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Vladimir Vasiliev seminar in Austin - Texas ( by Daniel, 208 words )

The Seminar changed about 90% of what I previously believed about knife fighting, in a very commonsensical manner with a deep non bias explanation of why certain Systema concepts out way the more contemporary rigid and predictable forms. Vlad's humor made it impossible not to pay attention or become distracted to the material covered. I believe he personally spoke to and coached at least half a dozen times one on one to each individual in a room that looked like it had a minimum of one hundred people. In addition to the main instruction, the seminar was dispersed with many other instructors, each with their own suggestions for personal growth. The learning environment presented made every participant one, from the most experienced Systema Practitioner, down to individuals from other styles who have previously never been exposed to any Russian Martial Arts. I heard this same comment from many people, that you really couldn't pick out who had never taken a Systema class. I believe this strongly reflects Vlad's teaching skill, that he can draw a 100% foreign concept to some and have them up to speed participating in a drill in no time. Overall this was a very positive experience, and I look forward to attending more seminars in the future.


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2009-03-01 19:32:45
Vladimir Vasiliev seminar in Austin - Texas ( by David Versaw, 390 words )

There is so much to say about the Austin Seminar, I don’t know how to begin, or how to keep it short. I could go on and on. First, I would like to thank Vladimir for coming to Austin and sharing so much with us. Second, I would like to thank Gene, Jonathan, and everybody I have worked with in their training group, who have been patient and welcomed me with open arms into Systema. Third, thanks to all the people I met, and worked with me that came from miles away. What a wonderful and amazing event. It is one thing to watch the training DVD’s, and quite another to actually participate, and drill with Vladimir and an amazing group of people. The things I learned and experienced, I don’t think I will ever forget. I won’t give a play by play of the experience, and what I went through personally. Mentally, physically and spiritually. I encourage everyone interested in Systema to attend a seminar and experience the event for them, for I believe it is a unique experience for each individual that will begin a change in each person who attends, and has the pleasure of getting some “hands on” from Vladimir. Speaking of “hands on”, I have trained in an Okinawa “hard style” of Karate for 13 years, and have been the Bulletman for Self Defense classes in Austin for the last 9 years. I thought I have felt it all. Broken bones, knocked out, choked out and then some. However, I have never known what it would feel like to get hit with a sledge hammer, a big one, full force, till Vladimir hit me. What I couldn’t get over, is what happened to me afterwards. I thought I would be out on the ground, either seeing stars, or unconscious. Instead, despite the tremendous force of the strikes, I found myself laughing uncontrollably, with tears in my eyes, and tremendous sensations of heat in my arms. Later, I remember thinking, the heck happened to me? There is so much more, and I learned so much. I hope Vladimir comes back to Austin. A truly wonderful and educational experience into myself and martial arts. Thank you so much. Dave (Silo9@autin.rr.com)


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2009-03-03 23:39:17
Vladimir Vasiliev seminar in Austin - Texas ( by Denne Reed, 44 words )

This was my first exposure to Systema and I was impressed. Vladimir is both personable, and exceptionally talented. The quality of training and the interaction with others in the seminar was great. I thoroughly enjoyed the seminar and would highly recommend them to anyone.


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2009-03-13 16:31:25
Vladimir Vasiliev seminar in Austin - Texas ( by Vioina Rindova, 169 words )

I went to the seminar having taken two systema classes and having heard a lot about it from fellow-aikidoka. What I experienced at the seminar surpassed ALL of my expectations and ALL of the descriptions I have heard. Vladimir's teaching and demonstrations were the perfect blend of serious and fun, intense and light-hearted. The atmosphere of honest, sincere and supportive training was inspiring. One of the high points of the seminar for me was a breathing drill, in which Vladimir demonstrated how the breath can make the body light. It was very simple, and awesome, to experience that the "reality" of the body is not fixed. Another one was to "throw a punch" at Vladimir and feel a sense of disappearing in a light void. After the seminar I was convinced about the vast possibilities of systema training and have since started practicing systema regularly. I can't wait for the next opportunity to make it to Vlad's seminar. I hope that the Austin seminar will become an annual event!


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2009-03-15 18:20:32
Vladimir Vasiliev seminar in Austin - Texas ( by Ricky Johnston, 325 words )

Systema changes you. Every seminar, every class, every moment….. it works on you like river water over a stone. It takes a while to process all that I get out of a seminar. Every time that I attend any sort of Systema training my nervous system is radically effected. These changes come out in a variety of ways. For instance, when sitting in traffic it is not truly necessary to clench your ass cheeks. Nor is it necessary to have preplanned responses to people or common situations in our lives. At this seminar I got my very first taste of a feeling that I have never experienced before….. humility. I had thought that I knew what humility was but I have had it confused with another emotion……self-hatred. Systema, for me, is about life. Don’t get me wrong, the martial part of the training was exceptional: Yuri’s warm-up class, the knife training and striking, it all enhanced my over all ability to kick some ass. But the first fight, the very first thing that anyone needs in any conflict of any sort, is to have your head in the right place. To quote Tony Robins, “If you face one opponent but doubt yourself, you are out-numbered.” There are a lot of really tough guys that train in the Russian martial art, far tougher than me. I would like to be tougher. But more than that, I would like to be kinder; I would like to be a better friend. I would like to be a butterfly to a flower and a hammer to a nail. Because no matter how tough I am, someday, someway, I am going to die: and between now and then I would just like to be a good person. Humility used to be synonymous with defeat. Now it seems like its own unique experience. Thank you Vladimir, the Austin Systema crew and everyone that attended the seminar. Y’all are some bad-ass mofos.


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2009-03-08 20:00:30
Vladimir Vasiliev seminar in Austin - Texas ( by Rick Ybarra, 469 words )

An incredible seminar in Austin! Vladimir began with warm ups: breathing exercises with different body positions while introducing tension and relaxation in these various positions. For me it was a lesson to be connected to my mind, body & spirit. Tension occurs, sometimes subtly, other times more pervasive. The focus of breathing through tension was extremely valuable & one of the many “take aways” I derived from the seminar. The seminar consisted of a combination of knife work & striking. We started the first of many drills holding the knife, learning about its many properties/utilities, the psychology of knife work, keeping knife on your person to feel oneness with the bladed instrument, controlling person using knife and knife draws from an armed & unarmed perspective. Vladimir’s knife work is simply amazing in drawing and using the knife for control purposes. And his ability to use knife “invisibly”…as the attacker in demonstration drills you never see the knife introduced but you most certainly feel the blade controlling your body. The second half of the seminar was on striking & warm ups (breathing & static push ups; push ups on partner’s body) leading to preparation for striking. Striking drills benefit both partners: how to properly strike & how to receive strike. Excellent drills. Again with emphasis on the fundamentals. After a seminar, I always reflect & come to the same realization that it’s all about the fundamentals: breathing, relaxation, motion & proper posture…all working in harmony. I have learned that for me the breath is essential to my work & to everything we do in systema. As a newbie almost 5 yrs ago, I asked Vladimir why this is. He said simply “Rick, breathing is the most important thing we do. It’s the first thing we do when we enter this life & it’s the last thing we do when we leave this life.” I also learned through Vladimir’s and Mikhail’s teachings that proper breathing has many valuable health properties & can minimize discomfort & keep one from injury, sickness, and can also accelerate one’s recovery (I know this from personal experience). Thank you Vladimir for an incredible seminar & for sharing your boundless gifts to the systema community, for challenging us so that we can grow in mind, body & spirit, and for your kind, gentle spirit. It was an opportunity to see old friends & meet new ones. It was also a pleasure to see my dear friend Yuri Talalaev…and to Denis Dmitriyev, my systema instructor in Arizona who guided me in my first steps in my systema journey; thank you & I am forever grateful to you. Thanks to Gene & Fabian for hosting a sensational seminar! Rick


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2009-03-01 00:34:45
Vladimir Vasiliev seminar in Austin - Texas ( by gene smithson, 1316 words )

Vladimir Vasiliev in Austin Texas This seminar encompassed so much for me personally that it will be difficult to summarize, but I will do my best. If I mis-describe a drill or a statement please feel free to question or correct me. Friday Night Right away I knew there was going to be something special happening. There were over 60 people for the Friday night 2 hour seminar, we had to get the hotel staff to open up another room! Yuri Talalaev and Denis Dmitriyev ran this seminar and the breathing and movement drills were put together perfectly. All of the participants were prepared physically and mentally for the next two days. I watched as they came out of the rooms soaked with sweat and grinning from ear to ear. Saturday Vladimir began with breathing exercises, there was a nice twist in that we started on our backs and then did them on our sides and on our stomachs. It really helps give a different feedback and makes the tense and release exercises more immediately accessible. Also, we were asked to breathe through different parts of our body, ie. breathe in through the stomach and out through the feet. By the end of these exercises I was feeling relaxed, super charged and ready to do whatever was required. Vlad then led us through some basic movement and breathing with squats, pushups, and leg raises. You know it really amazes me how much there is to be learned just doing these exercises. Performing them with Vlad leading and with everyone, including many certified instructors, breathing and moving, these become a very powerful experience and I feel like I was more deeply involved in them than ever before...part of the wonder of Systema is that even in its in-exhaustible breadth... it has an even more profound depth. Thats a very important distinction. Its tough on the technique junkies, but it really is about the refinement ever deeper of the fundamentals of being human. Vlad moved us into knife fighting drills next. And I'd like to say that I feel the term fighting does this work a disservice. Its always been difficult for me to imagine how two people would wind up faced off with their knives out ala West Side Story. In my experience if a knife were to be in my hand it would be desparate circumstances, or skinning a catfish...not squaring off to go mano y mano in a blade war. For me, the practicality of moving with a blade, squatting rolling standing, kneeling, being pushed or grabbed and being able to deploy the knife...now that was something that made real world sense to me. Being able to deploy the knife and not draw too much awareness to it, relates directly to everything else in Systema...if you are in that situation butter your toast and go home to your family...forget Hollywood. We studied using the blade to manipulate our partners structure...from standing kneeling and lying down...every conceivable position you might find yourself in, breathe, relax, move and deploy the knife, do the work, put the knife back, breathe, go home and say Thanks to God. We moved on to working with the knife against multiple attackers. This one I was unable to accomplish with any skill. Vlad was showing over and over how we are using the blade wrong. And I couldnt really get it, but I will! Smile He demonstrated how a blade actually does what it is designed to do, and how by putting our body too much into it, or tensing down with the wrist inappropriately, really adversely impacts the results of the the knife work. I will say this...today instead of doing this drill with a training knife I pulled out my fishing folder and waved it around and jabbed it a few times and it was much much clearer to me what he meant. This sort of attention to detail is evidenced in EVERY thing Vlad demonstrates, I still cant figure out how one man has so much expertise, but it is obvious that he does. Sunday Strikes!!! Strikes always fascinate me. I really enjoy studying them and Sunday was like a chocolate addict waking up in a vat of liquid chocolate!!! We started off with pushups, you know the 10 second ones Smile and truthfully it was the easiest time Ive had with pushups. We did them alone and on other people and with breathing...and then the most amazing demo...Ive been on this kick lately where I can see people are making alot of noise but Im not sure the breathe is really working for them...apparently Vlad was seeing someone (me!?) and seeing that issue. He promptly dropped down and showed how to use the puff breathing to lift yourself in a pushup. Ive been around martial arts for a bit now (33 years) Ive never seen such a clear clean demonstration of the power of the breathe. I think everyone was awestruck, especially the more senior Systema practitioners, because right there as easy as pie, Vlad was showing us what everyone speculates about...the breathe really can lift you...I have no other words for this except mastery. We moved on to massaging with the fist, first the stomach,then the face, and the entire body. And then we went straight to striking. It was really cool, because alot of the time you see people doing the placing the fist and pushing drills and they are chafing to hit someone Smile This seminar when we went back to placing the fist etc. You could see people really working it. Its really something to see all the light bulbs going on in people. I will say that one drill I liked in particular was walking up a person with your fists...Ive done this drill before, but it was made very clear that the places that worked for our fists were the places where the person had tension and would be very good places to strike. We did this drill from the front and back and both sides, and we did this drill with two people walking the fists up one person...very very good stuff! We started running out of time around this point, but we did some very interesting work where when someone hits you, you catch the strike in your hand and pass it back or to someone else. There were some very good questions about what stops us from being able to strike properly and some very simple answers. There was discussion of intention and relaxation and the effects of the strikes, and I wont go into that too much because that is a personal thing. And finally that is the thing about Vlad. When you go to a seminar by him, it IS personal. Everyone there walks away different and better just by exposure. It is difficult, as some of you know, to be off training without the assistance of a good instructor, at times I feel I become stuck...attending a seminar with Vlad is guaranteed to unstick you and keep you digging deeper into the gift of Systema. I want to thank Vlad. I want to...figure out a way for him to know...how grateful I and my family and friends are for the gift he has brought to my life. I dont think I can, and if I did he would probably shrug it off and smile and say more pushups and stop being so tense. I want to thank Valerie for sharing and for being so strong and organized. Yuri, you da man, thank you for translating and for working so hard to help us here in Austin. Denis, dude, you would probably be smiling if hit by a train! Thank you for the demos and the conversation. Josafath and Erica, Mark, Edgar,...ALL the instructors thank you for your kindness and concern and help. Rick, my Systema brother, thanks for the demos and the support. Fabian, man, we are having us some good life yes? To the over 80 people who attended. Thank you. Thank you, And come back anyti


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2009-03-02 01:06:25
Vladimir Vasiliev Breath Training Seminar in Toronto, Canada ( by Michael Muckin, 191 words )

This was my first meeting with Vladimir although I have been training in Systema for a while with James Williams. I have also read and re-read the "Let Every Breath" book at least a dozen times. This seminar really drives home the power of breath. I now truly understand why it is repeated that you not treat the exercises as physical training, but breath exercises. But it will challenge you - physically and mentally. The biggest thing I got from the seminar that I could not get from the book is to really push yourself with the breath exercises - it's when you get tired and fatigued that you realize what the breathwork does for you. I couldn't be more satisfied with this training. My only regret is that I was coming off being sick and traveling the week before and didn't have the energy stores I would have liked going into the seminar. But even that turned into a plus, because I felt SO much better the day after the seminar, which I am sure was a result of the training. Outstanding training - Thank you Vladimir! -Michael


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2008-10-22 01:23:25
Vladimir Vasiliev Breath Training Seminar in Toronto, Canada ( by Michael Muckin, 210 words )

FYI Note: This review is for the breath training on Oct 18, although the seminar title says Nov 8. This was my first meeting with Vladimir although I have been training in Systema for a while with James Williams. I have also read and re-read the "Let Every Breath" book at least a dozen times. This seminar really drives home the power of breath. I now truly understand why it is repeated that you not treat the exercises as physical training, but breath exercises. But it will challenge you - physically and mentally. The biggest thing I got from the seminar that I could not get from the book is to really push yourself with the breath exercises - it's when you get tired and fatigued that you realize what the breathwork does for you. I couldn't be more satisfied with this training. My only regret is that I was coming off being sick and traveling the week before and didn't have the energy stores I would have liked going into the seminar. But even that turned into a plus, because I felt SO much better the day after the seminar, which I am sure was a result of the training. Outstanding training - Thank you Vladimir! -Michael


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2008-10-22 01:27:34
Vladimir Vasiliev Breath Training Seminar in Toronto, Canada ( by Johnny Rajh, 69 words )

Breath Training Seminar (Oct.18, 2008). I am new to Systema and I must say that the seminar with Vladimir was absolutely amazing. I would recommend this to anyone looking to improve their quality of life. Unfortunately I had to leave 1 hour early to catch a flight and if I was in town I would definitely sign up for the next one in November. Thank you Vladimir for your teaching.


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2008-10-22 22:12:08
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