Systema Class Notes – 14 Feb 2013

Theme for this cycle: Takedowns on the Move
Area of Focus: Form/Posture
Class Objective(s):
  1. Successful takedowns require you to break your opponent’s form.  Tonight we’re going to work on strategies for
    1. detecting when we’re reinforcing our opponent’s form
    2. disrupting form even when they’re fighting it
    3. maintaining our form to maximize their pain and suffering (this is only slightly facetious)
Breathing Exercises:
  1. Push-ups – perfect form
  2. Squats – perfect form
  3. Sit-ups – perfect form
Joint Mobility Exercises:

Work Specific Strengthening Exercises:

  1. We’re going to do the pulling on the neck while keeping form drill
    1. one person puts one hand behind your head and the other on the manubrium (at the top of the sternum)
      1. You’re going to resist with tension, and then start breathing in through the hand  that’s pushing harder and out through the other one – maintaining your form by breathing and not simple resistance
      2. Your partner is then going to move the hand on the manubrium down the body (diaphragm, navel, waist, thigh, knee foot – you can stand on their foot).
      3. it’s a great exercise in breathing and maintaining form under duress
      4. it’s also a great segue into the initial work we’re going to be doing tonight
  1. Use two hands – establish a “plane of support” through your partner and then move in a different direction
  2. Pressure in an initial direction – maintain the pressure and “pat your partner down” to find the other place to apply pressure
    1. While we’re doing these drills – give a more complex direction than simple straight in push
  3. We need to do work from the bent over position
    1. Still work on twisting (scoliosing) the spine
  4. All of this work needs to be SLOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWLY
Self Defense Applications:
  1. Walk up to a line of people and take them down and turn them over, one after another

  1. We’ve spent the last two weeks examining takedowns from both sides of each Systema principle (we want to maintain breathing and disrupt our opponent’s, we want to maintain form and break our opponent’s, we want to move and cause them to root, we want to relax and make them tense)
  2. We’ve drilled
    1. Next week is integration week
    NOTE: This class didn’t go as well as I had intended.  I didn’t keep in mind the Theme versus the area of Focus and the exercises/drills I selected.  It wasn’t a bad class, and everyone seemed to learn a lot, but it didn’t flow well.  Mainly because it’s very hard to draw the distinctive connections between the work we did and the rather mechanical task of taking people down.  Yet another great lesson on learning and teaching Systema.

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