The True Way of Training Systema

16 Oct

(a Systema home training from 2008 to illustrate the below article)

Walking and breathing: 1 step in 1 step out, 2 steps in, 2 steps out up to 10 and then back down. Changing direction of walking, spinning – freeing up the legs and feet.

As I reached 7 steps in, 7 steps out, I started going down into a lower squat position until by 2 steps in, 2 steps out, I was fully down and walking different ways in a low as possible squat position, (I will soon make a video of this systema breath walking) backwards, forwards, spinning, sideways, as well as a few rolls thrown in…

I did this until my legs felt that heaviness and softness that is characteristic of very relaxed muscles.

Then I got into push up position as my breathing was quite heavy and fast at this time, so I stood on my fists for a while recovering my normal state of breathing,.

Then to balance out my body, I did a slow push up: 20 count down, 20 count up and to finish up laid on the floor recovering my breathing and relaxing any tension accumulated.

(What follows is a Blog post I wrote in April 23rd 2008 about solo Systema training)

How to Train Systema the True Way 

One of the most common questions ever asked by a Systema trainee is how do I train? How long? how many reps? etc. I have found through training for a few years now, that those things do not matter.
Here’s what does:

  • Fun – training should be enjoyable e.g. – overcome fears, strengthen weaknesses, Play, explore and discover
  • Simple – Do not try to make your training complex, just keep it simple, do not have too many rules or any set structures
  • Train intuitively – Train by how you feel, you will know how much you can do and for how long. Just remember these key ideas: do not feel sorry for yourself, and try to overcome your own fears, doubts and delusions.
  • Foundation is breathing – Make sure that breathing is the foundation, by which you base all exercises on. By doing this you will learn how to breath into the whole body or certain parts, to give yourself more endurance or energy and affect the levels of tension or relaxation depending on the task at hand.
  • Keep it short – Konstantin komarov has said that if you can train more than 30 mins on your own then you are doing something wrong. I think this piece of advice is important and training in a group should always be emphasized over solo training. I personally train for about 45 mins to an 1 hour depending on how I feel.

(I have since asked Konstantin about this 30 minute thing, and he said “I didn’t say that“ , “where did you read that?”. I said “on a forum” He laughed. This conversation was through a translator as I don’t speak Russian – yet. This is just another lesson, don’t believe everything you read or hear, until you experience for yourself, make your own mind up)

My opinion is still – keep training short and focused.

  • Use accelerated methods – Once you get used to certain drills, you should always challenge yourself more, each time you do them, for example: Once you can do a basic push up with a good deal of relaxation, wear a blindfold or hold a stick in your fists while you do them, or do them with one side of your body touching a wall.
  • Change the level of intensity depending on feeling – It is important to ensure your body is always growing, learning and adapting. In order for it to do this you should present it with new stimulus’s, in the form of changes in the levels of intensity.
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