The average age of our Systema class must be around 50. Yet Systema has a reputation for being a little ‘harder’ than many martial arts. Are we all just a bunch of delusional, ageing masochists and sadists?
No. The reality is that Systema can be very ‘useful’. But that is not its prime function. Its prime function is to protect your body and mind, so that you are resilient and capable for extended periods of time. The ‘usefulness’ is a side effect of an effective body and mind.
So, how does Systema help you achieve resilience and capability? Simply put – by functional training that is immensely practical and healthful. It’s not the same old, same old, way of training: it is quite different and because of that requires a very different mindset.
Once our minds and bodies age, trying to fit them around a complex set of techniques gets more and more difficult. But, fitting a set of principles around what you do have, enables you to work with your limitations, and gently helps you regain lost capabilities.
What I really like about our club, apart from the Systema training, is the members. Many are old martial arts hands that have not found the panacea so often touted or dangled in front of long term Martial Artists. Ask any one of them why they train in Systema and you’ll get a few surprising answers:
- it is about lack of ego;
- it’s purpose is to disengage your mind, not pump it up;
- it trains your core in a functional way that is quite different to most people’s view of a core around their abdomen;
- it is about slowing things down to speed things up;
- it builds your whole body power from the tips of your toes to the tips of your fingers;
- it builds awareness, not just of yourself, but of your surroundings and the people around you;
- it changes the way you stand, move, breathe and interact;
- relaxation takes on a totally different meaning;
- your awareness and self confidence improve dramatically.