Tag Archives: Movement

Vladimir Vasiliev Seminar – Hamburg 19/20th May 2012

25 May

This was an extremely interesting seminar!  I saw many old friends and “seminar goers” and met many new people, the atmosphere was very enjoyable. I have not seen Vladimir since 2006 and that was in the UK. His way of moving has changed a lot from the outside. He is still amazingly fluid, soft, hits very hard and invisibly but is at the same time a remarkable, calm, funny man. Throughout the seminar he was constantly making jokes, relaxing us all with a smile, while bombarding us with a torrent of incredible, interesting and useful information.

Now for some specifics:

Pushups – Pushing the floor away from you rather than pushing yourself up from the floor, a minor difference but very hard to achieve. Vladimir says pushing the floor away from you is the proper way to do pushups for striking. You can start this exercise from the lowest position on the floor, then going up smoothly. Start at a position when the muscles have no grab – cannot work… so you have to consequently use your tendons and ligaments. Vladimir also mentioned keeping the whole fist flat on the floor, and feeling the floor fully underneath your fist for the whole movement.

Then Vladimir said he will teach us how to go down in the Pushup, this involves releasing/relaxing your elbow muscles fully, allowing your body to drop to the floor. This took some work and muscle control.

Squats: The same thought also was applied to squats, the idea of pushing the floor away from you, with your feet. while keeping your feet flat on the floor, weight evenly distributed; between both legs and from front to back of feet. Then going down was simply a matter of relaxing/releasing the knees, letting the body drop to the floor.

The kind of psyche control necessary for this work is interesting; releasing, relaxing and letting go is not always easy.

Leg Raises: Lifting the legs up with a minimum of tension, rasing the upper legs first then the lower legs, kind of like a smooth, relaxed, wave-motion. Then relaxing them in the same way dropping/relaxing the lower leg and upper leg simultaneously but allowing the natural movement of the knees to work, hinging the leg first so that the feet impact a quarter second before. Again this was a combination of muscle control, relaxing and just letting go.

Vladimir showed all of these exercises in a calm, effortless way. It was inspiring to watch.

Next post: other exercises shown at this seminar and some ideas from Valentin Vasiliev, who was also there.

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.

Warning: 3D Movement

26 Feb

This class was inspiring and interesting with ideas flowing the whole time.

Here are the insights i got from the lesson:

– 3D Movement – you work on all plains of movement not only left or right but also up, down, foward, backward, diagonally. The more directions the better as then the partner becomes intwined in your movement and is easily tangled in their own tension.

– Intention – when you start to push someone, their intention goes their, some people tense, others relax. The important thing is knowing how to work with their intention, know where they are full and where they are empty. If you start thinking about what you want to do, your partner feels your intention and can escape, if he does’nt know what you are going to do/ where you are going to push before you do it, it becomes difficult to move away/tense up or escape from it. Try touching one part of your partners body, watch how he/his mind jumps to  that part, then another part, then try to trick him go to touch one part but touch another. What is his feeling?

– When walking towards a person, how you move towards them, subtly influences their body, twisting your body, moving into their space in certain ways – even before you touch them, influences their inner tension.

– Stick exercises, with a stick hold it anyway you want – warm yourself up and relax yourself, rolls, pushups, situps, leg raises, squats, rolling on stick etc..

– Massage yourself with the stick, create your own ways, an interesting idea is to put one end of stick against the wall and the other end pokes into your stomach, you move the stick to the points you feel a lot of tension in your stomach and leave it their, poking it in more when you need to. This is an excellent drill for relaxing the stomach and getting into those small, tense areas.

– Be calm inside, have patience.


Let the Body Work..

14 Jan

This class was excellent, went along the same kind of theme as wednesday in zwolle – working in slow motion.

Intresting things: Moving within the movement, not thinking just doing, letting the body work, going with the flow.

I had a tendency if things were going well, then i tried to think about and question in my mind what was good, then it stopped being good, so i lost the feeling and state, if i stay in that state and breath and relax then my body, skills, and breathing work all together.

All about the feeling and state that i’m in. A few years back i remember enetering that state very easily by starting to breath one breath was enough, now i think the breathing and relaxed calm state, the association – needs to be strengthened and trained/conditioned Answer = more breathwork 🙂

Cheers 🙂

Honest Training.

28 Dec

I don’t remember much of the things from the class, but some that still in my mind:

– strike inside the movement, from when he begins the attack to when he finishes the movement is the time you have, move inside/ strike inside that movement.

-During drills, move at the same speed and force as the attacker, otherwise you are fooling yourself, not honest training.

– we train one against one person for precision, timing . multiple attackers is the realsitic training for the street, because usually people attack in groups. that simple.

– give the strike, the fist a squeeze of tension at the end to give it a shock.

happy new year 🙂