Both children and adults will learn the most through first hand experience or “play”. The power of such experiences should never be underestimated! It is not enough to teach someone, step-by-step, the function of certain techniques, to elaborate on philosophies, or fill the mind with statistics–that time is largely wasted.
Consider the following story:
“As a child, my family sat down for dinner together every Sunday and dad would ask each one of us what we learned at church that day. I was particularly attentive and quiet in class, but for some reason, when dad asked that question, I could hardly recall what the topic was. Ocassionally, if I prepared and thought about my lessons during the day, I could give a sentance or two about the topic. Nevertheless, I could not remember what we learned last month or even the week before. As I grew older I recalled some of my teachers, but not others. I recalled those teachers who really showed love for us. I recalled hardwork. I recalled fun. I recalled consistancy…but I never recalled the lessons. As an adult I taught the same age groups and I realized the lessons were still foreign to me. When someone asked if I remembered any of the Sunday School Lessons, I replied, ‘only the ones I taught.'”
Even adult students of Systema often can’t recall specifically what they learned in class or at a seminar, repetition may help in this regard, but unaccustomed students won’t remember these things. Instead, they remember the experiences, feelings, fun, love, comfort or discomfort.
Proper training for small children will focus on games, laughter, and valuable time spent with a parent. Proper training for adults will focus on practice, attribute drills, variety, and fun. This is the correct method of learning Systema.