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  1. melk is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/26/2007 2:12pm


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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by EricH
    I don't think that the general thrust of Ryabko's bio (learned from family with bodyguarding background, started service early) as understood in the US should be so easily dismissed. I have a missing piece of the puzzle that corroborates those elements pretty nicely.

    I have trained under Viktor Sirotin here in Seattle since late 1996. Viktor came to the US in 1993 and sometime prior to that trained under Ryabko for 5yrs. This puts his latest start date with Ryabko at 1988. Viktor is at least 10yrs older than Ryabko and was already a very accomplished martial artist (multiple styles from boxing to aikido to other native russian styles) and military veteran at the time he was "asked" to go train with Ryabko. Viktor characterizes this training as "professional" and brutal. He went on to train body guards for Soviet VIPs. When the soviet union dissolved things got dicey among this population and after a couple of years he left for the US.

    This is all of the info I have been able to get out of Viktor on the subject. Viktor teaches a small public group in Seattle. He is not involved with the larger "systema" community.

    Relevant points:
    1. Ryabko must have had quite a reputation at a very young age if older "professionals" were being sent to him for training when he was still in his 20s. In fact, in Viktor's earliest marketing for his class his bio stated the he had trained under the "legendary" Michael Ryabko. This was 1996 and we had no idea who this supposedly legendary person was.

    2. There is definitely a body-guarding connection. This is of additional interest to me as a result of Melk's interesting inference above of a KGB background. As Melk has previously pointed out, back from the time of Stalin body-guards were provided by the 9th directorate of the KGB. There are dots here that may or may not connect.

    Regarding the "Young Master" video. I have seen it and it looks to me like he is playing around, experimenting with things. Based on what we do know about the training of these soviet soldier fighters it would be suprising if he did not have significant experience in asian arts. They all seem to have trained in multiple styles.

    At the risk of sounding like a nutrider I will close by saying that I have had the pleasure of training with one on one Ryabko. He operates at such a completely different level from anything I have felt that whatever his background is I can assure you it is profound. Viktor, who is proud man that does not give praise lightly, has said of Ryabko, "he is good, oh, he is good".

    It is the experience of working with him and Vasiliev, I believe, that gets people in the systema Ryabko/Vasiliev community beyond questioning the bios. They come off as a couple of good men who are exceptionally skilled and insightful. The rest is details.
    This does not necessarily validate Ryabko's bio on the US site. Two main reasons that I can point to directly.

    One in '88 Retuinskih was in full charge of training KGB personel, at least on his side of things. He has a history of putting younger teachers out there. Ryabko joined in '83 by '88 he has had five years of training in Spirdinov and Retuinskih-Kadoch. Sonnon(as much as I hate the man) started training with Retuinskih in '94, in '96 he had the distinction of being the first non-Russian to lead a training cycle of the MVD. Yup Retuinskih gave him the creds and let him do it.

    Secondly the KGB really didn't care if you were a world judo champion(Putin for instance) it wanted you trained in their MAs and systems, so that when the **** hit the fan everyone reacted the same way and knew what everyone else was doing.

    As far as starting service early I would say that he repudiated that on his own website. He actually started service late according to his bio.

    As I said the national representitive here in Israel for Ryabko, as in a Russian who served with him, trained with him for years, and continues to do so, Sergey Fedosov as well as a guy he had down from Russia Sergey Borshchev both say that the US bio is not accurate.

    --Edit--
    Isn't there rather bad blood between Viktor Sirotin and Ryabko?
    Last edited by melk; 12/26/2007 2:14pm at .
  2. EricH is offline

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    Posted On:
    12/26/2007 3:34pm


     Style: systema/RMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by melk
    --Edit--
    Isn't there rather bad blood between Viktor Sirotin and Ryabko?

    As far as I know there isn't "bad blood" but I don't think that they were ever particularly close. I know that they do still communicate if only infrequently. Viktor has never voiced anything but respect for Ryabko's experience and abilities to us but still he keeps his distance.

    My point regarding Ryabko's early start in service is that according to Viktor he was already "legendary" by 1988, at which time he was only 27.
    Last edited by EricH; 12/26/2007 4:13pm at . Reason: clarity
  3. Tacitus is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/26/2007 3:41pm

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     Style: Crazy Monkey, BJJ, MT

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The quote I pasted is from Vladimir's website, but it's from the forum. It was something said at a Mikail Ryabko seminar, and the person who is relating it speaks Russian.

    Meik, I'm not positive if your saying the first art learned by Ryabko is Asian, possibly kung fu?

    Although I don't doubt that he was exposed to Asian styles, there is a lot of difference from Systema and Kung fu on a foundational level. One of the biggest differences seems to be the lack of rooting and pretty much every kung fu style emphasis' this aspect. The next would be power generation. Systema strikes look most like Xing Yi, but the strikes come from a completly diffirent place and, again, there is no need to be rooted to strike.

    What I'm trying get at is I believe these stories are true of Ryabko being trained as a boy in "Systema". I think if we were to look at the "Sytema" of his teacher it would bare little resemblence to his own.

    Mikail and Vlad in many ways move diffirent from each other, but are the doing the same art. The art they teach and perform is a principle based one.

    I feel that Mikail took this art and either added the breathing techniques of the Russian Orthodox church, or they were already present.

    After learning the art, it would stand to reason that he went out and practiced other things. He intergrated those pieces that fit conceptually with "Systema" . As yet, I see no reason to doubt that as a boy he studied a Russian art that became the foundation his style.
    Last edited by Tacitus; 12/26/2007 4:06pm at . Reason: For clarity
  4. melk is offline
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    Posted On:
    12/26/2007 4:21pm


     Style: *********

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tacitus
    The quote I pasted is from Vladimir's website, but it's from the forum. It was something said at a Mikail Ryabko seminar, and the person who is relating it speaks Russian.

    Meik, I'm not positive if your saying the first art learned by Ryabko is Asian, possibly kung fu?

    Although I don't doubt that he was exposed to Asian styles, there is a lot of difference from Systema and Kung fu on a foundational level. Given I have not studied every type of kung fu, but nontheless. One of the biggest differences seems to be the lack of rooting and pretty much every kung fu style emphasis' this aspect. The next would be power generation. Systema strikes look most like Xing Yi, but the strikes come from a completly diffirent place and, again, there is no need to be rooted to strike.

    What I'm trying get at is I believe these stories are true of Ryabko being trained as a boy in "Systema". I think if we were to at the "Sytema" of his teacher it would bare little resemblence to his own. Mikail and Vlad in many ways move diffirent from each other, but are the doing the same principle based art. I feel that Mikail took this art and either added the breathing techniques of the Russian Orthodox church, or they were already present.

    After learning the art, it would stand to reason that he went out and practiced other things and intergrated those pieces that worked with his "Systema" on a conceptual level. As yet, I see no reason to doubt this facet of his bio.
    The current breathing techniques, from what I can tell are new. They weren't there in any of the semmis I went to when I first gave it a look back in '96.

    I have no doubt that he was probably trained in an art when he was a child. The same is true of Kadochnikov.

    Even if an Asian art was his introduction to MA, it is definitely not what he based his system in.

    Understand we are really getting into the conjecture at this point when we talk of things that we do not have solid evidence for.

    From all of my study, his art is clearly based in Spirdinov. He has the softness and many of the same goofy looking drills(I don't say that with disrespect but seriously look at the drills they do look funny especially to an outsider). Is it possible that he trained in this when he was younger? Sure it is possible. That may have given him an edge in other arts, but until we can find some actual proof, like a name or something like that, we simply cannot be sure.

    Eric as far as him being "legendary" while still young that is not so hard to believe and could be attributed to natural talent. For instance Alexy Kistin was actually called amongst the GRU "The Legend" from the time he graduated GRU training at like 23 or 24. The reason being, his overwhelming success in the final test of the GRU. It has tamed down some now, but during the 80's and early 90's(both Time and the Economist did articles on this), training was finished by a ruck run to a fight test. The fight test consisted of a ten minute fight within a designated circle and one candidate fighting against 5-10 Spets, if he knocked one out or in some other way incappacitated him a fresh opponent would be added until the conclusion of time. Typically all come out bloody, and some get a trip to the hospital with their maroon beret. Kistin was the only person in history to be the last man standing at the time mark. He KO'd everyone they sent in against him. For whatever reason when Retuinskih left Kadohcnikov Kistin went with him. At Retuinskih's own camps he would admit that Kistin(joined GRU in 86-out in 94) was better than him(Retuinskih was a 20+ year student of Kadochnikov and also very much on another level).

    All of that to state that it could just as easily be Ryabko's natural abilities that made people call him legendary. Like calling Karelin an "Experiment". Russia seems to breed a fare number of extra-ordinary athletes, and I would not doubt that Mikhail is one of them.
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