Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Systema Japan Lesson - 8th December 2010 - Knife Work against a Wall (Tree)

It was very cold so this gave an added factor to our training. One of the students at the end of class mentioned that, because of the cold, he lost some dexterity in his hands and this made it more difficult to work. Even though he was cold, he thought that it was useful to train in these conditions because you never know when you will encounter this kind of situation. One of the bonuses of training outside is that you become more accustomed to different conditions.

All the drills involving the knife were done against a tree due to not having a wall. We practised dealing with close range mugging style situations with a knife. Except for the last drill, they were all done with the knife making contact with person from the start.

1) Inhale and stretch the body in different ways while putting tension into the body. On the exhale, you completely relax. This is like when you're waking up in the morning.

2) 20 Push Ups, Squats, Sit Ups and Leg Raises. We tried to do these exercises without using our muscles and with little energy as possible. We explored different movements to achieve this state.

3) Front Rolls, Back Rolls and other ground movements.

4) Instead of a wall, we used a tree. In pairs, Partner 1 (P1) stood against a tree and Partner 2 (P2) showed their knife to P1 from a distance and gradually and slowly got closer and closer until they had the knife right next to P1's body without touching. The final point was touching the knife on thebody in various positions. During this, P1 had to observe themselves and if they felt fear they had to use burst breathing to reduce the fear. When P2 saw that P1 was burst breathing they waited until P1 recovered. P2 showed the knife in a variety of ways and from different positions. For example, he would walk forward, hiding the knife and then suddenly bring it out quickly in order to put tension into their partner. This drill was done in order to become accustomed to seeing and feeling the knife.

5) Push Ups, Squats, Sit Ups, Leg Raises - 10 repetitions done fast and with breathing (Very Cold!)

6)  P1 stood with their back to the tree and then P2 got a knife and slowly stabbed and slashed P1. P1 had to feel the direction of the knife, move so that the flat of the knife was on the body. It was important to inhale before contact and exhale when feeling the knife's direction. This gave you more space and helped you to relax and move. It was necessary for P2 to make contact with P1 and push and cut honestly with the knife. This helped P1 to really feel the knife's direction. This was done slowly and with patience.

7) Next we used our body parts, such as the stomach and shoulder, to lever back the knife. It was still important for P2 to make actual contact with P1 so that they could feel the direction of the knife. P1 would move their body out of the line of attack, still with their body part touching the flat of the blade, and then lever it back thus breaking the form of P2 and directing the knife point at them.

8) Instead of just bending the knife back with their body, P1 put their hand on the knife or P2' s hand or wrist for extra safety and control. This was not done with strength but just enough pressure to keep the knife in contact with the body.. It was pressed against the body part in order to make it difficult for P2 to take their knife hand out.

9) The second hand was then added to affect the different bodily levels (neck, shoulders, elbows etc) and take the person down. It was also important to pay attention to where the tension was in the attacking partner's body and press these areas to also have an effect on the person's form.

10) 20 Push Ups due to it being cold!

11) We did the same drill as before but the second hand was then used to push the tense areas with the fist. Effort was made to affect the places on the body with tension and change the person's form. Take downs followed the push strikes.

12) Same again but with strikes.

13) Next, instead of P2 attacking from contact, P2 attacked from further away. P1 did the same work as before.

14) Circle Up

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