Systema legwork is unique and fascinating. We will look at footwork, kicks, defense against kicks, disarming with the legs, and using the legs in dynamic groundwork. Kicks include striking, pushing, and tripping. All kicks are taught to operate smoothly without interrupting the step in any direction and should be as simple as walking through an open room.
As always, work is safe and slow for beginners and experienced martial artists.We recommend that participants stretch and apply pressure to joints (via squats, leglifts, pushups, and other regular exercises) every day prior to class.
We recommend the following preparatory materials.
Kevin Secours has a good video on ankle strength and flexibility here and Vladimir Vasiliev offers a simple attribute drill that will give you an idea of what kind of drills you can expect in class here.
(These links will redirect you to Youtube.)
Slow squats with burst breathing
Slow push-ups with burst breathing
Slow leg lifts with burst breathing
Remember, slow is key! Do not cheat yourself by jumping over muscles as you get close to the ground.
Practice walking with synchronized breathing, start with 1 and work your way up to 15 and then back down. This means that half way through the drill, you should inhale to a count of 15 steps and exhale to a count of 15 steps.
Remember good walking technique::
1. Maintain straight and relaxed body form (Imagine a string is pulling you up from the crown of your head.)
2. Place your feet on the entire sole of the foot; do not rock from heel to toe or vice versa.
3. Your pelvis gives direction and your steps start from the knee.
4. Your steps are short and should stay underneath your body.
As you walk, practice changing direction, turning, and walking backwards (which may require that you lift your leg higher to avoid rolling from toe to heel.) You should be ready for any change of action, speed, and direction in this position.
Practice falling to the floor and getting back up again without the use of your hands for support.
Finally, close your practice by laying down in corpse pose and practice basic breathing exercises, including moving tension and relaxation through various parts of the body with the breath, breath holds and recovery, and breathing through various parts of the body. If you are not familiar with these exercises, see Let Every Breath, or come to class and practice with us.