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Vladimir Vasiliev Seminar in West Point, Virginia ( by Glenn Murphy, 494 words )

Just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Vladimir, Kwan, Martin, Brandon and everyone at ITI who helped bring us all together for last weekend's superb seminar at West Point. As usual, Vladimir's instruction and demonstrations were unparalleled. Across two days of being crushed, beaten, and crammed into spaces wholly too small for the human body, we gradually learned and reinforced the principles of working in confined spaces. The lessons learned were many: using the breath and shifting tension around the body to stay comfortable; using subtle closework to neutralise attacks where moving the feet is impossible; using hard surfaces like steering wheels, door frames and aeroplane armrests to trap, pin and gain compliance. And much, much more. As if this wasn't enough, senior instructors Kwan Lee and Martin Wheeler offered top-quality drills and tips of their own - worthy of a separate seminar in their own right. Kwan's Friday-night pre-seminar warmup was spot-on, and had us all fully relaxed and ready to work on Saturday morning. Martin's hyper-efficient "car fight" work was fascinating to observe and immediately effective in practice. This will all, no doubt, prove extremely useful for security and law enforcement professionals who have to face scenarios like this on a regular basis. But what really made this seminar unique was the venue. How often do you get the chance to roll repeatedly across the roof of someone else's Grand Prix, or roll around the cabin of a real DC-9? (At least without being arrested soon afterwards). The plane, for me, was the high point. Not just for the useful closework practice, nor even for the all-in 40-person brawl at the end (although this was some of the best fun I've had in my entire life). For me, the more simple work that centred on safely escaping a downed plane was the most practical. Though I hope I never have to use it in a real emergency, just learning to move comfortably around a crowded plane - and how to get quickly around panicking people when you have to - has made me more confident and relaxed about flying in general. I fly pretty often, yet still feel tense for the greater portion of each flight. Feeling prepared for the worst helps alleviate that unhealthy tension. After all, it's everyday, psychosomatic stresses like this that usually kill us - by degrees - rather than terrorists or malfunctioning engines. Learning to apply Systema to help me relax more into this part of my normal, working life was, unexpectedly, probably the most valuable lesson I took away from the weekend. I very much hope Brandon gets the chance to host Vladimir at ITI again next year or the year after. If he does, be sure not to miss it - it's one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences you'll never forget. Thanks again to Vladimir, Kwan, Martin, Brandon and Mike at ITI, and everyone I so enjoyed training with over the weekend. Great to see you all.

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2009-10-09 10:20:54
Vladimir Vasiliev Seminar in West Point, Virginia ( by Denis D., 882 words )

I was waiting patiently for this seminar about 6 month to 1 year. Everything began, when Brandon said the word airplane, I was hook right the way as some of you know, I spend the last 20 years sitting in the front of the airplane, making my living. I was very excited to see, how Systema will work in the stressful situation and such unusual space and an object. Pilots take years to train for the emergency situations and it takes the experience to stay calm and cool in the bad situation, continue doing your job without panic. The tribute of these professionals, the work of the flight 1549, where my co-workers did the job in the calm and precise manner, doing everything by the book and saving a lot of lives. This NTSB investigation data recording, you can see and hear how crew work calmly without letting any panic to take over: However, I was wondering also, what could be happening on the back of the airplane, after crash landing, and can you survive the crash or hostage situation, when uncontrolled crowed moving all over you as I travel often in the cabin too? In this seminar Vladimir answered my questions and gave me and other guys the great tools for survival in this kind of situations. The keys for survival are the core of Systema: Relaxation, Breathing, Posture and Constant Movement. I think, I understand the importance of the first day of training and preparation, which we spend in the gym only, when I did end up on the plane a second day. The whole first day we practice how to recognize the tension and relaxation under stress, for example: how could be relaxed and breath under the pressure, when couple bodies fell or sat on you, how to get up, when somebody pushing you down, holding you or punching you, how to be soft and relax and slightly tense to create body movement, when somebody kicks you in restricted space, how to breathe in the moment of crash or impact, how to work short and invisible with you punches or kicks, short work in restricted space and etc. You cannot named it all, the first day really opened my mind on thing, which is stressfully in gym enough, but even more stressful in the plane or car. Key point from Vladimir that stack in my mind: be Soft and Relax , when you are moving in the restricted space as people tends to feel and tend to grab , and hold for the tense one, like an old fellow or lady, when you gave them a hand for support, if it relax they do not feel it, they tapped several times until they find tension in the hand or shoulder, than they happy to hold you. I tested this theory in the practice next day on board of the plane and found that it was true, when you tense and feel cool moving through the crowd, some how everybody wants to hold, grab or punch you, and now you trying to move everybody with you wasting valuable time and energy for survival. The second day we work in side the airplane and cars, but I felt more relax in the car as I realized that car can always stop and the ground is very close to the car floor anyway to be afraid to fall. The plane inside with a tight sit space and aisle and people around, creates unforgettable feeling, even the work, which we have done day before in the gym looked new and clumsy, when you started doing them in such a restricted space. The other Key point from Vladimir made my head cool right the way: The Airplane is Hijacked 2 times, one by hijackers, another by Special Forces, so professional will fight with professionals and you need to survive in the middle of that mess. The most stressful time for me, when I was moving almost on the floor in the aisle, when everybody fighting and moving in the cabin. I realized that you have to be very soft, swift and patient as it very easy to stuck between seats and fighting people, also it was very big chance to get injured even in the training environment, if you not soft and relax. The most pleasant moment, learning real short work in the cabin and cockpit, how to move bad people out of their seats and how to protect cockpit from intruders, also working inside the cars, feeling the possibilities of environment working for you. Indeed, I want to finish with words that friend of mine, who was training along me on the seminar said: “I think, this seminar was the best in my life.” The seminar met and exceeded my expectations. Thank you very much Brandon, Kristen, and both Mikes for organizing such event and giving a chance to use your facilities for such specialized training. Thank you all friends, instructors and everybody, who I work with to keep me alive and encourage with a punches and kicks. I am grateful to Vladimir and his family, taking the time, sharing and showing such a real experience, how you can live and survive under the stress, and different unfortunate circumstance in the airplane or the car. I hope, we can do such a specialized topics more often.

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2009-10-11 03:51:09
Vladimir Vasiliev Seminar in West Point, Virginia ( by Gaston Pratt, 93 words )

Of course the seminar in Virginia was nothing less than excellent. Whenever you have Vladimir and some of his top students, ie: Martin and Kwan as for some others, it can only make it great. The facility and use of its' apparatus made for exceptional and uncommon training. If this had been an opera there wouldn't have been a dry eye in the house. Thank you Brandon, Mike and Mike, as with the rest of the guys from ITI, for a seminar that was way overdue. See you at the next curtain call.

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2009-10-17 11:18:50
Vladimir Vasiliev Seminar in West Point, Virginia ( by S, 37 words )

very interesting tactics for defending yourself while in or around your car. In addition, confined spaces defense was taught while learning to fight in an airplane. Truly the most unique self defense seminar I have ever attended.

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2015-02-10 09:53:11
Vladimir Vasiliev Seminar in Tokyo, Japan ( by Hiroyasu Fujimori, 103 words )

Thank you very much for your teaching on Tokyo. It was very worthy for me to understand the relation between breath and relaxation. Especially,I was teached relux by you,when I was striked to my face and I moved my head along the arm of my opponent.And I was led to breath by you,when I felt the tension. That was good experience for me. By the way,when I was striked with my eyes closed,you striked me quietly.I've got a great impact,but it stay just for a little while. Is it the effect of the relux,isn't it? So,I'm waiting for the next Seminer with preasure. Until then,please take care of yourself.

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars! [4 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2009-07-26 04:01:13
Vladimir Vasiliev Seminar in Tokyo, Japan ( by Aya Watanabe, 68 words )

Many Thanks to Vladimir and to all the guys who made this seminar possible. This was great experience for me (and my daughter). I learned importance happy workout with humor and smile without being hurt. This seminar had best atmosphere of the participants that I experienced till now in Japan. It must be because there is your being. I look forward to the seminar of the next year!

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2009-07-24 07:50:03
Vladimir Vasiliev Seminar in Tokyo, Japan ( by Kaz Okuuchi, 103 words )

Dear Vlad Thank you for coming to Japan for the excellent seminar. From the series of training I began to understand the importance of breathing from body , not from knowledge. I also understand that if you relax , you can cope with anything. And opponents are not creating problems but person himself are creating problem inside himself. I love systema because systema is exactly same as living in real life. Any systema training can lead you to the happy and better life. Thank you Vlad and members who organize this wonderful seminar. See you in Tronto and we are also waiting for you in Sep 2010. Kaz Okuuchi

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2009-07-23 19:39:40
TORONTO MAY 2009 3-DAY SYSTEMA SEMINAR ( by Scot Schwichow, 92 words )

This seminar was outstanding. I learned a lot about how to devolop continous movement and its application in a combat scenario. We also did a lot of work on how to develop the sensitivity needed when dealing with armed opponents and multiple attackers. It was also a great exeprience to work with people from all over the world and to see the skill of senior students and instructors. In my many years of martial arts training, this is with out a doubt the most fun and worthwhile seminar I have ever attended.

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2009-05-20 00:26:22
TORONTO MAY 2009 3-DAY SYSTEMA SEMINAR ( by Jose Ramos, 33 words )

I attended your semilar May 16 - May 18 and I would like to say in 30 years of doing martial arts. I have never had such a great experices. Thank You

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2009-06-16 19:43:10
TORONTO MAY 2009 3-DAY SYSTEMA SEMINAR ( by David Orman, 756 words )

Doing something that makes you happy stimulates your body. It is as if your body is rejuvenated in a special fashion. Doing something that brings joy stimulates your heart. It goes beyond the physical and provides needed fuel for your heart, your emotions, your psyche. Doing the thing that brings passion into your life is the only way to communicate with your soul. It is as if your soul says, “This is it. This is why we are here. Not necessarily to do this but this is the vehicle to learn your life lessons and to help others.” Mission accomplished Toronto was the place. Systema is the vehicle. My trip to Toronto was one of the most enjoyable activity I have ever done. It was jammed packed with adventure, meeting people from around the globe, interacting with others, speaking with 2 of the greatest martial artist and having more fun than I ever imagined. My expectations were sky high. They ended up being far exceeded. After settling in the day before and getting a peek at Toronto, our training began on Saturday. Vladimir Vasiliev, co-founder of Systema and Sergey Ozherelyev, special forces trainer were the stars of the show. To say these men are talented is like saying the ocean holds a few gallons of water. Aside from the talent off the scale, one thing that struck me was the humility each one has. No titles such as sensei, shihan or even a Mister was required. First names will work. No bowing. No anything. Just 2 very special, very skilled individuals who wanted to teach us what they could in the time that we had. It was the personification of leading by example. They also treated everyone — from the beginners to the most senior of students — with the utmost respect. No exceptions. Unfortunately, I have not seen this in many arts or schools. Dan Linden Sensei was one exception as was my first karate teacher, Gary Michak. Other than that, the “big fish in a small pond (like Orlando)” is way too common. Here was Vladimir, the best martial artist I have ever seen, once again, setting the perfect example. I will always remember this and am committed to applying this valuable lesson. Saturday’s lessons were hand to hand combat and a major emphasis on relaxation and proper breathing. The 2 latter issues would be THE theme throughout the 3 action packed days. To watch Vlad and Sergey in action was a thing of beauty. They were as loose as a Cirque du Soliel performer yet would strike like a cobra wielding a sledgehammer. The speed and power was outright scary. For them, it was normal. As mentioned, amazing skill and humility were inseparable. Sunday’s theme was knife fighting. I have never seen or participated in any art that deals with knife defense so effectively as Systema. (I would put Silat #2.) A number of us, particularly yours truly brought home a number of “souvenirs” from that day. They heal fortunately and even more so, act as a powerful reminder of what TO do and what NOT to do. I will get it eventually. . . . Monday was working against multiple opponents. Again, the image that stands out was watching these 2 masters working in concert against 2, 3 and 4 opponents. Despite being out numbered, they never stood a chance. Overall it was beyond spectacular. I loved every second of it, though time passed much too quickly. I learned a great deal and was highly inspired to continue my path of training. A few thoughts really stood out in addition to the aforementioned. Firstly, I appreciated training and going to Canada with my friend Carlos. Via this art, we have developed a close friendship and for this, I am most appreciative. Secondly, though I already knew this, I was once again reminded how exceptional my teacher truly is. David Merrell is someone who is a master of the art of Systema. It is an honor to work with him and to be his friend. For this too I am most grateful. Finally, Lisa really pushed hard for me to attend this event. She knew even before I did, how much this would impact me. Thank you once again. You have made my life so much sweeter. I left with expectations and returned with a bunch of bruises, improved skills and an aware of my passion, a direction that I will follow ad finitum. I have never been more happy in my life!

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2009-05-29 18:51:53
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