Tag Archives: Recovery

Feeling Comfortable

2 Dec

This class was as usual excellent.

Warm up was, 1 pushup, recover, 2 pushups, recover, 3, 4 etc up to 10 then about 5 times 10, recovering in between. Relaxing our body, feeling comfortable, emphasized feeling comfortable, go towards comfort.

Then was 50 squats any breathing pattern, i found i was breathing heavily at the end of these, as my breath was not matched to the effort, and something Arend explained was that if you take a too deep inhalation, then when you u down the blood bounces into the breath and stops your movement like a brake, the blood pressure rises and the breathing hit together, the breathing should not tense you up and should be just enough for the effort not more. Repeated this exercise, second time was better although more improvement needed…

Arend talked about that in systema we are looking for the state, one of relaxation, wholeness, focus. I think this is interesting as in daily life i find myself sometimes with scattered thoughts, occasionally unbalanced emotions – i do a few pushups and squats or just breath and it makes me whole again. By whole i mean body and mind connected as one.

Not thinking about what to do, just doing it. Not doing relaxed. Just being relaxed. not try just do.

In systema we don’t fight we just do. If your fighting you’re doing it wrong.

We were doing neck hold, chokes/grabs at the end/worst position and the idea was to follow the movement and slip out with relaxation and movement. constantly breathing. I found that when working with arend the first time was good, i just did it, then i started to feel a bit of pride – i can do this, it’s easy – then the tension came in and i started to think. and the second grab was worse, i could not feel, i was feeling and thinking too much, i was not letting the body work.

advice to self – The body knows what to do, let it work.  i knew that. so many things and feelings i have from systema, i felt and understood a long time ago, but now after travelling for 2 years, i must relearn the deeper things, or unlearn the bad habits.. but it is fun 🙂

An interesting feeling i have had the last two days, somethign i again feel. that for me when i feel fear it comes into my stomach, the tense, dropped feeling, if i relax my stomach then it is very hard for me to feel fear. i feel fear in my stomach. another way of putting it –  The fear sits in my stomach. where do you feel fear?

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Mikhail Ryabko Seminar – Berlin Nov 2011 – Sat

13 Nov

This seminar was extremely interesting it being my latest seminar with Mikhail for a few years, since getting back to Systema training.

This seminars topics straight from the flyer were:
– emotion and Fear Control
 Relaxation / Fast Recovery / Healing
 Survival within or against aggressive groups
 Healing application of traditional weapons such as knife, stick, sword and whip

and it covered all this and more..

I present my notes, thoughts from the seminar how i remember them, in any order and probably forgot many of the things we did but anyhow:

The first drill was around the hall with breath counts, 2 up to 15 steps in 15 steps out, one group of people walked one way the other group the other way, and then we had to keep ourselves soft and relaxed and we walked towards are partners not stopping ourselves if we hit into them, breathing and recognising the tensions and fears that arose, then the same drill with a fist raised and then with both arms raised, keeping the whole body as relaxed as possible and continue all the time breathing, then we had to walk around in a group of two, then a group of 4 staying together.
Then the same exercise running, then a group of 2 running together, then 4. Then one person in the group of 4 when contacted by the people running the opposite way had to fall down and the people in his group had to help him get up and keep running.

Anther drill we did before or after was walking around with our arms or one arm up in the air out to the sides or in front and then holding our breaths on the out breath recovering our bodies and minds fully, then doing it again. trying to extend the period of out breath hold longer and longer, first a half circle, then a full circle, then 2/3 circles.
the most i managed was about 1.5 circle, needs work!
same can of course be applied to an in breath hold.

The idea in many parts of the seminar was learning how to recover yourself quickly and fully mind and body, an exercise we used for this was: into pushup position then 1 pushup with an out breath held, then onto your knees relaxing your body as fully as possible and restoring your breathing and self.
then 2 pushups with out breath held, restore, then 3, restore, up to 15.
the same exercise with squats,
if you felt tense and the breathing was hard, to relax you could change the restore position to sitting or standing depending on what was comfortable to you, for instance i had a torn knee ligament a few years ago and kneeling down in that way made it hurt so i sat legs stretched out in the recovery period.
something to thing about was that the ideal is: to be able to recover yourself in one breath, in out and back to normal, that is awesome.

Mikhail told stories at one point over how he had overcome many situations by just remaining calm inside, breathing and not becoming tense, he said that if you become tense then it will make the other person tense, whereas if they see you as relaxed then they will also be relaxed.

Mikhail came out with an interesting story: that when Alexander the great wanted to select warriors he would shock or scare them and if the blood ran to their legs then he would not pick them, but if the blood ran to their head, then he would say you’re in. Mikhail didn’t specifically say the reason why, but I think there are many theories and ideas out there to decide from, – This small story was in response to a question from a guy who said that when he is in a fight or stressful situation his legs start shaking. how does he stop that? Mikhail answer was that story and then saying that it is a matter of bad circulation of blood, and that breathing and massage (whip etc) would bring back the circulation and make it more equal and distributed.

At the end of the seminar on saturday walking back to the hotel, a small situation occurred when i walking over a bridge it was dark no cars or people around, just a man on a bike with a hooded jacket on and a cigarette in his mouth, when i saw him slowing down, he looked aggressive, i felt my back tense up and my stomach, my thoughts started turning to throwing him over the bridge onto the railway line below, and other such fighting ideas. i relaxed my body breathed and cleared my mind, this happened in a split second and i was walking slowly and calmly. he then stopped said something in german about a cigarette. i kept walking, calmly looked him in the eyes said “thankyou” put my thumb up and walked off, he looked at me as if i was an alien, and i didn’t look back, kept walking and breathing smoothly relaxing my body, this was not a particularly unusual or strange encounter, only my reaction and my ability to breath and keep calm was interesting and powerful.
I have many such experiences from travelling and being out late at night in other countries, but i have always retained this: when stressful situation occurs start breathing and stay calm inside. I would recommend it. Then you have clarity and focus of thought, and actions. so even if you can not avoid a fight, you have all your resources prepared with breathing, body and mind, and are not clouded by thoughts, aggression, anger and freezing up or tensing. Just relaxed and ready to do what needs to be done.
I thing i discover everyday is something Konstantin said ” a fight is a fight with yourself” your psche.

More notes to follow 😉

Zwolle Class – How systema guys use mats ;)

4 Nov

This was on Wednesday 2nd november.

Warmup: With mats, With hands on mats and your feet off the mat, pushing it across the floor, keeping your legs where they are, then from that laying down position, bringing yourself up again keeping hands on mat, this is hard to describe, but was difficult. Once we were tired, we laid on the mat to recover our condition, burst breathing, to slow the heart rate, and normalise the body.

then laying on your back feet off the mat and pushing ourselves and the mat along, with only your feet. I found this difficult to get the weight shift and distribution correct, after some breathing, relaxing and feeling myself, as well and physically grabbing the mat I was able to do it. The same recovery process as above, but in a leg raise position, legs fully over head.

Then we did another exercise with the mats similar to the above, but I’ve forgotten it. But after this exercise we sat down on the floor, and the partner put one leg on each of your thighs, standing on them and then slowly walked up and down your legs massaging them.

Then walking around the hall, one step in one step out forwards and backwards.

This was a very well understood warmup, and I felt energised and relaxed by the end, it was hard work!

“Something Arend said, was that the faster you can recover- the better – the faster you can disperse/let go of the tension the better. In our daily life it is an important skill to learn.”

I felt the whole lesson reflected the curve of work rest – work – rest, it flowed very nicely which I think reflects Arends understanding of people, Systema and training people.

Then we started with a partner, and you had to touch the partner then they had to go down, any way: touching feet, hands, lightly. Then the same exercise but with eyes closed, then with each other, so one person touches the other and they go down to the floor, then touches the other person, creating a flow, out of it.

Then working with punches and positioning,

Arend commented that in Systema mostly we work with the close distance” which is true, One thing I learnt from this class was Positioning is important, and it was a manifestation of my fear, trying to keep the other person away or escape rather than being  up close, the Systema range.

So many things Arend said in the class made sense and were interesting, practical and insightful, he is one of the best Systema teachers I have experienced.

Another quote ” that taking down a person, moving, etc is like writing your name, signature. there is no gaps no pauses smooth, natural and normal.

Awesome class,

I am doing my best to swing my work so I can go to the meppel class or another one in the week,

At the moment in Berlin, staying in a fairly nice and clean hotel, ready for the Mikhail seminar tomorrow.

Have fun 😉