Mikhail Ryabko Seminar – Berlin Nov 2011 – Sat

13 Nov

This seminar was extremely interesting it being my latest seminar with Mikhail for a few years, since getting back to Systema training.

This seminars topics straight from the flyer were:
– emotion and Fear Control
 Relaxation / Fast Recovery / Healing
 Survival within or against aggressive groups
 Healing application of traditional weapons such as knife, stick, sword and whip

and it covered all this and more..

I present my notes, thoughts from the seminar how i remember them, in any order and probably forgot many of the things we did but anyhow:

The first drill was around the hall with breath counts, 2 up to 15 steps in 15 steps out, one group of people walked one way the other group the other way, and then we had to keep ourselves soft and relaxed and we walked towards are partners not stopping ourselves if we hit into them, breathing and recognising the tensions and fears that arose, then the same drill with a fist raised and then with both arms raised, keeping the whole body as relaxed as possible and continue all the time breathing, then we had to walk around in a group of two, then a group of 4 staying together.
Then the same exercise running, then a group of 2 running together, then 4. Then one person in the group of 4 when contacted by the people running the opposite way had to fall down and the people in his group had to help him get up and keep running.

Anther drill we did before or after was walking around with our arms or one arm up in the air out to the sides or in front and then holding our breaths on the out breath recovering our bodies and minds fully, then doing it again. trying to extend the period of out breath hold longer and longer, first a half circle, then a full circle, then 2/3 circles.
the most i managed was about 1.5 circle, needs work!
same can of course be applied to an in breath hold.

The idea in many parts of the seminar was learning how to recover yourself quickly and fully mind and body, an exercise we used for this was: into pushup position then 1 pushup with an out breath held, then onto your knees relaxing your body as fully as possible and restoring your breathing and self.
then 2 pushups with out breath held, restore, then 3, restore, up to 15.
the same exercise with squats,
if you felt tense and the breathing was hard, to relax you could change the restore position to sitting or standing depending on what was comfortable to you, for instance i had a torn knee ligament a few years ago and kneeling down in that way made it hurt so i sat legs stretched out in the recovery period.
something to thing about was that the ideal is: to be able to recover yourself in one breath, in out and back to normal, that is awesome.

Mikhail told stories at one point over how he had overcome many situations by just remaining calm inside, breathing and not becoming tense, he said that if you become tense then it will make the other person tense, whereas if they see you as relaxed then they will also be relaxed.

Mikhail came out with an interesting story: that when Alexander the great wanted to select warriors he would shock or scare them and if the blood ran to their legs then he would not pick them, but if the blood ran to their head, then he would say you’re in. Mikhail didn’t specifically say the reason why, but I think there are many theories and ideas out there to decide from, – This small story was in response to a question from a guy who said that when he is in a fight or stressful situation his legs start shaking. how does he stop that? Mikhail answer was that story and then saying that it is a matter of bad circulation of blood, and that breathing and massage (whip etc) would bring back the circulation and make it more equal and distributed.

At the end of the seminar on saturday walking back to the hotel, a small situation occurred when i walking over a bridge it was dark no cars or people around, just a man on a bike with a hooded jacket on and a cigarette in his mouth, when i saw him slowing down, he looked aggressive, i felt my back tense up and my stomach, my thoughts started turning to throwing him over the bridge onto the railway line below, and other such fighting ideas. i relaxed my body breathed and cleared my mind, this happened in a split second and i was walking slowly and calmly. he then stopped said something in german about a cigarette. i kept walking, calmly looked him in the eyes said “thankyou” put my thumb up and walked off, he looked at me as if i was an alien, and i didn’t look back, kept walking and breathing smoothly relaxing my body, this was not a particularly unusual or strange encounter, only my reaction and my ability to breath and keep calm was interesting and powerful.
I have many such experiences from travelling and being out late at night in other countries, but i have always retained this: when stressful situation occurs start breathing and stay calm inside. I would recommend it. Then you have clarity and focus of thought, and actions. so even if you can not avoid a fight, you have all your resources prepared with breathing, body and mind, and are not clouded by thoughts, aggression, anger and freezing up or tensing. Just relaxed and ready to do what needs to be done.
I thing i discover everyday is something Konstantin said ” a fight is a fight with yourself” your psche.

More notes to follow 😉

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