Feel Tension and Control It

I have mentioned before the two primary ways to “feel” tension in yourself. The first is the physical contraction of muscle and tendon. The second is mental and physical discomfort. Both are equally illusive because they require internal sensitivity and a willingness to confront weakness. Mark Zamarin, Systema Utah instructor, says that people become accustomed to tension and remain tense even when they feel relaxed. The goal is ultimately control. Can you shut tension on and off where you need it and when you need it? Or does your opponent control your tension? Do confrontations send you into a state of frustration, panic, fear, or anger? These are obstacles to comfort. No one can feel comfortable and frustrated simultaneously! Here are a few quotes that may help understand our tension and how we can remove obstacles to our personal comfort.

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

“Nothing you do should require any more physical “effort” than it takes to merely move your body through empty space without a training partner or opponent.”
-Scott Meredith, about Soke’s presentation of Jutaijutsu

“There are only two states from which you can respond to any situation. You can respond from love (and focus on honoring, edifying and validating the other person) or you can respond from fear (and focus on what you need). Every other response or emotion fits into these two categories.”
-Kimberly Giles

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. For every force applied, there is an equal force applied back. The ‘world’, the universe, maya only exists because of resistance to it: you push against it, it pushes back. The only way to freedom is surrender. You stop pushing, asserting yourself, and illusion stops pushing back, asserting itself. Stop pushing, putting energy into the system, and there is no energy in the system to push back. Stop telling the story, and without that constant input of energy the story collapses.”
-David Carse

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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“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

Internal Work Intensive

It is often said that without internal awareness and control one cannot learn Systema. Konstantin Komarov goes so far to say “There are practically no techniques in Systema; rather only the state and potential of the psyche and the body. If you are learning techniques you are likely not learning Systema” (Komarov, 15). For the sake of understanding Komarov’s position on martial arts methodology, consider the first passage in Morihei Ueshiba’s book, The Art of Peace, which reads “The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace…you are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your inner enlightenment” (Stevens, 3). Great masters have often taught that success in martial arts comes from within; not from wrote technique. Continue reading