Systema Reflections

 

Systema Reflections

Systema is one of those Martial Arts that is very different from most peoples’ perceptions of it. Having practiced it regularly for over 6 years now, I can truly say that it is the discipline that has taught me most about myself. It’s been tremendously useful.

Reading online discussions, most people’s perception of Systema is from videos, and opinions voiced about those videos. My view of it and what I take away from it is far from the aggressive fight system that many people think it is or fails to look like.

I have zero interest in Systema as a fighting art, but I have huge interest in Systema as a healthful practice giving intrinsic capability.

There is a widespread belief these days that having a little physical stress regularly is important, because when a stressful event happens you can handle it in a much better way. An important aspect of this is that the ability to handle physical stress transfers directly to your ability to handle mental stress.

My main practice is Qigong – Mindfully Connected Method. Again, most people’s perception of this is an art that is slightly more interesting than watching paint dry!

The reality is very, very different. The reason that Qigong is practiced slowly is that your body learns the whole movement much better when done slowly – this builds in powerful, supple body structures. If you charge through an exercise your body learns how to get from the start points to the end points, but not much else in between.

What is fascinating for me is that I see Systema as an application of Qigong. Many principles I know from Qigong are in Systema. There are strong indications that Qigong used to have far more Systema like elements in it in the past, but these have been progressively dropped out to gentrify the art. I think there are large benefits to training in Qigong for Systema practitioners – as there are some useful elements in it that I haven’t seen in Systema.

Systema, on first sight, seems to be a very straightforward discipline. It has four pillars: press-ups; sit-ups; squats; leg raises. And it has four main principles: breathing, structure, movement and relaxation. Simples! But the nuances are the real skill and they are also the real benefit.

Personally, I have been both amazed and surprised at the nuances. I like the analogy of climbing a tall mountain. From the bottom you can only see what’s immediately above you – but at each level there is yet another level to climb!

The latest nuance for me has been deep relaxation combined with an autonomous response. This is beyond letting go of tension, beyond re-training your muscle structures, beyond acceptance. The best way I can describe it, is letting go of intention – transferring from seeing and thinking what to do, to observing and letting your body do what it needs to do – at an autonomous level.

I’ve understood the concept for many years – even thought I was doing it – but when your body actually responds without your conscious input it is a very different feeling – a Eureka feeling! And your thinking brain is not involved – so you stay absolutely calm.

Anything you practice is going to have some good parts and it’s going to have some bad parts. Systema does have some concepts that I’m not totally happy with, but the positive aspects way exceed any of the negatives I see and experience.

If you want to not only get back in touch with yourself, but marvel at what you can actually achieve, do come along to a Systema class.

Class times are 8:00pm Mondays, in Guildford.

If you’d like to practice some Qigong, Body Centered Mindfulness or Whole Body Power training, please contact Glen (glen.robertson@rocketmail.com www.fusion4health.com) or me (julianj@threnergy.com www.mindfully-connected.com) for details on classes and workshops.

All the best for some inspiring, meaningful and healthful practice.

Julian.

It’s All About Me!

It’s All About Me!

How many times have you been training, listened to a podcast, watched a video or read an article and the material is interesting but it’s not about you. It’s about the author or the trainer. The purpose of the the article or the training session seems to be more about enhancing their feel good factor, kudos or something else, for them, but not you! That may well be because of the way in which the material is communicated. If the material is all about how the move should look – then it tends to dictate that you need to follow visually and prescriptively what is being demonstrated and articulated.

Beauty and Flow

Very often the way something looks when it is demonstrated belies what is, or should be, going on underneath the surface. Some training videos I’ve seen recently epitomise this. When something is demonstrated well – it looks beautiful, it flows and has that feel about it that says, “that’s good”. When it doesn’t look beautiful and doesn’t flow it can look false, jittery and impractical.

So what is the “secret” to making it all about you, and at the same time making the training relevant and the videos look good?

Feeling

The answer is – feeling. If it feels good, it probably is, with one big caveat – the feelings must be based of meaningful reference levels for how the move should feel. Now that may sound a little like gobbledygook, but the reality is we have all the parts we need to benefit from feeling and feelings based reference levels.

Body Patterns

Our bodies are actually very well organised and have developed from simple biological patterns. These patterns repeat themselves throughout our bodies.

Once you understand the way one segment of your body feels and works, and how it makes use of reference levels, you can apply the same, or at least very similar, methods to all the other segments of your body. Sound far fetched? Well there is plenty of documented evidence – ranging from how your body is structured (Anatomy Trains), through how your body detects whats going on with biosensors (proprioception), to how your body and mind are intimately linked through neuroplasticity.

Benefits

Apart from looking better and more beautiful, what are the advantages of feelings based training:

– a better structured, connected body

– better breathing

– enhanced mind body connection

– an increased awareness of spirt

– enhanced, connected power

– better balance

– better, more efficient movement

– a more relaxed body and mind

– enhanced body pumping (circulation and blood pressure)

– empowerment – feeling in-control

Who can benefit?

Anyone with an open mind. This is different!

I have taught professional instructors with decades of practise and witnessed some lovely “eureka” moments when the penny drops for them, and I have taught lay people that have literally jumped for joy when they have discovered what they are truly capable of.

If you want to seriously up your game physically, mentally or spiritually, or if you have any questions, do contact me mailto:julianj@threnergy.com

I can do one-on-one sessions or group workshops to suit what you need. Instructors and non-instructors welcome.

Energy Efficiency – Healing Energy

Running Out Of Energy This may sound alien to many people but the symptoms of it are ubiquitous. People crave for work-life balance only to find that they can run out of umph just as much at home as in the office. The desired re- energising by shifting work emphasis lasts a little while but … Continue reading Energy Efficiency – Healing Energy

You are currently unauthorized to view this page. Please sign up for a membership (on main menu) to get your access.

Mindful Energy, Connection, Flow and Systema – A Reflective View

We hold regular workshops focusing on the principles behind flowing, structured powerful movement. The principles are useful for any form of exercise or self development but are particularly relevant to the flow and power in Systema. We make a distinction between training (drilling), application and flow, with flow incorporating the principles from both the training … Continue reading Mindful Energy, Connection, Flow and Systema – A Reflective View

You are currently unauthorized to view this page. Please sign up for a membership (on main menu) to get your access.

Train Connections

A Different Sort of Train Connection You may well ask, "what have train connections got to do with internal energy?". Well ... quite a lot! But, not the trains most people think of. Anatomy Trains Thomas Meyers developed a new way of looking at body structure and function in 2008. He named his approach Anatomy … Continue reading Train Connections

You are currently unauthorized to view this page. Please sign up for a membership (on main menu) to get your access.