Mark Zamarin 7/11/15

Mark Zamarin, certified Systema instructor from Park City, will join us on July 11 for class. Mark is a skilled instructor and we are blessed that he is willing to come down to work with our students. You can read about him in his bio here.


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The best place to begin exploring movement and body mechanics is the ground. On the ground, your body is open to new possibilities and you will discover things about yourself that you were not aware of. With practice, what you learn on the ground will open up new possibilities in standing positions as well. There is a degree of flexibility and strength conditioning involved, but for the most part, you are expected to explore your personal range and movement. In this set you will learn the principles of ground movement, to relax underneath an opponent, methods to stay on top of an opponent, and moving with a partner. You will learn how to transition from ground to standing positions, to fall from Standing and sitting positions, to take down standing opponents from the floor, and how to deal with grabs, holds, and strikes from the ground. Continue reading

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

Multiple Opponents

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.

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