Tag Archives: Moscow

Rolling the Russian Way

22 Apr

In Russia there were some classes with trainers who i didn’t know, very skilled people but not normally teaching every week.

One such morning session, had a group of us, doing some very interesting movement drills;

– From a full down squatting position roll forward into the same low squat position in one movement – it is one movement. If you do this right it feels like you roll as one whole piece and land as one whole peice. Your weight starts on two legs and finishes on two legs

– From a standing position roll forward the same as the last roll and land in a squat. Your body should be collected and whole.

– Then the next step is from a standing position to roll forward and in one movement let the momentum and weight of the roll take you and stand you up. In the roll the weight will be in your whole body, when both feet land to get support, your body weight will be in your feet (tip: let your body weight travel up to your upper body and this will bring you standing up from the roll – without using strength.

– Afterwards you can do many kinds of rolls rolling sideways from standing, rolling forward, landing on one leg and coming up.

The most important thing: These are done in one continuous movement – no breaks in the movement.

(You can try using a shorter inhale/exhale to make the movement flow)

Systema in Moscow: Stick Massage – Video Session

20 Apr

I had an excellent time in Russia, many new things, training ideas and feelings.

Here is a taste of upcoming posts about the seminars and classes i had in Moscow with the Russian instructors:

Footage was recorded by Mitchi from Systema Japan.




I recommend anyone to go to Russia and experience the stick massage, it will change your psyche and body in a big way- Guaranteed.

Go and get one or two!


Moscow HQ Seminar March 2012: M. Ryabko and Moscow Instructors – Sun

6 Oct

Sunday was also a very interesting day:


With a hammer

– Mikhail demonstrated on big Sergi with a rubber hammer, how to make the strike go in.

– I asked to try and had a go just with my fist and also with the hammer, but he was saying my strike was empty, he grabbed my hand and with ease, confidence and power lifted it up and dropped it onto big Sergi sending him to the floor. Without Michael holding my fist i could not produce the same result, they were just “normal” strikes. Very interesting to feel this..

– When you strike imagine you hit a nail in to the wall/floor

– You strike to the floor/wall/ceiling to go in and past/through the person.



– Intention to do something, know what you want to do with your partner.

– Relax everything and put all the power into the fist

– Tension in psyche stops the punch

– Punch him so his weight goes onto his heels then takes him to the floor.

– when punching, as you reach “him” inside squeeze fist a little bit

– Learn how to give tension and relaxation


Psychology, Breath and Balance:

–  Everything is psche, First calm your psche. If you can be sensitive and look inside yourself, find and know yourself then you can take the next step – sensitivity and perception

– Punch as if you had a stick/knife in hand, move elbow up and down and sideways to change direction of punch, straight elbow, elbow up or down.

– Rolling 1 inhale, 1 exhale in 1 roll (1 breath cycle), 1 roll – 2 breath cycles, 1 roll – 3 breath cycles etc up to 5 then back down.

– Inhaling for 1 roll exhale 1, inhale 2 exhale 2, adapting your breath up to 10/20 (getting faster when rolling), then back down.

– Hold stick in your hand, find natural position where you do not feel the weight of the stick, then using only your hand lean the stick one way and feel where the stick leads you, your body moves let the stick lead your movement, same with knife – let it lead and carry you

–  Michael showed an exercise that can only be seen, it was an exercise in sensitivity, feeling, tension and using body position and feeling, I’ll find the video and post it soon


Moscow HQ Seminar March 2012: Mikhail Ryabko and Moscow Instructors – Sat

23 Sep

This was a two day seminar on Strikes, while i was in Moscow. Mikhail led the seminar and other instructors taught for an hour of two to show their own perspective.

Striking, Balance and Feeling

– You sit facing the opposite way from your partner, shoulder to shoulder then you push them with your fist, keeping the shoulder and body relaxed. If you – just do it, don’t tense up before or you give him support, you just push him to the floor.

– standing facing partner they lean onto your fist you hold them, to the point that they can’t recover balance then let them fall.

– Same drill as above but now as you hold them you squat, move around, then walk away taking all their support in one motion.

Drills to relax stomach

– Person lays down, other person kneels down and pushes fist into partner, person on floor breathes and relaxes and lets in pressure, lets pain go, spreads it out to the whole body.

– Then person kneeling down places knees on persons stomach and puts weight on them. person on floor lets pressure in and their stomach and body relax. Daniel kept saying “let it go” – “the pain, the fears”

Wall exercises

– Partner is against wall, leans a bit and you push them, just with your fist, into the wall, go inside the person to hold the weight/spine/balance then give them a direction left/right/up etc and push.

– Same exercise now with two partners on wall, both lean forward at different times and you catch their balance the point where there weight is floating, where they start to lean and their weight is free, you push with the fist. Relax your body, shoulders, hips – feel everything.

Pushing drills

– Pushing with fists simultaneous 1-20 then 20 to 1 punching.

– Person grabs you and you push them with your fists to release yourself, not so that he grabs harder or more. in 1 motion or in 2 or 3, counting outloud, 1 ,2 ,3 etc.

– Push and punch with whats there, arms, body etc. don’t pull arm back to punch again, the motion continues.

– Push one partner with your fist so their weight is on their heels, stay with them keep contact don’t lose him, then change direction of elbow and push more.

Words of wisdom

– If your stomach is tense, then legs are tense, if legs tense then stomach tense.

– Do it- don’t pretend to do it.

– No empty movement, know what you want to do and do it

– Stay in situation, focus, Wake up.

– Remain calm inside – breath

Vladimir Zaikovsky – Russia Classes 2012

5 Jun

In my month in Russia, the best classes for me, were with Vladimir Zaikovsky, they were practical, precise and demanding – mentally and physically. The learning was non-stop. He made sure we understood practically what he meant by unity, relaxation, and other terms that are usually more esoteric and uncertain. He demonstrated and talked about precisely what he meant and how to acquire/feel certain feelings and ideas.

From my memory and collections of notes, Here are some ideas, drills and suggestions from him:

– Unity of body arms and legs connected and work together.

Drill to feel: Pushup position against wall, slowly go up feel connection between arms and legs, with your weight and attention evenly distributed. Same on the floor in a pushup position, legs and bit wider, weight 25,25,25,25 % on arms and legs, Feel solid, relaxed and connected, Then your partner pushes you from above, side and different ways and you should be bouncy and relaxed but at the same time whole.

Drill for Unity – Put your legs on wall and your hands on the floor and turn around, so you belly is facing up and then turn around arm over arm, leg over leg going along the wall. Repeat for 10-15 minutes. You can’t do this if you don’t relax your shoulders and also you can only do it with unity = an equal weight distribution.

– Don’t describe, words are only words,. feel, collect the feeling and remember that feeling.

– Floppy is not relaxed, Don’t overestimate relaxation. You need to find the tension of the other guy, you need to go inside the other person. Not just movement on the outside. You move inside of him. Profound.

– Many people have different explanations. For example, If i ask about punching, a boxer will talk about technique, a bodyguard will talk about the situation, a street fighter will ask who he needs to punch. Look at this life, live in this moment, ask what is required in this time/situation, different things, different situation.

– What works in slow motion doesn’t always work fast.

– Keep body weight 50/50 upper/lower, side to side.

– Personal advice to me “Wake Up”

– First Victory then the War, The work is already done, before you begin.

– When doing pushing drills with fists, and other such sensitivity drills, don’t look for mystical energies don’t communicate with ghosts or spirits, the answer is here not there. It is right here, just our natural reactions and senses.  Look at him, how is he affected, watch the tension in him.

– Be in the situation.

Next: Wrestling with Vladimir Zaikovsky