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  1. ranger joe is offline

    Registered Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    94

    Posted On:
    8/25/2011 9:03pm


     Style: Grappling/bjj

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    My own personal experience with SYSTEMA was so-so. I stopped by a few martial arts schools when I first moved to NC to see what was offered. I really wanted BJJ but only found the TKD/KENPO/AKIDO schools within driving distance. I walked into an AKIDO school and was talking to the instructor who was very friendly. I asked about grappling and he told me he was also teaching SYSTEMA. I was unfamiliar what this was and he told me all about it. He told me all about how deadly the Russian Spetnaz were and how they were so much better than every other Special Operations units out there. I found this hard to believe but let it go. Hard to argue with someone who has ZERO experience in the military let alone SOF. He was sold on SYSTEMA and all things Russian so there was no arguing. I told him during this friendly conversation that I thought grappling was a better base art. Then he offered to allow me to grapple with one of his instructors so I jumped on the chance. I am forgetting his name now but it was the former Kenpo guy from CA that was one of his instructors (he has been mentioned during many of these SYSTEMA threads-Martin???). Anyway I grappled a little with him. Since it was not my school I did not really try anything other than positional dominance which I was able to pull off but did not apply any sub’s. Apparently this proved how superior SYSTEMA was. Fast forward a few months later the Aikido instructor was now almost exclusively SYSTEMA and he invited me to join for free. Free training….cool. The classes only ever dealt with concepts and no technique. Noodle arms, Noodle punches, Noodle thinking…..weird. Never once was I able to get a single answer on how this applies to me arresting a resisting suspect. Just weird concepts and the chance to buy Russian camo pants, shirts, and bayonets. Oh and go to Russia to train at a SPETNAZ base and run around with an AK (for a few $1000). Then I attended a seminar with “Sonny” a Spetz guy that teaches in Florida. He was fast, struck hard and moved well. When he asked for grapplers to try and submit him, a rather brash guy from the class with basic BJJ skills took a hard hit from Sonny (which he later said dazed him) then took Sonny down and tapped him with a choke. Sonny said that the punch would have knocked him out….ok, maybe. I left with the distinct impression that if you were born, raised, and trained in Russia as a Spetz guy totally indoctrinated and brutally trained the way they tend to do, then YES: Systema works. If your not and you attend 3-4 classes a week from your local instructor, then NO: It does not. Not for the masses like other effective arts (wrestling, Judo, BJJ, etc etc). Bottom line in my opinion, why take years and years and years to learn how to effectively this art. Why not use the above mentioned arts that have tangible results, fast. I put it like this: Why learn to shoot a pistol off handed and gangster style when the two handed weaver stance has been proven time and time again. Simple, proven, effective. It’s that simple. I don’t have time to learn fancy, I want to learn fast and effective. Just my opinion.
  2. DdlR is offline
    DdlR's Avatar

    Light Heavyweight

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    Apr 2005
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    4,772

    Posted On:
    8/26/2011 3:30am

    supporting member
     Style: Bartitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Zod View Post
    Isn't this basically the same thing as 'alive training', though? If not, how does it substantially differ?
    It is substantially the same thing, in the sense of working against resistance and pressure testing. Systema training elaborates that into calisthenics - for example, you're challenged to do things like keep to a specific breathing pattern during slow motion push-ups, while being punched or having the action of the push-ups blocked in various ways. As with sparring exercises, the object is to relax as much as possible and intuitively figure out a way to complete the task.
  3. Zod is offline

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    Aug 2011
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    182

    Posted On:
    8/26/2011 9:00am


     Style: Weight Lifting,Combatives

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    It is substantially the same thing, in the sense of working against resistance and pressure testing. Systema training elaborates that into calisthenics - for example, you're challenged to do things like keep to a specific breathing pattern during slow motion push-ups, while being punched or having the action of the push-ups blocked in various ways. As with sparring exercises, the object is to relax as much as possible and intuitively figure out a way to complete the task.

    That's interesting but I must admit, that seems a little odd to me. So other than 'expecting the unexpected' or learning to deal with adversity that's the benefit in fighting? I have to admit, seems a little hokey to me and I don't see the stimulus / response mechanics and reflexes learned by doing weird push ups and being really all that similiar to those acquired by fighting. It's a little 'Wax on, wax off' but I must admit I'm very uninformed about Systema outside of BS pop culture references and some goofy videos.
  4. DdlR is offline
    DdlR's Avatar

    Light Heavyweight

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    4,772

    Posted On:
    8/26/2011 5:03pm

    supporting member
     Style: Bartitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Zod View Post
    That's interesting but I must admit, that seems a little odd to me. So other than 'expecting the unexpected' or learning to deal with adversity that's the benefit in fighting? I have to admit, seems a little hokey to me and I don't see the stimulus / response mechanics and reflexes learned by doing weird push ups and being really all that similiar to those acquired by fighting. It's a little 'Wax on, wax off' but I must admit I'm very uninformed about Systema outside of BS pop culture references and some goofy videos.
    It is a little wax on, wax off. The premise is that most of Systema training is in improvisation via efficient combat movement, rather than "learning moves" per se. The mechanics etc. do translate from the more abstract exercises into sparring exercises, especially well (IMO) for people who already have significant cross-training experience in other styles. This is part of why I don't generally recommend Systema to martial arts newbs, nor to people who want to develop concrete fighting skills quickly. The payoff of the "scenic route" is a perhaps better than average ability to adapt on the spot, assuming those basic skills (relaxation, use of weight, etc.) have been taught and learned well.
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