“I’ve been taking Systema classes for four years at SMAA. When friends ask me what Systema is, I find myself sometimes at a loss for explaining the art in a way that is meaningful to them.
Mostly, I tell them that Systema is the reverse of other martial arts that teach you an arsenal of techniques so that when you are in a situation where you need to act defensively, you have the tools in place to respond accordingly.
On the other end of that spectrum, Systema teaches you strength, relaxation and presence of mind to use what you see and find in the moment to respond accordingly. It’s improvisational, spontaneous, and, if I’m being perfectly candid, really fun.
The changes that are upon all of us during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected the classes.
Working at a physical distance at an art that is usually very up close and personal has surely changed the way that we have been training, but the essence remains the same. The focus is still on breathing, movement, strength and presence of mind.
The exercises that Mr. Scornavacco has been implementing for us have been eye opening, bringing more understanding of body mechanics, strength, focus and relaxation.
I’m excited to continue training in this strange new world, and look forward to seeing what comes next.
— Mark Fetter