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Short Work Seminar by Vladimir Vasiliev ( by Mark Fan, 1133 words )

<P>As an infrequent visitor to Systema HQ myself, it is always a special trip. It becomes a sort of pseudo-reality when you see many familiar faces that you’ve never actually met (e.g., instructors who are well known throughout the world for their seminars and youtube videos, but never trained with). It is easy to be a little awestruck, but seeing everyone’s smiling and kind faces, attention to detail, and care for each other before the seminar even began made me sure that it would be a good one. Today was also special to me because it was the first time that I worked directly with Vladimir, receiving some strikes and some feedback from him. </P> <P>Interestingly, when he asked me to punch him in the face during a demonstration, he told me I was too nice – something that cut very quickly to a deeper issue I have in training and in life – all identified from one push with the fist… I have been told that before, but to hear it again from Vladmir has bumped it back onto my list of things to consider in my training. What was also interesting was when I received punches from him. Even though his punches were fast, accurate and powerful, he hit me in such a way that did not scare or hurt me too much. Those of you who know me, know that I frequently jump back or lean away from punches when I feel danger, to such a degree that I am preventing myself from learning to take them properly. Maybe it was the nature of the work at the seminar, but I was able to stay closer to him for a longer, and take more punches in the right way; it was right because it built spirit, confidence and therefore relaxation and calmness in the body. </P> <P>While there are many psychological effects of his punches – the speed, the placement, and the unexpectedness of the angles – it was his control of depth that was most interesting, and difficult to emulate precisely. To demonstrate, he punched someone at roughly the same angle and speed twice, but explained the first punch hit the body, while the second hit the muscle. From what I could observe, the first punch distributed its force throughout the receiver’s body, and they moved backwards, whereas the second one sort of “exploded” relaxation into the specific point of content. The person was more visibly affected at the point of contact with the second punch. When he showed me and my partner, he did not punch as fast. He punched with a small amount of penetration into the body, but it impacted the muscle specifically, and did not transfer force into the rest of the body. It did however, make me collapse the area that was punched, and that bent me and allowed him to subtly translate the same punch into a strike to the jaw – a “double strike”. </P> <P>Short work seems to be a culmination of many of the softer and less visible elements of Systema practice. Some of my first impressions: ? Patience – so you can train at the right pace, and observe deeply. You also wait wait wait for the person to come closer, and launch your strikes quickly, quietly, powerfully, accurately and because you waited long enough, imperceptibly. The attacker has come too close to escape. The faster they come, the harder it is for them to change course and your strikes have more power because of it. ? Relaxation – in particular, the shoulders. A great deal of the work at the seminar was to push without tensing the shoulders. Vladimir gave us specific homework which you can try. Lie on the floor and begin your pushup. Be careful that your shoulders do not become tense as soon as the push-up begins (where you place your fists on the floor has a big impact on this, make sure it is not too close to your chest or too high as it will jam your shoulders). Push the floor away from you (obviously the floor won’t move, but you will go up, but the feeling is that the floor is moving away from you), and at no point should the pressure on your fists change (if it does, unnecessary tension arose somewhere – you need tension, but not any that makes your punch obvious and alters your pushing power and consistency). </P> <P>Any tension that appears in the shoulders during the slow push-up should be removed with breathing, or a little movement to relax the affected area. This way, when you are restricted (e.g., you could be grabbed around the shoulders), you can push/strike quickly, lightly and powerfully without tensing your shoulders. ? Awareness – short work is built on relaxation. The faster and more accurately you can detect tension in yourself and others, the better for your striking accuracy and power. The pushup described above will help you. ? Continuity of movement – your strike does not end after the first point of contact, it should bounce and keep going to the next available target. ? Necessity – your strike should not have any extra power than is needed. Recall my story about the “depth” of the punch earlier. It is actually quite a light punch to affect the muscle. If you want to bounce your punch around, and pop relaxation into the muscles of each point of contact, you cannot hit too hard. The harder you “try” to hit, the more tension you will return to yourself, the more pain instead of relaxation you will inflict, and the more anger you will create in both yourself and your partner. ? Breathing – not explicitly discussed in the seminar, but easily forgotten. When practicing strikes, and waiting waiting waiting for your partner, tension will build in both of you. </P> <P>Breathe continuously, and lightly, throughout the whole body, to equalize the “spots” of pressure/tension that arise from receiving strikes all over. ? Balance – it is always more effective to push your partner when they are off balance. As a drill, you can try this. As your partner slowly pushes you away/off balance, try to place your hand on them in such a way that they are not able to push you anymore, and you take their strength away. You return to balance, and they lose theirs. This is where you should strike. In addition, when they have just broken their balance, that is the perfect time to deliver your push. In the context of deep striking, this is how your punches can go deep inside the person. </P> <P>Overall it was a very interesting seminar. I stuck with one very good partner throughout, so it allowed me to focus on the lessons very specifically. </P>


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2013-01-25 18:16:37
Short Work Seminar by Vladimir Vasiliev ( by Wayne Fyffe, 104 words )

I recently attended a 2 day seminar in Toronto last week on "short work" and "escape from holds". I purchased 10 DVDs but the one I studied first was "breath work". Our breathing is vital in all area of life as you have stated. What is refreshing about Systema is its' simplicity, natural movement, breathing and the awareness of your body tension and fear. I have studied Kyusho Jujitsu specifically "combat pressure points". With any new learning situation one becomes a "newbie" and must develop a new way of relating to self, others and life circumstances. This becomes more critical when one has sustained injury.


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2013-01-25 18:55:02
Short Work Seminar by Vladimir Vasiliev & Escape from Holds by Max Franz ( by Jose Rodulfo, 350 words )

This seminar was quite personal for me, I feel liberated that I finally understand what Vlad, Max and Tony meant when they said I “had tension”. This tension is and was due to my previous training in the traditional style of martial arts. On Saturday I worked extensively with a much older gentleman, who was also very steeped in this traditional form and he was very stiff. As a result of my ongoing practice with Systema, I was able to see the same tension that my Systema teachers had remarked on in my movement limit this man’s movement. While working with him, he became visibly frustrated and confused by how easily I was able to take control; he asked me many questions like - how long I had been practicing Systema; how was I able to do this and that. And like my teachers I told him he “had tension”. When I think about sparring with him on Saturday, I can’t believe that I was just like him. The second that you can identify what “tension” really is I believe that you are truly on your way to reaping the rewards of Systema. Vlad taught us that to achieve the ability to do short work, one really has to be relaxed, not only in body, but also in mind and spirit. It is the holy trifecta, the achievement of relaxation in mind, body and spirit. Many people think that being relaxed means that you loose strength, but those of us who practice Systema know that being relaxed actually increases power. Vlad teaches that one has to be in a constant state of awareness, checking and adjusting to reduce tension. We also learn from Systema two other things that may be counter-indicative to being relaxed: maintaining a “full fist” and being tense in a specific area while you remain relaxed everywhere else. I have been practicing Systema for over 10 years and I feel like I am among family, and to Vlad I say thank you for another amazing seminar ?.


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2013-02-26 14:59:51
Mikhail Ryabko and Vladimir Vasiliev in Tuscany, Italy ( by Massimo Di Giovanni, 45 words ) www.systemasicilia.it

Excellent seminar, I am still very impressed such this two greats masters Vladimir and Mikhail teach us the basics of their martial art in way simple e clear. And i think this it's the best result that each teacher should aspire. Thank so much for all.


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2012-11-18 14:55:13
UK Seminar with Vladimir Vasiliev ( by Alexei, 175 words )

This was my first big seminar with one of the founders of Systema and it was a great time. We have been exposed to 2 full days of specialised Systema exercises aimed at breathing, relaxing, short work and knife-work. Nearly every exercise was done with a different partner, so I gained experience of working with different weight, height, mastery level and different style of work. Again, nearly every exercise you could see Vladimir Vasiliev observing, correcting and advising the participants. The seminar was organised really well, it felt pleasant and flawless. The location of Eton College in Windsor is spectacular and prestigious. The Windsor Castle, current residence of the Queen is only a couple of minutes’ walk from the venue and my wife enjoyed a tour of it. In the end of the seminar I was approved by Vladimir Vasiliev as an Instructor-in-training, a confirmation of skill and a challenge to become an Instructor. Overall it was great time, good learning and will certainly do it again. Big Thanks to the organisers and to Vladimir Vasiliev!


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2012-10-26 06:29:32
Systema at Full Range Camp 2012 ( by Stephen Crews, 146 words )

After attending the Full Range Camp this year, I came back changed. I have been working in Systema for about 3 years now. What I saw there completely revolutionized my work and my life. I tell people that what I saw was "freedom". Freedom to move, yes, but way more than that. I saw a life of freedom; one without distraction or hesitation. I saw what it means to live with a strong psyche and how to strengthen it when we see our weakness. I saw what it means to "love your enemies" and to work in a way that is separate of negative emotions. What I believe I saw at the camp is that which makes a warrior. Thank you to the masters that displayed these traits so humbly. I am forever grateful for this opportunity.


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2012-08-29 14:04:47
Systema at Full Range Camp 2012 ( by Jose Chanfrau, IV, 39 words )

My goals were very simple-to try to be less tense and be able to move more. Objectively I managed to achieve both of these goals and met some fine people in the bargain. Thank you for an excellent seminar.


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2012-09-04 14:42:42
Systema at Full Range Camp 2012 ( by Sergey Makarenko, 364 words )

Systema at Full Range Camp 2012 I was fortunate to enjoy all Summer Camps hosted by Systema HQ (yeah, I know… - ‘lucky bastard’). Every one of them was absolutely unique & precious milestone experience for which I am infinitely grateful. Enormous volume, extend & quality of generous splendor of attentive lessons, insightful instructions & brilliant demonstration was multiplied by a week-long 24x7 emersions into the Systema grandness. So far I did not experience better route to more exhaustive understanding & heavier kick into expeditious progress. There’re always ~120 participants from around the world, always great crowd, always attentive logistics & always intuitively precise training/learning load ratio. With no better word MAGNIFICENT teaching of Vladimir & Konstantin was twice ‘supplemented’ by ‘assistance’ of Mikhail Ryabko. Fortunately some great footage of the Masters trio work made to circulation (‘Summit of Masters’, ‘Systema EXCELLENCE’). This year third lead instructor - Valentin Talanov (Tver, Russia) had delivered highest quality instructions in several key segments of Systema filling number of gaps in my Systema puzzle. Meticulously & precisely targeted tension clean up Valentin offered every morning was done from different angle each time. Usually ill attended last day warm up this year had highest turn out – missed only by couple last dinner casualties. Instructor’s ‘dance floor’ was a lot of sheer fun & refined exchange of intellectual brutality – so far my most prominent instructors interaction experience. ‘Usual’ features of the camp – absolutely brilliant Vladimir’s instructions & demos & remarkably insightful Konstantin’s coaching are the backbone & treasure of the HQ hosted Summer Camps. Mere exposure to the schooling of such quality is a fortune; complimented by committed, intuitive & skilled attention to needs of each camp participant results in personal experience to be sorted out for months to come. There’s tremendous amount of devoted work & dedicated determination are behind training events prep. All Systema HQ hosted Summers Camps were of exceptional quality & value. Learning opportunities of such magnitude are rare privilege – my deepest gratitude & admiration to Vladimir, Valerie, Melissa, Konstantin, Robert & their assisting crew. I really hope 2012 was my previous camp - not the last one… Best wishes, Sergey Makarenko


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2012-11-19 16:19:55
Vladimir Vasiliev in Hamburg, Germany ( by Jan Bloem, 69 words )

In the training I really liked the depth of the message that we can use learning how to punch in a good way to teach ourselves how to function better on a physical, emotional and eventually also spiritual level. I think that this is what systema is all about: the physical training is 'just' a means to enable ourselves to reach for higher goals as health and spiritual development.


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2012-05-27 21:22:16
Vladimir Vasiliev in Hamburg, Germany ( by Tobias, 106 words )

Last weekend I visited the Systema Summit in Hamburg (Germany) including Vladimir Vasiliev. I just want to give a short feedback about this fantastic event. As I just said, it was even more then I'd expected before - especially for me, because it was my first time really practicing Systema. The teachings of Vladimir helped me to understand what Systema is about and all the friendly people around helped me to practice the exercises shown before. At least I really wish it were more than just two days. In fact this event confirmed my resolution to carry on with Systema training at my new place of domicile


Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Date Added: 2012-06-02 14:32:33
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