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  1. Tominator93 is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/17/2010 9:11pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     

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    Systema: A practical consensus?

    I 've been trying to find out more about Systema, trying to determine whether its pure BS, or if it is worth trying. While poking through some old threads on it, I couldn't really find anything but unsubstantiated poo-slinging, on both the "yay" and "nay" sides of the issue.

    So, does anyone with prior experience in an established martial art (Judo, Boxing, etc.) have any practical, first hand knowledge about Systema on the basis of which to form an opinion? I heard a lot of references to a "UK throwdown" at which Systema supposedly came off fairly well among MMA types, however I couldn't find concrete details.

    So, to those who know, is there anything to this RBSD? Or is it total Bullshido?
  2. jnp is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/17/2010 9:49pm

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    Tominator93, the Martial Arts BS, Fraud, Investigations, and Standards forum, or MABS, exists to investigate fraud in the martial arts. Typically specific dojos/kwoons/dojangs etc. are investigated rather than an entire martial art. Opening posts are required to ask specific questions that usually involve a bit of research.

    Asking if Systema is legitimate is a bit too broad of a topic. Additionally, had you used the search function, you would have found several threads addressing questions about Systema already.

    Here is a set of links to existing threads about Systema:

    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...hlight=Systema
    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...hlight=Systema
    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...hlight=Systema
    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...hlight=Systema
    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...hlight=Systema
    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...hlight=Systema
    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...hlight=Systema
    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...hlight=Systema
  3. battlefields is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/17/2010 10:00pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Jnp is so nice.

    Systema: Nay.
    *slings poo*
  4. Matt Stone is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/17/2010 10:11pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I've done kung fu, karate, judo, aikido, Army Combatives, and am currently a student under Kelly Worden learning his interpretations of JKD and Arnis.

    I've studied Systema with the folks here in WA, and I continue to study it independently, and hope to continue exploring it (and other arts, as well as training for an amateur MMA bout) when I move to Hawaii.

    I think Systema has poses some interesting questions to the "problem of physical combat." I don't think it's a be all-end all by any stretch, but it certainly presents some interesting perspectives on martial training. I'm most fond of the ways it deliberately places the student in the worst positions possible and then asks "what now?" I think that's a training method used too infrequently in arts who's stated orientation is to self-defense (as opposed to a competition-oriented training program).

    That being said, I think that, as in ANY martial art (including some MMA schools), there are more than a few who are doing more LARPing than training. I believe there's more than a little self-fulfilling prophecy going on in some classes. The classes I've participated in I deliberately, purposefully, and intentionally tried to do everything I could in order to NOT play into their game. Didn't matter... I tried punching them harder than they'd told me to; couldn't lay a finger on them. I tried everything I could think of to screw with the way they'd respond (so that, if their response demanded a particular stimulus on my part, they'd be deprived of that and their response should therefore be defeated), and it didn't really matter. Sure, I landed a few. So did they, and their hits were solid and made me respect the ability of some of their people to land very telling blows.

    I'd say explore it if you're inclined, but keep your BS detectors set on "high" while keeping an open mind... Sometimes what you *think* you're seeing in a drill isn't really what the drill's about.

    Enjoy.
  5. Tominator93 is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/17/2010 10:12pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnp View Post
    Tominator93, the Martial Arts BS, Fraud, Investigations, and Standards forum, or MABS, exists to investigate fraud in the martial arts. Typically specific dojos/kwoons/dojangs etc. are investigated rather than an entire martial art. Opening posts are required to ask specific questions that usually involve a bit of research.

    Asking if Systema is legitimate is a bit too broad of a topic. Additionally, had you used the search function, you would have found several threads addressing questions about Systema already.

    Here is a set of links to existing threads about Systema:

    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...hlight=Systema
    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...hlight=Systema
    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...hlight=Systema
    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...hlight=Systema
    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...hlight=Systema
    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...hlight=Systema
    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...hlight=Systema
    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...hlight=Systema
    I think I went through most of those. Thanks for posting them though.

    Sorry if I put this in the wrong category. I'm still familiarizing myself with the intricacies of this site, (as the "noob" moniker on my profile might suggest) so bare with me if I make a mistake.

    Would there be a better place to put this topic? Is there anything I'm supposed to do to move it?

    Thanks.

    EDIT: Nevermind. Its been moved for me. Awesome.
    Last edited by Tominator93; 3/17/2010 10:30pm at .
  6. Tominator93 is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/17/2010 10:21pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Stone View Post

    I've studied Systema with the folks here in WA, and I continue to study it independently, and hope to continue exploring it (and other arts, as well as training for an amateur MMA bout) when I move to Hawaii.

    .
    I'm assuming that you're talking about the school up in Bellevue, at Systema NW?

    It's their school that I have closest access to, so I'm curious as to what your impression of them was. Did they stack up to any of the hype, positive or negative?
    Last edited by Tominator93; 3/17/2010 10:30pm at .
  7. battlefields is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/17/2010 10:22pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Its been moved, dude.
  8. Matt Stone is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/17/2010 10:50pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tominator93 View Post
    I'm assuming that you're talking about the school up in Bellevue, at Systema NW?

    It's their school that I have closest access to, so I'm curious as to what your impression of them was. Did they stack up to any of the hype, positive or negative?
    Not sure if the thread is still archived somewhere, but I originally got involved with Systema because a Bullshido member, GaiusSomethingorother, got into a verbal battle with Brian King (one of the instructors for the Bear Creek Systema group). Brian was hosting a seminar with Emmanuel Manolakakis, and he'd invited naysayer Gaius to attend, gratis. Gaius refused to go, citing a recently fixed broken nose and a fear of further injury as his justification. I volunteered to go in his stead. When I arrived I had enough minor experiences to lead me to believe that, despite some of the "odd" instructional methods, there was still something to what they were attempting to do.

    Brian, Kaizen, and Curt remain friends of mine. I truly enjoy their company, as well as their training. They are genuinely some of the kindest, warmest, friendliest people I've run into in MA, generally, and that's over 20+ years of training.

    I recommend you train with them if you're inclined to explore what Systema may have to offer you. You may go and decide it's flatly not for you. Fine, they won't mind. That's no different than any other art. You may go and become a zealous true believer. Fine, too. In either case, I think you're better for the experience. At least you'll have first hand experience upon which to base your opinions.
  9. Tominator93 is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/17/2010 11:31pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Stone View Post
    Not sure if the thread is still archived somewhere, but I originally got involved with Systema because a Bullshido member, GaiusSomethingorother, got into a verbal battle with Brian King (one of the instructors for the Bear Creek Systema group).... When I arrived I had enough minor experiences to lead me to believe that, despite some of the "odd" instructional methods, there was still something to what they were attempting to do.

    Brian, Kaizen, and Curt remain friends of mine. I truly enjoy their company, as well as their training. They are genuinely some of the kindest, warmest, friendliest people I've run into in MA, generally, and that's over 20+ years of training.
    I'll check them out. For a while I hunted for a Kyokushin or Muay Thai school, but the only ones I could find were a bit out of my driving range. So, I also checked out a variety of RBSD schools from Puyallup to Gig Harbor to Seattle, (mostly KM derrivitives) and none of them passed the "phone call test". After a 5 minute call with such places, it became apparent that the "ELITE/ISRAELI/MILITARY/NINJA/-FU" that they advertised were nothing more than cardio kickboxing classes.

    Not so with Systema NW. What little I have learned about them from afar was enough to pique my interest. Your endorsement makes it even more so.

    Can you elaborate on their "odd" training methods? I have heard all sorts of stories about Systema's methods, ranging from the realistic (training in unconventional movements) to the bizzare (Systema is really a militant sect of the ROC that uses conversion tactics involving dousing people with freezing water, 1 inch punches, etc.). I'm assuming it isn't the latter, right?

    Here's hoping that I find something worthwhile up there.
    Last edited by Tominator93; 3/17/2010 11:38pm at .
  10. Matt Stone is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/18/2010 12:01am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tominator93 View Post
    Can you elaborate on their "odd" training methods? I have heard all sorts of stories about Systema's methods, ranging from the realistic (training in unconventional movements) to the bizzare (Systema is really a militant sect of the ROC that uses conversion tactics involving dousing people with freezing water, 1 inch punches, etc.). I'm assuming it isn't the latter, right?
    I've never once been solicited for any religious anything... I'm an avowed non-theist, a fact that I'm reasonably sure Brian is aware of. Nobody's every even opened their mouth about churchy stuff.

    "Odd" methods like the "zombie walk" where everyone except one student puts one arm out forward and just walks toward the "target" student. It's a gradual drill, starting out with the student focusing on movement and avoidance, gradually increasing in speed and power, making a room full of "zombies" coming at you a serious exercise in kinesthetic response.

    Brian's a big fan of dousing, but then to a certain degree so am I... Contrast baths - a practice common from the Roman era to the present day - are very stimulating. Pouring ice cold water over one's head, especially coming on the heels of a sauna, promotes an improved circulation (temporarily). Besides being amazingly brisk and refreshing, it does have some minor physical benefit. Not sure how that combines with short range punches to convert someone to ROC, but whatever...

    They're worth the time and effort, in my opinion. I think someone with an already established martial foundation gets more out of Systema than a completely blank-slate n00b, but Brian, Kaizen and Curt are all pretty savvy, and I believe firmly in their ability to take even a n00b and teach them more than rudimentary skill sets.

    Bear in mind, my first exposure to them was when I went to their school to deliberately expose any flaws in what they were doing or saying. I didn't know them, didn't owe them anything, and I was there to provide evidence of their bogus skills. I came away a supporter rather than a detractor. Your mileage may vary...
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