Zwolle Class – How systema guys use mats ;)

4 Nov

This was on Wednesday 2nd november.

Warmup: With mats, With hands on mats and your feet off the mat, pushing it across the floor, keeping your legs where they are, then from that laying down position, bringing yourself up again keeping hands on mat, this is hard to describe, but was difficult. Once we were tired, we laid on the mat to recover our condition, burst breathing, to slow the heart rate, and normalise the body.

then laying on your back feet off the mat and pushing ourselves and the mat along, with only your feet. I found this difficult to get the weight shift and distribution correct, after some breathing, relaxing and feeling myself, as well and physically grabbing the mat I was able to do it. The same recovery process as above, but in a leg raise position, legs fully over head.

Then we did another exercise with the mats similar to the above, but I’ve forgotten it. But after this exercise we sat down on the floor, and the partner put one leg on each of your thighs, standing on them and then slowly walked up and down your legs massaging them.

Then walking around the hall, one step in one step out forwards and backwards.

This was a very well understood warmup, and I felt energised and relaxed by the end, it was hard work!

“Something Arend said, was that the faster you can recover- the better – the faster you can disperse/let go of the tension the better. In our daily life it is an important skill to learn.”

I felt the whole lesson reflected the curve of work rest – work – rest, it flowed very nicely which I think reflects Arends understanding of people, Systema and training people.

Then we started with a partner, and you had to touch the partner then they had to go down, any way: touching feet, hands, lightly. Then the same exercise but with eyes closed, then with each other, so one person touches the other and they go down to the floor, then touches the other person, creating a flow, out of it.

Then working with punches and positioning,

Arend commented that in Systema mostly we work with the close distance” which is true, One thing I learnt from this class was Positioning is important, and it was a manifestation of my fear, trying to keep the other person away or escape rather than being  up close, the Systema range.

So many things Arend said in the class made sense and were interesting, practical and insightful, he is one of the best Systema teachers I have experienced.

Another quote ” that taking down a person, moving, etc is like writing your name, signature. there is no gaps no pauses smooth, natural and normal.

Awesome class,

I am doing my best to swing my work so I can go to the meppel class or another one in the week,

At the moment in Berlin, staying in a fairly nice and clean hotel, ready for the Mikhail seminar tomorrow.

Have fun 😉


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