Tag Archives: Strength

Russia classes 2013 with Vladimir Zaikovsky

12 Jul

This time with Vladimir in Russia was (as always) extremely interesting, he gave us some new and challenging drills, involving relaxation, body control and balance:

The first drill was to relax our shoulders and connect our body. It began in a push-up position at the lowest point, almost but not quite touching the floor.
Now you stretch out one arm in front of you and slightly to the side, put it down on the floor and drag your body forward, while doing this the opposite leg curls up and climbs forward.

Now with the other hand stretching forward and out to the side slightly, now drag yourself forward and the opposite leg curls up and you push off the feet to move forward. If you’re doing it right it should feel and look like you’re swimming, using a minimum of muscle, try to just shift your weight and relax your body.

Then do the same exercise but now going backwards in this low push-up position. I’ll make a video on this as it is not easy to explain or understand in writing.

– Now go in a normal push-up position, but instead of on fists, rest yourself on your forearms and elbows, in a position which feels comfortable – where you’re not tensing yourself unnecessary – now hold.
Try to shift your weight to your legs then back to your arms and if your arms feel tired, shift the weight more to your feet. Shift your weight around your body and feel what changes inside.
Keep holding for 4-5 minutes and relax!

– Then do the same as the above drill but change position so you are laying sideways off the floor, balanced on your forearm and elbow, back straight. Now hold. While you are doing this learn how to shift your weight
to your legs, arms, and then try to make the weight 50/50, experiment while in this position, relax your psyche and body. Then switch and do the same on the opposite side.

– In a push-up position again, this time in the upward position. Stretch one arm out in front, then the other, then one leg, other leg, then opposite legs and arms, then others.
Now go down the full way in a pushup position. Now balancing on on arm, stretch your other arm directly out in front of you, hold for 10 breaths then change. In this exercise Vladimir asked us to try to do it without shifting the weight of our bodies.

The drills emphasized relaxation, balance and economy of movement. The first drill we did for 30 mins + – which was very tiring, but afterwards my body felt connected on a completely new level.

Sonny Puzikas Belgium November 25,26,27

9 Dec

This was one of the most interesting seminars i have ever been to, sonny is an extremely honest, open teacher, his vast experience and strong character gave me a very real feeling of the reality of combat situations, and shattered many illusions that i sometimes build up of myself and others. Also being hit by him was an experience…

A few of my jumbled notes and the things that stuck with me from the seminar:

– Knife – hold it tight enough to cut something, not too loose, same as you hold a fist for striking, To see what it is like to cut through muscle and flesh – buy a dead pig hang it in your garden and stab it and slice noticing how tightly you have to hold the knife to make an effect, for me the feeling stuck in me that you do have to cut through a person when you use the knife, through muscle, ligaments, and you will/may get a lot of blood, Sonny said another reason for holding the knife tightly  “because blood is very slippery and you wanna keep a hold of the knife” .. Also leather jackets are hard to cut through- to find out put a leather jacket on the pig and find out, if the knife has serations then they will get stuck in the leather , if you try to slice a leather jacket you will more than likely disarm yourself as it will get stuck in there.

– Sonny said first of all that a lot of people just want to learn defense from a blade or defense from a  gun, but unless you know how to use these weapons as well it’s useless, as you will not know how to use the knife of the gun against another person. 

– In a knife fight, accept the possibility that you may get cut.

– “Only two ways somone else can be inside of you – one is pleasurable the other is not ”

– Good places to stab the thigh muscle in front, the back of the neck, both places with soft flesh and nerves,

– He asked us a question are knife, gun, and fist the same in a fight? He left it hanging, and said Flatly NO they are not the same, look at a fist when you get hit how many body systems does it affect, usually only the muscular system, sometimes respiratory, apart from a  handful of people mikhail, vlad, etc that can disrupt more than one, Then look at a knife you have the same as a fist + circulatory system, nevous sysytem. Take a gun, has the possibility to to go through all systems at once- your dead. No they are not the same, although the principles behind moveing with them are the same = systema. But your attitude should be different, this is not fun any more, this is serious life or death.

– A strong body can afford to be relaxed, if you’re not strong you can not be totally relaxed as your body wont hold you up, in systema we train the big muscle groups. 

– when punching don’t pull back for more power, punch from wherever you are, from the fist to the person. This is ego, you want to hit the person harder, if you get over this you find the punches are much stronger as they are unexpected, and relaxed.

– kicking from the foot, not from the hip, foot goes and bam. same as drill where we push the partner with fists, but now push with feet, stand on one leg and use the other to push your partner seeing the tension and places to kick, but push, work slow and push the person destroying his body structure.