Systema was designed to deal with multiple opponents. In many ways it is the Magnum Opus of the Russian Martial Art because it employs work from all previous units. The premise of defending against multiple opponents is to learn to distribute attention and awareness across a group rather than isolating an individual. To succeed we will need soft movement, timing, distance, the ability to deliver and avoid strikes, grabs, and kicks, as well as control over the psychological tensions generated when the odds are against us. For 4 weeks, we will study these topics in the context of multiple opponents along with redirecting blows, delivering a single strike to multiple opponents, using an opponent to control others, and escaping from multiple holds.
As always, class is safe and slow for beginners and experienced martial artists alike. Students are taught and expected to work safely with their partners. The spirit of fun is paramount.
We recommend the following study materials for this unit::
Breath for Internal Control by Vladimir Vasiliev
Contact, Impact, and Control by Vladimir Vasiliev
Multiple Attackers by Vladimir Vasiliev
Beat the Odds 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.
Pyramid Breathing with basic exercises
Start by relaxing, then when you are ready, hold the breath on an exhale and do one squat. Come back up to standing position and recover with burst breathing. Next hold the breath on exhale and do two squats…three…four…up to fifteen, or as long as you can hold the breath.
Do not rush this exercise, relax, and work unhurriedly. The goal is not to finish the exercise, it is to relax and do work under pressure. Repeat this exercise with push-ups and leg-lifts.
Do a few basic push-ups, then begin to vary the placement of your fists on floor by shifting your weight to one fist, picking up the other and placing it in a different position. Move across the floor like this. Change the distance between your fists constantly. Try lifting one leg and then the other, move your legs in different positions, stretch your leg around your back, flip over onto your your back and do the same thing.
Practice falling to the floor and getting back up again without the use of your hands for support.
Stretch with breathing
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.