Discussion in 'Articles' started by Paul Genge, Oct 17, 2005.
I found this videoclip very interesting: http://www.russianmartialart.org.uk/page60.html
That's one of the things I like about the System. That the instructors I've come across, my own included here, are ready to "show you" how it works and that a common response to questions is an invatation to train and feel the art. They are prepared to discuss things with you but they are also ready to put thier money where their mouth is and play
My answer to MMA Phil's questions would be to go and have a play! You'll find better answers to your questions by attending a session than you will do over a forum. Trust me you really do have to feel it.
In what way?
Did you do much in the way of strike training CK??
I mean come on the attacker kicks the defender (teacher of demo) gets his face stroked then falls over? He must weigh 4 stone or have terrible balance and/or weak legs!
This is a strange MA clip of defending against kicks but its very sloppy no power or focus, the guy's like a wet lettuce.
You've stated you're concerned that "this sort of thing is going on in the north west" well why not go along to a class and ask some questions and play?
This seems to be my standard response of late but what the heck here goes:
What do you know about Systema?
Do you understand the principles that Systema uses?
Do you have an understanding of the training methods and drills used in Systema?
Is your assessment of the "clips" based on your own MA experience in arts other than Systema and if so how do the principles of your art/arts compare with those seen in the System?
I mean please.... teaching to slip a bladed, pointed weapon with your BODY?? There must be alot of dead systema people out there then. Boxers slip the jab don't they? But they don't actually get hit do THEY? No, they MOVE the head out of the way, not wait for the punch to land then slip. I mean this guy's using his pec's to disarm the attacker... what a load of nonsense. Does this mean you have to have extremely strong **** to be a expert in systema?
I don't think so.
Don't diss what you haven't tried MMA Phil...I Mean Please...
So instead of acting like a troll why not answer some of the questions I've asked? At the momment all we are getting off you is " I mean pleeeaassee oh come, I don't think so " which isn't really contributing anything is it?
Please answer my questions, because so far you've ignored them, and that way we will get a better undertanding of your views.
or even better go train??
You are making yourself sound stupid. It is obvious you don't understand what is on the clips and that is fine. We are only a short trip down the M62. Instead of shouting your mouth off why not take a trip. As they say actions speak louder than words.
I'm going to try and not get dragged into this thread but I can see it happening.
I've attended one class, sparred with one systema guy and seen a couple of others spar.
And regarding the principles. I couldn't give a damn.
The problems I see with systema are regarding it's martial effectiveness. Not it's underlying philosphy. Any idiot can talk about blending with your opponents attack/ rolling with the punches/ avoiding their strengths and hitting them hard where they are week. It's how you actually go about doing this that matters.
I'll ask one of Phil's question for him again seeing as you think he's trolling: Why isn't it a bad stratagy to let someone stab you in the chest and before trying pivot out the way?
Ok Mr. Genge, I spent the better part of the weekend reading everything I could find on Systema and asking some friends what they knew about it. Interestingly enough, most of the questions I had about what is in your video clip and the style in general were answered by the London Systema school's website. Being a military member, I also submitted a Request For Information throught the Intel channels to see if what's left of the Spetznaz really use Systema as their combatives system. The last time I worked with the Russians was in Kosovo. At the time, they all wanted to compare BJJ grappling to Sambo but then again, the guys I talked to weren't Spetznaz either. I'll let you know what I find out provided it's not classified.
In response to your request, I don't have a digitized video to post. I don't have a digital video camera either and to be completely honest with you, I don't feel overly compeled to spend $400 just to prove myself to you. I've done my thing all over the world for the last ten years and walked out of every scrap relatively unharmed. I've been attacked with a shank in Kirkuk so I know that what I do works. I've also trained literally hundreds of troops who have successfully defended themeselves in Iraq, Afghanistan, and a multitude of other little vacation spots around the world. What do I have to prove to you?
Now you can take that however you want and I figure you'll probably feel like you "won" and I'm really covering that I'm afraid to post a video because I know your techniques are "better" or some crap like that. That's fine if it makes you feel good about yourself. But I have to tell you that I don't think you have anything to prove to me either. You do what you do and that's fine. You seem to be a sincere martial artist who believes in what he's teaching. It's my opinion that what you're teaching is probably better than 90% of what passes for weapons defenses in more traditional arts. I'm on the other side of the pond and you don't know me from Adam. Why would you feel like you should prove yourself to me?
That said, their are only two reasons someone would post a video in this format: 1. they're seeking a critical eye from outside their art, or 2. they're egotistical enough to think they're the end all and be all of the MA world. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, which is why I offered my opinion on your video clip. Like I said, everything looked worthwhile with two exceptions: slipping the blade and the lack of control in the dynamic attack drills. Interestingly enough, all your static attack drills have the defender controlling the blade as part of the defense.
It's my belief that controlling the blade is a key component of the defense. Counter-attacking the way you do is perfect and an equally important component of the defense. In our training with the marking blades, whenever the defender loses control of the weapon hand, he gets "cut" to pieces even as he's knocking the attacker silly and taking him down. The thing I didn't see in your clip was defenses against the committed stab. Most attackers don't slash, they take an ice pick grip and try stick the knife thru you like Norman Bates. The LA county sheriff's department statistics and the FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics show the overhead ice pick style stab to make up between 65% and 75% of all knife/edged attacks. The only source I've ever seen that disputed those figures was LaFond's book, "the Logic of Steel" which states the straight stab is the most prevelant attack. LaFond did a lot of research in prisons which I think skews his data toward the more sophisticated attack. Either way, I was wondering what type of defenses Systema has against committed stabbing attacks?
Finally, there's the slipping, or the "flattening" out of the blade drill. I can't say I see any value to that, however, unlike rude MMA Phil who can't seem to say anything other than "that sucks...duhh", I'll tell you why and ask you a question to see if I'm understanding the thought process. As you point out, most people don't see a blade until they're actually attacked. By the time someone realizes they're being attacked, the knife will have entered their body. Even a well trained reflex will still be slower than the stab and allow a portion of the blade to enter the body. By turning that way, the defender will actually aid the blade in making a more jagged, nasty cut, one that is more likely to create a physiological and psychological shock response than a clean stab will and thereby more likely to cause the defender to mentally shut down. Am I assuming correctly that the intent is prevent the knife from puncturing a vital organ? If so, I understand the methodology but don't necessarily agree with it. Yes, a punctured vital will shut down and probably kill a defender, but shock and pain will also disable a defender rendering him unable to prevent the follow up attacks. Getting stabbed is risky enough without adding to the damage.
There is the possibility that you posted your video for the second reason. If that's the case, then please let us know. If you want to discuss knife defenses in the spirit of a useful exchange of knowledge, then by all means let's continue. If however, you just want us to be in awe of Systema then just come right out and say it so we can quit wasting our time. I would like to believe you're not an egotistical jerk and that you value the critical opinions of your peers. I would also like to believe your interest in this format is to further you're own understanding of the combative arts. Systema is not a dogmatic, ritualized system; it encourages free-flowing ideas of defense, which is what I would like to see here.
A wise man once said:
“Do or do not there is no try” !
Sorry if you want to get dragged into the thread then you will, if you don't want to then there's no need to press the submit button is there??
So your experience is a couple of hours training? Yep? And you don’t give a dam about principles hmm well considering that Systema is a principle and not technique based art then you’re going to come unstuck a bit as far as your understanding of it goes aren’t you, this is probably where the following is coming from:
This is based on what seems to be your very limited exposure to Systema?
Your point being what here exactly?
He is trolling! As I said his contribution to the “discussion” has consisted of “oh man... please.... I mean” type of stuff. It hasn’t really required much critical thinking has it?
I haven’t seen any training that involves Systema students letting themselves get stabbed and then moving??
Again, as a lot of people do, you’re misinterpreting what you see due to limited exposure to the art and this is also probably coming from the fact that as you have said you “don’t give a dam” about the principles behind the training. If you don’t care to look at the reasons how can you honestly expect to make an informed decision?
How can you criticise something that you not only don’t understand but obviously you have no wish to understand? As you’ve stated you don’t give a dam about the key elements behind it?
Isn’t this sort of attitude a bit like the MA equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and going “LA LA LA LA LA”???
Please give me some reasons for your criticism based on a solid understanding of the art. If you have a good understanding of how training takes place in Systema and the reasons behind the training then there should be no problem giving a well thought out set of reasons for why you don’t think the System has any value.
I’ve said this before; if you have a good understanding of the System and still think it’s sucks then fine by me, each to their own. If you can discuss Systema training and everything that’s involved with it and then go on and deliver well thought out, informed criticism then great but so far none of the people here have been able to do that.
Thanks for listening
Now the post made by DCombatives is the sort of thing I'm on about!
He may not have much Systema experience, although it sounds like he's got loads in other areas , but at least he's asked intelligent questions based on certain areas of Systema training and given reasoning to why he's asked them!
Please don't think I'm being funny here because I'm not but what you have to remember is that this is a net forum and we don't know you from Adam. For all we know the above could be a load of bull, I'm not saying it is and I'm not saying I doubt what you say.
However the very nature of forums mean that you probably will get asked to back up any claims you make. Saying that though I would think your experience and knowledge will come through in your posts and they will end up speaking for themselves. Especially as we have a number of current and former military people on MAP.
I've been meaning to post on this for a while. While I don't know DCCombatives off line, I am periferally involved with Pekiti and know of the people he's listed as his instructors. I also have to agree with his criticisms of these techniques, which emerge from tactical Filipino and para-military style training (amoung other places). In all of the video defenses I saw little attention payed to moving off/past the weapon line of attack or controlling the weapon. And the lack of both of those things give me the willies.
That said, I unfortunately don't have a nearby systema program (as I'd love to try it to feel how well it works). And I'm wondering about the rational for the approach that systema takes.
There's an article here that describes some about the training progression / methods used in the System, with an accompanying video clip
My point was; It is training methology and how well you can use your method that interests me. Your abilities, not the lip service to theory you may or may not pay.
Well, you tell people to check out systema. I did.
Clearly we've both experienced different martial arts. All the stuff where the knife is brought into contact with the chest, before the systema practioner pivots around the knife and tries to deflect it with the chest.
In the same way I judge homeopathy. It doesn't matter what the practioners claim if they can't back up what they preach. If you can come up with a good reason for me to study systema or it's principles I will.
Actually this is what I associate with people who responding to any critism of the techniques performed or the principles embodied with 'well you don't understand systema'.
For any martial art to work, it has use realistic methods. These methods can and should be criticised without an in depth knowledge of the art that created them, but from some understanding of the situation they are ment to work in. Like Phil, saying uncooperative people don't fall over like that. I'm well aware of how convincing stuff like that can seem, I used to do aikido, but it is just a product of co-operative training and not something that can be relied on when sparring or fighting.
Don't believe me on this, go and see for yourself. Find a club that spars realistly, with heavy contact and see how well your training holds up in the ring. It's something I didn't understand for myself until I'd been beaten to the ground.
However, you are right about one thing, despite your yoda quote, this will be my last post on the subject, unless the conversation realy infuriates me.
Spooky, I'm tracking on what you mean about providing proof so to speak. I'd like to be able to post a video, but even that can be called into question. After all, how hard would it be to set up the video with a partner who "sells" the techniques for you. I do demos for VIP's all the time where I "sell" a pressure point or a joint lock and all my partner does is put his hands in the right spot. From 2 meters away you'd swear the guy was breaking my arm, but in reality, I'm not feeling a thing.
Rather, I agree that knowledge and experience come thru in people's posts. There's a lot of threads on this site that I'm following but can't speak to intelligently, so I just read them and keep my mouth shut. Some guys clearly know what they're talking about, others need to quit watching Jackie Chan movies.
Incidently, that's also why I feel Mr. Genge has nothing to prove to rest of us here either. He clearly has done a lot of research into what he does and he has the experience of being a Law Enforcement officer which tells me he has quite a bit of experience putting hands on people. I didn't mean to "challenge" him and was a little disappointed by his challenge to me. At the end of the day, who is anyone here beyond what they say in their posts or on their websites? Have you seen any of the posts in the Hapkido section? There's no shortage of people slamming on John Pelligrini and Black Belt magazine named him Instructor of the Year. In my short time at this website I've come to the conclusion that it's best to just ignore the idiots, accept people who seem to know what they're talking about at face value, and focus on what other people have to offer that can improve my own skills.
I have to say that arguing you need to study a system before you can critique it's techniques isn't really valid in my eyes, i uderstand fighting pretty well and I critique a system from the point of view of how well it will work in a fight. for example my awesome understanding of fist fights:
Hit the other guy harder and more often than he hit's you.
And my truly incredible comprehension of dealing with a knife:
Don't get stabbed.
And using a knife:
Pointy end in other guy.
Allow me to critique other styles approaches to the problem quite well i feel, beyond that I make a hoby of collecting video clips of fights of the net which cna be reasonably informative.
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