Daniel Ryabko visited Osaka, Japan, to conduct a 2 day seminar for Systema Osaka on the 2nd and 3rd of November. Daniel was accompanied by Aleksej Sapronov from Riga, Latvia, who was there to perform Russian Stick Massage on any attendee who was interested. Aleksej was personally recommended by Mikhail Ryabko and he certainly didn't disappoint.
A big thanks has to go to Ryo Onishi, the Chief Instructor of Systema Osaka, and his students, who helped at the event, for their skillful organization of the seminar. This was the first stop on Daniel's tour of Japan where he'll also visit Fukuoka, Kumamoto, which have both been organised by Michinobu Motoshima, and finally Tokyo on the weekend of the 9th and 10th of November, which has been organised by Takahide Kitagawa of Systema Tokyo.
Daniel introduced the attendees to some of the "New School" principles that Mikhail Ryabko has been introducing recently. This was a much deeper look at Systema and the work proved to be extremely sensitive and subtle. Some of the concepts and principles that were practised were as follows:
1) Finding your own movement.
2) Giving a person's power and tension back to them.
3) Finding and controlling the balance of the person without irritating the person.
4) Using a person's internal tension to control them.
5) Using the concept of the "circle" to return a person's power and tension back into them.
The last four principles are part of the "Internal Work" that Mikhail has been showing recently. Most of the seminar focused on the above areas by constantly walking and working against grabs. In the final half of the second day, we applied it to knife work and against multiple attackers.
Daniel, of course, was able to demonstrate all of this work most impressively. When working with him, it almost felt like he was doing nothing because it was very difficult to feel exactly what he was doing. He kind of directed me in ways where I naturally wanted to go and gave my tension and strength back to me in a way that wasn't obvious.
He built up the tension in me without my knowing and then kept this tension at the same level and manipulated my form and movement. He also increased tension or relaxed tension by touching or giving directions to certain muscles. The body was affected as a whole, not by detaching one part of the body from the rest. Every touch or movement Daniel made affected the whole person.
I would like to thank Daniel for an excellent seminar and Aleksej for working so hard each day and look very much forward to the seminar next week where Daniel will go further into this subject and also cover work with the whip.