Author Archives: emmanuel

The ‘Go Hard or Go Home’ Perspective

Category : FightPod

The “Go Hard or Go Home” Perspective to training is not a new one and has some benefits. Listen to how emmanuel answered this question for a student at a seminar he taught in France last week.


See SYSTEMA Martial Arts Training to learn more about Systema training at FightClub.


Showing Up to Train

Category : FC Club News


Hey FC Crew,

Half of anything is just showing up; physically and mentally, though the latter is more difficult. When you arrive to train it helps if you follow the steps listed below. This way you get the most out of experience provided at FightClub. 


1. With your social and personal issues, leave drama at the door. As those thoughts and feelings try to rush back in, shut the door on them, and take sanctuary in your practice session.


2. But bring your real problems to be worked out. Your daily practice is where things actually get done, one small repetition at a time. Look honestly at them and take wise steps every day no matter how small.


3. Be confident you will create positive change even if you can’t see it immediately. This faith stuff is hard. When you’re restarting from an injury, illness or falling off your practice, it can seem like it will take forever. But you’re one day closer. Just keep going.



4. But be humble: every action is seen. You can’t hide insufficient or excessive effort. You wear it and become it over time. Commit no self-harm out of omission or commission. Do the things that make you strong and health and don’t do the things that make you weak and sick.


5. Don’t overthink and over analyze; don’t pretend you don’t have simple options you can use right now. Yes it can be complicated. Don’t do those things. Complication is a waste. Do simple things one at a time, and they become complex.


6. But be thoughtful of the impact of your choices: you become the things you do – like you become the things you eat. Invest in high quality form like you would high quality food. You become what you repeatedly do. One day you will realize that awhile ago, you just showed up, and that was the mouth of the river that started everything flowing again.


These steps can transcend into other aspects of our lives, not limited to training, they help us live a more fulfilled life, to accomplish anything we set out to achieve and be better prepared than the challenges we may face.

Hope this helps,



Silence is Control

Category : FC Club News

Found this on FaceBook and wanted to share it wth everyone. Principles and application to SYSTEMA are wonderful! Guess what we will be dong in class this week? 🙂 

Parkour Du Silence – Silence is control

by Stephane Vigroux 

How often do you really pay attention to the movements you do everyday?

If you haven’t heard about this training principle before let me introduce you to this gem: Le Parkour du Silence.

David Belle taught me this concept which came directly from his father who had to use “Parkour du Silence” in real situations during the war in Vietnam.

Parkour du Silence is quite a simple yet powerful principle. Move in absolute silence and with the most control. If you play alone with friends or students here are the rules:

1- Do not talk

2- Make no noise when moving 

3- Move very slowly with a lot of control and awareness

Simple and yet very intense. If done properly you will raise your body temperature quite a lot simply by moving slowly with extreme control. One way of doing it (there are several other variations to it) is to work on a parkour route and move very slowly through it whilst being aware of every single movement, as tiny or big as they are, at all times. All this being very silent of course. Because silence means control. Training displacement very slowly without use of any momentum but just pure strength in slow motion develops quality and awareness of movement.

How many movements do you do every day? Since you woke up this morning, stood up, got out of bed, brushed your teeth, walk, put your shoes on, climb up or down the stairs etc…How many movements have you done and how aware were you while doing them? The truth is we have busy and rushed lives and we are not aware of almost all of our movements and we do most of them automatically without much attention nor intention.

Parkour du Silence is a great tool to help you be aware of a movement you do while you are doing it. Getting into the details and the breakdown of simple motions like walking, but also more advanced like a muscle up for example. If you’ve ever tried to walk extremely slow you’d notice it actually changes the form of your walk. Without momentum it changes the balance dynamic. Same goes with a muscle up. Using no swing, no momentum, but only the strength of the muscles, you’ll build a different form and a lot of quality and control.

Also used as a sort of meditative training tool, moving very slowly and in silence brings you to the here and now, highly increases focus and makes you fully aware of small details in your movement but also your environment. Where you put your foot or hand, on what surfaces and in which position, the rhythm of your breathing etc…

Among the thousands of movements you do everyday you will benefit much in spending 10-15 minutes focusing on a few of them and moving without making a sound.

Shhhhh, let’s move…


Knife Demonstration from Years Ago…

Category : FC Connect

Some knife work from years ago…. (my hair was so dark back then) Great training times and memories for me.


SYSTEMA as Stretching

Category : FC Connect


Analogies are helpful because they allow you to transfer learning from one domain to another. When you understand the relationship between two things in one area of your life, and see that the same relationship applies elsewhere, it provides a new perspective, and an opportunity to learn something from a new angle.

Understanding something from many angles is a way to understand something deeply. It helps clarify what you are learning, and what the underlying essence is.

I recently remarked that in the warm-up, Emmanuel had us performing a task (e.g. 2 times 4), but then in the applied work, it seemed completely different (4 times 2). Same problem, different format. The quality of the work, and how we all perceived it was changed.

Why is this? Perhaps because we are focused on the specifics, and not the global characteristics of the system we are learning. While there are specifics to every permutation of work (knife/gun/stick/chain; grabs/strikes; static/dynamic; breathing/not breathing; standing/kneeling/ground; etc.), we need to understand the underlying essence of each, and work directly on those. These are the hardest to learn, but have the most leverage in the learning process.


I’ve been thinking of the following analogy lately.

Imagine you are a sketch artist. I suspect the Systema approach is not to have you accumulate many new shapes in your drawing repertoire, but to repeatedly consider how you are holding the pencil. Changing the grip forces you to have to re-experience drawing all the shapes you know, yet again.

I think Systema takes a long time and a lot of commitment because of this process. Every time you change the grip, it requires so much exploration and rebuilding of yourself because we have to forget what we know, and see if we like the new way better this time. Konstantin made a strong statement in his book that the unlearning process is very challenging, and I feel it acutely. Having to give up habits that I felt took me so long to acquire, in the pursuit of a new way of understanding, is very hard. You’ve come to rely on certain ways of doing things – of striking, of breathing, of wrestling. To throw it all out the window and start again? It almost feels like you’re throwing away part of your identity, but it’s actually the only way to be true to the path.

Some people may be able to draw many shapes, but those who are comfortable with the pencil, who feel its weight and can vary the angle they press the lead into the paper, will have a world of possibilities and creation. Those that learn many shapes may be competent artists, but may not have understood the true beauty and capabilities of the tool. Easier to learn a good grip as best you can, THEN master the shapes. Going the other way will only extend the process, because the process of rebuilding takes longer. In practice, we learn the global through exposure to the specifics, but I think it’s worth looking at the global as much as possible.

Our shapes are simple – breathing, pushups, squats, body raises, strikes, grabs, wrestling, mass work etc. They are not techniques or “real” drawings as of yet… they are components of real drawings (some other arts or approaches may have you practice drawing specific things from the beginning and get better at those directly). It may take a couple years to understand these basic shapes. In fact, many people can draw these shapes from the beginning. But to refine them… that will take the rest of your life.

Watching Systema masters at the top of their game, it seems like the refinement is at a level that is beyond us – we have no framework for understanding it as of yet. Somehow though, we can see the shapes are better. Their circles are somehow more elegant; their squares, crisp and symmetrical. The weight of the pencil seems defined and yet not overbearing. Some add shadows which are aesthetically pleasing, but those with stark unfettered shapes also provide a clean minimalist beauty. The pace of the drawing is easy; unrushed and not prolonged. The pencil seems to have a life of its own. Then you watch them draw “live”, and it’s simply a pleasure to watch and experience.

John Gardner has said that “life is the art of drawing without an eraser”. Whatever you want to draw, I think Systema will help it be incredible.