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  1. baby_cart is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/08/2013 11:56am


     Style: ex-BJJ, ex-TKD

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    Like I said, it isn't a self defense technique demo. This is always difficult to explain to people coming in from a strictly technical background, but I made a bit of a hobby of trying to explain it via Forum threads a few years ago, so I'll have another go now.

    Think about Systema training as attribute training, or like CrossFit. You're not learning techniques so much as developing skills; significantly, the ability to relax and effectively improvise under stress. Towards that, a typical Systema class consists of a whole string of radically different drills and exercises, based on accomplishing specific challenges.

    Some of the simplest drills, like the one I described in the previous post and the one shown in the "Spock" video, don't look anything like "fighting"; the object is simply to train the general skill of relaxing and collapsing away from pain, assuming the worst case scenario that pain is already being inflicted. They also spend a lot of time training to avoid being grabbed in the first place, but that isn't the type of drill we're discussing at the moment.

    The next progressive iteration of that type of drill might challenge the student to relax, collapse away *and then reposition*, as you suggested. The next iteration after that might involve countering during or after the reposition, or it might bring in two or more "attackers", or require that the student accomplishes the whole challenge while lying on the ground, or any one of a huge range of options.

    The point is that, in each case, the student is being challenged to effectively relax and improvise their way out of danger, which is the overall goal of the training.

    Relax and fall down straight on your back due to a trap grab? Nice response that was being drilled there...

    And is the uke a high ranking systema guy? If he is, he has some ass-stupid response built into him. Collapsing away from pain into a bad position.
  2. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/08/2013 4:06pm

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     Style: Bartitsu

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    Quote Originally Posted by baby_cart View Post
    Relax and fall down straight on your back due to a trap grab? Nice response that was being drilled there...

    And is the uke a high ranking systema guy? If he is, he has some ass-stupid response built into him. Collapsing away from pain into a bad position.
    The point that I'm evidently failing to get across, though I have been trying, is that he's not drilling a specific action in response to a specific "attack".
  3. crappler is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/08/2013 6:19pm


     Style: Judo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    This is always difficult to explain to people coming in from a strictly technical background, -----------------
    In other words, you are the possessor of the truth revealed unto you. This sounds like total bullshit. Are you trying to convince us or yourself?
    "We often joke -- and we really wish it were a joke -- that you will only encounter two basic problems with your 'self-defense' training.
    1) That it doesn't work
    2) That it does work"
    -Animal MacYoung
  4. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/08/2013 8:50pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by crappler View Post
    This is always difficult to explain to people coming in from a strictly technical background, -----------------
    In other words, you are the possessor of the truth revealed unto you. This sounds like total bullshit. Are you trying to convince us or yourself?
    The reason why it's difficult is that experienced martial artists/fighters tend to be technically oriented; the mindset and expectation is that you learn a set of techniques and counters and train them in combinations, etc., building up to pressure testing them in sparring. From that point of view, the movement skills that I've been talking about are developed incidentally to learning the techniques.

    Systema training begins with challenge-based movement skill and conditioning exercises that are often quite abstract and don't necessarily have a specific technical application; for example, training the skill of relaxing and yielding away from painful pressure. "Technique" is whatever happens that allows you to do that; it might be subtly or radically different from moment to moment, depending on the nature of the challenge. These exercises are easily mistaken for (bizarre) fighting technique demos, which causes a lot of confusion.

    IMO, and this contradicts some of the "official" Ryabko Systema history, the whole premise of the System was originally to serve as a "think and move outside the box" post-grad. training and skills maintenance course for fighters who already had considerable cross-training experience in various technique-centered styles. Also IMO, that's actually still the best use for it today.

    None of this is "secret knowledge", it's just an unusual approach to martial arts training that's difficult to appreciate from the orthodox technical perspective.
  5. CapnMunchh is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/08/2013 10:59pm

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     Style: TangSooDo/Yubiwaza

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    Systema training begins with challenge-based movement skill and conditioning exercises that are often quite abstract and don't necessarily have a specific technical application; for example, training the skill of relaxing and yielding away from painful pressure. . . . the whole premise of the System was originally to serve as a "think and move outside the box" post-grad. training and skills maintenance course for fighters who already had considerable cross-training experience in various technique-centered styles. Also IMO, that's actually still the best use for it today.
    Movement skill exercises that don't have a specific technical application are certainly not unusual in MA. For example, the "irimi/tankan" exercise in Aikido, in which one trains to release tension and enter into different kinds of attacks for the purpose of redirecting the incoming force. Aikido was also first taught as cross-training for fighters with previous experience, and its still the best use for that MA also.

    However, even in Aikido, the idea is to gain a positional advantage. It's hard to understand how simply "collapsing" down/away from an attack can eventually lead to such an advantage.
  6. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/08/2013 11:14pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by CapnMunchh View Post
    Movement skill exercises that don't have a specific technical application are certainly not unusual in MA. For example, the "irimi/tankan" exercise in Aikido, in which one trains to release tension and enter into different kinds of attacks for the purpose of redirecting the incoming force. Aikido was also first taught as cross-training for fighters with previous experience, and its still the best use for that MA also.

    However, even in Aikido, the idea is to gain a positional advantage. It's hard to understand how simply "collapsing" down/away from an attack can eventually lead to such an advantage.
    Aikido is actually a good example of the mindset difference I'm talking about. I'm familiar with irimi/tenkan exercises and with the rationale behind them; the difference is that, rather than codifying much of the the rest of the art as a curriculum of formal techniques, Systema training is almost entirely based on that type of exercise. That's why it can be usefully compared to Crossfit, if you can imagine a Crossfit class based on "combat improv" drills and exercises.

    Again, the student in the video we're talking about is not practicing collapsing down into a squat as a self defense technique. He's practicing the skill of reflexively yielding to painful pressure as a harm reduction strategy, assuming the worst case that the "harm" has already begun. It's just another basic variation of the blunt knife exercise I referred to earlier, or of any of the numerous Systema drills that force the student to relax and move freely to escape danger.

    More advanced iterations of the same drill introduce more advanced "challenges", such as yielding while countering realistic attacks, etc.
  7. baby_cart is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/09/2013 5:27am


     Style: ex-BJJ, ex-TKD

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    Again, the student in the video we're talking about is not practicing collapsing down into a squat as a self defense technique. He's practicing the skill of reflexively yielding to painful pressure as a harm reduction strategy, assuming the worst case that the "harm" has already begun. It's just another basic variation of the blunt knife exercise I referred to earlier, or of any of the numerous Systema drills that force the student to relax and move freely to escape danger.
    So what you're saying is that they're training for reactions to "painful pressure", which in this case is applied in clinch range directed parallel to gravity. So the concept is to relax to the point you destroy your own structure? Or is it a pre-emption, yielding before the full force of the drive is applied? Does not look like it to me, though. Either way, it doesn't stop the attacker from continuing the driving action, placing the other guy into a bad position.



    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    More advanced iterations of the same drill introduce more advanced "challenges", such as yielding while countering realistic attacks, etc.
    Vids please.

    And please, realistic attacks mean that the attacker has the choice of where and when to initiate the attack; that is, attacking when it is MOST advantageous. So again, vids please.
  8. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/09/2013 8:49am

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    Quote Originally Posted by baby_cart View Post
    So what you're saying is that they're training for reactions to "painful pressure", which in this case is applied in clinch range directed parallel to gravity. So the concept is to relax to the point you destroy your own structure? Or is it a pre-emption, yielding before the full force of the drive is applied? Does not look like it to me, though. Either way, it doesn't stop the attacker from continuing the driving action, placing the other guy into a bad position.
    You remember when I mentioned earlier how difficult it is to explain this stuff to people? Case in point; this is now the fifth time I've stated that the action shown in the OP video is a movement skill exercise, not a self defense technique. I'm going to have to try to be more specific.

    Ryabko isn't role-playing as an attacker and the student isn't demonstrating a defense. Obviously, a two-handed squeeze to the trap. muscles would be an unlikely form of attack, and there would be much better ways to defend against that oddball attack than to collapse down into a squat. I hope that's clear.

    What Ryabko is doing is helping the student to practice the key Systema skill of relaxing and yielding to escape or minimize potential danger. The method he's using in this video is a double squeeze to the trap. muscles; it could just as well be a single squeeze to either trap. muscle, or a thumb thrust into the notch of his throat, or a palm up under his nose, or a forearm shot to one of his thighs, or a punch to his midsection; you get the idea. One of the most basic exercises of this type is for a student to simply stand and practice relaxing and yielding against a whole barrage of these actions in quick succession.

    Again, these are not self defense technique drills; they're exercises to practice the fundamental skill of relaxing and yielding, rather than by tensing up and resisting, which is likely to increase pain and injury.

    Vids please.

    And please, realistic attacks mean that the attacker has the choice of where and when to initiate the attack; that is, attacking when it is MOST advantageous. So again, vids please.
    By "realistic attacks" in that context I meant drilling simulated attacks that are more realistic than squeezing someone's trapezius muscles. However, this video demonstrates the progression from the type of abstract movement and relaxation drill that I'm talking about, though to more realistic but still simulated attacks. In this type of drill, the "attackers" can use whatever they like; i.e., the attacks are not pre-determined in any way; but they move slowly and don't offer much resistance:



    ... and then that builds progressively to faster and more resistant training with harder contact, etc.:


  9. crappler is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/09/2013 9:37am


     Style: Judo

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    The reason why it's difficult is that experienced martial artists/fighters tend to be technically oriented; the mindset and expectation is that you learn a set of techniques and counters and train them in combinations, etc., building up to pressure testing them in sparring. From that point of view, the movement skills that I've been talking about are developed incidentally to learning the techniques.

    Systema training begins with challenge-based movement skill and conditioning exercises that are often quite abstract and don't necessarily have a specific technical application; for example, training the skill of relaxing and yielding away from painful pressure. "Technique" is whatever happens that allows you to do that; it might be subtly or radically different from moment to moment, depending on the nature of the challenge. These exercises are easily mistaken for (bizarre) fighting technique demos, which causes a lot of confusion.

    IMO, and this contradicts some of the "official" Ryabko Systema history, the whole premise of the System was originally to serve as a "think and move outside the box" post-grad. training and skills maintenance course for fighters who already had considerable cross-training experience in various technique-centered styles. Also IMO, that's actually still the best use for it today.

    None of this is "secret knowledge", it's just an unusual approach to martial arts training that's difficult to appreciate from the orthodox technical perspective.
    As the saying goes, people don't rise to the occasion, they fall to the level of their training, and the simpler the technique, the more likely it is to be executed successfully and remembered. The more times it is drilled, the more likely you are to "remember" it. The only way to "remember" it is by live, pressure-tested training or actual physical combat. Any kind of theory-based crap without the benefit of continual live training is total bullshit. The fact that theory-based crap sits alongside live training doesn't make it effective. I had an incredible Shorin-ryu teacher. A complete badass who would kick the **** out of 90% of you, but he spent oodles of time on the application of the Kata and a bench of esoteric kung fu pressure point bullcrap.
    "We often joke -- and we really wish it were a joke -- that you will only encounter two basic problems with your 'self-defense' training.
    1) That it doesn't work
    2) That it does work"
    -Animal MacYoung
  10. Zargor is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/09/2013 9:51am

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    You remember when I mentioned earlier how difficult it is to explain this stuff to people? Case in point; this is now the fifth time I've stated that the action shown in the OP video is a movement skill exercise, not a self defense technique. I'm going to have to try to be more specific.

    Ryabko isn't role-playing as an attacker and the student isn't demonstrating a defense. Obviously, a two-handed squeeze to the trap. muscles would be an unlikely form of attack, and there would be much better ways to defend against that oddball attack than to collapse down into a squat. I hope that's clear.

    What Ryabko is doing is helping the student to practice the key Systema skill of relaxing and yielding to escape or minimize potential danger. The method he's using in this video is a double squeeze to the trap. muscles; it could just as well be a single squeeze to either trap. muscle, or a thumb thrust into the notch of his throat, or a palm up under his nose, or a forearm shot to one of his thighs, or a punch to his midsection; you get the idea. One of the most basic exercises of this type is for a student to simply stand and practice relaxing and yielding against a whole barrage of these actions in quick succession.

    Again, these are not self defense technique drills; they're exercises to practice the fundamental skill of relaxing and yielding, rather than by tensing up and resisting, which is likely to increase pain and injury.



    By "realistic attacks" in that context I meant drilling simulated attacks that are more realistic than squeezing someone's trapezius muscles. However, this video demonstrates the progression from the type of abstract movement and relaxation drill that I'm talking about, though to more realistic but still simulated attacks. In this type of drill, the "attackers" can use whatever they like; i.e., the attacks are not pre-determined in any way; but they move slowly and don't offer much resistance:



    ... and then that builds progressively to faster and more resistant training with harder contact, etc.:


    This looks worse than Aikido I did, they're dancing and are totally compliant, there's even some of the no touch **** in there.

    Are there any vids with fully resistant, non compliant opponents? Like, true sparring?
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