Feel more empowered, calm the choppy waters of daily life!

Mark Zamarin once said that attempting to change the world around you is like trying to comb the reflection of your hair in the mirror. Turn the comb on yourself–only then will the reflection change.


storm to pass

What wonderful wisdom from Timber Hawkeye, combined with a powerful image stunning colours and message from the elements. (Brighton Beach UK, July 2015).

How often do we try to change what is outside of us? The external weather systemof our daily lives that we interact and engage with; be that people, events, situations. This can take so much energy and sometimes be exhausting, leaving us depleted and drained thrown, around with the daily events, taking us nowhere. I know, I have often experienced it!

By coming inside we start to notice our own personal internal weather systems. Here we can start to work with our breath as an anchor to balance our internal energy. Practicing slow deliberate in and out breaths.By starting to watch our thoughts, our ideas our feelings  and body sensations (without judgement) we can start to create a shift within. This may be small at first, fleeting…

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Pause, Reset, and Save

As you work, your brain is collecting and sending data that is used for various reasons. When you are struck, for example, a packet of data is sent from the striker to the receiver (you might say ‘a ping.’) Each subsequent strike causes the receiver to access that data again because it is used to identify the strike and produce a reaction (like an application that runs whenever it is pinged by another server.) You have been collecting data your whole life and will continue to do so, therefore it is important to delete any unwanted ‘applications from your server’. These applications may be harmful because they cause you to react based on history rather than the present moment, for example

closed fist, arm back, tension in the arm and neck = painful strike to the face.

Your memory of previous strikes are negative, therefore, your body may react by flinching rather than blending with the strike.

Living in the Present
Many religions admonish their practitioners to live in the present, as if everything is new. Contrary to instinct, this position will actually spare you a lot of pain. For example, if you wake up in the morning to stretch, your mind may tell you that you touched your toes the previous day, but as you jump into the stretch you will hurt yourself because of stiffness from the previous night. Buddhists often endured torture by placing themselves in the present moment, forgetting past pain in order to view the future without fear, which accounted for most of the harm. Mark Twain was quoted saying, “I’ve had a lot of troubles in my time, most of them never happened.”

To effectively “live in the present” you must regulate and remove data packets with the breath. You should constantly regulate your breath with your workload and recover as often as needed. However, if you feel the need to “catch your breath,” PAUSE and RESET. Resetting or cleansing the body is done with the breath through various exercises, such as breath holds followed by burst breathing (see below.)

Breath is associated with baptism. When a Christian devotee is immersed in water, just as Christ was immersed in the River Jordan, the devotee rises up from the water to take a new breath. Some practitioners say that baptism “washes away sin,” and the first breath represents rebirth. Another way of replicating this process is with a cold bucket of ice water.When the ice water washes over your head and torso, it sends your breath into a deep and desperate struggle that causes you to gasp for air. With practice, you will start to burst breathe rather than gasp for air. To burst breath, first emit a short exhale, followed by a series of sharp inhales and exhales in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Daily practice includes breath holds. When you can no longer hold the breath with any comfort, enter into burst breathing. When the discomfort ceases, you will invariably sigh as if shedding tension and you may discontinue the burst breath and start to breathe naturally again. If natural breathing is difficult, return to the burst breath. This can be done on the mat, off to the side, away from other practitioners. These exercises will clear your mind, remove excess tension, and give you energy. Now you can SAVE positive data packets.

Slow, Calm, Frequent Practice
Systema attribute drills are designed for you to learn and SAVE positive data packets. For example, instead of flinching when struck, you will move with the strike and translate it into a return strike. Positive data packets come from frequent practice, with occasional restarts. However, because you are regulating the breath, the bulk of tension caused by negative data is continuously removed. Working in a slow and calm fashion will decrease the frequency of negative data and allow you to put half your attention inward during drills.

5 Reasons to Stop Worrying

Worry is little more than self-pity, the ugly step child of egotism. For some people it is the only thing in the way of making real progress in Systema. Worry generates tension. It is harder to notice tension generated by worry because it can hide under the pretense of safety or humility. We say, “Worry keeps us safe” or “we are not strong enough to be careless.” Here are 5 quotes to remind us of the uselessness of worry and anxiety.

“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.”
– Mark Twain

“Worry is itself an illness, since worry is an accusation against Divine Wisdom, a criticism of Divine Mercy.”
– Said Nursî

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”
– Leo Buscaglia

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional. . .”
– Dali Lama

“Control” – Five Quotes from the Masters of Systema

“Provide an illusion that your opponent still has control, but make sure he does not.”
-Mikhail Ryabko

“Control the situation in such a way that nobody understands how you control it.”
-Vladimir Vasiliev

“Your emotional base controls the situation.”
-Konstantin Komarov

“The more you discover yourself, the more tension you see in yourself.”
-Konstantin Komarov

“If someone attacks you or your family and you already know that you will be fighting – do not be nervous and do not add emotional content, just work.”
-Mikhail Ryabko