This seminar was part of the Systema “Unbound” weekend seminar with Major Konstantin Komarov and Vladimir Vasiliev. It was organized by the Charlotte Systema group. Our venue was the Ultimate Gym in Charlotte, North Carolina. A huge warehouse converted into a one of a kind gym. I was very impressed with the facility’s open space for training. It provides the right environment for the kind of training we were about to endure. Over one hundred Systema practitioners attended the first day of the weekend seminar with Major Konstantin Komarov. Major Komarov is an expert in Russian military reconnaissance, has a PhD in combat Psychology, a professional bodyguard for Moscow’s elite and one of the master instructors of Systema. The seminar started on time and went on without missing a beat. Time flies when you’re having fun and for me the day went by very quick. This is a short review of what I got out of the day’s training. Most of it cannot be told in words but shown in actions.
The training was focused on basic exercises and precision movements. No matter how much one trains in Systema, it is always good to go back to the basics of movement. One of Systema’s principles is doing precise movements. Major Konstantin says that “there is no point of going through a Systema workout if your body is not listening to you.” When training, ask your-self, what is the purpose of my movement? The body should be fully engaged to create proper structure or form and maintain conscious movement without breaking that form. Without proper posture/form you cannot do the right “technique”. Moving your big muscles equals to big movements where as small movements next to the bones equals precise movement. One should move effectively, from the feet/hip. The body should be stable and collected. All movement is connected to the breathing. This is fundamental; match your breathing cycle with your movement cycle. More importantly is to understand your breathing emotional psyche. It doesn’t matter how well you do the “technique”, if you don’t know how to control your psyche. Keeping your body and your psyche relax, it releases the tension and allows you to move effectively without fear. Fear happens when we stop moving. It happens when we are not confident about our movement. By feeling your opponent, one can feel the tension and move without fear. We performed a lot of crawling exercises alone and with a partner. This was the fun part. These exercises are good to detect tension in our bodies. One of the remarkable aspects of Systema is that people seems to have a lot of fun doing these odd exercises. It is the only martial arts that I know of where you hear people’s laughter instead of grunts and yells while training. No other art can be as intense as Systema while also be fun and entertaining. When egos and titles are left at the door, people come in to train with a comradely mindset. The result is a more enjoyable and long-lasting experience. Unfortunately, I was able to take part in only one day of the weekend seminar. I met new friends from all over the states and places as far as Argentina. Overall, this experience enhanced my Systema mind and body awareness. I look forward for the next seminar on April 2012.