Tag Archives: Massage

How to Create the Warrior Feeling

24 Mar

Or Special Methods Of Russian Relaxation

When you work with the Russian masters, they give you a certain feeling, of ease, of relaxation, of softness and of confidence, which if you hold and remember that feeling, your work for some time after is changed, and you do things you couldn’t do before.

Many of us go to seminars and camps and Canada and Russia for Systema. When we get home that feeling of relaxation and power lasts for a while, but after that while has past – we usually lose some of it.

Part of the Systema knowledge is learning how to first create that feeling for yourself and secondly to pass it on to others. Of course when our skill improves- any exercise we do gives us that special combination of relaxation and power.

Here are some exercises which easily allow you to create that warrior feeling:

– Walking – starting with 1 step inhaling and 1 step exhaling and moving to to 20 plus then back down to 1, clears your mind, fills your body with power,awareness and heaviness.

– Wall Walking – you start with your legs on the wall your hands on the floor, holding yourself above the ground, then you rotate your body and climb over with your legs so your stomach is now facing upwards, continue turning like this along the wall, then go the other way, repeat for 15 mins. Afterwards, feel how your shoulder blades have dropped into place, and now you feel connected with your hands and feet.

– Rolling – 1 roll inhale, 1 roll exhale, throughout the whole movement, work up to 2, 3+ then back down to 1 roll inhale, 1 roll exhale, relaxing your whole body as much as possible, this will make your whole body full (give you awareness of your whole body as you move)

– Filling up your hands for punching – a simple exercise is walking up and down the wall with your fists, relax your body, and feel the blood go into your hands. Another simple but powerful exercise is standing facing the wall, putting your fists on the wall, the same way as you would do a pushup on the floor. In this position slightly bend your arms. Now lean off the wall, fall against it with your fists and bounce off just by tensing your hand, it should feel and look like you are bouncing back and forth away and against the wall, just by using the tension in your hand.

– Lastly of course is the famous Systema Massage . The importance of this is mentioned by Michael and the other Russian trainers. During my last visit to Russia, one of the old students of Michael said that in the old classes with Michael they would do the walking on the body massage after every class. For your continued health, relaxation and power I recommend finding a partner you can do this with.

Ryabko Systema Massage

15 Jul

I’ve been intending to write this for a while. While i was in Russia this year i experienced this special massage given by Andre at the Systema school. Words can not even describe it. It was the most painful thing i have ever experienced, and since i was 13 have done various combat sports, but nothing touched me at the level this did. It was a physical and emotional adventure, a rollercoaster of various massages with small sticks, whips and swords.

(To none Systema people this will sound strange but trust me when i say this is effective on a very personal level, you face your fears directly, as the body holds the fear from childhood and life in the spine and deep muscles, making it a very emotional experience)

What happens:

I started out standing and sitting on a vibrating platform, to relax surface tension.

Then, the lady that was translating and helping said “one rule: you have to keep breathing”

Then i sat down on a massage chair, with my head through the hole, leaning foward. Firstly Andre pasted some massage oil on me, and then with small wooden sticks, began to press them either side of my spine in to the muscles, at first easy and working up and down my spine, then even more strongly. Aferwards they were slid up and down the spinal muscles. I then laid down and the lady took over.  This seemed like a very long session with different types of sticks sometimes being pressed onto the bone, sometimes onto the side muscles and connective tissue, After this treatment with the spine, shoulder, neck, head and hip muscles, They took out the Russia crowd control whips and began the standard Systema massage, with 2 types of whips. After this i was fairly, emotionally worn out, and it finished with a sword massage (difficult to describe), This whole massage was about 1 hour, and by the end some of my muscles had difficulty moving, my shoulders were low and my whole back was straighter. I felt it directly – that something had fundamentely changed. It still feels the same to this day, my back, body and more importantly mypsche structure was corrected to a degree that changed my personality and feeling. It was profound.

Some french guys that were in Moscow around the time i was, their video of the massage and thoughts:


Other People talking about the massage:


I highly recommend you go to Russia to experience this or go to a seminar where one of the massage guys will be there.


Vladimir Vasiliev Seminar Part 2 with Valentin Vasiliev

30 May


One person lays down, other person kneels above. Begin to shake the person, seeing the deepness of their relaxation by how the wave goes up their body, if it is stuck or restricted. Then tap the person all over, fast at first, with hands, then slower and deeper according to their heart rate, as it slows down – slow down the tapping to relax them.

– Extremely slow walking and walking backwards.

– Tenseing the body, up down, different strength’s, join with breathing.

– If your relaxed, you don’t have to breath,

“Michael said he’s relaxed so he does’nt have to breath”


There was a small group of us, that had a conversation with Valentin during the break, he had a lot of interesting things to say:

– If you have a hurt throat/solar plexus/stomach. Breath in a ball of air through your mouth and swallow it, that will relax the muscles and remove blockages.

– If you have a blocked nose open your mouth and breath in the same time through your nose and mouth and out at the same time through both. This clears the airways. This is awesome.

– He emphasized if you have an injury, immediately start breathing through the injured part. It heals it much faster.

– He said also that just breathing through your body, and in and out through your organs is a very good health practice.


Overall an awesome seminar, with many interesting experiences, when Vladimir came round i got to work with him a little, and that for me, was the highlight.

Martin Wheeler – Movement and Striking Seminar – London April 21/22

30 Apr

I recently went to a seminar with Martin Wheeler in London. I found it extremly interesting and eye opening, it was a fairly small group so i got to work with him in a few demonstrations and be hit by him. I was blown away by his depth of skill in Systema, and his ability to show and demonstrate ideas. It was very different watching him and working with him, and things that looked visible on the outside, were invisible when you were working. His strikes seemed to come from nowhere and the power and fullness was incredible to feel. His ability to control, feel and change mine and others psches was immense. Some details and drills:

– Recomendation for the knees, if you have had an injury, how to heal them quickly – Walking on a carpeted floor on your knees forwards, backwards, sideways etc for a short time, breaks up grissle and old tissue, to allow new tissue to grow.

– Walking is very important, the most fundamental exercise, we can do it everywhere, feel where we are tense. An exercise to become aware of where we place are weight in our feet = Walk stepping on the toes pulling yourself forward and allowing the foot to place on the floor. Looks kind of like skating.

– Walking tips – weight on whole foot, relax hips, knees, don’t bob or sway.

– Exercise 5 mins – 1) AT AN EVEN PACE: Pushups, when tired situps,when tired leg raises, when tired squats, and repeat for 5 mins. 2)Then same thing but AS SLOWLY AS POSSIBLE for 5 mins – BREATH. 3) Then AS FAST AS POSSIBLE for 5 mins- breathing matches the movement.

– Recovering: when restoring yourself the burst breathing, should not tense you, but should relax you.  Learn to clean yourself with the breathing.

– An exercise to feel the heaviness of your arm and to feel your way into the person. Lay/drop your whole arm on the person- on their body somewhere, and feel the way through in one motion, think of the persons muscles as rocks and in between is the water, you need to find the path of no tension where the water is.

– Flow is not fighting, flow is designed for learning, learn how to break the flow.

– Touch the person with the fist on a deep level, of his body, his psche.

– Own the space, where your body is, Own The Space.

– Don’t find the other people, Find yourself, don’t lose yourself.

– Balance between tension and relaxation, control to go both ways, but your neutral state is a balance.

– Squats on person laying down keeping weight the same and relaxing body.

– Pushups on the person, keeping the weight the same on the partner in every point in the pushups not letting the weight come into your hips or legs, but keeping all the weight in the arms/fists.

– Massage: Very important in systema.

Person 1 lays down on front, P2 then kneels on P1s muscles starting with the lower leg, P2 use bone/shin of knee to apply pressure, make the other person work/breath. Work up their upper leg, then onto their back, use both knees at the same time, kneeling on person, working up the muscles alongside of their spine, .

P1 then turns around and lays on back, P2 walks along legs then along, stomach and on chest.

P2 then pushes into P1s stomach in different places, letting P1 work and relax the area before moving on, interesting how much people hold/tense the stomach muscles and don’t realize it.

Martin demo’d by having someone push their fist into his stomach, and you could see it went right in almost to the floor, very inspiring to see.

Deep Massage:

Learning how to clean the spaces between the joints, working on the collar bone. Partner 1 pushes their thumb under the collar bone from P2, and rubs it along the length of the bone and feels the grissle and roughness, try to smooth it out relax the connective tissue between the bone and muscle. This can be done with any muscle and bone join. Make it intense for the partner. Make them work.

Overall an amazing seminar, with a very real and interesting feel. I look forward to more seminars with Martin.

Moscow class with Alexander : Systema Body Massage

27 Apr

The second part of this day was massage, and the first few times it was intense but after doing it every day for a week it became more normal. The emphasis on massage to me makes sense, but a few interesting comments by the instructor (Sasha) he said in the old classes with michael, after every class was massage, and that “massage is a large part of systema” 60/70 percent – i think he said. Also that massage is for both partners: the person giving the massage, is learning how to relax their body, hips, spine, feet and transmit relaxation and not tensing the partner up.

Continuous breathing helps.

The massage series:

1 – P1 (receiving the massage) kneels down facing the wall, P2 (giving the massage) starts walking on the persons feet and slowly walks up then down the persons calf muscle, both sides, the person having the massage has to breath, let go and release the tension.

2 – P1 sits back against the wall legs stretched out and P2 walks from feet up the thighs, avoiding knees and back down, repeat.

3 – P1 Kneels down facing the wall and bends back head, shoulders touching the floor, and P2 walks up from the bottom of knees until the top of thighs and back down, repeat.

4 – P1 lays down head facing the wall, P2 walks up from feet to buttocks avoiding knees, turns feet sideways and walks on back, P1 really has to relax themselves deeply, and don’t give resistance or force back, let the pressure go in. P2 also puts one foot and 25% of weight on the persons neck, turn neck and repeat.

5 – P1 lays back down head facing the wall, P2 walks up them from feet, avoiding knees, up to top of thighs, then turns feet sideways, one foot on chest and one on stomach and step and walk along the person. Then P2 turn both feet facing the partners head and put both on his chest and step around a bit on his chest area.

This is the basic set, there are many other ideas, and small things to add or take away depending on you and your partner, feel, watch your partners reaction, relax him/her, relax yourself, breath and smile.