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How do I get good at Systema one asks? In Systema there is less emphasis on technique and more on body movement and refinement and that takes up most of the training, but why is this so? Why not just have sets of Techniques like other arts?

You only have to watch Mikhail Ryabko and Vladimir Vasiliev to see good movement. When you have good flowing movement in a natural interaction with the opponent your Techniques will arise from a combination of your movement plus the interaction of you, your opponent and the environment, in other words you do not make techniques happen you let - them - happen.

Not as easy as you think at first, you have to rid your self of subjective thoughts of past and future (wanting to win, regretting a lost move), emotions, thought derivations and hastiness. Your first battle begins and ends with yourself.

By going along with the events, the fight can be both defensive and offensive, who are we to judge the flow of events? Defensive or offensive compared to what?

Good things come to you if you are patient.
But if you are living your life as if you are demanding the universe to follow your every need and whim and by not going along with events, as soon as you start making plans or goals that you cannot control you end up in a struggle (i.e. you cannot make someone love you).

You cannot control things around you and this includes yourself!
If you think about it, there is a lot we have no control over but yet we try.

You cannot make plans to win a conflict because you can only plan your side of it! At best, if you demand things be a certain way then this has disappointment built in, because the whole universe has to change to be the same as the picture in your head, your plan.

This goes for daily life issues as well as fighting. You have a picture of what you would like to eat before you decide to go and get it! But if someone has eaten that cake you wanted you feel bad.

In fighting Techniques are plans. Technique demands that the fight be a certain way, you have to set up techniques, the opponent has to be in the right position and you in the right position to do the technique, all this when the last thing your opponent wants to do is cooperate! But when you let go of it, it comes to you, in a form that you didn’t plan but that is truly perfect so much that you can be astounded.

Getting out of our own way. The skills you need to accomplish a great life are already there, you just get in the way of it with doing things like feeling sorry for yourself, being lazy, resentful, jealous etc, those seven deadly sins listed in detail if you look.

For example, we can all take a hit to the guts, some more than others. So what is the difference? If we just observe and let go and breathe we can take it, but few do. The hit brings forth all our fears, worries, insecurities and other stuff, it is not like being hit in the gut at all, it is like being hit in the mind! And a whole load of stuff comes out!

You can see it on the faces of the people on Systema videos, but the good thing is you can then work on what comes out. Like a human Piniata, we throw up all of our issues that lie under the surface.

The punch is merely a collision! But what it brings forth is what we judge it to be i.e. "How do I feel about it".

We have a lot more in reserve and no one is trying to hurt you in class so what comes out was already in there, something to work on. Systema reaches and deals with the core of our being. It allows us see the things that are in our way of becoming the very person we are training to be, and gives us the tools to make it happen.

About the author:
Trevor Robinson has been a Systema instructor in the UK since 1999 runs classes at the RMA UK. The Duke Hotel, Barrow Cumbria.

Phone: 647-401-1532 Email: