Thread: systema-spetznaz connection?
12/22/2006 2:55am, #41
Originally Posted by Cracky McSlugHoot
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That is hard to argue with.
12/22/2006 3:36am, #42
Remember that Systema simply means "system" and that there are many modern RMA drawing from a common source (ROSS, the Kadochnikov system, Combat SAMBO, etc.) Ryabko Systema is simply the best known outside of Russia, mostly via the Internet.
The "Systema is a thousand years old" business is a gross over-simplification. In the "Systema History" section of Mr. Vasiliev's "Hand to Hand" DVD, it is noted that the roots of Russian martial arts reach back into time immemorial. Of course they do, but that is not the same thing as saying that ancient Russian knights were doing anything that bears more than a co-incidental resemblance to modern Systema.
IMO one reason why Ryabko and Vasiliev are so keen to promote a link between their style of Systema and traditional Russian folk culture is that neither of them want to be associated with the Communist regime. Russian Orthodox Christianity suffered under Communism, along with many other aspects of traditional Russian culture, and today there is a renaissance of many practices that were banned or suppressed by the Communist party.
More accurately, it could be said that most, if not all styles of modern Systema are evolutions of a highly intensive, well-funded R&D project carried out by several generations of fulltime hand-to-hand combat instructors in Russia, working under the auspices of the Communist government's NKVD and the Dinamo physical training organisation, over the past eighty years or so. The various forms of SAMBO were the major product of this R&D project during the early decades of the 1900s.
Part of their work drew from inidiginous Russian martial arts and combat sports which probably have been practiced continuously for centuries. However, they also drew from numerous other national MA styles; the project sent agents out to train in judo, jujitsu, and many other MAs as well as military CQB methods, research into sports science and psychology, etc.
Based on my research so far, I speculate that the Ryabko style of Systema is a recent development of RMA and that it may be an evolution of a style initiated by one of the founders of SAMBO, Victor Spiridonov. That style was sometimes known as SAMOZ and was created by Spiridonov after he suffered an injury that prevented him from competing in sport SAMBO contests. SAMOZ then became associated with executive security (bodyguard) and espionage units attached to/drawn from the Spetsnaz, as well as other Russian intelligence andf military personnel.
SAMOZ was specifically designed as a subtle fighting skill, without the athletic throws associated with sport SAMBO; I speculate that this was at least partly because operatives in executive security and espionage need to take people down quietly.
Unfortunately there is very little reliable historical material available on this subject in English; I'm hoping that will change as RMA become better established in the West.
Last edited by DdlR; 12/22/2006 3:42am at .
12/22/2006 9:31am, #43
DdlR, do you practice Systema? Asking just out of interest. And how have you found it?
12/22/2006 9:50am, #44
Ryabko Systema is simply the best known outside of Russia, mostly via the horrible video clips on the Internet.
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12/22/2006 12:11pm, #45
NY Combat SamboIt sounds like you think it sucks but don't want to say so.
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I used to feel the same way. Systema guys train in the same building as I do and some of their stuff seemed OK, but when I saw and felt how it performed against a resisting opponent...
Spiridonov's hip was injured in the Japan-Russo War, long before sport sambo (or sambo in general) ever came into being...so was SAMOZ, sambo's predecessor (SAMOZ is an acronym for "self-defese"). So, I don't think his motivations had anything to do with not being able to do specifically with sport sambo. But, yes, his version of hand 2 hand was different than Oshchepkov's which had a strong Judo base, with high impact throws, etc. Spiridonov's main base was Japanese Jujitsu, but he evolved away from that like Oshchepkov evolved away from Judo.
My understanding is also that contrary to what most popular history states, Spiridonov and Oshchepkov (the two main founders of early sambo) did not like each other very much, rarely worked together personally, and only loosly collaborated. It was more through the cross-pollination (mainly via their students) of their approaches that sambo as we know it came to being. In fact, sport sambo was formally adopted in 1938 the year after Oshchepkov was killed in the purges of 1937. Spiridonov had already been implementing his H2H at Dynamo before Oshchepkov ever came into the picture and Oshchepkov had a hard time getting his "curriculum" approved because of this. In the end, like you mention, Systema (and other stuff like Kadachnikov's and ROSS) evolved into being after sambo, and in large part because of sambo. Also, like you said, history is hard to come by. And much of what is written needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
Regarding the "history", Here is a translation of a Russian Book: The System of Russian Style Hand-to-Hand Combat—Systema
The first builders of the system’s principles and methods for contemporary hand-to-hand combat were V.Spiridonov, V.Oshchepkov, A.Kharlampiyev, N.Oznobishin, I.Solonevich, and V.Volkov completed this studies from 1915-1940.
The largest contributor to the development of that domestic self-defense system came from the hands of an instructor at the Moscow Institute of Gymnastics named Vasili Sergeyevich Oshchepkov. He studied the Japanese system of Judo at the Kodokan in Tokyo, and in turn, Oshchepkov indoctrinated his students in the canons of judo. Oshchepkov undertook numerous creative attempts to enrich and to enlarge the framework of his judo to and to create the new system of self-defense adapted to our modern conditions. His studies included the Georgian wrestling style "Chidaoba", where the system of body dropping throwing/stepping is considered better judo’s. In addition, he studied the “Kurash” of Uzbek and Azerbaijani "Gulesh" as well as many other styles.
After generally improving their techniques for both wrestling and self-defense, V.S. Oshchepkov and his students created an original, extremely rich wrestling system for both defense and offense which as named by its acronym SAMBO (for the Russian for self-defense without weapons).
However, during this stage began a dilution of SAMBO techniques. The techniques were divided it into sport —for all, and into the combat —for only those chosen to learn it. The NKVD and the officers of the Red Army reconnaissance units were among those chosen to train in the combat system. It is natural that those who trained for combat learned not only throwing techniques, but also, those specialized techniques need for their fields of battle.
Together, with the rigid systems within the framework of the combat portion of SAMBO, there was yet another underlying system. This system was developed by V. Spiridonov, and he called it SAMOZ (an acronym for self-defense). This form of combat relied on technique and skill and not on the rougher nature of physical force.
16 November 1938, the All-Union Committee for Sports and Culture issued the order № 633 "About the Development of Freestyle Wrestling". "This wrestling, - as stated in this order, - developed from the most valuable elements from the national wrestling styles of our immense union and some best techniques from other wrestling styles to represent an extremely valuable variety of techniques and applications to the sport". This say became the birthday to the system of sambo-wrestling. In 1939, the first USSR championships were held for freestyle wrestling.
In the beginning 30 years, the work of A.G. Kharlampiev and V.S Oshchepkov was concerned efforts of the self-defense section the sports club "Dynamo". They were concerned by the quality of the teaching and sent a letter to the Sport Committee sharply criticizing activities of Victor Spiridonov. Oshchepkov convincingly proved that the "system" propagated by Spiridonov was obviously amateurish, and Arkadi Georgi had dismissed Spiridonov’s 1933 book “Strikes” as fluff.
In 1936, A.G. Kharlampiev and V.S. Oshchepkov continued took their protests to the NKVD. It was necessary to remember that "Dynamo" was a division of the Commissariat for Internal Affairs. On October 2, 1937, Oshchepkov was arrested on charge of espionage, and on December 10, 1937 while in prison and awaiting a trial, he died from a heart attack.
At the end of 1940, an over confident Spiridonov submitted an inconsistent official report addressed to the assistant which, on the one hand, accused Volkov, the author of the NKVD manual "крус самозащиты без оружия самбо" (Manual of Self-defense without Weapons-- Sambo-wrestling) of plagiarizing his work while on the other hand declaring that he was given a grant by the NKVD schools to be engaged in that same effort. Probably, Spiridonov was forced to rely on "plagiarism".
The system of sambo wrestling was created from the vast lore of the national wrestling styles and the best accomplishments from the bourgeois systems for self-defense. At the same time, it integrally differs from all other systems mainly because it is based on knowledge of the human anatomical structures, the skills to transition from one ploy to the another ploy, its knowledge of the human body’s balance, its knowledge of "jerking", and its deep comprehension of the vital processes within a fight.
The ploys of sambo are used in different combinations to enable defense against a person armed with firearms or cold steel, and against an unarmed opponent. The system of sambo wrestling develops endurance, composure, quickness, mobility, and the skill to escape from the most awkward or inconvenient positions.
The founder of the Soviet sambo system is V.A. Spiridonov. During the years this system has improved and adopted additional groups of ploys and developed many methods for training.
самозащита без оружия (Self-Defense without Weapons) or “самбо (sambo)” Is one of the applied styles of wrestling in the system of physical education for the NKVD employees as a specialized sport-application discipline. Sambo holds a significant place and enters as an independent element into a number of elements that comprise the GTO step II badge under the auspices of the sports club “Dynamo”.
Of all wrestling systems, sambo is the most comprehensive fighting system that influences and engages the entire organism. Sambo develops physical strength, endurance, dexterity, speed, coordinated movement, and situational awareness. To grasp the art which is sambo-wrestling means a methodical study of the ploys and tactics of hand-to-hand combat achieve a victory over the opponent using minimum expenditure of time and physical strength.
12/22/2006 12:21pm, #46
Originally Posted by sambosteve"Sifu, I"m niether - I'm a fire dragon so don't **** with me!"
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12/22/2006 12:41pm, #47
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Nice thread, I've wondered this myself.
Shades of grey be damned.
12/22/2006 1:59pm, #48
NY Combat SamboQuote:
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Originally Posted by sambosteve
No, I would not go that far. I generally never put anything down completely (not in the spirit of Bullshido, I know). I firmly believe that everything has something useful. The question for me is, does the usefulness outweight the non-usefulness?
Regarding things being black and white? That's just not the way life is, no matter how much things would be easier if it were.
12/22/2006 2:10pm, #49Originally Posted by Marrt
It's important to understand that Systema is taught very differently than most MAs. The training is based on experiments with a set of key movement principles and tactics rather than on learning a curriculum of techniques.
12/22/2006 2:25pm, #50
great post and thanks for the translations.
EDIT: Re. Spiridonov, SAMBO, SAMOZ and modern Systema; my impression was that Spiridonov was originally working under the SAMOZ banner and returned to that method, perhaps refining it as a specialty, after the development of SAMBO; partly because he was getting older and his various ailments and injuries were getting worse. Either way, during the mid-latter 1900s SAMOZ seems to have become associated with espionage, saboteur training and executive security, while SAMBO became more associated with H2H training for regular troops.
The earliest concrete historical reference from the Ryabko Systema camp seems to be in connection with the Sokoli Stalina ("Stalin's Falcons") executive protection squad. The squad was active between about 1930-1953, hence my speculation that the Ryabko system is a modern development of SAMOZ as it was practiced during this period.
Last edited by DdlR; 12/22/2006 4:52pm at .