A couple of days have passed since the Fuji Camp and two special classes with Mikhail and Daniil Ryabko and looking back we learned so much. For the entire time, we focused on maintaining and returning to a comfortable posture. By doing this, we could return the power the person was giving us or not allow them to apply their power to us. Simply making yourself comfortable gives you power, and making them uncomfortable makes them weaker.
What Mikhail gave us was not just essential to the physical practice of Systema but also a glimpse into how he lives his daily life using this principle. Mikhail said that when he’s in a room he always positions himself in such a way where he’s safe and comfortable because he can see everything that’s going on. This enables him, if needs be, to deal with the situation or escape in one motion. This also goes for any place where there are many people, such as on the subway. Another example he gave was how to park a car. He said that you need to park in such a way that it only takes one motion to drive your car away rather than two, therefore enabling you to escape more quickly. He said that he always knows his location in the world.
Mikhail also shared the importance of analyzing the information you receive when working with your partner and giving feedback to each other. He did say that everyone experiences the same work in a different way, which is why it’s necessary to speak to each other. Training in a slow and precise manner will allow you do this better. It’s important to gradually be able to explain your experience in a clearer fashion as you continue in your training. This will not just help you, but also your partners, and, in the end, your ability to share Systema with other people in a more concise and clearer way.
However, maybe most importantly, Mikhail continued to reiterate the importance of continual practice. He said that one of the reasons why he can do what he does is simply due to the amount of practice he’s had. In one of the special classes, he said that every one of the 70 participants came to him to be struck, which means he practiced his striking 70 times, definitely more than anybody at the class. He said that just because you can’t do something at the start, doesn’t mean you should give up. Like anything, you need to persevere with your training until you get it. There’s no secret, except good quality practice. Like the way Mikhail described how to deal with fear, little by little with practice you get better.
Mikhail and Daniil will be in Osaka this weekend for what will be another great event, so if you have the chance please go. You’ll learn so much. Thanks once again to Mikhail, Daniil, Systema Tokyo and all of my training partners.