Tag Archives: Systema Academie Berlin

Seminar with Alexander Andreychenkov – Berlin 2013

31 Aug

There is a seminar in November with Alexander Andreychenkov in Berlin, there may be some spaces left.

I highly recommend training with Alexander, one of the oldest students of Michael – 30 years+. He has a unique and deep knowledge of Systema.

Contact Systema Akademie Berlin for more information:


Alexander Andreychenkov – Warmups and Massage – Berlin May 2013

12 Jun

This is an extended post of the seminar with Alexander to give you an idea of the warm-ups and massage ideas he gives. He is one of Michaels oldest students so he has a lot to teach, i recommend anyone to go to a seminar with him, you will not be disappointed.

– Walking – relaxed breathing 2 steps inhaling, 2 steps exhaling, 4,4 , 6,6 etc up to 20 then turn around to walk backwards and go back from 20 steps inhaling 20 steps exhaling.

– Running – same drill as above but with running, and arms above head palms straight and turned inwards, facing each other.

– Feet together, jumping around facing forward – do 1 circle, then jumping around the circle but this time jumping backwards, then jumping sideways one way, then the other way (this is a fairly simple but interesting exercise as in the beginning many peoples bodys are not whole or collected and their limbs flail around unconnected, but as time goes on they begin to collect their body into one mass)

– Rolling forward do one circle of the room, then rolling backward one circle, then one circle of a forward roll followed by a backward roll and continuing.

– Alexander gave an interesting idea, he said that when the pressure from someone is less than 3kg you move towards the pressure and when more than 3kg you move away from the pressure.


One person lays down on stomach, the other person stands above them.

Directions for the massager

– Put one foot on the persons lower leg, and shake the person with the foot, the aim is to create a wave which travels up the person and makes their whole body shake.
– Then move the foot upwards onto the upper leg do the same shaking, then higher, onto the stomach, chest then onto one shoulder, down the arm, to wrist and hand.
– Now go back from the arm to the same leg, then repeat the other side with the other half of the persons body.
– Now using your heel massage the persons backside bu the same shaking method, give more pressure here.
– Start again from standing by the persons feet, then begin walking on the person – as per usual – avoiding the knees.
– When you get to the spine, put one foot on the persons backside and to start one foot on the lower back, shift your weight to the foot on their backside again and move the other foot higher onto spine, keep going up like this to the neck then go back down.

Then the person lays on their back, repeat the above.

– After that hold the persons two arms in your hands lean with your weight back, and stretch them – to lengthen them. Then do the same holding the heels, pulling them to lengthen them.
– Hold persons head, tilt it to one side, then push the head and the shoulder (the shoulder the head is not tilitng towards) in opposite directions – then repeat tilting the head in the other direction
– Put two of your fingers at the lowest part on the persons neck and slowly walk them up either side of the persons neck- giving pressure which will lift their head.

There were many different massage ideas but above are some of the main ones i remember that Alexander showed. Most importantly your aim is to relax the person, so they trust you and feel calm.


Alexander Andreychenkov Seminar – Berlin May 2013

2 Jun

This was a great seminar, over a few seminars I’d become quite friendly with Alexander – not only is he one of the most skilled Systema-ists in the world but he’s also a great teacher and a good person.

I worked with Alexander throughout the seminar, and it makes it very clear to me again that the best way to learn Systema is from feeling how the masters work. Not every instructor can give you a feeling, but the ones that can, will improve what you do enormously.

The seminar was a mixture of topics, punching, knife and deeper work on support and tension.

Movement/Tension/Control Exercises (Friday)

– One person puts both of their hands on your shoulders and you turn your body to disrupt their form do it slowly, and relax your shoulders. If you tense up you will lose control of the person. Move your shoulders to tense and relax the person in the ways you need to.

– One person grabs you on one of your arms – you follow the movement and tension and bring them to the ground, move around their tension, not into/against it.

Knife (Saturday)

– Someone holds a knife to your body with force, you move so the flat is against your stomach and then move in such a way as to bend the persons wrist (tension) and cause a change in their body and spine. Feel where their support is, follow their movement and bring them to the ground.

Punching/Support exercises (Sunday)

– When someone uses a knife against you or punches you, psychologically and physically they use that arm or knife to support themselves. To feel this:

– One person stands against the wall, feet to wall. The other person puts their fist on the person and leans their weight on them. The person on the wall, moves away from the pressure, feeling where the leaning person has support, they use this to disrupt the persons body form and spine while giving a direction.

– Same position as before but now, the person against the wall, pushes against the persons arms (bicep, wrist, foream) with their fists – to change the persons point of support on their body, through changing their body form and disrupting their spine. Again gives the person a direction and bringing them to the ground.

Video below shows freestyle work with Alexander, if you look closely you can see very fine work on tension, support, and body form.

Next Post: Alexander’s Massage Walk-Through

Mikhail Ryabko Seminar – Nov 2011 Berlin – Sun

20 Nov

My memory is fading of the seminar so i thought i ‘d better write some stuff, while i still remember.

a big part of the seminar was about health:

– Keeping the spine healthy is very important, if it is out of balance the back and organs will be twisted, pressured and Pushed Down.  The heart will be twisted, and the blood will not be flowing properly which can cause many problems; headaches, stomach problems etc

– The spine should be relaxed (the muscles) and then should be corrected into the natural position then can be strengthened in this position, otherwise you get muscle imbalances and an inefficient use of the body and power.

– Exercise for relaxing and healing the spine, get a bench lay facing up with your head on it, now use your shoulders to move yourself over the bench – slowly, – then when you are over the other side with your feet on the bench go back moving yourself as much as possible only with your shoulders. (I heard loads of cracks and my back felt really relaxed after this exercise)

– Then after this exercise, one for lifting the organs: Your breath in and tense up the stomach and the back 2 inches up the spine, then breath out keeping the tension on bother sides of the body but only two inches, then go up another two inches with an in breath and tension on the stomach and back keeping the first tension, keep going until you are at your chest then breath out and relax slowly feeling what you feel.

– Punching taking ability increase exercise from daniel.  Your partner lays on the floor and you push your fist or a stick into his solar plexus area , he has to constantly breath, and relax that area and his body as much as possible, then when he is relaxed as much as possible you slowly give him pressure, teaching him to let the air exhale with the fist is pushed in, not doing it himself but letting his body learn that, working up to faster and harder pressures, the faster the push in the faster the air exhales and slowly the slower, working up to punches, then sitting up with punches, then standing with punches.

a little more to come…

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 😉