Tag Archives: Exercises

How to Develop Systema-Style Softness

30 Dec

A common question people ask in Systema is; how do i become soft?

First it is good to understand, what is softness? At a basic level it is relaxation combined with sensitivity.

How do we develop this?

The answer again is time. Although i’ve found that daily practice of the following Systema exercises speeds up the process:

Walking: Systema-style, so with breathing patterns and full body relaxation, for a full  and in depth description see: Let Every Breath… Secrets of the Russian Breath Masters

Rolling: With breathing, relaxes your body and psyche. Most importantly rolling is extremely good for relaxing the spine, which determines how you will move.

Pushups, Leg Raises, Squats – These exercises work on the main core muscle groups, and with repeated practice you learn to relax the unnecessary muscles and use only the needed. This strengthen’s the right groups of muscles in a balanced and even way. With breathing you also learn how to move without tension, in the main planes of movement.

Getting this feeling of relaxation and softness is key and maintaining it is also important!

Let me know in the comments how you keep yourself relaxed and soft.

Happy New Year to you all!

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How to Acquire Deep Relaxation

8 Dec

Relaxation is something that must be consistently trained in order to form a natural reaction to stay calm and relaxed both in stressful and normal situations.

Relaxation does not mean mentally sloppy or physically floppy.

It means to have a calm, stable, adaptable psyche, free from tension and a powerful, strong body also free of tension.

A common question is how do i acquire this state?

A more general answer is time and practice.

This is true, you cannot gain this state overnight, it will take training, though there are many drills which will speed up the process:

– Walking and breathing – an important exercise which fosters awareness of your own body and psyche. This can help remove excessive, unconscious tension both physical and psychological.

– Tensing up and relaxing the body – This can be done as separate body parts and as a whole.

– Pushups, Leg-Raises and Squats – this will give your body a form and after a long time doing these, you will understand what being full, relaxed and calm means.

– Body walking massage – this is key, as many people take relaxation to mean floppy, as in; overly flexible joints. True relaxation is uncovering deeper tension in your in your back, neck, legs and arms and learning how to relax those parts. For more info see: https://thomashogarth.com/2013/08/15/systema-health-practices-part-1/

For all of these exercises and more i recommend getting a copy of Let Every Breath… Secrets of the Russian Breath Masters

Any ideas you’ve found for deeper relaxation? Let us know in the comments!

How to Shake up Your Systema Training

26 Nov

Sometimes in our training, we get into fixed patterns of doing things where we are comfortable and not pushing ourselves to further levels of skill.

Here are a few ideas to add some excitement into your training:

– Add objects: Even a simple object such as a chair or stick can change your entire outlook and mindset when training. For example; sit on a chair and defend yourself while others attack you.

– Change the environment: Every environment gives you a different feeling and provides your psyche with different stimulus’s. Some places tense us up, other’s relax us. Learn to make your psyche adaptable, malleable and strong. Train regularly in unfamiliar surroundings; for example; outside in the forest, in a bar, in your living room, in a shopping centre.

– Work your weaknesses: All of us have things we are not good at, this can be something general like fighting on the ground, or something more specific like getting out of a certain lock. Regularly train the things you cannot do well and you will become better at them, in turn this will make you more free and whole.

Any ideas? Tell us in the comments.

Becoming Truly Relaxed

28 Sep

In Systema one of main aims is to become more relaxed, calm and free. In the beginning most people take this as “become floppy”, which is ok, this is a period of learning and after a while most people swing back to being too tense, then too floppy continuously until they come to a mid point where they are relaxed, strong and whole.

Some exercises to help with becoming whole:

– Push-ups, leg raises and squats with Breathing – These exercises will give your body a correct form.

Walk on the back massage – This will keep you relaxed and make you feel more “full” and whole

Wall walking – This will connect your arms and your legs together

– Getting hit – This will make you full and relaxed, as you learn how to collect your body together

Walking – a fundamental part of your training. Try some of the exercises on this link – this is from a seminar with Alexander Andreychenkov.

 

Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions on this.

Morning Routine: How to get good at Systema FAST

12 Sep

All of us want to improve our Systema as fast as possible, the ways to do this are covered in another post .

I want to tell you about the most important thing to learn Systema fast and how you can implement it in your daily life;

The most important way to get better at Systema is: commitment/hard work/time.

This is one of the oldest secrets to achieving anything, yet many people want things right here, right now without the work, which obviously – doesn’t work.

The best way to implement this into your life, is by having a morning or daily training routine. So for example; as soon as you get out of bed, you start training. As soon as you get home from work, while the dinner is cooking, you train for 20-25 mins. Find a time in your day that is usually squandered on TV, internet surfing or some other meaningless past time, and train, even for 20-30 mins. The important thing is that training becomes a thing you do every day, whether you feel like it or not.

That is the secret to getting good at Systema fast.

For more information on specific exercises you can do, check out:

https://thomashogarth.com/2013/07/27/how-to-create-a-systema-workout/

https://thomashogarth.com/2013/07/12/russia-classes-2013-with-vladimir-zaikovsky/

https://thomashogarth.com/2013/03/24/how-to-create-the-warrior-feeling/