Sunday, March 20, 2011

This article comes from the latest Systema Headquarters Newsletter. For more information, go to:

Systema: How I came to it and why I stayed
by Julian Detant
To read this article in Spanish, visit:
Para leer este artículo en Español, visita:

The main reason, aside from curiosity, why I came to Systema is that I wanted to learn more about self-defense, improve my fighting skills and become a better fighter. I think we all come to martial arts for these reasons; we have fears and want to learn to defend ourselves and others. I’ve been practicing various martial arts since 2000 and discovered Systema in 2006 during a seminar with Jerome Kadian in Paris.
Systema actually brought me a lot more than I expected.  The core of Systema is not how to destroy (negative) but about how to build, improve and relax (positive). Systema quickly becomes more that just a sport or a martial art. It rapidly gets into all the aspects of our lives, at work, with friends and family. Before we realise it, Systema becomes a way of life and the way to improve our life.
In Systema classes there is a tradition to talk for a few minutes at the end of each training session so that each participant gets to share his or her impressions and feelings.
Since I started the training group in Madrid about a year ago, teaching, or better said sharing, Systema, I saw how quickly changes can happen. After only a few weeks of classes, people started to say that they feel more relaxed, they sleep better, their back pain disappeared, they feel more confident at work, with family and friends, and even feel that they walk differently...
The amazing effects of Systema continue to surprise me and I don’t fully realise all that it can bring us and to what extend it can improve our lives.
By simply saying: “Understand yourself and your fears before you fight others” and “Do not try to become a better fighter but try to become a better person”, Systema sets the expectations way higher than we usually set them for ourselves and delivers a lot more than we expect.
Systema taught me that becoming a better fighter was not really the top objective but only a very small part of what we can get from this training.
I’d like to share with you a simple Systema drill that I find very useful, call it TEST YOUR FEAR. You can try it to become aware of your fears.
-        Have your partner slowly walk towards you
-        In order to avoid collision, move away from his line of attack
-        Repeat this drill with 2 opponents, then 3, 4 or more
You may rapidly notice your discomfort or intimidation and the desire to run, even though your opponents are only walking slowly, not actually attacking you.
This is when you try to breathe properly, calm down, move naturally and avoid contact... easier said than done! However, it is possible to learn and the effects of gaining control over your fear are outstanding.
Numerous “Breathing as a Weapon” Systema drills such as these and many more will be presented by Max Franz during the seminar in Madrid on April 9th and 10th.
Systema definitely is one of the best self-defense/fighting systems I have seen but it also offers infinitely more... The only way to realize that is to try it.
About the Author:

Julian Detant is running a successful Systema training group in Madrid, Spain. He has over 11 years of various martial arts experience and is now hosting a Systema seminar with Max Franz:

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