Saturday, February 26, 2011

Systema Japan Lesson - 26th February 2011 - Striking

I would like to say that the striking drills that I taught in this lesson come from a class that I had with Vladimir Vasiliev when I went to the Systema Headquarters in Toronto, Canada.

1) Walking and running with breathing (forwards and backwards) - 1 step/ 1 In-breath and 1 step/ 1 Out-breath. This went up to 6 steps/1 In-breath etc. and then down again.
2) Push Up using just the arms and letting the hips and legs relax on the ground. We did this for 10 slow seconds going and 10 slow seconds going down. At the top, we breathed, relaxed and moved different parts of the body, in order release more tension from the body. burst breathing was constantly done throughout the movement.

3) Squat - 10 second down and 10 seconds up. At the bottom, we breathed, relaxed and moved the lower limbs to promote more relaxation. Burst Breathing was used.
4) Leg Raise up to a 90 degree angle (10 seconds). Then the legs were lowered to the left side and raised again to the starting position (10 seconds down and up). The same was done to the right (10 seconds down and up). Finally, the legs were raised above the head (10 seconds) and then lowered back to the original starting position with the legs flat on the floor (20 seconds). At each stage, where the body was in an extreme position, the person breathed and relaxed so that the tension could be released in that position.

The above three exercises come from: Valentin Talanov's DVD Breathwork and Combat.

5) About 6 people formed a circle but in a push up position. Heed to feet. One of the students then began crawling over the other people in the push up position. When they finished the next person went.

This drill comes from Kwan Lee's DVD Systema Strength and Flexibility

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6) The students made two lines. Each person stood with their back to their partner and got into the squat position. Each pair was lined up right next to each other. This kind of created a human climbing frame. One person then climbed their way right around the frame on everybody's legs. The drill finished when everybody had finished. This is a really fun and tough drill. I remember Scott McQueen doing this drill in one of his lessons a long time ago. It's one of those experiences that is embedded in my mind.

7) Everybody lay on the ground next to each other in one long line. One student then walked on top of them. The drill finished when everybody had a go.

8) In pairs, Partner 1 (P1) walked towards Partner 2 (P2) from a direction coming from the front. P2, with fist, had to stop P1 from walking. P2 didn't stop the partner completely though. P1's motion was rather redirected. You could do this by directing the push upwards, downwards, to the left and right. It was important not clash with weight and force of the partner. To be able to do this, you have to lift your arm in a relaxed and very light way and just place your fist on the best point on the body. Even though there might've been tension in your partner's body, you had stay completely relaxed so that their tension dissipated and got redirected. This is something that I did in Vladimir Vasiliev's class when I went to Toronto. When Vladimir did it to me, this is the kind of feeling I felt. Vladimir was so soft and light that it was very difficult to perceive any tension. My body made contact with the fist but I just got redirected. This was very interesting work.

9) We next did the same thing but instead of pushing we did a strike. The strikes were to be done from very close range so that your partner couldn't see or perceive the strike coming. Due to them not expecting it, the strike had more effect on their form and went deeper. It wasn't necessary to do a big obvious strike because they were relaxed and open for the strike but not prepared. Because of the surprise of it, the effect was greater.

10) In groups of three, they started to push each other, with their fists, in the body and the face. It was important to hit the soft areas on the body and face and not to get to excited. This started standing, then went to the knees and then on the ground. From the ground, they then went to their knees and back up again to standing.

11) In groups of three, instead of pushing, they struck each other. It was important to breath, relax, keep your form and move constantly. It was also necessary to stay calm and observe yourself and your partners to make sure that nobody was getting over excited or aggressive. This was about learning to deal with a more stressful situation while trying to breath and remain calm, rather than trying to prove how strong you are. You had to learn and take care of each other.

12) Massage

13) Circle Up

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