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  1. theotherserge is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/23/2009 11:32am

    Join us... or die
     Style: sambo/crossfit

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    If, by Systema Spetznatz, we're talking about Vadim Starov and no-touch-manipulations/strikes then that isn't much of a standard.

    I'm curious to hear the dileniations between z-health and intu-flow. Sans any litany about who stole what from whom...Lets pretend we're discussing two martial art styles eh?
    Many things we do naturally become difficult only when we try to make them intellectual subjects. It is possible to know so much about a subject that you become totally ignorant.
    -Mentat Text Two (dicto)
  2. qirin is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/23/2009 11:49am

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    Quote Originally Posted by theotherserge View Post
    If, by Systema Spetznatz, we're talking about Vadim Starov and no-touch-manipulations/strikes then that isn't much of a standard.

    I'm curious to hear the dileniations between z-health and intu-flow. Sans any litany about who stole what from whom...Lets pretend we're discussing two martial art styles eh?
    I don't want to hijack this thread but I will make some simple observations, being someone who has looked into both systems and has no particular love for either.

    intu-flow focuses on increasing range of motion and progressive movement sophistication (i.e. making a movement more complicated and expanding it to include several joints). even at the beginning levels, you work on integrating the movements by using several joints simultaneously.

    the first level of z-health focuses more exclusively on the individual joints. a number of joints that are only moved through one range of motion in intu-flow are moved through four or six in z-health. the dvd includes much more detailed instructions about how to perform the movments than intu-flow. you are not instructed to do the movements in small circles, so the emphasis is not on directly increasing the range of motion.

    eric cobb is chiropractor and a student of a school of new age energy medicine called applied kinesiology. without debating its merits, AK clearly informs z-health. in other words, the exercises are supposed to be having some kind of neurological or energetic effect on the joint far in excess of what you would expect from such a simple movement.

    the z-health materials get into movement sophistication as you move on, but they are quite expensive and I haven't purchased any of the higher levels. the basic z-health routine takes about ten minutes, as opposed to intu-flow's twenty. intu-flow contains some breathing and floor exercises that z-health doesn't.

    I think both approaches have their merits. I like the specificity of eric cobb's approach and the fluidity of sonnon's approach. I think the two styles are more complementary than opposite.

    I don't know much about starov, I have just seen his physical conditioning video (volume one) and I thought it was interesting.
    Last edited by qirin; 2/23/2009 11:54am at .
  3. theotherserge is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/23/2009 12:18pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: sambo/crossfit

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Yeah, Starov starts with the Dinamo-derivative biomechanics but he later slipped off into Soviet x-files.

    Thanks for the summary, I looked up z-health and it was hard to find detailed information. Coupled with a high price tag for even basic stuff, I passed on it.

    Could you break down a specific routine/exercise that these three share?
    Many things we do naturally become difficult only when we try to make them intellectual subjects. It is possible to know so much about a subject that you become totally ignorant.
    -Mentat Text Two (dicto)
  4. CoffeeFan is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/23/2009 5:00pm

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     Style: SAMBO/BJJ/Judo and others

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I've included ROM movements like these in my warm-ups especially when dealing with an injury. IMO they work good for decreasing pain, increasing flexibility, and promoting circulation throughout the body. That being said, I don't really think this type of material needs to be purchased, it's fairly intuitive.
  5. Jack Rusher is online now
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    Posted On:
    2/23/2009 5:55pm


     Style: ti da shuai na

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeFan View Post
    I don't really think this type of material needs to be purchased, it's fairly intuitive.
    I'd add that in the places where it isn't intuitive it's worth one's time to receive professional instruction rather than trying to figure it out from a DVD. All the regional physical culture traditions I've seen contain postures and exercises that can be quite harmful if done incorrectly, and 'incorrectly' sometimes involves fairly subtle distinctions (how the lower back is positioned during many Pilates exercises, what's done with the neck in yoga's Plow Pose, &c).
    “Most people do not do, but take refuge in theory and talk, thinking that they will become good in this way” -- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II.4
  6. CoffeeFan is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/23/2009 6:11pm

    supporting member
     Style: SAMBO/BJJ/Judo and others

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Rusher View Post
    I'd add that in the places where it isn't intuitive it's worth one's time to receive professional instruction rather than trying to figure it out from a DVD. All the regional physical culture traditions I've seen contain postures and exercises that can be quite harmful if done incorrectly, and 'incorrectly' sometimes involves fairly subtle distinctions (how the lower back is positioned during many Pilates exercises, what's done with the neck in yoga's Plow Pose, &c).
    I agree 100%
  7. Zaii is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/23/2009 8:29pm


     Style: crappling

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Am I the only one bothered by the fact that his slogan is not only corny, it's dangerously close to "blow thyself"?

    That -would- explain his annoying marketing and constant self-aggrandizement. Hmmm...
  8. qirin is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/23/2009 9:48pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by theotherserge View Post
    Yeah, Starov starts with the Dinamo-derivative biomechanics but he later slipped off into Soviet x-files.
    pardon my ignorance, what's dinamo?

    Thanks for the summary, I looked up z-health and it was hard to find detailed information. Coupled with a high price tag for even basic stuff, I passed on it.

    Could you break down a specific routine/exercise that these three share?
    sure. all three (z-health, intu-flow, starov's conditioning video) demonstrate an exercise for pelvic lumbar mobilization that is sometimes called hula or belly dance, yet they differ dramatically in the way the teach it. the movement consists of tilting the pelvis sequentially front to side to back while flexing the spine in the opposite direction.

    each person teaches the movement differently.

    sonnon breaks the movement into its back to front and side to side components, teaching these separately before introducing the complete movement in the intermediate series. he focuses on bending the body like a reed and emphasizes gentle but full spinal flexion.

    eric cobb does the movement with shoulders squared forward and isolates the pelvic lumbar region. cobb keeps the top of his hips parallel to the floor, so the movement is restricted to the horizontal plane. I think this shows the influence of his chiropractic background. cobb focuses on isolating the vertebrae and shifting them as one would in chiropractic adjustment.

    the starov tape shows the movement primarily as a sequential but smooth articulation of the abdominal muscles. he doesn't slow it down, performs it in a smaller ROM than either of the others, and then shows how to combine the movement with a counter rotation of the thoracic lumbar region. pretty much all of the movements on the systema spetsnaz video would fall into the "advanced" end of sonnon's spectrum.

    videos of similar stuff can be found at kadichnikov.info, so I guess it's just standard systema material. the kadichnikov site also shows many of the movements that make up "the grappler's toolbox."

    the guy on the starov tape also demonstrates the arm wave in a way that reminds me of vladimir vasiliev's systema basics tape. vasiliev teaches a striking technique beginning with the chest, then continuing the same movement into a strike with the shoulder, the elbow, and finally the hand. in this way he shows the final hand strike as an expression of the same kinetic energy used in the chest strike. this causes the movement to actually originate from the hips.

    in intu-flow, sonnon breaks the arm wave down in a similar way, teaching elbow, shoulder and hand sequentially, but with a key difference. he teaches three isolated movements that are then performed sequentially, without showing how the kinetic energy of the movement is literally transfered from one segment to the next. equally, he does not show the movement originating from the hips.


    my problem with sonnon's material is I think it just scratches the surface of something really awesome.

    connective tissue is a web that links together bone and muscle. it forms a matrix by which kinetic energy is transfered from one muscle group to the next. it allows force to travel through the body like a wave. joint mobility is great, but it is just the beginning of the athletic implementation of connective tissue. I don't think it's worth paying a lot of money for. I was hoping intu-flow would get into some of this deeper level stuff I am talking about, and it sort of does, but not deeply enough for my taste.

    watching retuinskih and co, i think what they are doing is a necessary and logical extension of feldenkrais and somatics. where those deal with rehabilitation, this stuff pertains to the application of those principles to the next level of athletic performance. I think it promises a great deal to western exercise science which, until now, has been too focused on pieces of structure and not the gestalt of the body in motion.

    however, my interest is not in martial arts but in fitness, so I am somewhat reluctant to study with any of the systema people in my area.

    I guess the work of taking this material out of its martial context remains to be done, at least in english. but I am by no means qualified to do that. hopefully someone will step up who is, who also is willing to remain within a reality-based paradigm.
    Last edited by qirin; 2/23/2009 9:56pm at .
  9. theotherserge is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/23/2009 11:52pm

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     Style: sambo/crossfit

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Good post and a good break down.

    Dinamo is the house that Spiridinov setup to train his SAMOZ group, a predecessor to SAMBO. It is likely that the genesis of all this Feldenkrais-like movement came out of this group. Spiridinov had studied deeply in Jiu-Jitsu and other arts and likely studied internal arts as well. There are just too many similarities to think that he came up with this on his own.

    I'd argue that its hard to tell if one is superior to another thru a video. The stuff that you have worked on yourself will be more evident as to its validity or not. See below:

    The "wave-work" that you're seeing will vary greatly depending on the Systema group near you. As to its relevance as a martial art or a training regimin, I think it really depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Imagine the typical Soviet conscript who is on a two-year rotation, there is no way he is going to learn that material as a combative program.

    As to what "Systema" actually is, that is akin to saying "Kung Fu" to describe everything that comes out of China. There is too broad a spectrum. What Sonnon offers is substantial, even exceptional, depending on your needs. There just isn't that much out there that is derivative of this material...not yet.

    The kinetic-linking/fascae-suit/neural-pathways/etc stuff is really fascinating material. What we have from the Internal Arts is a more metaphorical, long-term and frustrating study, damning at times. The Soviets really got into engineering the human body analytically, coming from the other end of the spectrum.

    Myself, I've been studying-when I can-with a XingYi coach. I'm finding that the stuff that we learned from the old man (SAMBO-master who probably trained with Spiridinov but would not admit it) is so similar to many of the things I'm learning in IMA that its just uncanny.
    Many things we do naturally become difficult only when we try to make them intellectual subjects. It is possible to know so much about a subject that you become totally ignorant.
    -Mentat Text Two (dicto)
  10. Jack Rusher is online now
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    Posted On:
    2/24/2009 9:29am


     Style: ti da shuai na

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by theotherserge View Post
    Myself, I've been studying-when I can-with a XingYi coach. I'm finding that the stuff that we learned from the old man (SAMBO-master who probably trained with Spiridinov but would not admit it) is so similar to many of the things I'm learning in IMA that its just uncanny.
    Whether via influence or parallel evolution, it's evident that there's convergence. The Sonnen Ven diagram can be redrawn with three Chinese practices: qigong for joint rotations, daoyin in place of yoga, and apparatus training in place of... well, apparatus training. The guys who take it seriously end up with remarkable body skills.

    This fellow has some joint mobility:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYRz_lHGN1Y

    And this old dude can still move his body:

    YouTube - Zhao Bao Taiji

    I've been starting my mornings with Chinese joint rotations, followed by yoga, followed by some taiji. Hopefully I'll get a couple extra years of athleticism out of my body for the effort.
    “Most people do not do, but take refuge in theory and talk, thinking that they will become good in this way” -- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II.4
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