I would like to thank Mikhail and Daniil Ryabko for sharing so much with us all at Systema Japan's Systema Mastery Seminar 2 that was held on the 4th, 5th and 6th of May. During the 3 days over 200 people from 7 different countries attended and helped make it a memorable and successful event.
The theme of this seminar was applying Internal Work to combat, with an emphasis on work in confined spaces. Some of the topics covered were: learning how to overcome fear of confined spaces, use of centre of gravity, tension control, ground fighting, strikes, strikes against multiple attackers in a confined space and work with the shashka.
Some major things that I took away from this seminar were the use of centre of gravity and the importance of the shashka. Mikhail gave us some excellent advice that if you want to be heavier you should lower your centre of gravity and if you want to be lighter, for example when running, you should move your centre of gravity higher in your body. This led into more in-depth work on how to use your own and your partner's centre of gravity.
Mikhail also showed us that your strikes should be like the cut of a shashka. Mikhail had the participants do specific exercises that enabled them to feel the weight of the shashka or stick while relaxing their shoulders. After this strikes were practised and there was a considerable difference in a person's relaxed striking power. I think everybody decided that the next thing they would do is buy a shashka as it was that effective!
What impressed me the most was the calmness in which Mikhail and Daniil did their work. They have absolute belief in what they're doing, which comes from patience, persistence and practice, and this creates in them a deeply relaxed state of mind which enables them to do clean work. The longer I do Systema and the more chances I have to train and spend time with Mikhail and other top Instructors the more I realise this mindset is essential. Lots of practice is needed but I'm looking forward to it.
Big thanks again to Mikhail and Daniil! Thanks must also go to Larisa for all of her help and Aleksej for the great stick massages. Until next time!