Mikhail Ryabko / ‘Faith is the most important’

One comment that really sticks out in this interview with Founder Mikhail Ryabko is his response to learning difficult concepts. Mikhail states, “You start with the visual, the exterior thing, and then you continue on to the internal work. This is how you start Systema.” This is an intuitive approach. Children also start to learn by imitation, then they internalize the behavior or movements, and only much later do they understand “why”.

stealth photography


What exactly do we mean by ‘the new school’?

It’s inner work, something you cannot see with the eye.  It’s not the shape of the body – its the reason, the process of how muscle works.  To know it, to understand it… this is what we mean by the inner school.

So have these internal aspects always been a part of Systema?

Yes.  Its always been one thing.  For example there is Aikido in Japan.  And it was split into two halves – and they exported it, but only one half of it.  And so, there is something always missing in Aikido.

Does this idea of the ‘new school’ mean a departure from the original form of Systema?

No, Systema is not changing.  Its about reaffirming the fundamentals.

For a lot of beginners, certainly for me, grasping some of these concepts can be very difficult.  Is there a way that…

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