Thread: Final Report: Systema-
5/10/2008 1:53pm, #1351Im a sambo thai jkd grappling teacher for the last 15 years and train in systema for 3 years and i think is a great art try holding a guy in the guard when he has a blade
5/10/2008 2:31pm, #1352
Hey I thought ya weren't allowed rifles in Canada, eh?Originally Posted by Cullion
5/10/2008 2:37pm, #1353
only vs. hosers
5/10/2008 2:53pm, #1354Originally Posted by Geordi LaForge
For Gods sake, don't feed the Tro..... oh...... er....
8/25/2008 2:09pm, #1355
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
I am very much a newbie to this forum to this forum and martial arts in general but I have a few thoughts on this topic. First let me disclose my biases, I have been doing systema for about three months and very much enjoy it. However, I realize that like any cultural grouping systema has a lot of BS flying around. Let me also state that I am training to become a professional historian in late modern Russian history and finding out more about systema and its origins is important to me on a professional level.
My lightly researched hunch about systema and where it comes from is the following. What we call systema comes out of a subfamily of SAMBO that in Russia is often called "Saboteur's SAMBO" or "Officers SAMBO". My suspicion is that this style did come from Spiridonov who I know was key to the founding of SAMBO (I am pretty sure that it is really difficult to name a single founder for the art because the politics of the era meant that the people who got credit were the ones who stayed at dynamo for the longest). My knowledge is that Spiridonov first tried to develop a "hard style" based on a lot of wrestling by traveling to the Caucasus were there were many native styles, which he fused into "Combat SAMBO". However, later in his years and with injuries to his right hand Spiridonov wanted to develop a different, softer, approach that could be used by small units, spies, and disabled soldiers. I have no definate proof of this but from viewing some videos I suspect that he observed some Cossack and Ukrainian fighting styles and merged them with some of SAMBO to create a system he called SAMOZ. SAMOZ was extremely complex and virtually unusable and Spiridonov died before he could polish it. After his death Kadachnikov stepped in and improved on the style using the training he had as an engineer.
Now, how the school of systema we see here fits in is really murky. On one hand I suspect that Vladimir was a good business man and he refined a lot of Systema for the marker, including giving it a standardized name. Systema in Russian is actually used to refer to a lot of fighting styles since it is really the equivalent of the English word "Style". When I described systema to my family who did serve in the Soviet military I got a mention that that might have been a variant of SAMBO taught to some smaller groups. The thing is that the word SAMBO is vaguer in Russian than it is in English, it is actually an acronym that I have heard used to refer to things outside the relhm of SAMBO. I also suspect that Vlad did learn a lot from Kadachnikov and that belief is backed by footage of him I saw in one of his knife videos.
As for the training and stuff like that I really cannot comment on it since I am a newbie. However, I am very sure there is a lot of inconsistency in Systemists. I went to two instructors who taught very different approaches to the thing, but both sparred full contact. Also I believe that part of the whole physic energy thing might be explained by common mistranslations I have seen. The other is actually that many Russians do believe a lot of BS about health like cold exposure being good for you. Ohh the stories I can tell **** like that. Honestly I have never really seen any of that talked about in any of the classes I have taken.
8/25/2008 2:36pm, #1356
good first post. If you search this site using the term SAMOZ you'll find some of the best info. (and speculation) on Systema history available in English online.
I share your interest in the history and from what you've written here I'd say you're definitely on the right track, re. Spiridonov/SAMOZ - Kadochnkov - Ryabko/Vasiliev, and the historical relationship between SAMBO and Systema.
IMO apart from commercial rivalries and similar imperatives, a lot of the mis-information about Systema history comes from the post-USSR cultural trend towards romanticizing traditional Russian folk-culture, etc. and trying to forget about the Stalin era. It's much nicer and easier to say "Systema was used by ancient Cossack knights" than to admit that it (or rather, its source methods) was developed and used for some very sinister purposes during the 20th century.
You should probably also look into the close-combat training program developed by the Dinamo sports institute throughout the early-mid 20th century, which IMO served as the "lab" for a lot of SAMBO/Systema development.
The main pedagogical difference between the Kadochnikov method and the Ryabko method probably comes down to the differences between their backgrounds and personalities. Kadochinkov's engineering background led him to work with complex mathematical formulae to explain principles of leverage, biomechanical efficiency, etc. Ryabko went the other way and developed a more intuitive, freestyle approach to developing the same skills.
Last edited by DdlR; 8/25/2008 2:38pm at .
8/25/2008 2:49pm, #1357
at first I thought I was going to flame the n00b, but then by the 2nd paragraph you start making more sense-@ 3 months training-than alot of the higher ranking practicioners!
I've heard so many differing accounts re:Systema that I'm just sick of it. I'v also heard that Spiridonov had an injured left leg from WWI, was lame on one side of his body from the Russo-Jap war, that Oschepkov wasn't killed but he moved to Siberia to grow turnips etc.
As a Russian you have the advantage/disadvantage of cultural knowlegde. Thanks to Stalin, there are 5 lies that will answer any question concerning Soviet history. Not that Systema is one of these lies but there are a number of discontinuties:
•Vlad originally taught Russian Martial Arts, later Systema. As to what, exactly Systema is, well here are 156 pages and its still not clear. My feeling is its Ryabko's derivative of Retunsky's derivative of Khadochnikov's derivative of Spiridonov's derivations of his study of Ju-Jutsu and other Asian, Oriental and European martial arts.
Russians I've spoken to have said there was no such thing as Systema, that the term is just as vauge as SAMBO and that they first heard of it in North America or through an American or European friend.
Its thought that Khadoch was actually responsible for making SAMOZ/whatever more complicated. Kadoch was heavily into engineering, Spiridinov was concerned with teaching quickly what would work best to the elite=quick, brutal and no wiggling around.
If you like the Systema guys you're training with, by all means continue, there are some great cats out there. I gave Systema a real effort for a couple of years but grew tired of the LARPing aspects. One of my favorite Systema arguments I over heard was: cage-fighting is undignified and unrealistic. Later we trained how to throw a Soviet trenching shovel at a tree trunk (human torso)
Also, don't forget Oschepkov!!!
8/25/2008 4:15pm, #1358
Originally Posted by theotherserge
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- Jul 2008
Some of the Russian guy I trained with mentioned that the approach that the instructors use would be suspect in Russia. I also noticed very different approaches to Systema from Russian vs. none-Russian instructors. I found that the Americans tend to treat Systema like MMA because of its lack of systematicness which I think disolves the style. Unforetunately "Systema" is limited by the fact that it has only one line of practitioners in the West rather than the two or three families that exist in Russia. If Kadachnikov ever adjusted his attitude and made a serious attempt to establish himself outside of Russia I think that the style would clean up just because of the competition.
As anything coming out of post-Communist Russia, Systema has a lot of pride and mythology. However, given time I think it will evolve into a very good martial art in the more codified style we are used to in the west rather than the very informal style of haphazard teaching that existed in Russia. You must remember that civilian teaching Martial Arts in Russia was restricted to Boxing, Judo and civilian SAMBO. What we now call systema was probably taught in a very advanced millitary context, and thus taught differently as it was one of many combat skills that would make a well rounded soldier.
Last edited by Jfeygin; 8/25/2008 4:40pm at .
8/26/2008 2:39am, #1359
Welcome to Bullshido Jacob. You're going to find an uphill battle here with regard to systema, so please try not to get too hysterical when someone directly and rudely challenges your beliefs and/or knowledge. It's always nice to have systema practitioners on the board who are also understand Russian history and culture.
The school I go to has three instructors, and I've found all of their teaching styles to be completely different. I too, think systema needs some standardization, especially for beginners.Originally Posted by Cullion
8/26/2008 10:39am, #1360
Originally Posted by SFGOON
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- Jul 2008
Thanks SF goon, that last part is why I think systema has a bad rep, it tends to be very difficult for beginners who are not natural fighters. This is why I wish Kadachnikov was teaching in the states, he has a bit more of core curriculum to his system.