Tag Archives: Feeling

Back in the Game: Foundation of Systema

26 Jun

I have a confession to make.. for a number of months I have not been training in a Systema group, and actually have only been training solo.

My job means I travel around the world to a different country every week, which can be challenging to start a regular training class and means I have to make do with when and how, I am able to train.

Honestly, I really need a trip to Moscow, to get me back in the Systema mode, get a massage, go for a banja, do some lessons with Michael, Alexander, Vladimir Zaikovsky and the team.

 

Until then, I have designed a training program to get me back in the game, to relax and strengthen my body and psyche.

The first question that came to my mind is – What is the core of Systema? What is the Foundation?

The answer came as quick as the question and in fact was always their – Breathing.

Breathing is the beginning and end of everything we do, it can relax us, make us more powerful, stronger, healthier and can almost always be called upon, as an unlimited resource.

Therefore, I decided to get back to the root of Systema using breath training.

Most importantly, it had to be simple, so my first week, morning routine looks like this:

1-Tension-Relaxation exercise (From Let Every Breath) (20 mins)

2-Walking, with arms raised and different variations (20 mins)

3-Rolling – forward and backward, slow and fast and different variations (20 mins)

Try this simple routine, it will make you feel energised, calm and powerful. Most importantly it will get you into the Systema “state” pretty quickly.

PS – I will start posting more often, as I have a lot of past seminars and conversations with the masters to write up. As well as a few upcoming training sessions.

Feel free to request a specific post or video, or if you have any questions at all.

Until next time, Train Hard.

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Alexander Andrichenkov – Muscle Control Exercise

22 Jan

Interesting exercise from the seminar.

You stand with your back to the wall, someone stands next to you on the wall.
You put you hand out on the side where you partner is.
They grab your hand with their two hands.
Your hand is still open, shoulder, body, arm relaxed,
You then begin to curl the little finger of your hand, into their hand to hold them, when that feels full and tensed, curl the next finger, then the next,
Until the whole hand is curled and feels “full” then begin to bend your wrist.
If you’ve done this correctly their whole body, should be connected to your hand and they should fall sideways off the wall

An Alexander Exercise – Muscle Control Part 1- from Paris 2012 Seminar

6 Jan

Stand sideways to a wall , put your hand comfortably on the wall, relax arm and shoulder, now rotate your hand, keeping your hand full on the wall, keep turning until your hand tenses then wrist, then elbow, then shoulder, your arm then straightens and the tension goes from your shoulder to your upper spine, lower spine, hips, leg then foot kicks out and then you step, this will turn you so you face away from the wall.

There is a video clip of michael doing this, that i posted:

https://thomashogarth.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/exercise-with-michael/

Alexander showed the above, after this we sped up and ran to the wall – doing this motion and then letting the tension turn us and running the other way.

Konstantin Komarov Seminar – Psychological Preparation For Combat – London May 2007

6 Feb

This is a review of a seminar i attended in London 2007 with Major Konstantin Komarov.

It covered Psychological preparation for combat. These descriptions only scratch the surface. You really had to be there to feel it.

– Systema vs other martial arts is a fundamentally wrong question, Other martial arts focus on sport application, we focus on real life application. Like comparing an actor swordsmen and a butcher who chops meat, kk said – I have no doubt as to who would win.

– Three responses to fear : To fight the other person, To run away, To curl up in a ball and let yourself get hit. Systema gives us a 4thoption.

– I other MAs people are taught to pile aggression onto there fear, so that when they feel fear they instantly go aggressive, that might be ok apart from if a bigger, stronger more skilled guy comes along and hits/ beats them then they will break and the fear will be set free and will rip them apart and it will be almost impossible to build them back up, they will be broken.

– The people who are most aggressive are also the most fearful.

– In systema we are working in order to make a deal with the fear, to understand the fear and to work with that fear.

– You should have no intention to strike, you can see how the intention to strike shows on someones face and body.

– When approaching people, approach them in such a way as not to tense them genrally from a 45 degree angle, if you approach directly straight on or directly from behind then they will feel it and tense up.

– When Breath holding after an exhalation, you should feel the place where the fear comes out or is present and it is a diagnosis tool, you should pick an exercise for that area where the fear comes out.

– During static pushups/ other exercises all the thoughts and sensations that come into your mind are the balls of fear being released.

– During these exercises you should keep all your thoughts inside of you, concentrate on breathing.

– Burst breathing is very important, it relaxes you because every inhale is when your body tenses up and any exhale is a relaxation. In burst breathing the exhalation is longer than the inhalation so you are mostly relaxing yourself.

– In everyday life small unesscessary contractions of the muscles cause tension blocks in the body, when these accumulate the other muscles try to compensate. Eg- tension in the leg causes the hips to tilt, neck tilts forward and hips compensate.

– In slow exercises go back to points in eg – the pushup where the movement is jerky and that is where the balls of tension are, keep working on the movement until it is smooth.

– Strike in a way so as not to tense the person.

– Do not hit the bones it is not nesscessary it will hurt you and your partner.

– Removing a strike – If the peron you are hitting is tired or tense then get them to breathe, talk to them let them take a breather, hit the tension and lightly hit them to get them used to your fist again. Before hitting them go around them and gently place the fist and give gentle hits, so you can get used to hitting their body and they can get used to your fist..

– At end stage of leg raise breathing in through arms and out through legs. Variation is to put knees on floor over your head.

– Taking strikes to face – Shut jaw, teeth together but do not clench, relax neck, let other person just place fist first of all and then hit softly then harder, you can take it by letting head go sideways or tilting the head.

– Slow exercises – There are balls of tension in the muscles and they block the flow of blood and breathing so the breath does not travel thoruhg that area. When people do fast pushups they go right past the tension and more accumulates. In slow exercises we go through the full range so that the tension is stretched.

– What is systema – systema is compfort in yourself.

– Striking drills – Hold persons spine with one hand and with the other hand you push with the fist and then start to hit them. Go right round the body and push with other hand against front and the hit them.

– You go up to person and give two strikes to the body and one to the face continuous but not rushed.

– 1 person kneels down beside other person who is laying down. Person on floor trys to use just arm to strike kneeling person, body should not move, kneeling person can hold laying down persons body or shoulder to stop them moving.

– Same as previous drill but now laying down person moves around a hits knelling person any way he can

– A normal strike is not a hard strike, a normal strike is a correctly positioned strike.

– 1 person walks forward normally and the other person watches them and diagnosis’s there tension where it is. While walking p2 then mssages p1s tension and points out to p1 where he is tense to help them relax it.

– Fear balls are blocks in the body manifested by tension. It is stored as balls of fear.

– When striking someone build up the strikes otherwise if you give the person one big strike then fear comes/enters into the body and every strike that the person takes after that will cause more fear and tension to accumulate.

– P1 walks up to p2 and touchs him anywhere, try to touch him in a way so as not to tense him, p1 then alternates between striking and touching, strike should be just like touch but should speed up a bit at the end.

– Hit just with the arm.

– P1 walks around p2 in a circle and p2 hits the person however he can

– fight like you are buttering toast

– wrestling with partner on ground p1 puts weight on p2 somehow, p2 follows the movement and escapes then continues, this is done to rid the mind of behavioural patterns, clean the nervous system.

– You only learn when you do movements that are unusual, unique, your own.

– When doing pushups fists should be on the last knuckles little, ring, middle, To align wrist so it is straight.

– If you rest on the two front knuckles, then the wrist will not aligned and when you hit most of the force will go in different directions.

– One person standing at front, 3 people in a line about 3 metres away from him in a line, the 3 people walk at him and either touch him or strike him. The person at the front has to recognise the intent to hit and move away if a strike comes or stand there and let them touch him if it is a touch.

– 4 people sit down in a line and 1 person walks in front of them and the four people sitting down watch the one walking and give him feedback as to his walk eg – if he is tense in the shoulders or his arms stay stiff.

– Taking strikes – strikes create internal preesure in the body/stomach and you should exhale through the chest to get rid of the internal pressure. You should also be relaxed when taking strikes.

– When moving through crowd to avoid being hooked on each other relax your shoulders.

– Russian game – 3 people stand in a semi circle, a different person standa about a metre away from them with his back turned. 1 person from the 3 has to hit the person standing at the front with back turned. Person at front has toquickly turn around and identify who hit him. When he turns around everyone should have their hands in the thumbs up position including the hitter

– Fist push exercise – p1 holds body still and lets p2 hold his fist and elbow. P1s arm and body should be completely relaxed with minimal tension required to hold the wrist in alignment. P2 uses p1s fist as a ram and hits p3 with it, who is standing in front of p1. p2 should also just push the strike into p3. If p2 feels tension in p1s arm or back or wherever then he should massage/ hit the area to relax it.

– Our intuition is the ability to use the senses to sense that something Is going to happen by feel/internal voice.

– When the muscles are tense they create a subtle pulsing in the body that blocks the intuition and senses and means we cannot feel or hear our inner voice.

– When we concentrate on one sense all other senses do not function properly

– Eg – when we concentrate on sight our hearing goes.

– We must learn to trust trust our senses and not think about them consciously so that they all work as one whole.

– When looking for someone in a crowd you do not need to look or stare directly use your peripheral vision

– The body and the psche are one and not separate entities.

– P1 stands 20metres away from p2, p1 then turns round so his back faces p2. P2 very slowly walks towards p1 with an intention or attack and a physical obstacle. P1 has to feel his body and raise his hand when he feels something. P2 should tell p1 what his attack and intention was and p1 should tell p2 what he felt. Same drill but with p1 facing p2 with eyes closed.

– Two people walk towards one person who is also walking towards them. They are pretend muggers, you attempt not to make eye contact and try to get past the two people without agitating them or causing them to stop you, eg- sneezing , looking at another apparent object.

– Victimisation criminals choose those who have certain qualities –

When the thoughts are inside the body

Eg – head down not standing straight, those that make eye contact look nevous, not confident,

– When thoughts are on the outside – looking around at others, smiling.

– Relaxed confidence is the best thing

– Usually a change in behaviour is present when somebody is carrying a weapon.

– Spend 30 mins at a train station and you will see some very interesting things – people watching.

Massage and health

– When doing backwalking when a part of the body is stood on, there will be a higher blood pressure somewhere else, but if person on the floor is tense then the blood pressure will not go through correctly, a block.

– Tension from pressure should be distributed throughout the entire body.

– Many illnesses are psychosomatic such as stomach ulcer. Eg – you are scared and stomach tightens if is is not relaxed then the stomach develops an ulcer, tension means lack of blood flow, blood cannot get to stomach. After this situation stomach should be relaxed.

– Give the person a problem and let them solve it.

– Back walking – Put pressure on lower back or other part and if they are aware of it they can relax it.

How to Train Systema and Develop True Power

21 Jan

In Systema what are we training? Speed, Strength, Power…

Absolutely. But what many people miss is the deep connection to breath, and that the most important thing in any exercise is our Focus. Focus on : our breathing, internal condition, movement, timing and our overall psche. Which is what makes Systema training different, is that we can control our awareness, pulling it inside, feeling our internal condition/tension level or putting it outside, just going with the flow (Just doing it)

Eg – in a pushup – relaxing our body, aligning the bones, feeling the pulse, flow of the blood pressure, breathing cycles, breath holds.

So we do develop strength, and power in our body but by focusing our attention in a way that connects and balances our whole body and psche. When we focus ourselves in this way and do an exercise that pushes us to a new level by overcoming our weakness, we get not a rational concept or principal but a Feeling.

These feelings we get, are our key to understanding systema/ourselves and the reason why michael, vladimir, valentin, ancient chinese and ninja masters can whup our asses!

They have inner strength, calmness and understanding – True Power.