What we teach is at the roots of all martial arts: the movement and the basic principles. It is only beyond these that the various martial arts are broken down into a variety of techniques and so on. This is why we are Roots, because we are teaching principles. We stand by the fact that if you are interested in studying the roots of martial arts, there is no better place than Roots Dojo.
Spreading these roots worldwide, Vali recently had the privilege of traveling to teach a seminar at Systema Hong Kong.
“My overall goal was, like with most groups, to build a long term relationship with and help the school with their journey. It starts with simply observing that they have at least part of the operating system in place, and then work on the installment if needed. Followed by new skills, attributes, points of reference and so on: teaching through the Roots spectrum. It was a very good group, we pushed hard for six hour days with no breaks.”
I asked Vali what he gained from the trip. “It reaffirmed my beliefs that students are eager to please in most cases, and the proper conditions need to be created for them to excel…they need a greater cause to push themselves. Proper mentoring is far more important than instructing.”
Systema Hong Kong owner/instructor Janik Litalien sent this note post-seminar.
I trained with Vali many times when I first started training in Systema. Vali is one of the original students from the very beginning of the Russian martial art. He is from what we could call the old school and having him in Hong Kong brought me back to that old school: it brought me back to the very beginning of my training.
This event was very constructive for everyone. I believe that those who attended actually got much much much more than their money’s worth. Vali deconstructed the exercises that we do on a regular basis and gave them further substance and meaning. To use his words, he gave all of our operating systems a much needed tune-up, especially in my case.
Since I moved to Hong Kong to set up a new school, I have experienced all kinds obstacles and these sometimes feel like a tremendous burden. Vali took an outside look at our training, our students, and especially at me as a teacher. Whether for students or for myself, he provided us with all the tools and insights needed to step up our game further and become even better. Vali brought me, brought all of us back to our roots. We look forward to seeing him again in Hong Kong sooner rather than later.