Posted On:6/25/2008 8:32am
To continue the discussion on bio-mechanical principles of MA (which is why Pramek, among other arts, is so crucially important), I have created a new thread.
I will really appreciate your input and thoughts on this thread. See you there.
Posted On:6/25/2008 2:31pm
Style: general mayhem
Prom - email me.
I check it once a day - we'll see what we can line up - if I don't get back to you for a day or two, don't worry. I will.
Also, I'll stop by the links above to put my two cents in...
Posted On:7/10/2014 11:21pm
Hello all. I am new at this forum, so I ask forgiveness as I learn the etiquette of social platforms. I would like to first start by saying I am a believer in the martial arts, my practice for the last 18 years has brought great joy and growth to me personally, professionally and on some level spiritually. What caught my attention was this article regarding Mikhail, who is known for Russian Martial Art Systema.
I have read many feeds over the years regarding many arts, have seen many videos, and when prompted, I have joined groups, gone to seminars, and in a few cases have joined schools because the training is good. The greatest lesson I have learned is that video seldom does justice for ANY art that I have followed up on. Either the curriculum and skill of the instructors and practitioners far surpassed what I saw in video, or, in MANY cases, the persons were far from being skilled as they represent.
I have my own biases about which arts I have had work for me. I am not a cage fighter, my experiences have been in school yards ( at young age), sidewalks, busy roads, bars, and in other dirty environments. I claim no real martial skill, I am simply able to survive, sometimes with wit, sometimes with words, and others with physical altercation that has left both me and my opponents with scars. I have had my ass handed probably more than I have handed others, but ultimately I survive.
So please, I come as a friend and pose no threat. I simply make one suggestion. If you want to really know how someone works, you must meet them, and get a "feel" for them. Mr. Ryabko may be bullshit, his videos are sketchy at times, but try not to make a final analysis on what you see, but rather on the experience you have with the man. I say with much experience with this, people are seldom what they seem. To me, there is not a better way to get to understand another human than when you agree to spar, roll, fight, wrestle, dominate...etc each other in a test of skill, whether is is to the pain, or submission, or to the point where bones are broken.
While I have never worked with the man Mikhail Ryabko himself, I have had many opportunities to work with some of his top instructors over the past 3 years. I have put an honest study to this art, without throwing out my previous knowledge, because Systema appears to work in ways that I cannot explain. Vladimir Vasiliev, one of Mr. Ryabko's top instructors, is a man of great quality, respect, and is of very high skill. Martin Wheeler, of L.A., has demonstrated his skill to me many times. Emmanuel Manolakakis has taught me things I have never seen nor felt. Please, work with these men, feel what they do. Mikhail is in the U.S for two seminars this year. Go. Open your mind. I promise, there will be something to learn.
I won't say these men will tear it up in a cage fight. Maybe not even when they were young. I do not know, but I can say with definite honesty, there is great legitimate work in Systema. The strange no touch magic, I once asked Vladimir about. He said it is not work in itself to be used as a combative approach, it is one small part of what very few practitioners are capable of doing. It is not a magic, but like when a cobra moves it hypnotizes, it is similar, but not the same. I have since looked into active hypnotization. Very difficult subject.
My point is if you judge Systema based on some videos you see, most of the old are pretty ****, then you may miss a unique opportunity to gain some deep insight into your own training. Systema does not have all the answers. Please. NO ART HAS ALL THE ANSWERS. We are lucky to live in a time when we can be more selective in our training. For now, I see Systema as workable. The day I smell bullshit, I walk.
Systema is difficult to define, which may add the the sense of bullshit for some and the mystique for others. Both viewpoints have some validity, especially at first glance, but I ask that you look below the surface, just a bit.
We martial artists know that we cannot lie when we are working with our opponent. We cannot bullshit our technique. We are either successful, or not, and we do it skillfully, or not. We know, and if our opponent is good enough, they know the truth in your skill.
So... Go to the source. Talk to the man himself, ask him, work with him, feel his movement. I tell you, every time I did this, whether it was with Tai Chi, Ju Jitsu, Kenpo, Sambo, Judo, Boxing, Hsing I, Choy Li Fut, BJJ...etc, ever time I put myself into the position to learn with them, I quickly figured out if they had legitimate skill or not. If they did, I felt it and worked with them. If they did not, I paid respect to them and worked, still learned something, but moved on quickly.
I challenge all martial artists to step outside of their comfort zones and styles, look at the work that is being done in any of the arts, test it out with an open mind, and once you have gotten a feel for the training, then call the bullshido. I am still challenged in this today, but I do my best to remain open. (I have recently taken up informal training in Kali. What an amazing knife art to say the least. My hand skill has jumped, if not my use with the knife, which I am only trying this art to see if it might be a good knife art. I don't know other knife arts, but I am learning a great deal of the knife. But really, I feel like it is honing my reflexes for hand to hand combat in a way I never knew. My training partners in my Asian MA class have commented on it. No gloating, just an observation. It is very enlightening. I tell you I would never want to F**k with a skilled Kali practitioner, there is not chance in hand to hand.) ( sorry for the side note)
We live in a beautiful, frightening world, martial arts sheds some light on the monsters under the bed. We all have our demons, and training is one way to call them out and face them. The more you explore, the deeper you go.
And you never know what kind of package the goods will come in. It may be BJJ one day, the Krav the next, Wing Chun, then Salat. We never know, but if we study the principles, and don't get hung up on what the technique looks like, or how fat the guys is, or that it moves slow (Tai Chi, Systema) we are open to a deeper understanding than we can ever imagine.
Peace to you all, my fellow artists. I love that we can come together like this. And who knows, we may cross paths one day, and get a chance to feel what the other does. Thank you for listening to my words.
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