I would like to thank Vali for having me come out to Roots Dojo in Denman Island, British Columbia. I greatly appreciate his hospitality, opening his school up to me, and having me teach Systema to them.
The seminar went great, student were very dedicated, they were attentive, and they were very interested in understanding and training fully. Students have been exceptionally trained by Vali. They have great attention to movement, breathing, and to all the principles that have been laid out by Mikhail and Vladimir. It was such a joy to teach them.
I came in and gave them my perspective of Systema. Having trained with Vali for so many years and then having me come in really gives people an idea of different teaching styles and different perspectives within the same art. I think they enjoyed that a lot. We covered all kinds of topics to include knife work, how to work organically with the knife, how to work spontaneously with a knife, and learn how to embrace frustration.
This is exactly what a knife will bring, fear and frustration. The students worked with these elements the first day of training. On the second day, we spent a lot of time with developing a strike, the different levels of strikes (skin, muscle, and deeper into the organs), we trained both inside the Roots Dojo and outside into the forest and uneven terrain. It was such a wonderful experience. On the last day, we worked with sticks, massage application, or what I consider the combative body, as well as tissue and body impact. We worked with the stick to improve our movements within small spaces. Understand that the stick transmits our fear and our tension clearly so we can visibly see it.
By the end of the seminar, I spoke to students about training 100% with Systema, which was understanding that it’s much more than a martial art. It needs to be adapted into and adjusted into their lives, into their families, and into their work, as well as into martial art training too. To really be fully training at Systema, not just parts of it. Student were wonderfully prepared by Vali and the information was absorbed easily because they had done their homework. A big thank you to the Roots Dojo for inviting me in to teach them. And a thank you a long-time friend Vali for having me out there to teach his students.