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    Systema article on learning and reaction time.

    I found this on the RMA_Systema Australia website. I thought I'd post it here for the general edification of all!

    I broke up some of the paragraphs, to make it less of a wall-of-text.

    Enjoy:-

    Systema, Neurological Reaction Time and Learning.
    "So, yeah, Zen teachers may well insult you, work you to the bone, hit you with sticks, shout verbal abuse at you, and punch the shit out of you.
    And when the shit's been punched out of you, you might just find that you're far better-off without it." - Vieux Normand

    "So in short, BJJ wins again. BJJ, and chainmail." - TheMightyMcClaw

    "On bullshido, your opinions are not sacred, neither are your feelings." - Scrapper

    "You entered the lions' den. Don't bitch if you get eaten." - danniboi07

    "Needless to say, it's much easier to clear a bunch of drunk kids out of your house when you're yelling GTFO and carrying a samurai sword." - DerAuslander

    "Eventually, I realized it doesn't matter what art you train, what matters is the method in which you train. Training in an alive manner, under skilled and qualified instruction, is the single most important aspect of gaining martial skill. All else is window dressing." - JNP : Saying it how it is!

    #2
    I am glad that he at least went to medical school unlike many of the other article writers.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by JingMerchant! View Post

      This however is not the whole story. Where do the brain’s initial ideas for the subconscious response originate? Neurologists refer to these sudden reaction movements as Fixed Action Patterns (FAPs). A FAP is a chosen system by natural selection for a reduction of choice and decision time. In other words, through past experiences the body has learned to react in a certain way under certain circumstances (Trigger Event), and in order to reduce reaction time a quick “movement package” is applied in a coordinated fashion whenever needed, without the brain having to repeatedly invent the wheel again. These patterns are very deeply rooted in our response system. They can range from very simple withdrawal actions to complex movement patterns. That doesn’t however make them the best or most efficient choice under any given circumstance.

      Let me give you an example: if you touch a hot object you will withdraw your hand immediately in a FAP, nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, if someone grabs your finger in a finger lock this same FAP will be activated putting you in a much worse situation as you have just increased pressure on your finger lock. How then can we change this situation and how can we change FAPs or any other rapid reaction movement? The answer is training.

      Training has the ability to override current FAPs.
      they should have made a different acronym than that one...

      Comment


        #4
        It is relatively unknown that when our brain prepares for a movement, for example in response to an attack on our person, it will always do a dry-run first, without activating our muscle and without our conscious awareness. This means the brain has like an emulator. Before we become aware of our intended movement, our brain will dry-run the movement through its brain maps. This will include hormonal activation, blood pressure changes and all the usual psycho-physiological adaptations. The only thing, which is missing, is the activation of our muscles (and our awareness). Only following this dry-run will our intended movement become conscious and we will perform this action with our muscles activated. To our conscious minds this movement appears spontaneous and original, as we are not aware that in actual fact we have already done it in our brains.
        [citation needed]
        [ petterhaggholm.net | blog | essays ]
        [ self defence: general thoughts | anecdote is anecdotes, not data

        Comment


          #5
          FAP. Hehehe.

          :PFFFTCCHCHCHHFFFTTT

          Comment


            #6
            Psychobabble...
            Originally posted by Judoka_UK
            Judo is the PC to Sambo's Mac.

            Comment


              #7
              The only knowledge I have about systema is how my krav maga instructor described it: "Shit done by fat russians".

              Correct description or just some weird RBSD rivalry?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Rzero View Post
                The only knowledge I have about systema is how my krav maga instructor described it: "Shit done by fat russians".

                Correct description or just some weird RBSD rivalry?
                I've been training in Systema for the past three years. I don't generally recommend it to people who don't already have considerable MA cross-training experience, but for those who do, IMO it's an excellent "think and move outside the box" training program.

                I just skimmed the article, but the gist of Systema training is that you are continually put in very difficult situations and challenged to improvise your way out of them. There's very little emphasis on specific techniques or pre-set combinations, and a lot of emphasis on conditioning, good combat movement and "martial creativity" drills. You quickly learn that it works to be very relaxed and not to try to anticipate anything.

                IMO the big problem in *some* Systema training is that compliancy, which is often the aim of the drill/exercise (in the sense of rolling with punches, moving partially with a takedown attempt to stifle/evade it, etc.) is taken to unrealistic extremes and/or applied in ways that don't make sense. If you're "role-playing" as the attacker in a self defense drill and you're either subconsciously programmed or just willing to collapse at the slightest pressure from the "defender", then you're not really doing your job. There's now a breakaway movement among some senior Systema instructors who are instituting more structured training methods, the use of protective equipment to make certain types of sparring drill more safely practical, etc.

                All that said, IMO it's an great self defense-oriented training method when it's approached realistically.
                Check out the Bullshido.net Western Martial Arts Forum for all things Western, martial and arty.

                Bartitsu: the Gentlemanly Art of Self Defence (est. 1899)

                Comment


                  #9
                  I trained in Systema for 3 months with a guy that was an officer in the russian spetznaz for 7 years. All I can say is that I am very convinced now that Systema cannot be used as a martial art if you don't combine it with smth else. By itself it has just about as much applicability as let's say the taichi taught at the local recreational center.

                  That doesn't mean that it's a bad exercise. Not at all. You do learn how to relax and also question and rethink certain combat habits, but you cannot use it against a: boxer, kickboxer, judoka, wrestler, grappler etc....

                  The genteleman that was training me was lifting weights and had a wrestling background as well and yet didn't manage to impress me in anyway whenever we would start rolling a little bit more serious.

                  Also all these "difficult situations and challenges" that they talk about are addressed way more in depth by my bjj teacher.

                  So as a conclusion I would definitely recommend Systema as an exercise (minus all the BS theories and stories that it comes with) but I cannot call it a full blown martial art by any means.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by DdlR View Post
                    I just skimmed the article, but the gist of Systema training is that you are continually put in very difficult situations and challenged to improvise your way out of them.
                    Isn't this basically the same thing as 'alive training', though? If not, how does it substantially differ?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      My own personal experience with SYSTEMA was so-so. I stopped by a few martial arts schools when I first moved to NC to see what was offered. I really wanted BJJ but only found the TKD/KENPO/AKIDO schools within driving distance. I walked into an AKIDO school and was talking to the instructor who was very friendly. I asked about grappling and he told me he was also teaching SYSTEMA. I was unfamiliar what this was and he told me all about it. He told me all about how deadly the Russian Spetnaz were and how they were so much better than every other Special Operations units out there. I found this hard to believe but let it go. Hard to argue with someone who has ZERO experience in the military let alone SOF. He was sold on SYSTEMA and all things Russian so there was no arguing. I told him during this friendly conversation that I thought grappling was a better base art. Then he offered to allow me to grapple with one of his instructors so I jumped on the chance. I am forgetting his name now but it was the former Kenpo guy from CA that was one of his instructors (he has been mentioned during many of these SYSTEMA threads-Martin???). Anyway I grappled a little with him. Since it was not my school I did not really try anything other than positional dominance which I was able to pull off but did not apply any sub’s. Apparently this proved how superior SYSTEMA was. Fast forward a few months later the Aikido instructor was now almost exclusively SYSTEMA and he invited me to join for free. Free training….cool. The classes only ever dealt with concepts and no technique. Noodle arms, Noodle punches, Noodle thinking…..weird. Never once was I able to get a single answer on how this applies to me arresting a resisting suspect. Just weird concepts and the chance to buy Russian camo pants, shirts, and bayonets. Oh and go to Russia to train at a SPETNAZ base and run around with an AK (for a few $1000). Then I attended a seminar with “Sonny” a Spetz guy that teaches in Florida. He was fast, struck hard and moved well. When he asked for grapplers to try and submit him, a rather brash guy from the class with basic BJJ skills took a hard hit from Sonny (which he later said dazed him) then took Sonny down and tapped him with a choke. Sonny said that the punch would have knocked him out….ok, maybe. I left with the distinct impression that if you were born, raised, and trained in Russia as a Spetz guy totally indoctrinated and brutally trained the way they tend to do, then YES: Systema works. If your not and you attend 3-4 classes a week from your local instructor, then NO: It does not. Not for the masses like other effective arts (wrestling, Judo, BJJ, etc etc). Bottom line in my opinion, why take years and years and years to learn how to effectively this art. Why not use the above mentioned arts that have tangible results, fast. I put it like this: Why learn to shoot a pistol off handed and gangster style when the two handed weaver stance has been proven time and time again. Simple, proven, effective. It’s that simple. I don’t have time to learn fancy, I want to learn fast and effective. Just my opinion.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Zod View Post
                        Isn't this basically the same thing as 'alive training', though? If not, how does it substantially differ?
                        It is substantially the same thing, in the sense of working against resistance and pressure testing. Systema training elaborates that into calisthenics - for example, you're challenged to do things like keep to a specific breathing pattern during slow motion push-ups, while being punched or having the action of the push-ups blocked in various ways. As with sparring exercises, the object is to relax as much as possible and intuitively figure out a way to complete the task.
                        Check out the Bullshido.net Western Martial Arts Forum for all things Western, martial and arty.

                        Bartitsu: the Gentlemanly Art of Self Defence (est. 1899)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by DdlR View Post
                          It is substantially the same thing, in the sense of working against resistance and pressure testing. Systema training elaborates that into calisthenics - for example, you're challenged to do things like keep to a specific breathing pattern during slow motion push-ups, while being punched or having the action of the push-ups blocked in various ways. As with sparring exercises, the object is to relax as much as possible and intuitively figure out a way to complete the task.

                          That's interesting but I must admit, that seems a little odd to me. So other than 'expecting the unexpected' or learning to deal with adversity that's the benefit in fighting? I have to admit, seems a little hokey to me and I don't see the stimulus / response mechanics and reflexes learned by doing weird push ups and being really all that similiar to those acquired by fighting. It's a little 'Wax on, wax off' but I must admit I'm very uninformed about Systema outside of BS pop culture references and some goofy videos.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Zod View Post
                            That's interesting but I must admit, that seems a little odd to me. So other than 'expecting the unexpected' or learning to deal with adversity that's the benefit in fighting? I have to admit, seems a little hokey to me and I don't see the stimulus / response mechanics and reflexes learned by doing weird push ups and being really all that similiar to those acquired by fighting. It's a little 'Wax on, wax off' but I must admit I'm very uninformed about Systema outside of BS pop culture references and some goofy videos.
                            It is a little wax on, wax off. The premise is that most of Systema training is in improvisation via efficient combat movement, rather than "learning moves" per se. The mechanics etc. do translate from the more abstract exercises into sparring exercises, especially well (IMO) for people who already have significant cross-training experience in other styles. This is part of why I don't generally recommend Systema to martial arts newbs, nor to people who want to develop concrete fighting skills quickly. The payoff of the "scenic route" is a perhaps better than average ability to adapt on the spot, assuming those basic skills (relaxation, use of weight, etc.) have been taught and learned well.
                            Check out the Bullshido.net Western Martial Arts Forum for all things Western, martial and arty.

                            Bartitsu: the Gentlemanly Art of Self Defence (est. 1899)

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