vladimir'Â’s Let Every Breath book, this DVD forms THE foundation for Systema conditioning, but it would also be invaluable to all martial artists, athletes and fitness enthusiasts seeking to take their functional strength, flexibility and physical dexterity to the highest level.
Buy this. Now. Believe me, you will not regret it.
In this innovative production senior Systema instructor Mr.
by , November 29, 2009
Kwan Lee takes the viewer on a progressive journey of dynamic kinesthetic exercises and body movement drills which introduce the viewer to a new and deeper understanding and appreciation of strength and flexibility. Rather than merely providing an intense muscle burning workout and encouraging you to push yourself to achieve deeper stretches, Mr. Lee expertly demonstrates unique and creative movement sets designed to target not only the muscles of the body, but also taxing the tendons of the bodyâ€™s joints. This challenging approach creates superior ability to generate power, enhanced strength endurance, and a vastly increased range of motion simply unachievable through conventional exercise methods.
Aside from heightened physical capabilities, Systema Strength and Flexibility provides the keys to overcoming self-imposed limitations and unlocking your own natural genius for creative movement. Whether you are a martial artist or sports athlete, if you want to be in superior physical condition and to discover your talents, Systema Strength and Flexibility is a must.
----- A. Lloyd Robrecht
Certified Systema Instructor
Kwan, this is a great dvd!
by , November 29, 2009
It has already helped me with the knee and hip excercises, the whole dvd is an eye opener though! Thank You!
Dade City FL
Kwan clearly demonstrates functional training methods.
by Pietro Vitelli, November 29, 2009
This DVD is easy to watch, easy to learn from, and the principles can be instantly applied to whatever you train. Once you watch it, you will notice things that will apply immediately to what you do and add to your training. Along with precise explanation of what each piece of work can help you to do and to achieve, it can only help to take you to a higher level. I really enjoy the fact that Kwan explains that you can do it solo, with a partner, and also with multiple partners. Â“A push up will never be the same.Â”
Bahala Na Club AZ
Kwan, Just a short note to let you know that Iâ€™ve been using your â€œStrength and Flexibilityâ€ DVD ever since I received it 3 or 4 weeks ago.
by Ken Harper, November 29, 2009
In fact, I do anywhere from 20-45 minutes or so in the morning to wake up body & spirit for work, and at night when I get home, Iâ€™ll do selected exercises to relax.
The instruction is clear, concise, and complete. What I really like are the variations, and the invitation to build my own, free-flowing movement literally from head to foot.
As someone who has had injuries from weight lifting, kettlebell training, and running (live long enough and you can damage just about any body part) Iâ€™ve been pleasantly surprised the way the movement in Strength and Flexibility have opened up my hips, knees, and ankles.
At the recent Systema seminar in SF, I picked up a second copy for my son to use at college.
It sounded as if you intended to release more volumes. When you do, please let me know.
Again, my appreciation and thanks,
I am fortunate to be among the first Torontonians to own Kwan Leeâ€™s â€œSystema Strength and Flexibilityâ€ DVD.
by Ivan Butsan, January 19, 2010
Viewing the video has been a delightful and instructive experience and the DVD certainly earned its place in my collection. One can admire the effort, mind and heart Kwan put into this project.
Understandably, purchasing a DVD is always a challenge â€“ you donâ€™t know whether youâ€™ll be able to make use of it until it is played (Eastern Europeans jokingly refer to this predicament as â€œbuying a cat in a sackâ€).
Admittedly, I used to be prejudiced in this respect, as well â€“ mostly due to the commercial ads for Aerobic or Boxercising videos abundant on TV. Those usually feature lean and handsome people sporting firm six-packs and biceps suggesting that you will become â€like thatâ€ once you buy their product. Unfortunately, many a time the instructor in such videos does not go far beyond â€œfollow meâ€ and â€œthis is good for youâ€, and you end up watching the video once or twice in its lifetime, mostly because you donâ€™t know if you are â€œfollowingâ€ correctly or doing it right.
Systema DVDs are different altogether and â€œSystema Strength and Flexibilityâ€ certainly meets the high standards set by Vladimir Vasiliev and his fellow-founders.
Kwanâ€™s instructional is truly a learning aid â€“ it keeps you engaged and interested from the beginning to the end, equally due to the lively visual presentation and interesting content. Kwan takes the viewer step by step through various exercises of increasing complexity while providing the necessary background information and helping avoid common mistakes. Whatâ€™s more important, after watching the video, the viewer will understand that the goals stated on the cover and demonstrated are realistic and effective â€“ one can achieve or make a significant advance toward the goals and will be much better for it.
On the subject of the goals, no DVD that I knew of before was focused specifically on developing strength and flexibility by working on oneâ€™s tendons as opposed to growing muscles. Kwan did an excellent job in summarizing and presenting effective methodologies for doing so. These exercises are beneficial to all and noticeably improve oneâ€™s day-to-day life, they reduce injuries, build confidence, and allow to breathe through any type of tension while exercising, among other things.
This subject goes hand in hand with non-destruction â€“ another fundamental concept in Systema. Regular exercises for building muscles, such as weight lifting, are associated with tension, which is stressful and ultimately destructive to the body, especially as the practitioner grows older. Needless to say, they suppress natural reaction and speed of movement. â€œStrength and Flexibilityâ€ shows you a way to avoid the stress and tension while making your body firm, relaxed, and by naturally increasing your range of motion.
The DVD is very well planned - as you try to follow the instructions and get questions, the answers are there (or, at least, the video will put you on the track to find the answer that works for you on your own, so long as you follow the guidelines that Kwan outlines). There is something new to learn each time one watches the instructional and this makes it an active learning aid that follows and helps your progress.
A final word â€“ my several years in Systema led me to believe that there comes a point in your development when you can and should improve not only by training yourself, but also by sharing what you already learned with the others. It is very inspirational to see Kwanâ€™s advancements. As far as I know, he has not had Russian Special Forces training like most Systema founders and if he can measure up to the masters nevertheless, so can you and I.
In other words, the DVD proves Systema is not an ivory tower â€“ regular people who are not pros like Vladimir Vasiliev and Mikhail Ryabko can get there, too!
Great job, Kwan!
Improvised Weapons (DVD)
by Kris Webeck, March 30, 2010
Vladimir is the most creative martial artist of all time
by Brandon Sommerfeld, April 07, 2010
Unconditional Masteryâ€ is the Bible of Blade Work.
I just finished viewing Vladimir Vasilievâ€™s new DVD "KNIFE Unconditional Mastery" and if I could sum it up in one word â€œphenomenal.â€
This particular DVD in my humble opinion is his best work yet. The information and drills are laid out in such a detailed and progressive manner that everything being shown builds on itself. Vladimirâ€™s demonstrations are incredible, timing, distancing, superior body positioning are all there. The real beauty for me is that he creates everything on the spot as needed nothing is choreographed.
This reminded me of last Summer Camp, Vladimir and Konstantin had us working all week on a nice progression of touching, pushing, and striking with fists, stick, knife and shovel, everybody was moving nice and naturally, then on the last day Vladimir demonstrated a knife disarm and then asked if we would like to try it, of course we all said "yes" then we proceeded to fumble and fall apart with what seemed to be the complexity of the technique. Vladimir looked out at the crowd and shook his head saying "You where all moving so well, this is why I do not like to show technique".
Now let me just add it was those older Systema tapes that pretty much shook my martial arts foundation and got me to immediately seek him out and experience this level of mastery for myself and that the "Fundamentals of knife Disarmingâ€ is one of my favorites DVDs in my Systema library. However, â€KNIFE Unconditional Mastery" is the best knife DVD I have had the pleasure to see, some of the topics include characteristics of the knife, drawing the knife while moving and from a concealed position, point work, utilization of the entire knife, offensive, defensive, multiple attackers and so much more. In fact the demos from Vladimirâ€™s knife seminars alone is worth the price of admission. Anyway see for yourself, I promise you will not be disappointed.
Even at the tip of a blade we learn the guiding principles of Systema: the value of good breathing, relaxation, movement, and precision.
by Brad Scheel, April 07, 2010
We are reminded that there is fear in aggression and the foundation of that fear is tension... and tension is good to work against.
Often, when I think of Vlad, I think of having some serious fun. This video is loaded with fun and seriousness. The shadow of Vlad's military training is not far from him, this is serious work. Yet he presents this material with humor and personality. Blemishes are not edited out, but are used as learning tools.
We are told that: "Your calmness will give you healthy old age". Sound advice, on many levels.
Short work, playfulness, basics, advanced and brutal work, it's all here at the tip of a blade.
Also, there is a nice section discussing blades and the pros and cons of each type.
This video gives a non-Hollywood presentation of the realities of professional knife work against armed and unarmed attackers.
by Kwan Lee, April 07, 2010
It shatters typical presumptions made regarding knife encounters and cuts through the veneer of false confidence so often seen in traditional knife systems.
While other videos on the market begin with stances and protective postures, which purport to increase survivability, Vladimir shows very clearly that it is fear in the body that causes such stances to appear, that these actions can impede range and mobility, and how these actions can expose an attacker's weaknesses.
Where other systems teach how to gain the advantage through speed and timing alone from a positional viewpoint, Vladimir presents the material from a purely movement perspective and offers a holistic picture of knife work that is essential in developing total situational awareness and the ability to work freely and prevail under duress.
Along with the amazing unchoreographed demonstrations and concise instruction, this video reveals a good amount of trade-craft that is rarely seen elsewhere.
You'll learn how to develop accuracy through relaxation, learn the swift and subtle draws of the professional, develop deadly-efficient multitasking ability (short work) against several opponents at all levels, undergo a comprehensive treatment of knife selection and selection psychology, and learn to achieve independent body motion to fill gaps without telegraphing intent regardless of the implement in-hand. You'll also learn fight-ending tactics in a knife-on-knife situation that are very simple yet brutally effective.
This video will help you build a real foundation for professional work and is your ticket to achieving full-spectrum dominance in offensive and defensive knife situations.
For anyone interested in realistic, effective & reliable blade work this material provides eye opening & jaw dropping guidance for years of training.
by Sergey Makarenko, April 09, 2010
Advantage of a natural movement & instant adaptation based work is spelled out, brilliantly illustrated & packaged into lucid explanations & breath taking demos.
KNIFE UNCONDITIONAL MASTERY scrutinizes nightmare of confrontation with multiple armed opponents into a difficult but manageable task. Obviously mastery in dealing with such task is not unconditional but contingent on possession of certain skills & qualities.
Still title for this DVD is chosen well because the truth is we all UNCONDITIONALLY possess skills & qualities required to master this & any other task. What we lack is commitment to unlock them.
Message delivered by KNIFE UNCONDITIONAL MASTERY is truly fascinating. It is not technique, conditioning or motivation comprise a good FIGHTER but ability to cleanse from pride, fear & self pity. It is that extra mile weâ€™re choosing not to go separates us from UNCONDITIONAL MASTERY.
Those willing to make that mile shall find this DVD to be exciting & inspiring roadmap. Rookie or professional â€“ everybody will find distance to cover.
Vladimir is a professional of the highest level.
by Mark Pier, April 20, 2010
Knowledge is power-and the skills that you learn in this DVD may save your life and those that you love and care about.At the end of the day :Your life is your responsibility.It is a gift from G-d and noone has the right to take it away from you.This knife DVD is the most realistic and practial demonstration of skills and drills.The once classified method of real life training is yours for the taking.TAKE IT!PRACTICE!Self mastery that you may gain will carry into everything that you do in yout daily life,you will be more relaxed,confident..and alive.No matter what style you practice- this DVD will only make you better.Merci!
I have never seen anyone as so complete skilled as Vladimir!
by Brad Pryer, April 27, 2010
Thanks for this DVD, no mixed Martial Artist should be without it...
by Ben Campton, September 10, 2010
for someone with zero martial arts experience before, i found this dvd easy to follow and very informative. It is a must buy for beginners and advanced students.
This DVD works on two levels.
by Aran Dharmeratnam, September 21, 2010
Two important levels. In the first part, Russian Systema instructor Valentin Talanov provides a thorough and professional lesson on Systema's incredibly deep breath training. And so what follows is a very well structured and methodical look at something that lies firmly at the foundation of Systema- the breath work.
It is the breath work that guides the student into a solid understanding of the different states that can be accessed and maintained using Systema. Such states include various levels of awareness, stillness and perception, as well as the state of calm required for efficient delivery of tactics. The principles that Valentin openly covers are essentially some of the core principles of Systema breathwork and he shows how they can be applied in different ways and in different situations.
He covers numerous ways of relaxing the body and removing tension. He shows breath sequences that calm the psyche and help the body to recover from physical exertion. There are also exercises to dramatically enhance mobility and reduce the types of fear that can be trapped in the person's body, consciousness or demeanor. The approach also represents a powerful way to remove other stealth like tensions that lie within the body and it represents a way to understand more about one's own psyche.
Now as an instructor who has been using some of these exercises and this methodology for some years, I feel comfortable in saying that this Russian breath work can produce some very interesting results and certainly represents a profound journey in itself. My students have also found genuine rewards in steady, diligent practice of some of these exercises, with all kinds of tensions and obstacles being removed or overcome.
Part two of this DVD, addresses the way Systema breathwork can fit into the martial context. Valentin proficiently demonstrates how the breathwork enhances one's self preservation skills. And in this part of the DVD, Valentin shows the skills, steps and subtle ground skills that can be found within the Russian martial art Systema...This is a DVD that will certainly appeal to many Systema practitioners and also people from other martial arts or physical disciplines.
This video clearly shows Systema breath work, and Valentin uses drills and clear concise explanations to teach these concepts.
by Brendan Boyle, September 21, 2010
The amount of information contained in this video is amazing. Also, Valentin is able to use the concepts taught in the video during the video to amazing results. I watched a few scenes of his movement in slow motion, and his ability to control his fear and tension allowed him to move just as well slowly or at full speed! It was incredible to see him work, and great to have him explain the steps necessary to move without tension. This video is one of the ones in my collection I will need to watch many times.
Short of the Summit of Masters Camp, which is yet to be beaten, training with Valentin Talanov was is the most profound Systema session that I have had the privilege to attend.
by Ivan Butsan, September 21, 2010
First off, I was amazed at the whole new dimension of breathing and movement. The synergy between the two is practical, effective, useful and enjoyable.
The most important and profound part of the seminar, in my opinion, was focused on learning to manage one's fear. Participants were consistently led to realize that it is their fear and its incarnations - self pity, panic, anger - that prevent one from achieving set objectives, be it doing a split or learning to properly fall and move on the floor.
This session completely changed my exercising routine as it provided an excellent alternative to doing repetitive push-ups, sit-ups, and squats or stretches. In fact, this style of workout accomplishes in less than 40 minutes what usually took an hour and a half or more. The lesson provided a lot of specific methodologies for relaxing, restoring and revitalizing the body. Being a fan of stretching, only after this class did I learn that it can be done so effectively, without nearly as much pain, and actually be enjoyed.
Finally, the combat part of the seminar was very impressive. The progression was such that it built one's body and mind up so that one learned to relax, breathe, move, and manage one's emotions just enough to quickly grasp the combat exercises.
The training techniques are extremely valuable for any person especially for instructor's toolbox.
Overall just excellent!
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.
Valentinâ€™s style of work closely resembles that of Mikhail as he is one of his oldest and most committed Systema students.
by Max Franz, September 21, 2010
Valentinâ€™s work is very short and precise which in turn makes it very hard to counter him absence of unnecessary movements leaves no chance to engage him. When you first meet Valentin - he looks like an average calm man, but when you get to know him closer - the man possesses amazing flexibility and self control. His Systema is built heavily on breathing and hence it is very powerful and effective. I consider myself fortunate being able to meet and train with this man.
The exercises shown in this video are not very easy but very effective way of developing amazing inner strength making your body function in a calmer and healthier way which is a signature of true professionalsâ€¦
Here are some of the benefits of breathwork:
Our physical state can not decrease dramatically within a short period of time unless we seriously injure ourselves or if extreme conditions are imposed upon us.
On the other hand, our psyche state could change without any dramatic events or any big physical impact.
This type of breathing exercises is very good tool to train and check your psychological state. For example, one day you can hold your breath for 2 minutes. The next day, if your mental state changes, you will be struggling to hold it for 1 minute. No visible physical changes happened and it seems like your body is capable of doing the same workload it did yesterday, but with the change of your psyche there is a huge change in your bodyâ€™s performance sometimes even hidden from our own selves. (Body feels strong but mind is ready to give up if it pushed just a bit).
For military applications, this type of exercise is very important as it teaches you to control and train your mental state so your body is at peak performance. You develop understanding of how to recover your body from psychological and physical fatigue while being under heavy physical workload in stress conditions. This will decrease fears (fear of failure, being shot, etcâ€¦) during the fight which allows the body to function properly and make good fast decisions increasing your chance of survival.
I have experienced strikes of Valentin, it is like a boulder hitting you, your brain shakes and rattles.
by Brendan Zettler, September 21, 2010
He has no emotion in his strikes and therefore amazingly delivers no injury or bruise no matter how hard he hits.
His work is truly honest, with no false movements, at a real high level!
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!
Mr.Talanov's knowledge of physiology,psychology and relaxation- combined with his deep combat expertise is a "must"have DVD for students of all martial styles.
by Yuri O., October 12, 2010
His simple explanaitions are devoid of artificial mambo jumbo BS.You inhale-exhale.Or inhale-hold your breath-exale.That is all folks.And the exercises work in combat,practice club/dojo or in REAL LIFE.Unless you are a soldier or a police officer,who engages in combat for a living-than like most of us :we fight everyday the struggles of work,school,earning a living and raising a family.Those are stress producing tasks.Having studied and practiced yoga and other different styles of health-I can tell you for certain that the systema breathing is the simplest,most effective and practical way to brethe and to move-there is nothing artificial or fake about it.There is no limit on how far you can go-Mr.Talanov shares the method with you in a simple and honest manner.His fighting skill is awesome,but like all instructors of the Systema -Mr.Talanov is humble,polite,respectful to all- and hits like a .45ACP with left and right hands.GREAT DVD! A must have for your martial arts library collection!
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.
Systema Hand to Hand is an incredibly valuable DVD in its content!
by C Despins, November 17, 2010
It is in fact a DVD that although I own, it is seldom in my possession, as I am constantly lending it out to someone.
I have all of Vladimir's Instructionals and they are just the best!
by Brad Pryer, November 19, 2010
In 32 yrs of learning and teaching a wide variety of combative arts I have never come across Systema's methods, principles and approach! Rare and unique and definately fight skill changing, plus moreeee!!!!!!
This is what I liked about Systema Excellence.
by Alan Reeman, November 29, 2010
Its very serious content, makes you think and look at martial arts in a new way.
Just a great movie!
by Mike Floyd, November 29, 2010
Thanks for the huge amount of information.
This is what impressed me in Mikhail Ryabko's STEALTH STRIKING.
by Major Konstantin Komarov, December 11, 2010
Simplicity and originality of approach to short and invisible strikes.
We are so used to standard thinking. With punches, we expect visible application of force. While Mikhail showed work that is so fine and subtle psychologically, subtle to such an extend that until it is explained it cannot be grasped.
I tried this work myself at the recent seminar in Kiev and I was easily able to apply this unique approach. Moreover, all serious Systema practitioners at the seminar were very successful at implementing it. No studying of complicated patterns or memorization was required, it was more like some routine understanding had to flip in the mind and it became clear how to strike this way.
Having participated in the Systema Excellence Seminar, watching the first part of the video, Stealth Striking by Mikhail Ryabko, unabled me to review and appreciate the depth of information transmited by the Teacher in an open, humane, and healthy way.
by Antonio Lampreia, December 14, 2010
Of course to be in his presence is a little more intimidating than watching the video, Even with his jovial humor and modesty, one can feel the tremenous power of this Teacher. Mikhail's insight shared in this video if studied in depth, gives enough information to create a whole Martial Art. I`m looking foward to watching the second part of this film, Internal Control by Konstantin Komarov.
With respect and gratitude,
Since starting Systema, I have been able to recognize when I am tense (which seems to have been most of the time previously) and to learn how to relax.
by Scott Tulleners, December 15, 2010
This has been a blessing both in my daily life and on the fencing strip.
As a competitive epeeist, I'm very excited about the pronounced improvement I've noticed in my fencing. In modern fencing, you need explosive footwork, tiny blade actions, which are reliant on fine-motor skills, and a highly honed sense of distance and timing. Before I started Systema training, I would get tense during a bout, and my blade work and footwork would become extremely sloppy and poorly timed. Accordingly, my performance would vary wildly from bout to bout. Since I've started to integrate Systema breathing and relaxation principles into my fencing, my performance has become more consistent and has improved dramatically. I still get tense during bouts, but because of the Systema exercises I have been shown, I am able to recognize that I am tense and use my training to relax. I noticed improvement after my first month of training, and I've continued to improve since. I would encourage anyone who is interested in improving their performance in any area to take Systema.
Systema EXCELLENCE seminar (DVD)
by Eric Kingston, December 19, 2010
The Secret of the True Warrior
Written for Mikhail Ryabko
The true warrior allows others to shine
And he himself is enlightened
The true warrior gives and restores
And he himself is made full
The true warrior shares of his knowledge
And he himself finds brothers and sisters along the sacred way
The true warrior knows that all arts are to be taught for spiritual wisdom
And they are to be shared so that others may understand the higher way upon the sacred Path of life
Because the true warrior is a spiritual warrior
He knows that all people are but mirrors of himself
He knows that the greatest struggle is within his own heart
He knows that the greatest ignorance is within his own mind
He knows that the greatest victory is not achieved in defeating another through combat
But from overcoming the illusion that there is a difference between us at all
For he knows there is certain point
The center of all centers
Where ALL paths and art merge into one
And this is the true warriors greatest secret
In a single breath
That ALL opposites
i already whatched new dvd "Excellence" with Konstantin & Mikhail.
by Emmanuel Meignein, January 10, 2011
it's really a great explained dvd. it's very interesting to heard about the knowledge of the body and human being and understand what's being the fight !!! i feel it, understand & agree with simple principles that are as Konstantin said the most difficult to experienced !!!
"Each DVD is an ongoing conversation between teacher and student, each teaching progresses all other teachings" says Mikhail at the end of his session.
by Paul McCaughey, January 18, 2011
When you watch and listen to Mikhail Ryabko and Konstantin Komarov talking to each of us about the nature of Systema, you will look at your work and all the other DVDs you watch with greater insight.
Mikhail will show you correct distance for Stealth Striking, determined by how tension grows in the opponent. This is the beginning of becoming accountable as you work with someone else. Mikhail's methods address your mental attitude while you form a punch and how your movement through space will either signal to the opponent that you are coming, or catch him unaware. Stealth strikes are not trick punches, but the sleight of hand that comes from understanding what not to do, and how to veil your work in normalcy and stillness.
Mikhail demonstrates many approaches to striking. He shows typical errors and how the opponent reacts defensively, and then, how to do it right. He raises his fist and asks, "Am I irritating you?" the evidence of which is obvious in his opponent's body language. Mikhail doesn't dwell on any technique, rather, he shows a process and from there many variations would be possible.
I was moved by the way he meets the admiration of his students with a sincere humility. "The rumors of my mastery are greatly exaggerated", he says with a smile and a laugh, after which he apologizes for any mistakes he might have made. Brilliant and down to earth are very compelling characteristics in a teacher, but this is also how he teaches us to practice Systema.
Konstantin follows Mikhail with a narrative on Internal Control that looks deeply into the process of being a Systema practitioner and how to be accountable to yourself for the state of your body and mind, both on and off the practice floor. Konstantin addresses the way in which a Systema practitioner deliberately flexes his psyche by exploring both fear and pain. He uncovers how pain grows in ones imagination as fear and how to work towards cleaning these illusions away through the process of taking strikes. "We get rid of our baggage. Systema is freedom"
Konstantin explains how Systema has no database of moves or positions like many martial arts. "The psyche loves details and tricks and it fragments the whole." Systema practice is continuous movement, whereby a practitioner sifts for the feeling of moving correctly and painstakingly builds the somatic memory of that state in each new situation. He encourages us to exploit every partner in the room and to account for all challenges we encounter as our own. "In Systema, we move towards a state of wholeness everyday."
Konstantin would have us appreciate working through the basics in Systema, as the process through which we come to examine all of our restrictive patterns and limitations, both physical and psychological. He said something quite beautiful to me at the seminar in answer to a personal question about slow push-ups. He said, "The body is a lens through which you are now looking at yourself. Systema practices increase the focus."
Konstantin sums his reflections up by describing the learning spiral of Systema being helical, ever spiraling upward, crossing the same point on the circle of learning in new higher and sometimes extraordinary ways. "It all begins with the decision to do Systema, but then one has to decide again and again". Just decide to study this DVD and I guarantee you'l watch it again and again.
I became aware of Systema 10 years ago through TRS, but had a hard time understanding it, outside of a few moves.
by Vance Gatlin, February 11, 2011
With H2H, Vladimir shows the drills to help free your body and mind and move without thinking. Even my fianc'ee got into it and is my training partner. And she loves to take me down. We practiced it and I have some work to do on my tension. I took notes on how to do the drills so I can study them and the principles when I'm away from the TV. My only problem is that the DVDs don't have subtitles since my fianc'ee is deaf. Otherwise, good work!
amazing it is like watch a bit of cold war spy espionage history.
by Edward Harcourt, March 04, 2011
as I watched this DVD,I was finding myself easily imaging how this is exactly the type of stuff and international espionage spy would need to learn.
Personally I feel this DVD should be featured in some cold war spy museum.
A spy I image would be out gunned,out manned very much like the common law abiding citizen.
Meny of the easy to understand concepts are very much what you would expect to see in a more realistic James Bond movie.James Bond would not even have a chance against Vlad. sean Connary,Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton,Pierce Brosnan...please not even a chance.Even tough guy Daniel Craig would get totally owned againt Vladimir.Persoanlly , I think Vlad would make light work of the transporter guy as well.Remember that video game "Golden Eye"?.Just imagine if Vlad was one of the characters you had to fight or kill in that game.....Forget about it,no one would have a chance against him.
Now word of warning.
if this the first systema Video you watch, you will have a hard time to believe Vlad could disarmed a knife attacker with a comb.The rest of us realise he could disarm multiple knife attackers with a wet piece of toliet paper or a plastic spoon.
But seriously all joking aside.
First you must understand the basic underlining concepts of systema found in "Hand to Hand" and fundamentals of Knife" and "Beat the Odds" and " Hold and Escapse" and in "confined spaces" to name a few then you will easily grasp much easier what he is speaking about in this truly amazing Video.
It was interesting to see the various different ways to build up strength and flexibility.
by Sharath Somasundaram, April 05, 2011
Kwan Lee has done exceptional work on this DVD. It will take me a while to get to the level that Kwan Lee demonstrates on the DVD, but at least the DVD lays down a definite path to follow. This should be recommended to everyone learning Systema, irrespective of the level of mastery.
I really enjoyed this DVD, the explanations and demonstrations were just amazing.
by Sharath Somasundaram, April 05, 2011
Very informative and to the point.
With all the talk of sustainability and being “green” these days, have you ever stopped to consider how these concepts apply to your survival and combatives training?
by Kwan Lee, May 10, 2011
Has your understanding of health provided a meaningful way of living pain and injury free, and are you able to apply this knowledge to your personal protection training? With “The Combative Body,” Vladimir provides us with a detailed view of the holistic fighting approach of Systema, and for the first time on video, he breaks down our unique and sustainable methods of fear-reducing bodywork and bridges this to a rare treatment of the mechanics behind his legendary fistic “shortwork.”
The lessons shown in the first half of this video will give you a deeper understanding of why we do Bodyweight Massage and how it is carried out. You quickly see the importance of walking massage once you realize that if you can’t be calm when you are being stepped on, you can’t remain calm when you are worked harder or deeper in a fight or other dangerous situation.
The segment builds successively from relieving muscular tension to freeing up joints with unusual but entirely common-sense methods and then moves into the combative realm with clear demonstrations on how to detect residual tension in the body using strike energy. Once again, we are shown Tissue Impact, how using strikes is an excellent way to heal and empower your partner while indirectly gaining understanding of how to locate and exploit fear, tension, and imbalance.
We are shown a comprehensive routine to address every part of the body, from head-to-toe, and another that is an “express” procedure based on a cursory assessment of major tension zones, which is handy for a warm-up or instant therapeutic relief. The Joint Tapping chapter alone is worth the price of admission.
By the end of this segment, you will be armed with the tools to stay calm and eliminate fear in the body so that it is ready for just about any threat in life.
Just in case you were wondering, this kind of body “annealing” is the only way that the pre-emptive work shown in the second half of the video can be accomplished. Previously, we could only sit and watch in awe as Vladimir performed his shortwork magic, but with this segment on bodywork, we now have the means of achieving the requisite baseline relaxed state to approach his extraordinary method of real-world striking.
With the segment on pre-emptive strikes, Vladimir shows us why Systema striking has no equal. I have to say that this is my favorite part, though without the zeroing-out gained from the bodywork, and other preparatory work with the breath, there is little hope for being relaxed enough to avoid injury and no hope for intercepting the intent of attackers, as Vladimir so aptly demonstrates.
As you grow in Systema, you begin to realize that if you cannot rid yourself of the tendency to tense up before striking or being struck, you will not be able to control the fear in your body. When you are uncontrollably tense, you cannot properly dose punches with precision let alone deliver anything beyond brute one-dimensional strikes to just one person at a time. Vladimir gives you the foundation to transform your stiff punching arm, resembling a linear battering ram, into a whip-like snake capable of masterfully spreading its bite over multiple targets and from unusual angles.
With the step-by-step instructional breakdown, you can learn how to move your hands to cover all bases and fill in all the gaps that your opponent leaves open. It certainly explains why I always feel like a human piñata when I spar with Vladimir and why his strikes come from out of the field of view and outside of the realm of expectation.
At the very least, this video will give you new perspective on what is actually possible in this area of hand-to-hand combat instead of defaulting to the played-out phrase that “the human body can only move a certain number of ways.” In Systema, we know that this is just the beginning.
Konstantin's seminars are AMAZING.
by Gene Smithson, May 10, 2011
He manages to take a large group of people and through pacing and drill choice, create an experience of this optimal internal state. Then he moves the people out of it and offers the tools to keep improving. So many participants have written me and told me how much they learned, how their lives have been transformed. I agree with all of that, I was as amazed as anyone else.
The striking methodology of Systema is brilliant, subtle, simple, yet layered in sophistication and nobody personifies this more than the founder Colonel Mikhail Ryabko.
by Brandon Sommerfeld, May 10, 2011
I have been a student of the fighting arts since 1971 and have always had a very strong lean toward striking during this time I trained, witnessed and felt the power of many types of strikes from amateurs and professionals alike. …With that being said I will make this bold statement “I am thoroughly convinced that Martial Arts Masters that possess Mikhail Ryabko and Vladimir Vasiliev’s skill level come around, maybe once every 200 years”.
New York Seminars 2001, it was ten years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday.
by Frank Fileti, May 10, 2011
It was my second meeting with Vladimir but the first time I felt the true absence of fear. There is a certain presence about Vladimir that made me feel relaxed and comfortable, and it was a truly amazing experience to work with him. I never knew being thrown around the room and taking multiple strikes all over my body could be so calming; it was as if the whole room went silent and there was a certain peace and well being that came over me. The moment changed me- mentally, physically, but most importantly, spiritually- I knew right then and there that this was much more than a Martial Art.
There is so much information in The Combative Body, stuff I have never seen before.
by George Alfred, May 24, 2011
I learned a lot. Thank you!
I have New York Seminars on video from the old VHS days.
by Jimmy Reed Jr., May 24, 2011
Always enjoyed it.
Now Vladimir added about 10 minutes of new ground fighting footage to this dvd edition, I loved it.
Hope more of these materials make it to dvds.
I got this DVD last week and already watched it twice and used it in my training.
by Spencer Wong, May 24, 2011
I was cautious at first and then amazed at the positive effect of the bodyweight massage for myself and my partner.
I also tried the tissue work with my mom who has health issues. I was impressed at how easy it is to adapt these methods for lighter pressure and impact.
Having some experience in boxing and in Tae Kwon Do, I can say that what Mikhail shows totally makes sense.
by Alberto Nacif, June 10, 2011
This is the best approach to delivering and taking strikes that I have seen, and his understanding of the psychology of fear makes him a formidable and gracious teacher.
I liked The Combative Body dvd very much.
by Arend Dubbelboer, June 10, 2011
Such a good way to train the body and mind (annealing)!
Nice and clear way to explain combat and health.
Beautiful pre-emptive defense work.
Thanks for sharing this work on dvd.
We are using this it in class now, amazed at how well the training process works.
Finally start to understand breathing and relaxation deeper.
Thank you so much for producing these fine videos.
by Matt Young, June 12, 2011
Please keep them coming.
Footage of the seminars is really helpful and instructive to those like myself who would like to one day attend a seminar in person.
Matt in So. Cal.
Thank you for giving me a better, more joyful way to train.
by Cristian in Vancouver, June 12, 2011
Cristian in Vancouver
New York Seminars (DVD)
by Colin Elless, June 14, 2011
Thank you Vladimir Vasiliev for coming to Canada and showing the rest of the world that “there is more than one way to eat an apple”
I watch with great attention the footage of Mikhail Ryabko in his films.
by Jérôme Laigret, June 18, 2011
A dream mastery to reach !
Up until now, I really didn't think there was a martial art that honestly addressed the topic.
by martin laverdiere, June 28, 2011
This DVD is absolutely incredible. I learned more from watching this in 90 minutes than I did in 10 years of Karate. This stuff really works. Incredible! Bravo!
A very good video, with amazing grappling movements and interesting drills.
by Victor Machado, June 28, 2011
Congratulations for your fast delivering service.
Vladimir does it again.
by Matt Cn, June 28, 2011
You're not supposed to come away from a gun so easily and no one in his right mind would underestimate a a gun. But with the trademark simplicity and originality of Systema, Vladimir shows workable, convincing methods of defending yourself and turning the tables. One is particularly reassured with the gun defenses knowing they come from a pro. As always, Vladimir is a pleasure to watch.
The Combative Body (DVD)
by Scott McQueen, August 01, 2011
I watched the Combative Body DVD and was very impressed as usual, also many more gaps were filled in for me regarding the massage and health aspects of Systema.
Never thought simple, profound, powerful can all be found in one art, so generously offered in Systema.
by Justin Graham, August 30, 2011
Thank you Vladimir and Mikhail.
A very clear, concise and valuable training message.
by Paul McCaughey, September 06, 2011
Some of the best things that I have learned through Systema were the most difficult to see. When the illusive becomes accessible then I feel that I have truly learned something. Great teachers and instruction help you to shape your vision of how to train and how to explain how Systema works and looks a certain way to the untrained eye.
In my recent training I have tried to focus on a series of breathing and tension exercises, eventually exploring those principles while being grabbed around the body.
by John Blake, September 20, 2011
After serving two years in Iraq in a combat zone and being regularly engaged by enemy I suffered from severe post traumatic stress disorder. Physically my body is still under a great deal of stress. From just 90 minutes of breathing and tension drills, I can finally feel my body start to let go of some of its tension and that I really connected with the sensitivity training that forced me to "listen" to my body. Needless to say, I look forward to exploring the work further. So that's really great =) That's why I appreciate how complete this DVD is and how it seeks to restore a person in all areas of his/her life.
Just wanted to say that I love the Videos and I have learned more from the few months that I have been observing Systema through your teaching than I have in my twenty plus years in other martial arts.
by Andrew Williams, October 02, 2011
je tenais a ecrire ce mail , pour dire a quel point les principes du systema expliques dans le DVD breathing avaient ameliore mon quotidien .
by Karel Fani, November 01, 2011
Ca fait quelques mois que je l'ai achete et que j'appliquais les diffrents principes dans ma vie quotidienne , au travail , pour porter des choses et ca m'aidait deja beaucoup . Mais depuis vendredi 14/10/11, je me suis fait opere d'une hernie inguinale (dans le bas-ventre) . De retour chez moi le vendredi soir , bouger me fait mal et faire nimporte quel mouvement m'est assez penible, c'est la que les principes du systema m'aident incroyablement : par exemple utiliser une partie du corps en en decontractant une autre , evacuer la douleur et les divers tensions grâce a la respiration . exemple pratique : je suis couche pour me relever je maide de mon bras en decontractant mon ventre tout en respirant correctement et si ca me fait mal quand même j'utilise la respiration explosive. voila un exemple parmis tant d'autres pour dire a quel point le systema m'aide quotidiennement. Le plus etonnant dans tout ca c'est que je n'ai appris des choses qu'en regardant des DVD et videos sur internet. je n'ai encore jamais mis les pieds dans un cours 'reel' de systema...alors si un DVD a pu m'apprendre ca , qu est ce que ca va être quand je pourrai pratique "pour de vrai" . Ma conclusion c'est que je remercie Vladimir Vasiliev et toutes les personnes qui ont permis de rendre le systema accessible a tous .
bonne continuation, salutations
I have fun with life.
by Erik Watts, January 15, 2012
I love it all. Great instruction, it keeps me young.
More importantly these DVDs have opened my eyes and heart to the depth and soul of the Russian people and their incredible culture and history.
Truly it was Vladimir Vasiliev and his teachings that brought me into contact with Mother Russia and its people. Wow!
by Rose Winter, April 17, 2012
.. I will share an example where such breathing helped me through a specific situation.
Recently I was invited to an interview for a new job opportunity, interviews and meetings with management always made me nervous and anxious. As I was waiting in the lobby for my interview, I remembered one of the breathing exercises I practiced the night before, I thought to myself, this is the best time to test the effectiveness of the breathing exercise... so I started breathing for internal control, without knowing it, I was calm... I proceeded with the interview with such relaxation, ease and comfort that I was offered the position a couple of hours after I left the office.
Real life example of where this worked for me.
Keep up the great work Vladimir!
I must say that this breath training is truly VERY GOOD.
by Joao Furia, April 24, 2012
Every time I think about it, I realize it couldn't be better for someone like me, who needs from basic to advanced material but is residing overseas in Brazil. So then I have something in mind to focus even away from Vlad's attention and can learn a lot about myself and my Self.
This material is ESPECIALLY GREAT FOR SOLO TRAINING or away from HQ. Also a lot of things Vlad's said, especially simple things, like "do not look down", "you must find the tension in yourself", "check/scan your body" and so on, help my training almost every time. I am always checking myself and it is incredible how often I can find tension. When I can get rid of this tension, everything gets easier. Then movement and breathing is much better. Simply wonderful. I do this body-checking all the time (working, driving, sitting).
I am applying this while training with my partners and also do health and breathing work at home with my wife. Highly useful, interesting and amazing!
Vladimir has created an environment where the student can allow his body and his spirit to work together without interference of himself.
by Jonathan Kaye, April 24, 2012
In Systema, force is replaced by power, allowing the student to remain aware of himself and his opponent. The training is as much a discovery of the techniques of Systema as it is of the workings of one's own body and mind.
Self-observation leads to awareness which is necessary to instigate change and learning. What interferes with this process the most is the ego. The humility experienced in Systema is a clear indication that students of Systema are learning to gain control over the situations. This also becomes visible in the available speed for movements; reaction times are reduced because thought, choice and opinion are no longer required.
Vladimir's teachings provide everyone the opportunity to simultaneously learn a martial art and about themselves, and through that process become a true warrior. I very much look forward to learning from you and your instructors at the Systema Headquarters and want to thank you for offering Systema to the public.
This is a great DVD!
by Adam and Brendon Zettler, May 04, 2012
We often do these exercises in class and now to hear these additional profound explanations are really helpful. We listen to this audio file in the car and you just feel the enhanced attention to the body. Somehow listening and focusing puts you in a good mood and sets you on the healthy mode for the rest of the day. It brings back the feeling of relaxation we experience in class.
Highly recommended for everyone!
I just finished watching the new DVD "Breath for Internal Control - Teachings of the Russian Breath Masters" by Vladimir Vasiliev.
by Andrew Peskin, May 22, 2012
I thought it was truly an outstanding instruction and should benefit all of us in the Systema community. The content is very much like Systema itself, in its versatility and ease of personalization. Even just on the surface, Systema is the most efficient and effective fighting system around, and if that is all the student is looking for, then he will not be disappointed. However, if a student wishes to go a little deeper, Systema offers so much more -- health and healing, spiritual, and psychological components that work towards improving the student as a whole person. With the DVD, one could use the material on just a basic level and benefit from increasing the body's pulmonary and aerobic capacity. Breath fuels the body and any improvements one makes with breath alone lead to a cascade of additional health and performance benefits. But with venturing into our inner psyche, the material gives us the tools for working towards a better understanding, recognizing, and managing of our fear and tension. Simply speaking, we will get out of it what we put into it.
Systema has another name: "Poznai Sebia", or to "Know Yourself" -- which is really this Art's essence. Admittedly, we all carry within us a certain amount of fear, which causes tension. That tension restricts us from gaining freedom of movement and achieving our true potential. Of the four pillars of Systema, Relaxation is the primary pillar to directly target fear and tension. It is also the only one that cannot be taken away from you by external circumstances. Breathing can be taken away in certain situations, such as underwater or in a smoke-filled or gas-filled environment, and Movement and Structure can also be restricted, for example, when trapped in a crashed vehicle or a collapsed structure.
Relaxation, on the other hand, is largely a product of one's mind and psyche, as well as of breath (when it is available). With the material in "Breath for Internal Control", Vladimir has shared with us some extremely effective tools empowering us to look within ourselves and identify our fears. By being able to recognize our fears and their location and origin, we can then proceed to minimize and remove them, coming closer to our body's and mind's full potential through practice.
When that happens, you will experience a myriad of benefits in your health, wellbeing, performance, and overall state of mind. As a bonus, the complete audio tracks of the DVD, along with media files for viewing on a PC or mobile device, are also included on a second disk. This material is excellent and would benefit not only Systema students, but all people in general, and should be considered for review and practice.
The excercises in the new Internal Control DVD seem so profound it's almost hard to believe they can be so simple and straight forward.
by Keith Hollett, May 26, 2012
From all levels of stress great and small, we can learn to identify what's going on inside of us, work through it and then conciously recover. It just seems so important on so many levels in martial arts and day-to-day life in general.
The lessons in this video are truly a gift, thank you Mikhail, Vladimir and Valarie
I recieved the package "Path to Mastery 2".
by Kenichi Matsui, September 03, 2012
This DVD is the most wonderful I have seen to date!
Thank you very much!!!
Systema videos by Vladimir Vasiliev are the best tapes I own!
by Danny Zinski, September 09, 2012
In Vladimir's new video, "Path to mastery 2, I thought it was amazing to see how Vlad worked continuously against Multiple Opponents!
by Adam Zettler, September 20, 2012
It was awesome to see how Vlad never got tired, and his reaction to any surprise attack. One part that I really liked was when someone came to the side of Vlad, and he didn't see him, and the person stabbed him, and his body just reacted! This video just shows the relaxation and skill level that Vladimir has!
"Path to Mastery 2" inpires me to want to train harder, and to maybe one day be able to come close to Vladimir's skill level!
Adam Zettler, Systema instructor
Vladimir's new video Clothing as a Weapon, opens up a whole new world for me, on how you can defend yourself in a confrontation, or the many different ways you could attack using your own clothes!
by Adam Zettler, September 22, 2012
Watching Vladimir demonstrate this work using clothing was awesome! I was fortunate to be in this video helping with the demonstrations. And I can tell that having experienced Vladimir's work first hand, his precision, speed and his control was amazing.
I thought escaping from my own coat would be easy, until I tried :) My own tension in my body was preventing me from escaping properly! I recommend everyone to watch this video, then try it yourself, you wont regret it!
Adam Zettler, Systema instructor
Thank you for always producing wonderful material that helps me grow as a martial artist and as a person.
by Shawn Potter, September 30, 2012
Saw it 3x since I got it.
by Milos Malic, October 07, 2012
This is classic Maxim. Great choice of things to accent and ever better way to explain important things that are sometimes overseen. Looking forward for more stuff coming from Max as well as more training with him.
I would like to give you my humble observation of Vladimir's new video Clothing as a Weapon.
by Brian Hammond, November 17, 2012
This practical but creative video shows how something as simple as a jacket can be used as a weapon. I've studied Systema for almost 11 years and have been hoping and waiting for Vladimir to share his expertise on the martial application of clothing. The video is precise and easy to follow where he is very diligent in showing and explaining the usefulness of clothes in self-defence.
One of the things that attracted me to Systema was that it was never ostentatious, but merged well with natural behaviour, from putting on a pair of pants to taking off a jacket. It teaches you to be simple in movement and ergonomically sound. Vladimir’s video is excellent in showing how to use what you wear for defence and offence in unpredictable situations. I would highly recommend it to anyone practising martial arts.
A friend has several of your dvd's and I watched one of the breathing & water fighting, and I must say I was super impressed by the quality of information.
by Kyle Green, January 27, 2013
From what I saw your product is top notch.
I am very excited for this product, and thank you for all you time and energy creating it. I look forward to the many hours ahead working on skills.
My Systema video archive is over 300 titles but this film is something else… It feels I’m in a class on Glen Cameron Rd & about to sense a blade… The entire film skillfully records one training event & resulted immersion effect is phenomenal.
by Sergey Makarenko, February 05, 2013
Focus of the film is not on demonstration but on instructional precision & delivery of fantastic details of lifesaving material. It is amazing how much information Vladimir can offer in compact 45 minutes package.
Every element of offered instructions is layered for various levels of viewer’s comprehension. Any h2h practitioner can appreciate this quality of information & enormity of exceptional insights.
Great work! Thank you!
Norcal Systema, Sacramento, CA
I highly recommend this video to anybody interested in surviving an encounter with a knife.
by Jonathan Han, February 05, 2013
I am very happy the video of Vladimir Vasiliev's excellent 'Knife in a Fight' seminar is now available. So much was shared that weekend, it was difficult to recall all of the amazing drills and points Vladimir made during his demonstrations. This video helps me remember what was taught and to learn new information I missed the first time around. This is also a great supplement to the 'KNIFE Unconditional Mastery' and ‘Fundamentals of Knife Disarming’ DVDs.
DC Systema, Washington, DC
As always, Vladimir succeeds in revealing another fascinating layer of Systema.
by Jamie Robson, February 05, 2013
This new feature, 'Knife in a Fight', takes us from the fundamentals right through to the advanced variations and possibilities. There is a wealth of great drills for solo practice or indeed teaching a group.
One thing I particularly enjoyed was Vladimir's explanations and examples in the social side of knife conflicts. He demonstrated how attackers may sneak up on you, try to hug you or ask you a question before launching into an attack.
I have studied the topic of knife with Vladimir numerous times and watched all of his knife DVDs. This latest release definitely must be added to your collection, I highly recommend it.
Jamie Robson, Systema Scotland
One day many years ago, a good friend of mine who worked for years as a corrections officer with the most dangerous inmates in a notoriously rough facility, and who knew of my interest in esoteric martial arts, took me aside with a smile and offered to give me "a lesson in how the real world works".
by Scott Meredith, February 05, 2013
He then demonstrated on me physically a dozen different prison knife killings that he had either observed or cleaned up after. The setup, the attack, the follow-through. Though he was a cheerful guy and it was all done with a smile, it was one of the most horrifying experiences of my life because I had no idea what was happening in any of the attacks. They came out of nowhere, I saw nothing, and all I felt was the total BAD INTENTIONS as his pseudo-blade (just a stick, because to him we were just playing around) impacted me over and over within less than a second.
These attacks were so incredibly sneaky in setup yet so natural in action that, cheesy as it may sound, I hesitate even to write them up in case somebody picks up on it and does it to somebody for real. From that moment to now I have had nothing but absolute fear and loathing on the subject of real world knife attacks.
But so what? After all, he was a corrections pro demonstrating a very specialized situation, right? Shank attacks at close quarters in a crowded, more or less locked down venue. No relevance to your life, as you aren't in prison and don't plan on going. But what I took away from it was that people who really know what they're doing, in prison or not, would go at you exactly as he'd shown. So now we get to KNIFE IN A FIGHT (I'll abbreviate it 'KIF' in this article), a new Russian Martial Art training video by Systema master instructor Vladimir Vasiliev.
I've watched many knife defense videos and done lots of edged weapon related training. But nobody hit my hot button, from my experience above, until in the introduction section of KIF, I heard Vladimir say:
"If you see a knife in his hand, lots of people have suggestions - to run away, grab, do something like that. Perfect, that's good - but sometimes the problem is that you didn't see the knife. Then it's already too late. When people start to stab you, it will be too late to run - or maybe you can, but not too far. You need to understand both how the knife came into his hand, and why you didn't see it."
Though I couldn't have articulated it so technically, that's a perfect statement of my feelings after undergoing the demonstration described in my opening. KIF is geared to the most realistic, most difficult, most frightening, most professional scenario. Why couldn't I see the attack? Why was I utterly unable to react?
KIF contains dozens of exercises clearly described, thoroughly and awesomely demonstrated, that will lead the viewer to an understanding of this horrifying topic that is far deeper than any other teaching material I've seen. Everything is laser-focused on how to develop the acute sensitivity that is your first and last defense and really your only salvation in a knife attack carried out with serious intent.
Vladimir's body effortlessly expresses that quality of extreme sensitivity in every one of the demo segments, but rather than hot-dog to impress (though it does), Vladimir always treats the demonstrations as his real-time teaching platform. He makes his crucial training commentary in the action context of unscripted movement. So the core integrated elements of this extremely fast, close, secretive, and subtle work (both attack and defense must be jointly understood to master the topic) are separately teased out for isolated inspection, and then reassembled in later drills.
Systema overall is an integrated method of full body/mind training and KIF reflects that. In my past Systema education, I've done some similar knife defense work in Toronto and Moscow sessions, but always in the broader context of Systema movement and combative principles in general. The beauty of KIF is that all the relevant work is collected in a seamlessly focused whole for the first time. I could go on and on listing the many dozens of KIF's training exercises, but that would miss the forest for the trees. You need to hear Vlad's real time commentary as he simultaneously presents the drills and demonstrates the work. It all adds up to the greatest contribution to the scariest topic in all martial arts, and I'm not kidding - experiencing a knife attack by a committed street-wise attacker is in fact THE scariest scenario that martial arts purports to deal with. KIF is the first program that really delivers. I have no doubt that KIF will end up actually saving people's lives who would otherwise die in such attacks.
A few reflections on “Clothing as a Weapon”
This could be regarded as one of the “Environment Series” along with “Improvised Weapons”, “Defense in Confined Space”, “Fighting in a Car”, and “Fighting in the Water”.
by Al McLuckie, February 05, 2013
Environment could be defined as anything inside, on, or around you – and to regard it all as “allies”. Inside you could mean spitting blood and or saliva into the eyes of an opponent. Around you, the floor, walls, corners, objects fixed and manipulatable, even a low ceiling. (I knew a Capoeira guy who could run up a wall, kick off the ceiling, and strike you on his descent.) And, on you, in this case, your own and your opponent’s clothing.
This title, for me, contains a perfect balance of concise explanation and demonstration. This helps equally the auditory, as well as visual learners. The kinesthetic part of the course requires training the material.
Other martial arts like Judo/Ju-jitsu have collar chokes and grip work, some Silat systems have methods of using a sarong, for those that wear them, but too often end up as a collection of memorized techniques.
There is a massive difference, for example, between being someone who can say, “I know 10,000 knife disarms”, and one who can say, “I am skilled at disarming”.
Techniques versus process. Although each section is worthy of commentary, my favorite is the work with a leather coat. Who would ever think of yanking your coat lapel to initiate a sharp body motion of avoiding a strike, or using the coat as a canopy to bounce off a body-shot. Amazing.
The leather of a coat is something that was once alive. In Vladimir’s hands, it is given a second life as you see it become an extension of his nervous system in masterful applications.
There is an example of Vladimir’s humor which made me laugh out loud. Martin Wheeler is removing his t-shirt without the use of his hands – after 4 minutes of excruciating work – wave work, breath work, micro work, core work, work that has no name as of yet, his shirt fall triumphantly to the floor to deserved applause.
Then, Vladimir says, “Now, put it back on”. (I’m pleased to report that after months of diligent practice, Martin has the time whittled down to 3:59 seconds).
Some who train in martial arts are seduced by the idea that the amount of information/techniques they acquire and memorize equates with their efficacy in martial application.
Point and click for access to information that, pre-internet, would have required time, money, travel, effort, and risk to acquire.
This is misguided, as information is merely the raw material, not the end product.
With the internet, our reach has become infinite, but our grasp can prove to be weak.
The unfolding genius of Systema as taught by Mikhail Ryabko and Vladimir Vasiliev, is that we are being given the tools with which to turn knowledge into wisdom.
This is knife work on a whole different level.
by Koen Vandersteene, February 06, 2013
Work you only see from Vladimir and as realistic as it gets.
This is an excellent summary of the lessons and the work done during the seminar.
by Gary Bernier, February 09, 2013
As a seminar participant and instructor, it is great to have this material to review and share with my students. Vladimir captured a lot of depth in this video into the subtleties of relaxation and movement.
Some years ago, I purchased your tape on improvised weapons.
by Brent Frandsen, February 09, 2013
An excellent buy.
On one occasion I even used the briefcase trick to save my neck. Worth every penny.
I highly recommend this FREE DVD.
by Col. Marko, February 09, 2013
If you really want to study a martial art that is well rounded, and beneficial to your health and life, after seeing this video you will look no further because you will SEE that Systema is the martial art you have been searching for all along.
Thank you for this DVD.... Keep up the good work......
I highly recommend this video, a great seminar about knife in the fight.
by Richard Mugica, February 10, 2013
A great complement off Knife Mastery and Fundamentals of Knife Disarming.
Poznai Sebia Systema 33 (Bordeaux/Mérignac - France)
The most COMPLETE warm up routines I have ever seen.
by Col. Marko, February 11, 2013
The 4 Minute Warm up is especially useful.
I was in martial arts from age 16 to age 30. I studied 5 different styles.
This work out / Exercise DVD is even more effective than what you find in Chinese, Korean or Japanese martial arts, it is even more extensive than Chi Kung.
I am now getting back to working out at age 46, from my years of experience I know you have to start getting your body ready for training to build stamina and to reduce the chance of injury.
This Systema Classic Series: EXERCISE DVD is perfect to start out with, after this DVD I would recommend starting the Breathing Series DVD's and the Let Every Breath book before getting into the main DVD''s.
You MUST have a good foundation to build upon to be proficient in martial arts, THIS DVD is where to start!!!
Just want to let you know that I ordered "knife in a fight" and throughly enjoyed it.
by Mick Barton, February 14, 2013
One of the best knife films I have seen, the instructions were clear, and very informative.
One of the great benifits that I found was the download version...
that was excellent.
It would be fantastic for more dowload videos like this and it was at a fantastic price as well.
In 2006 I began studying systema with Vladimir.
by sam lima, February 26, 2013
In 2003 I had drunk more than I should and committed domestic violence. Convicted I went to San Quentin in CA. While there my life was in great danger in a daily basis. But I continued practicing systema and had five encounters with individuals yielding "shanks". I suvive the ordeals and am glad to say, was it not for systema and knfe fighting skills, I would probably be a dead man today. Now that I'm out I Thank Vlad for his teachings and tapes, especially knife fighting..
This is amazing.
by Matt Hill, March 09, 2013
I have watched it three times and have been absorbing it by teaching it in my regular classes and preparing to teach a seminar using the material.
Each time I go back to it I see something (well many things) new and understand it a little deeper.
It is like having Vlad in the room. It has all of Vlad's trademark clarity, humour, humanity and complete mastery of movement and teaching.
At this or any price don't think about it just get it.
Thanks Vlad for another amazing piece of magic.
I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate having been able to download the Knife in a Fight video to my phone.
by Scot Liddell, March 09, 2013
This is just absolutely wonderful! At any time, I can pull out my phone and check out a small detail, a certain drill…it’s just so practical!
This was a really smart idea & I hope that you will be offering other videos like this in the future.
Also, once again, thanks so much for everything.
I just watched Vladimir's new Knife in a Fight video.
by Adam Zettler, March 09, 2013
It was awesome!!! Great explanations & amazing demonstrations. Also very realistic drills and work. Great Video!
Great that you have dowloadable material!
by Martin Blaus, March 10, 2013
I guess there are more people like me who don't have an instructor nearby and all the videos are a great inspiration and bank of knowledge!
Cheers from Sweden.
My name is Alex Vaughan and I am a Captain on the Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department and a father of four children.
by Alex Vaughan, March 22, 2013
As a Captain I am responsible for making decisions that affect the well being of the citizens in Kansas City and of my men who serve under me. As a father, I face the same process with my family.
I have recently started taking Systema classes with Stephen Crews of Strategos International and have really enjoyed it. The new techniques of self defense, breathing and exercise help in my work as well as everyday life.
In the past, I have faced many stressful situations on the fire ground or other inherently dangerous or emotional scenes. I have to stay calm and focused while making tactical decisions. Maintaining focus has been difficult because I tend to start breathing through my mouth more than I should and that habit can interfere with keeping up a calm persona in a highly challenging situation.
Now, Systema breathing techniques help to sort through the decision making process much more effectively and to be more at peace with my emotions and physical body.
While in house fires and in search and rescue mode - I practice burst/recovery breathing. And while responding to emergency scenes - the calming counted breathing helps the tactical process. It relaxes me mentally and my body does not hinder my thinking and my actions.
In short, I am fully confident that I will continue practicing what I have learned through Systema with the breathing techniques and look forward to training consistently in the future. I know it will help me achieve a higher level of physical and emotional peacefulness while experiencing the rigors of my calling as a firefighter and a father of 4.
Captain/EMT, T-11 / C, Station #29
Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department
As a police officer for the past decade, I have interviewed hundreds, if not thousands of victims of street crimes.
by Joe Mayberry, April 23, 2013
In most all cases, they always stated to me that they were “caught off guard” or did not see the criminal before it was too late. The majority of these crimes would have never happened if the victims were just a little more vigilant.
Major Komarov possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of psychological aspects involving criminals, their intents and methods. His depth of knowledge of the criminal mind rivals that of many high level criminologists and profilers. In addition to his intellect, Major Komarov also has the personal experience of many decades of field work, not only on the battle field but also on the streets. This adds a lot of legitimacy, urgency and authenticity to his presentations, lectures and classes, which most so called “experts” lack.
As one of the privileged to have been in attendance for this class at Systema Camp 2012, I can personally say that the topics, theories, practice and work are all top notch. As someone who has attended classes at the FBI National Academy, I can honestly say that Major Komarov’s presentation is far more superior and relevant to what is even being presented by our own national Law Enforcement departments.
Major Komarov has the great ability to present very serious subject matter in “layman’s terms”. The work and topic, even though it is very serous, is thoughtfully presented to which any citizen can easily retain and put into action.
While starting work as a police officer many years ago, I was told be a veteran officer that in order to catch a criminal, you first needed to think and act like one. Put yourself in the mindset of the criminal and then it will be easy to see the simplicity of their actions in committing a crime. It is then that we can have a foresight into their intent. Major Komarov provides us with the tools to delve into the mind of criminals in a clear and precise manner. And knowing your enemies intent is the majority of the battle.
In short, I cannot recommend this presentation more highly. Whether you are a Systema practitioner, student or just a concerned citizen, the material can save you from serious harm, injury or just being a victim of a pickpocket. If you are serious about your personal safety and that of those you love, I highly recommend this material presented in this video presentation.
I find that watching video of Vladimir's and Mikhail's work helps to calm me when my head is full of too many thoughts.
by Fred Mansfield, April 27, 2013
Vladimir's relaxation is contagious. Thank you!
This is cool!
by Newton Stang, April 30, 2013
No one really shows these things.
I learned a lot from Major Komarov.
I noticed Konstantin's most recent "STREET CRIME.
by Gary Hodgins, May 13, 2013
Foresee and Prevent" film and thought I'd share a crime which I was able to prevent.
Recently, I travelled to Barcelona, with my wife, for a short holiday. While travelling on the Metro, we realized that we were being interviewed by a female spotter as potential targets for some pick pockets. Though I don’t speak Spanish, I gleaned from her message as she had mentioned the name of the station we were in. I also noted that she was overtly flirtatious in her body language towards me (this is highly unusual for me). As we were getting on the subway, we moved away from her, stood at the door opposite and let her know that we were aware of her. Her behavior became erratic and overtly anxious. As we got off at the next station, I began to search for other potential targets and shadowed them.
As we approached the escalator (it was rush hour), we took the stairs. Here I noticed something more suspicious going on. There was an average dressed man standing right behind an elderly German couple on the escalator. He pulled out a large map, but not for its conventional purpose. This man was using it to cover other people’s view while he rifled through the poor old woman’s backpack, and he wasn’t working alone. Behind this thief, there was a very well dressed man and you would never think they are associated in any way. The first thief’s job was to pickpocket the goods and then subtly pass them on to the well dressed guy behind him. The former would then run off if/when suspected, while the other seemingly innocent would be able to escape with the stolen property unnoticed.
As I am not a police officer, I was content at stopping the crime from occurring (I was on a short holiday after all) and continued to observe the two pick pockets as they got off the escalator. At this point, I intervened to prevent the theft from happening. I simply reached across to the map and said “Hey, what are you doing?” The thief got scared and before he managed to steal or pass anything off to his accomplice, he took off. My wife was impressed too.
I remained aware and awake to my environment for several hours after the incident and was able to observe the pick pocketing system throughout the city, including the drop off point at the corner of a side street off La Rambla, the city’s main thoroughfare.
I have been surprised at how much my situational awareness has grown since the Systema Camp this summer. I feel as if I had been wearing blinkers before. What is more, I have also become more conscious of how many people are oblivious to their surroundings and engulfed in their own thoughts and internal conversations. They become deaf, dumb and blind to the actions and intentions of other people in their environment. I attribute these positive behavioral changes to my continuing practice of Systema tension and relaxation exercises which allow me to develop conscious awareness of my body whilst stilling the mind and emptying it of unnecessary thoughts. This, in turn, has helped me to develop a relaxed alertness of what is happening around me at any given time. To me this is the essence of self-defense, remaining awake and developing a relaxed vigilance of your environment, avoiding the stories which your subconscious mind is attempting to lure you with, for example, that the extremely attractive girl in her mid 20’s is flirting with you because you really are that attractive… Always remember, as Marcus Tullius Cicero wrote: “True nobility is exempt from fear.”