I've studied with them, off and on, for the last four or so years. As you can see by my splendid tag, I'm a former soldier. I also happen to be a former police officer, (though in the interest of fairness, I was only on the road two months before I was laid off.)
Originally Posted by Tominator93
I'm a TKD black-belt, though I haven't practiced for over a decade. I have experience in wrestling, and extensive training in Law Enforcement and Military combatives.
I train primarily with Brian King who runs his school in Mukletio.
My opinion of systema is obviously favorable, with some caveats. I don't think it's a good style for beginners. Systema is not a place to get your physical conditioning or experience the sensation of being overwhelmed in a fight. That's not how we train.
Systema is a finishing school. It's the sort of training that helps you keep a lucid head and make quick, effective decisions during a fight. Physically, it helps you develop habits and reflexes that eliminate the flaws every fighter picks up during his initial training.
Sometimes it's very intense and you come home covered in dirt and bruises (Brian has us train outdoors, in part to make us more uncomfortable.) Other times it's frustratingly slow.
I've also been working with a group that's just getting off the ground, who trains a couple times per month out in Seattle. The people who run it were trained by Viktor Sirotin out of North Seattle Community College. Viktor was trained in the USSR by Ryabko. This group is less "purist" systema, and more in line with the kinds of martial arts you see today. Fewer laid back "sensitization" drills, a lot more balls out conditioning.
If you're interested in checking either school out, shoot me a PM and I'll answer whatever questions you have.
30+ years in MA, including a bunch of Bullshido-approved styles (kickboxing, shoot wrestling etc.) and former full-time self defense instructor specializing in full-contact scenario-based training. Systema practitioner for the best part of two years now.
Totally agree re. Systema being intended as a "finishing school" and not necessarily being suitable for beginners. IMO the people who get the most out of it are those with extensive training in a range of styles, looking for a way to move/think outside the boxes of their previous training. Systema drills directly address a number of skills that are only tangentially developed in many other training methods, especially the ability to effectively improvise under physical/tactical/psychological pressure.
I haven't trained with the Seattle guys but I've heard good things about them.
The 2 posts above ?
I can agree with.
My study of the martial thingys - from the sportive to the para-military - my over (now) 46 years ofl life work and interest runs a vast gamut. It started as a child in a Boys Club Judo/Karate class - went through 'earning' 3 different levels of B.Belts, sashes, levels - and went from earning my daily bread from everything from bouncing, being a personal protection agent for the former old AT&T Corporate, skip tracing/bail agent, pro-wrestling in my spare time (LOTS of fun) - to the last 24 years as a Corrections Officer in NYC - Rikers in the bad old crack war days. My personal experiences in being attacked on the streets of NYC - and being 'judged' for my actions in self protection...never saw me even arrested.
Basically - I have seen more than a fair share of interpersonal combatives.
Systema - I taught the first NYC native run study group in a public park - rain, snow or heat - we met in many different venues and hammered each other pretty hard. Most of that group were diverse...many LEOS - many agencies, mixed in with some pretty gritty people.
Overall, Systema works with what the student brings to the table. Maybe a finishing school for the ones with experience - whatever that experience might be...but very difficult for the newbie who thinks that they will become the next Norris - or Liddel.
I am also a friend of the aforementioned Brian King. I went from NYC to the very start of the Seattle group. I met Brian at the start of his work in this - and have been a witness to the dedication of Brian and Kaizen to become fine exponents and guides in this study.
I also highly recommend anyone who is interested enough to visit their sportzal to study solid Systema..to do so.
Time on the floor in training simply over-rides theory, supposition and watching videos.
Their group...is open to all...as Systema schools always were.
Doors open - to all.
No one who is an authorized teacher/guide of Systema - would last long if they ducked that open door policy that has existed for over a decade or more.
One last thing - Systema is NOT for everybody..no more than any martial method is..one size does NOT fit all...just as 'martial art' study is not for everybody life needs/requirements.
In closing - I will state - that my study of Systema gave me a much sharper edge and new connection to live a wider, bolder and even stronger/more vibrant expression of WTF the 'me' I am...now.
Individual results always vary.
No matter what one brings to the table.
this is from what a friend tells me who trained with vlad in toronto
systema was once decent but became too commercialized. vlad made it too soft to attract more students. a lot of the current instructors suck and pay for the ability to teach others. there are only about 10 decent instructors. there are useful principles but you are probably learning it from the wrong people.
so unless you can learn under vlad or one of his old students, its not worth the time.
Knowing how well everyone in Systema seems to know each other, I can't help but think that, as soon as some Systema instructors read that comment, they'll either know who said it, or they'll want to know...
Originally Posted by strykers12
Sounds like a disgruntled student. How long did your friend train with Vlad? That will have a bearing on his overall exposure and experience...