Systema Class Notes – Thursday, 10 Jan 2013

Theme for this cycle: Moving and Striking with a Weapon
Area of Focus: Relaxation

Class Objective(s):

  1. We will continue to work with moving from the initial attack and responding with multiple strikes/stabs/slashes while moving into the attacker.  Tonight we’re going to extend the work we did Tuesday, with drawing the weapon during our initial movement, as well as responding to a knife attack.
  2. Tonight we will start deploying (drawing) our weapons as part of the response

Breathing Exercises (we will stick with the basics for this week):

  1. Push-ups
    1. We’re going to do normal push-ups in sets, but between sets, we must remain in push-up position.  Rather than tensing, we MUST relax if we’re going to get through this.
      1. 5 pushups
      2. remain in position for 15 breaths
      3. 10 pushups
      4. remain in position for 15 breaths
      5. 5 pushups
      6. remain in position for 20 breaths
      7. 10 pushups
      8. remain in position for 30 breaths
  2. Squats
    1. Normal squats – in sets, and between sets, we will hold at the half-squat position
      1. 10 squats
      2. half-squat for 15 breaths
      3. 10 squats
      4. half-squat for 15 breaths
      5. 10 squata
      6. half squat for 30 breaths
  3. Sit-ups
    1. Normal sit-ups – in sets – between sets hold @ 45
      1. 10 sit-ups
      2. @ 45 for 15 breaths
      3. 10 situps
      4. @ 45 for 15 breaths
      5. 10 situps
      6. @ 45 for 30 breaths

Joint Mobility Exercises:

  1. Split “stretch” – feet more than shoulder width – knees straight/feet flat – tense and hold – breathe out, relax, feet out a little more, repeat
  2. Arms in circles from the shoulders – little circles/big circles/medium circles/etc – in sync (both in same direction and timing) – out of sync (same direction, one ahead of the other) – opposing (opposite directions)

Work Specific Strengthening Exercises:

  1. 1 on 1 – one partner pushes (no fists) the other partner waves and moves with it – back/forth/up/down/whatever – we will do this for 2 minutes per person
    1. this develops relaxing and moving with the attack – should be very tiring for the pusher


  1. 1 on 1 – drawing the knife – hands on shoulders, eyes closed, when you feel your partner moving – push the appropriate shoulder – this develops smoothness and introduces the muscles other than the shoulder that are useful for this.
  2. Start with your knife concealed your partner strikes you, wave and draw the blade stab him
    1. This is to work on the movement/skill to draw the blade while you’re moving – shoulders and elbows should be relaxed (minimal tension) and feet should be moving
  3. Start with your knife concealed – your partner strikes you, you wave, strike, deploy the blade, and stab
    1. If necessary to breakdown, this is avoid injury/damage, attack to cover drawing your weapon, deploying the weapon, using the weapon
    2. Start to work in the stab to slash “transitions” that Al taught us – the arm is a spring with a knife on the end, and each stab turns into a slash and vice versa
  4. We should switch partners regularly and get lots-o-reps
  5. We can then turn this into – your partner attacks with a knife and you move, counter, draw, cut, etc

Self Defense Applications:

  1. A caterpillar line for checking against everyone in the class


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