A still picture out of context is even harder to judge authoritatively than a video clip ...
Originally Posted by BackFistMonkey
I'll match your guess with one of my own - Mr. Vasiliev is using the back of his forearm to lever the flat of the opponent's blade out of his hand, towards effecting a disarm. It looks as if the opponent's right elbow is trapped by Mr. Vasiliev's left forearm, which would provide plenty of leverage - but it's hard to say either way. Similar techniques can be found in many FMA styles, historical European dagger combat, etc. All carry an element of risk, but the theory is that it's better to risk or take a cut to the muscle of your forearm (and then kill the other guy) than to let him kill you.
Also note, importantly, that Systema "knife drills" include both combat techniques and sensitivity/movement exercises that are not supposed to represent combat techniques. It's hard enough for non-practitioners to tell one from the other by looking at a video clip, let alone a photograph.
Are we going to do "Pix of Disaster" or debate Systema techniques?
At the risk of pointing out the completely obvious, all demonstrations are complicit. They are subject to rules and conventions, mostly regarding safety, in much the same way that fighters competing in combat sports comply to the rules, such as those against fish-hooking, eye gouging, headbutting, groin attacks, trachea strikes/grabs, etc, etc.
Originally Posted by Mole5000
Can you seriously not tell the difference between 'selling' your teacher's moves and the restriction of targets and techniques in a competitive environment?
Originally Posted by DdlR
Last edited by PointyShinyBurn; 6/05/2006 7:27am at .
My point was that both demonstrations and competitive fights are subject to rules and that participants are expected to comply with the rules, both for their own safety and for that of their partner or opponent.
Originally Posted by PointyShinyBurn
We don't know the rules governing the demo. shown in the Systema clip; my guess is that the student had simply been told to hold on to Mr. Vasiliev's wrist, and possibly to protect himself as required. Specifically, I don't think that he had any choice about being pulled off balance, but he was able to choose to fall safely rather than colliding with Mr. Vasiliev. I understand that this can read as selling or tanking, especially for people whose major exposure to Systema is watching videos. It's a subtle distinction, but it is quite explicitly described in a number of essays on Systema websites, and is often explained by practicing Systemists in this sort of forum debate.
Last edited by DdlR; 6/05/2006 7:43am at .
And my point was that you shouldn't try to conflate an essentially compliant demo with a competitive fight.
Yes, the degree and nature of complicity depends on the circumstance of the encounter, whether for purposes or demonstration or competition. That is obvious and I am taking it for granted.
My example was an attempt to illustrate the point that criticizing a demonstration for being "complicit" is equivalent to criticizing a competitive fight because the athletes do not kill each other. In both cases, the participants are complying with the safety rules and protocols inherent to their activity.
Cutting to the chase and hoping to avoid a boring semantic discussion, the real question here seems to be whether the student had a choice about falling down. Based on my repeated viewing of the clip and my research into Systema training protocols, etc., I submit that although he had no choice about being pulled off balance he did choose to fall, to save himself from a collision. The alternative suggestion would be that he fell deliberately to make his teacher look good. That moves into speculation about why he fell. Short of tracking him down and asking him, I can't think of any way to definitively resolve that question; and even if we did that, it's unlikely that his explanation would satisfy everyone.
Perhaps we've taken this one as far as we can, or perhaps not ...
Last edited by DdlR; 6/05/2006 8:31am at .
So this move done on a non systema type causes your opponent to smack into you? What exactly is the purpose of such a move?
OK, good question!
First up, I've ordered a copy of the "Hand to Hand" instructional DVD this demo was excerpted from, and once I've seen it in context I should at least be able to make a more educated guess. In the meantime, I can offer two possible interpretations.
First guess, the demo may be a graphic demonstration of the "wave principle', or what I think of as a whiplash, as described earlier. I know that this is the favored Systema method for generating striking power in punches, etc., so the demo may be a way to show the power that can be generated via co-ordinated relaxation, speed and bodyweight. The "takedown" aspect might have been incidental to the shockwave effect seen travelling through the student's body. In other words, by that interpretation, the point of the demo is not "here is Mr. Vasiliev throwing someone" but rather "here is an unusual application of the whiplash effect, and by the way, the other guy fell down".
Second guess, assuming that the takedown was an integral part of the sequence - which would be unusual simply in that most specific Systema defenses that I've seen are more direct than that - Mr. Vasiliev's implicit counter-attacks might have included a headbutt or shoulder strike to the face or a knee to the groin as the opponent was pulled towards him.
By the way, I've now downloaded and am in the process of analyzing 30+ Systema video clips, and it's important to note that many of them do not portray "self defense demos" as seen in many MAs. A lot of the Systema material available online shows unusual training exercises to develop movement skills, tactile sensitivity, improvisation, body conditioning, etc. - often several of these at the same time. Also, there are a large number of what I'd call "concept demos" which seem to isolate certain key tactics or movements, but are not specifically defense techniques in themselves.