Vladimir Vasiliev Systema Interview Recap

Michael Chin Worcester Russian Martial ArtBack in December of 2013, Rob Poyton interviewed Vladimir Vasiliev in regards to his entrepreneurial success in the Russian Martial Art of Systema. Today, there are over 200 schools that teach Systema with over 500 instructors.

Poyton continues to ask Vladimir about the future of Systema. Vladimir is happy where this martial art has taken him and has noticed positive effects from the people who stick with the training. He mentions the mental difficultness of understanding the entire art, which makes people gear away from continuing practice. It takes a certain type of mentality and focus to engage in the breathing and focus based combat.

Poyton then indulges about the uniqueness in the fighting technique of Systema. Vladimir responds by adding that there is a mental aspect to fighting that many martial arts do not tend to focus on. Most martial arts focus on the physical attributes of hand-to-hand combat whereas Systema focuses on maintaining equilibrium between body and mind. There is a stronger focus on living and health in Systema than with other martial arts that just focus on preserving society.

Vladimir also adds that Systema is a martial art that keeps its students improving until death. There are new discoveries and rewards every step of the way. Vladimir continues to improve on his craft. One of the purposes of systema is to reduce stress and fear to lead to clear thinking. This sort of clear thinking can really lead one to peace and strength even when not fighting.

Systema encompasses so many aspects of life that it is difficult to encapsulate in an entire interview. When many people think of martial arts, they think solely of the combat aspect. Systema is more than a type of combat. It is a way of thinking, breathing, and feeling. The physical aspect of the training has to be paired with mental preparedness that is learned overtime.

You can find the entire interview on Vladimir’s Russian Martial Art website here.

The Origins of Systema – Where It Came From

Michael Chin Worcester What is SystemaIn a recent article by Systema HQ, many people know martial arts but many don’t know about Systema, the Russian style of martial arts that dates back to the 10th century. System was first used as a method of repelling invaders from the north, south, east and west. Since Russia is such a large country, they needed people ready to defend the country from all directions. These battles to defend the country, happened in the blistering heat of summers and the cold days of winter. The russians were usually greatly outnumbered by the enemy forces. Because of their shortcomings, they created defense tactics that combined string will and innovative moves in order to compete with said enemy that wanted to invade Russia. The style of Systema is natural, free, with no strict rules, structure, or limitations. All of the tactics are based on instinctive reaction, individual strengths and characteristics.

In 1917 when the communists came to power, they suppressed all national traditions. Anyone who was practicing Systema at the time could be severely punished. However, as time went on, authorities realized that how effective and deadly systema was that they incorporated it in a few Special Operations Units. In Systema, the synergy of three components creates a true warrior: combat skill, strong spirit and healthy body. The body needs to be free of tension filled with endurance, flexibility, and effortless movement. The spirit of the warrior needs to be calm and free of anger. Lastly, the combat skill involves moments that are both precise and instant. This complete set of concepts and training components is what gives systema its name. Acquiring the martial art skill is a way to improve the seven physiological systems of the body including the three levels of human ability the physical, psychological and the spiritual. The goal of systema is not to necessarily be destructive but rather to make sure your training and attitudes do not damage the body or psyche of yours or your partners.

Another name for Systema is “poznai sebia” or “know yourself.” Taking the time to train in Russian martial art will sure help to showcase the full spectrum of your limitations. The roots of Systema are in Russian Orthodox Christian faith- the belief is that everything that happens to us has an ultimate purpose. That is to to basically help us understand ourselves. It was very interesting to see how something that could be considered deadly and self defensive could have so much meaning and roots in religion.

This blog post is based off of this article.

Michael Chin’s Training Lineage

Michael Chin Worcester Vladimir VasilievMichael Chin was certified by Vladimir Vasiliev to teach Systema at Mass Bay Systema. Vladimir is the director and chief instructor of Systema Headquarters located in Toronto. Vladimir was born in Russia and was trained in Systema and other intensive combative training. In 1993, he moved to Canada where he founded the first school of Russian Martial Art outside of Russia. He has trained and qualified 500 instructors in the Art of Systema. He is also an award-winning producer in Systema instructional videos. He has multiple government awards including the very prestigious “Order of Duty and Honor” and “Order of Loyalty” awards.

Vladimir received his Systema training from Mikhail Ryabko in Russia. Mikhail is a Russian Colonel and used to be assistant to Russia’s General Prosecutor of the Ministry of Defense. Mikhail worked in the Russian militia and trained the Minister’s security guards. He has won multiple awards for his work in the Russian military and protection of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He served in Russian’s special unit for ten years, aiding in military affairs, hostage operations, counter-terrorist operations, armed criminal neutralizations, and training operatives in Russia’s special task unit.

Since Russia is the biggest country in the world, it had to innovate it’s own fighting style to combat invaders coming into Russia from it’s many vantage points. Russia had multiple enemies with various weapons and distinct forms of fighting; therefore, Russia had to develop a form of fighting that was based on instinctive reactions, individual strengths, and quick learning. Their fighting style had to be versatile, practical, deadly, and effective so that they could combat any type of enemy in any circumstance.

You can learn more about Systema here.

This blog post is based off of this page.

 

Systema Works both Body and Mind in Central Florida

Michael Chin Worcester Systema TeamworkMembers of Central Florida Systema are engaging their very own challenge called the “one million movements challenge.” The organization is the Orlando area’s only Russian martial arts school and has members ranging from 18 to 58 years old. Starting this year, the school took the challenge of attempting to do a combined one million movements that involved pushups, leg raises, and squats. Today, they are about one-third of the way towards their goal of one million.

When David Orman first proposed the idea back in January, people thought it was a crazy idea; however, as time went on, it acted as a motivator and people began to buy into the idea and even like it. Orman’s focus during his Systema classes is classic towards the growth and development of body and mind. On one side, he hones in on the self-defense aspect with relaxed and focused movements. On the other side, he puts emphasis on personal growth and development in using the martial arts. How hard you can kick is just as important is how you treat and respect people. Martial arts are used to protect yourself against the dangers in the world, and part of protecting yourself and others is a natural affinity for the people and community you share your life with.

Other than the physical health benefits that come along with the “one million movements challenge,” there are also psychological benefits. The goal on one million movements is a challenge for the entire team, fostering a sense of community and encouragement throughout the class. The number one priority is to help solidify the group, so that the entire class can reach the goal of one million. You will get stronger by not only helping yourself, but by also helping the people around you. Even with striking and sparing, members are not only gaining physical strength, but they are also gaining psychological strength in the courage that it takes to take a hit.