Systema strikes are taught bare-fist without pads or bags to promote correct form. Your fellow students are used in place of bags–to remove tensions that rise from fear of getting struck, or hesitation to strike another person. Participants will learn to strike properly without damaging work partners, to remove tensions and fear, to defend against strikes, and develop strength, flexibility, and relaxation through unique exercises.
As always, class is safe and slow for beginners and experienced martial artists. Students are taught and expected to work safely with their partners. The spirit of fun is paramount.
We recommend the following study materials::
Systema Hand-to-Hand by Vladimir Vasiliev
The Combative Body by Vladimir Vasiliev
Breath for Internal Control by Vladimir Vasiliev
Contact, Impact, and Control by Vladimir Vasiliev
If you do not have access to these materials, you can watch a video that will give you an idea of what to expect in class here.
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.
Stand parallel to a wall and place your fists, shoulder width apart, on the wall in front of you. Elbows in. The entire fist should rest against the wall, as if you are doing a push-up. Adjust your arms so your knuckles are lined up with the top of your forearms. Now proceed to walk down the wall with your fists, adjusting your legs as you go and keeping your back straight. When you can no longer hold yourself against the wall, place your fists one at a time on the floor; you will end your movement in push-up position. Then place your hands back on the wall from push-up position and walk back up to where you began. As you practice this exercise, exhale on every movement and inhale between movements.
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.