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  1. EricH is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/23/2008 9:51pm


     Style: systema/RMA

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Chaotic
    I wasn't very clear about what I was saying, I didn't mean the instructors don't get hit, I was just talking about when Systema people fly ten feet back like spastic rag dolls after being hit.

    Or when they crumple to the ground like every bone in their body has dissolved.

    You rarely see the instructors doing those sorts of things.
    that is because instructors have spent a lot of time learning how to take punches.

    still it does happen, in that Vasiliev montage posted by Ddlr most of the guys going down are instructors.
    Last edited by EricH; 3/23/2008 10:17pm at .
  2. Chaotic is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/23/2008 10:28pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR
    Nope, sorry, you're missing the point by assuming that competition is the bottom line. The idea of "Sport Systema" has been discussed on other boards, and the consensus is that it would be redundant; RMA practitioners who want to compete tend to get into SAMBO, which has a solid competitive format.

    The bottom line (i.e., greatest priority) in Systema is self defense, which is reflected in their training. Training for multiple attacker scenarios, weapon scenarios and so-on would be a complete waste of time for cage fighters.

    That said, a few Systema practitioners have entered Bullshido throwdowns for fun, and they've done fine within the rules of those competitions. The video has been posted here several times before, but I can dig it up again if you think it would be useful.



    Yes, those are the claims; that they're relaxed while they're hitting and that "ballistic striking" works well as a sucker punch.



    This is where you're losing the plot. The claim was not "this type of punching is as effective as boxing", it was "this type of striking is effective", i.e., that it's effective to use a relaxed strike, especially when you're sucker punching. The boxing comparison was drawn by others who assumed that a "ballistic punch" wasn't as effective as a boxing punch.

    See SFGoon's post re. the Ali>Liston KO for an example of this type of strike applied in competition.

    The principle, physics and whatever-the-hell else were explained because people asked for an explanation.

    I don't see how a punch from a famous boxing match is a good example of Systema. Ali was never trained in Systema and unless you are saying that much of Systema was inspired by a video of that single punch, I really don't see a connection. There are literally thousands of hours of video of boxers fighting and using standard boxing techniques effectively.

    Also Systema training includes a lot of one on one "Systema" sparring. Many of the videos that have been posted here include large portions of that type of sparring. Sure some of it includes the standard self defense "attacker coming at you with way over exaggerated telegraphed moves" stuff, but there is a lot of Systema style sparring.

    You even included a video where the sparring is fairly hard (when you showed the progression in Systema from slow to fast). But at the time when they are sparring hard, it starts to look like bad boxing or bad kickboxing. The Systema practitioners do lots of really bad things, like constant spinning around, dropping their hands and rushing blindly at their opponents. They are hitting at each other hard, but their technique is poor.

    This is because the techniques that Systema teach appear to work when doing slow motion sparring but do not translate to fast full contact sparring. In my mind this is one of the main problems with Systema.

    p.s. Note that I didn't say everything was crap in Systema, I still think there are lots of good training techniques. I just think that there are some things that are heavily flawed.
  3. Chaotic is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/23/2008 10:34pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by EricH
    that is because instructors have spent a lot of time learning how to take punches.

    still it does happen, in that Vasiliev montage posted by Ddlr most of the guys going down are instructors.
    In the Vasiliev montage, the instructors are going down when getting hit by Val. Which is my point about pecking order.

    Systema videos are full of clips where people get hit in the body, fly back five to ten feet or crumple to the ground like a bag of jello. Right afterwards they hop up like nothing happened.

    This is not how the human body reacts when getting hit by a hard body shot in the right place.
  4. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/23/2008 11:01pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaotic
    I don't see how a punch from a famous boxing match is a good example of Systema. Ali was never trained in Systema and unless you are saying that much of Systema was inspired by a video of that single punch, I really don't see a connection. There are literally thousands of hours of video of boxers fighting and using standard boxing techniques effectively.
    Perhaps you didn't read SFGoon's post accompanying that clip, in which he began:

    If you want to see a flacid, relaxed, almost nonchalant punch take someone out then watch the Ali/Clay vs. Liston fight. Don't entertain the notion, even for a second, that I'm implying Ali had anything whatsoever to do with systema. That fight just did a good job of demonstrating a good application of principles which systema also teaches.
    Seriously, re-read Goon's post and it should start to make sense. The Ali>Liston KO happens, co-incidentally, to have been executed as a so-called "ballistic" punch, so it was offered as an example of this type of punch being applied successfully in competition, because that was what was asked for. The example had to come from another sport (boxing, in this case) because Systema doesn't have competitions.

    Also Systema training includes a lot of one on one "Systema" sparring. Many of the videos that have been posted here include large portions of that type of sparring. Sure some of it includes the standard self defense "attacker coming at you with way over exaggerated telegraphed moves" stuff, but there is a lot of Systema style sparring.
    It contains a good deal of two, three, four and five on one "sparring" as well. The telegraphed attacks, like the slow motion training, are used in the same way many styles use kata, step sparring or technique drilling, to introduce the basic skills in a relatively safe way. Yet again, the sparring exercises get more realistic, in every sense, as the practitioner becomes skilled enough to handle them safely.

    You even included a video where the sparring is fairly hard (when you showed the progression in Systema from slow to fast). But at the time when they are sparring hard, it starts to look like bad boxing or bad kickboxing. The Systema practitioners do lots of really bad things, like constant spinning around, dropping their hands and rushing blindly at their opponents. They are hitting at each other hard, but their technique is poor.

    This is because the techniques that Systema teach appear to work when doing slow motion sparring but do not translate to fast full contact sparring. In my mind this is one of the main problems with Systema.
    The slow motion sparring exercises are opportunities to experiment and to learn what works for you, gradually, through thousands of improvised "attack scenarios". Movements that prove to be ineffective are dropped as the pace, contact and levels of resistance are amped up. Again, sparring exercises at higher speeds are not considered to be the "ultimate test" of Systema because when working at full speed there are too many actions that simply cant be followed through without risking seriously injuring your training partner.

    The system is structured realistically, balancing "anything goes" sparring exercises at lower intensity with limited target sparring exercises at higher intensity. In the same way, most TMAs that include sparring will reserve the more dangerous techniques for various forms of kata training, allowing only those techniques that can be performed full-force in relative safety to be applied in free sparring.

    The difference is that Systema does not include pre-arranged kata work, but the concept is the same; while improvised combat (sparring) is highly valuable for all sorts of reasons, it's impossible to go literally all-out within the bounds of reasonable safety. That's also (obviously) the reason why combat sports have strict rules prohibiting the most dangerous techniques.

    p.s. Note that I didn't say everything was crap in Systema, I still think there are lots of good training techniques. I just think that there are some things that are heavily flawed.
    Fair enough, and I think that's a good attitude, although I think you're wrong about the flaws, for the reason I attempted to explain above.
  5. EricH is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/23/2008 11:16pm


     Style: systema/RMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Chaotic
    In the Vasiliev montage, the instructors are going down when getting hit by Val. Which is my point about pecking order.

    Systema videos are full of clips where people get hit in the body, fly back five to ten feet or crumple to the ground like a bag of jello. Right afterwards they hop up like nothing happened.

    This is not how the human body reacts when getting hit by a hard body shot in the right place.
    I personally have never seen anybody "fly back" any distance at all either in a systema video or in a class. A good body punch make a person crumple, sometimes back away. That is what you see in the videos.

    Regarding pecking order: Is it so surprising that the more skilled the practitioner the more effective the punch?
    Last edited by EricH; 3/23/2008 11:21pm at .
  6. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/23/2008 11:21pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by EricH
    I personally have never seen anybody "fly back" any distance at all either in a systema video or in a class. A good body punch make a person crumple, sometimes back away, that is what you see in the videos.

    Regarding pecking order: Is it so surprising that the more skilled practitioners are have a more effective punch?
    I think that "flying back" was an exaggeration for effect. Chaotic may have meant examples such as seen in the OP video clip, when the recipient of the punch is caught off-balance and/or when the punch is executed more like a push, so that they stagger backwards before falling down.

    The difference is that between being rocked back hard over your heels and staggering vs. literally being lifted off the floor and "flying" backwards.
  7. Chaotic is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/24/2008 12:31am

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    Quote Originally Posted by EricH
    I personally have never seen anybody "fly back" any distance at all either in a systema video or in a class. A good body punch make a person crumple, sometimes back away. That is what you see in the videos.

    Regarding pecking order: Is it so surprising that the more skilled the practitioner the more effective the punch?
    In most combat sports which involve live sparring the instructor isn't necessarily the most effective fighter in a class.

    Punching someone while they are standing still doesn't require a great amount of skill.
  8. Chaotic is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/24/2008 12:51am

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR
    Perhaps you didn't read SFGoon's post accompanying that clip, in which he began:



    Seriously, re-read Goon's post and it should start to make sense. The Ali>Liston KO happens, co-incidentally, to have been executed as a so-called "ballistic" punch, so it was offered as an example of this type of punch being applied successfully in competition, because that was what was asked for. The example had to come from another sport (boxing, in this case) because Systema doesn't have competitions.
    And so a heavily debated punch from an old boxing match without clear video footage is used. I really don't think this is a great argument for "ballistic punching".

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_versus_Liston

    "The blow that ended the match became known as "the phantom punch" since most people at ringside did not see it. Many continue to claim that Liston had bet against himself and "took a dive" because he owed money to the mafia, and others believe that he feared for his safety from Nation of Islam extremists and just wanted to extricate himself from the entire situation. Slow motion replays show Ali connecting with a quick, chopping right to Liston's head as Liston was moving toward him, and show that Liston was unsteady when he finally got to his feet (Ali appeared to connect with four additional unanswered punches before Walcott belatedly declared the knockout and an end to the contest). However, it remains inconclusive to this day as to whether the blow was a legitimate knockout punch, so historians and analysts continue to argue the results of this rematch.[1] In his book Ghosts of Manila, Mark Kram included an interview he held with Liston years after the fight. In the interview, Liston claimed to have taken a dive because of his fear of retaliation from the Nation of Islam, the Black Muslim sect that was managing Ali's career. This statement has never been substantiated, however."



    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR
    It contains a good deal of two, three, four and five on one "sparring" as well. The telegraphed attacks, like the slow motion training, are used in the same way many styles use kata, step sparring or technique drilling, to introduce the basic skills in a relatively safe way. Yet again, the sparring exercises get more realistic, in every sense, as the practitioner becomes skilled enough to handle them safely.



    The slow motion sparring exercises are opportunities to experiment and to learn what works for you, gradually, through thousands of improvised "attack scenarios". Movements that prove to be ineffective are dropped as the pace, contact and levels of resistance are amped up. Again, sparring exercises at higher speeds are not considered to be the "ultimate test" of Systema because when working at full speed there are too many actions that simply cant be followed through without risking seriously injuring your training partner.

    The system is structured realistically, balancing "anything goes" sparring exercises at lower intensity with limited target sparring exercises at higher intensity. In the same way, most TMAs that include sparring will reserve the more dangerous techniques for various forms of kata training, allowing only those techniques that can be performed full-force in relative safety to be applied in free sparring.

    The difference is that Systema does not include pre-arranged kata work, but the concept is the same; while improvised combat (sparring) is highly valuable for all sorts of reasons, it's impossible to go literally all-out within the bounds of reasonable safety. That's also (obviously) the reason why combat sports have strict rules prohibiting the most dangerous techniques.
    That is not true. Systema doesn't teach "anything goes". There are several things that are specifically taught to use in those slow motion sparring sessions. Systema practitioners do many drills that teach them to move their body (or head) away from attacks to reduce the amount of damage being done. There are knife drills where the point of a rubber knife is put in your body and you are supposed to turn away from the knife to learn "which way to move". The striking drills have the same principles behind them in slow motion. Blocking or covering up are not encouraged, but spinning away from things are.

    The strikes are taught as these loose flailing strikes with the idea being that you can follow up with multiple attacks by following through with the momentum of the first strike. You can hit someone with a flowing, relaxed open palm and then spin around still using that motion and get them again with another strike.

    These things all work great when you are moving in slow motion. But they quickly become very bad technique if you are sparring with hard contact at full speed.
    Last edited by Chaotic; 3/24/2008 12:54am at .
  9. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/24/2008 1:12am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaotic
    In most combat sports which involve live sparring the instructor isn't necessarily the most effective fighter in a class.

    Punching someone while they are standing still doesn't require a great amount of skill.
    The instructor is, however, the person most likely to be demonstrating in a class, and also the most likely subject of video clips posted to YouTube.

    You keep changing the point of your criticism, which is a really tiresome tactic. No one has claimed that punching someone who is standing still requires any great amount of skill. If it's applied as a sucker punch then it's both fairly simple and has a high percentage chance of succeeding, which is the reason why it's practiced. A "ballistic" strike that can be thrown effectively without warning from a natural, relaxed stance, from unexpected angles and from a relatively close range, makes for a good sucker punch.

    I've already posted numerous video clips of advanced Systema practitioners applying various forms of ballistic striking techniques at various speeds, against partners applying various levels of resistance. These examples have included pre-emptive strikes ("sucker punches"), ballistic strikes applied as counter-attacks, as "sneak" attacks in the midst of different improvised self defense scenarios, against focus pads, against passive partners wearing chest shields, and against a few brave souls wearing no protection at all.
  10. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    3/24/2008 1:44am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaotic
    And so a heavily debated punch from an old boxing match without clear video footage is used. I really don't think this is a great argument for "ballistic punching".
    Sadly, since there are no Systema competitions, it will have to suffice for the time being. Or, you could try studying the clips I've already posted, making at least a pretense towards being able to do so objectively.

    That is not true. Systema doesn't teach "anything goes". There are several things that are specifically taught to use in those slow motion sparring sessions. Systema practitioners do many drills that teach them to move their body (or head) away from attacks to reduce the amount of damage being done. There are knife drills where the point of a rubber knife is put in your body and you are supposed to turn away from the knife to learn "which way to move". The striking drills have the same principles behind them in slow motion. Blocking or covering up are not encouraged, but spinning away from things are.

    The strikes are taught as these loose flailing strikes with the idea being that you can follow up with multiple attacks by following through with the momentum of the first strike. You can hit someone with a flowing, relaxed open palm and then spin around still using that motion and get them again with another strike.

    These things all work great when you are moving in slow motion. But they quickly become very bad technique if you are sparring with hard contact at full speed.
    OK, do you really not understand what I meant by "anything goes", or are you just pretending not to in order to make a semantic point?

    At this stage, my impression is that you're just skim-reading my answers looking for catch-phrases to disagree with.
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