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Knife disarming.Systema seminar with Mikhail Ryabko in Moscow

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    I've been interested in "the unexplained" since childhood, and fairly early on came to the conclusion that truth was often stranger, and almost always more interesting than fiction. I also have serious interests in cultural anthropology and social history, including the histories of hoaxes, stage magic, hypnotism and martial arts. Basically, this topic combines many of my prior research topics into an untidy package.
    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


      1. In any case, hearsay or partial information is not proof.

      2. Let's not fire on DdIR for defending his style; from all I gather, he has an extensive background in MAs and began his training when most of us were still farting babies. Also, keep in mind that MAs have made an advancement in the last 15 years like they probably hadn't in the entire last century. It's much to ask for the (with all the respect) generation of our parents to throw everything that they learned because the UFC is en vogue at the moment, or to expect everyone to change over to FC fighting. While I doubt that any traditional/semi-contact styles will still have their current level of popularity in the next twenty years, I can perfectly live with people practicing them, as long as they don't get a messianic reflex whenever a discussion touches their set of training methods.

      However...

      - Let's accept that the presentation of systema, and especially of Ryabko systema over the internet is rather weird.

      - Let's accept that the style is doing itself no favor with the entire psycho warrior crap.

      - Let's accept that the style lacks any substantial proof of effectiveness - no famous tournament fighters that do systema, no reliable accounts of systema having any value in a fight/sd situation, no recognition by any official body of government/military/LE/whatever.

      But let's accept TOO that a fighter's style doesn't always give reliable info about his abilities; there can be gems in the dirt everywhere.
      www.childsplaycharity.org

      Comment


        Originally posted by DdlR View Post
        Since Systema was (again IMO) originally developed for some pretty sinister purposes (KGB "disappearances", bodyguarding some very nasty characters, etc.) they're between a rock and a hard place;
        You can seriously say this with a straight face? After every BS "prison" and "special forces" system that has ever reared it's misshapen head has been exposed as fraudulent you can honestly say that that what I just quoted is likely?

        Your faith is dangerously close to that of a cult-level indoctrination.
        <insert witty comment>

        Comment


          Originally posted by Rafael View Post

          - Let's accept that the style lacks any substantial proof of effectiveness - no famous tournament fighters that do systema, no reliable accounts of systema having any value in a fight/sd situation, no recognition by any official body of government/military/LE/whatever.
          I doubt that there will ever be a famous tournament fighter coming from an exclusively Systema background. The System is specifically designed, marketed and taught as a self defense method; people whose interests combine Russian MA and combat sports generally (and sensibly) gravitate towards sport SAMBO. They would be largely wasting their time in Systema, in that weapon training, multiple attacker training, etc. would be irrelevant to their needs.

          As with virtually all MAs, here are anecdotal accounts of Systema practitioners defending themselves; that sort of thing is notoriously difficult to prove reliably, simply in that the chances of a particular street assault, etc. being recorded on video (for example) are pretty slight.

          However, and also germane to LE; Ken Good, the former principal of Strategos International ( http://www.strategosintl.com/ ) developed their PCR program on a combined basis of Aikijutsu and Ryabko Systema. A previous incarnation of the Strategos website included a number of police dashboard camera videos showing officers successfully restraining mild-to-actively resisting subjects using that training. It was discussed at some length in one of the earlier Systema mega-threads on this board.

          http://www.strategosintl.com/pdfs/Me...onal%20PCR.pdf
          Last edited by DdlR; 1/05/2010 11:18am, .
          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


            Originally posted by rw4th View Post
            You can seriously say this with a straight face? After every BS "prison" and "special forces" system that has ever reared it's misshapen head has been exposed as fraudulent you can honestly say that that what I just quoted is likely?

            Your faith is dangerously close to that of a cult-level indoctrination.
            No, actually it's quite the reverse. The Systema party line on this subject is that the System was developed by ancient Cossack knights and passed down through the centuries in Russian monasteries, which is, IMO, complete nonsense. I went into some detail on that subject in the very post you pulled the "KGB disappearances" quote from; you might want to go back and read that post more carefully.

            Regarding the likelihood of what we now call Systema having been used by very nasty people to do very nasty things to other people, are you familiar with the Russian word kukla? Try a forum search.

            In the meantime, we'll watch these videos, bearing in mind that they were shot quite recently, well after the fall of Communism, and that these guys are all on the same side, rather than being, say, KGB testing their favorite techniques on prisoners:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hixinV1PYY
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkRiD...eature=related

            Disclaimer - there's no Systema on view in these videos, but I suspect that what's recorded here is a descendant of the "kukla" phenomenon.
            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


              The videos are standard troop hazing. Nothing there other than hazing. They beat the shit out of the recruits. It's psychological abuse common in the Russian military, in fact, there were several articles published on this problem after a recent death due to such hazing. If anyone is insinuating that this has anything to do with Systema or any kind of martial principles, I will say right now, they are full of shit.

              On another note, has anyone made an earnest attempt to contact Ryabko and ask him to tell his side of the story, seeing as how his credibility is in question? Opinions aside, he deserves a fair shot at defending himself.
              =================
              Kama Sutra blue belt.

              Originally posted by Emevas
              I used to fuck guys like you in prison.
              Originally posted by Rock Ape
              Dude I kill people for a fucking living.

              Dipshit

              Comment


                I should also note, my distant uncle was in the Russian military. He served in Afghanistan (cold war,) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_in_Afghanistan
                and yes, there was hazing.

                There wasn't however, any kind of wavy systema art. Sambo for the most part, a bit of Judo, and a bit of Boxing. Then there was firearm training.
                =================
                Kama Sutra blue belt.

                Originally posted by Emevas
                I used to fuck guys like you in prison.
                Originally posted by Rock Ape
                Dude I kill people for a fucking living.

                Dipshit

                Comment


                  Originally posted by Rafael View Post
                  2. Let's not fire on DdIR for defending his style; from all I gather, he has an extensive background in MAs and began his training when most of us were still farting babies. Also, keep in mind that MAs have made an advancement in the last 15 years like they probably hadn't in the entire last century. It's much to ask for the (with all the respect) generation of our parents to throw everything that they learned because the UFC is en vogue at the moment, or to expect everyone to change over to FC fighting. While I doubt that any traditional/semi-contact styles will still have their current level of popularity in the next twenty years, I can perfectly live with people practicing them, as long as they don't get a messianic reflex whenever a discussion touches their set of training methods.
                  On this; I tend to train in a particular style because it suits my needs and interests at a given time. Bartitsu, for example, being a method of cross-training between savate, pre-WW1 "British jujitsu", scientific boxing and stick fighting.

                  Anyone with a decent knowledge of MA history is familiar with the long tradition of mixed-styles competitions, dating right back to the late 19th century, and the fact that wrestlers (and jujitsuka) often defeated boxers and savateurs is historically well established. Personally, I came to the same conclusion around 1985, when I set up what we called "rough and tumble" matches in my Tae Kwon Do club; mixed TKD/boxing/Hapkido/judo, fought to submission in most cases. The mid-'90s "paradigm shift" of the original UFC wasn't big news to some of us.
                  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


                    Originally posted by Sri Hanuman View Post
                    The videos are standard troop hazing. Nothing there other than hazing. They beat the shit out of the recruits. It's psychological abuse common in the Russian military, in fact, there were several articles published on this problem after a recent death due to such hazing. If anyone is insinuating that this has anything to do with Systema or any kind of martial principles, I will say right now, they are full of shit.
                    Pretty much what I was going to post. DdlR, What exactly was your point in posting those videos?
                    <insert witty comment>

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by Sri Hanuman View Post
                      The videos are standard troop hazing. Nothing there other than hazing. They beat the shit out of the recruits. It's psychological abuse common in the Russian military, in fact, there were several articles published on this problem after a recent death due to such hazing. If anyone is insinuating that this has anything to do with Systema or any kind of martial principles, I will say right now, they are full of shit.
                      It's so much easier to take seriously those contributions from people who read posts all the way through:

                      Originally posted by DdlR
                      Disclaimer - there's no Systema on view in these videos, but I suspect that what's recorded here is a descendant of the "kukla" phenomenon.
                      Yes, it is brutal troop hazing. That was the point. Twenty years after the fall of Communism, Russian soldiers are beating each other; it's not too great a stretch of the imagination to picture how the Russian secret police might have treated their kukla prisoners at the height of Stalinism.
                      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


                        Originally posted by DdlR View Post
                        Yes, it is brutal troop hazing. That was the point. Twenty years after the fall of Communism, Russian soldiers are beating each other; it's not too great a stretch of the imagination to picture how the Russian secret police might have treated their kukla prisoners at the height of Stalinism.
                        I think you're extrapolating. Many militaries had (and have) pretty brutal hazing customs, especially in "elite" units. I still have to ask: what is the point you're trying to make here? That Systema's effectiveness was "tested" by beating up prisoners?
                        <insert witty comment>

                        Comment


                          That's a good question, and the point is hard to define. There are exercises in modern Systema that, objectively, very closely resemble the type of hazing shown in those vids. Here's an example -

                          YouTube- Sonny Puzikas Striking Student

                          The social context is totally different, of course - in a Systema class you're volunteering for this sort of punishment, and could just walk away from it if you wanted to - but the aim of psychological and physical conditioning is the same.

                          In what may be a related practice, though for different aims, we also have references to kukla training, whereby gulag prisoners were selected to serve as "test dummies" for various fighting techniques. See Stanislav (a GRU defector), Suvorov, also Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelico" re. prisoners being transported to Krasnodar to be used as training dummies for the Spetsnaz. N.B., assuming that we're talking about the 1940s-70s, I doubt that the term "Systema" had even been applied to RMA during that period; ref. combat SAMBO and Victor Spiridonov's SAMOZ.

                          I don't know if the video is still up, but a few years ago there was a YouTube clip of some OMON (basically Russian SWAT) members doing an arrest training exercise, and one guy thought it would be hella funny to test out his ridgehand strike on his buddy's unprotected kidney/liver area. The victim kind of crouched down for a moment, walked away a few steps and then collapsed face-first into the pavement.

                          In short, there seems to be a theme of brutal physical bullying, particularly in the context of "testing your techniques", running through Russian military/police culture. As I mentioned earlier, I think this is a major reason why the sanitized "Cossack knights/passed down in monasteries) story is the Systema party line.
                          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


                            I really can't see where you're going with this hazing thing. Where's the actual connection?

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by CrackFox View Post
                              I really can't see where you're going with this hazing thing. Where's the actual connection?
                              Rw4th quoted my theory about the "official" Systema history being sanitized, and then asked:

                              You can seriously say this with a straight face? After every BS "prison" and "special forces" system that has ever reared it's misshapen head has been exposed as fraudulent you can honestly say that that what I just quoted is likely?
                              The answer is that, given what seems to be an ongoing "tradition" of extreme physical bullying, I can very easily imagine Cold War-era Soviet soldiers and police testing their unarmed combat techniques on prisoners. I doubt that it would be possible to prove a connection between this type of historical practice and modern Systema, though; too much water under the bridge, and neither Vasiliev nor Ryabko seem to be interested in detailing this sort of thing. That's why I specified that it was an opinion, rather than a fact.
                              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


                                That's not a very convincing argument.

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