What makes Systema different?

Discussion in 'Systema' started by Gone, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. Gone

    Gone Guest

    Some people high up the food chain in the martial arts world are suggesting Systema might be one of the most influential and important styles in the development of martial arts.

    I have seen a number of half hour long segments on defence in tight spaces, knife fighting and throwing, wrestling, breathing techniques, and so on. It has alot about it that attracts me to it. Systema is something I would definitely consider learning.

    But I want to know, what is it that makes Systema different? What sets it appart from other martial arts? What is it bringing to the table that others are not? There must be something very important and revolutionary about this martial art or people would not say such things.

    (This is Red Australian reporting to you from the dojo with another one of his white belt threads)
     
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  3. TheWhiteTiger

    TheWhiteTiger Taoist Immortal

    This is probably going to be controversial, and I've probably made my thoughts on Systema fairly clear elsewhere. So I apologise if this is not what you wanted as a reply. Bare in mind, it's only my opinion, and I've been wrong before.

    In my opinion, the difference is marketing. You probably remember that I don't hold Systema in very high regard for the most part. I'm sure there are instructors and students somewhere out there that can fight and do so regularly, that just doesn't seem to be the majority. And I think that to fight well you'd probably need to be doing things other than Vlad and Mikhail's curriculum (i.e: sparring, primarily. Any kind of resistant partner training).

    That being said, there were one or two things I noticed about Systema that looked ok. They have a natural and relaxed type of movement, one or two interesting and intuitive small joint manipulations. But those things can be found in any internal martial art. And to be honest, when you put Vlad and Mik side by side with senior internal teachers from other traditions, they look clunky and unrealistic by comparison.

    So, for me, the only good things I see in Systema are offered to a higher level of competence elsewhere. I suppose one difference is that Systema offers a far more rounded self defence curriculum, that could be seen as a benefit. However, if their knife work is anything to go by, that curriculum is worse than having no training whatsoever, and will result in instant death when used. For the defender.

    Honestly, I wouldn't hold public opinion up as a great benchmark of martial proficiency. I would instead search out people who have proven combat ability (not claimed, but actual proven) and see what they do. I know Vlad and Mik are both ex army, and I know the Russians do things differently when it comes to release of docs, so we have to take Vlad's word for some stuff. That's fine, it's hardly his fault, and I don't doubt him. But, if Systema is really good, why do the Russian military rely on Combat Sambo instead? Why do other countries special forces not turn to systema? Why do no Systema fighters ever compete in any sports events? Why is there no documented proof of it working anywhere?

    Please note, I'm only talking about Ryabko Systema. I don't know enough about the parent systems to discuss them. I have heard on the grapevine that they're significantly more realistic inside Russia. Given that Ryabko claims the 'no touch knockout' skill, for me, that sums his credibility up, and puts him in the same boat as Dillman and other fraudulent / deluded 'masters'.

    I think Systema has marketed itself brilliantly as an exotic and deadly method of self defence. And I think it has just enough actual good stuff in it to keep it afloat.
     
    Vidadi, SifuPhil, Pedro and 1 other person like this.
  4. Gone

    Gone Guest

    Vlad and Mikhail are the two blokes who's videos I've been watching. I did not know that there were other forms of Systema.
     

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