Letting go ….


Letting go is the most important thing

To train thinking that you will cover every possibility is to fly in the face of reality. No matter what level of training you receive, no matter how advanced your weapons are, no matter how just your cause is, there simply no guarantee you will survive. If you can accept this terrible piece of bad news, then your chances of survival will drastically increase. Survival is the goal of Systema, not winning and certainly not the glory of victory…. Just survival.

“Systema is for living, for surviving”

Being able to perform a technique in a fight means nothing. Fierce looking fighting postures will not save you. Just because started a technique does not mean that you need to finish it. You have to let go…

The need to hold onto something – forms, names, facts and figures, skills and experience … all very seductive. It is terrifying, this thought of embracing uncertainty, But it must be done. We have to let go of our definitions, of our knowledge, of our contingency plans and tactical concepts. We have to let go of our tank and our power. We have to let go of what we do not need in order to keep moving higher.

“Art is the Elimination of unnecessary”

As students watch my demonstrations or ‘work’ they really only see very simple things. Kind of boring, to be honest with you … lol (see the video below). The path of the martial artist is often compared to the act of climbing a mountain. I would agree with this, but add a little something to this metaphor… You see what they don’t tell you is that there is no “glorious view” from the top of the mountain. There is a gigantic swirl of darkness, a black hole of sorts, an absolute nothingness. The maintain top is beautiful because it is alone.

I hope this helps you ‘Let go…’


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Change & Changing


If someone were to ask me how to define Systema, more than likely I would use the words ‘change’ in the definition. Without change, there would be no life and without life, there would be no Systema.

Change is the lifeblood of training for all Systema students, if you cannot accept this you cannot see all that we need to see; nor will you understand all that we need to understand.

Change can be seen consciously, but change itself is not a conscious phenomenon. It happens at all levels and occurs as it will. There is no starting point for it; nor is there an endpoint. The expression of change is continuous. It never stops. If I have a talent in Systema is mostly due to the fact that I understand change and have the capacity to recognize change more than most. Something I developed from a young boy. So to me, Change is a survival strategy, and naturally so. All life, no matter what merit we attach to it, will disappear if it cannot change.

Leonardo Da Vinci said it best …“Art is never finished, only abandoned”

I believe the same of Systema.

Change is a good thing,


Here is a picture someone took of me last week when I was not looking. Can you see me changing?

Look closely because I have used a stick many times during training. I was trying to change what I know about it. Something for you to ponder….

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Great Stick Seminar this Past Weekend


Lots of Learning, Application and Training with long and short sticks. Thank you to all that attended and made the training something special.

Check out the FightClub Facebook Album for more pictures…


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The Short Stick


Some basic things to consider when working with any weapon…

1. If defending, remember it is not the weapon that works against you but the person. All by itself, the weapon will just lay there. Work with the person.

2. Do not be preoccupied with the method of attack or weapon. The body’s survival skills kick in and clear the direction or line of attack spontaneously. Staying relaxed will help a lot in this endeavour.

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A Template for Life


Mobility. Fluidity. Flexibility. Creativity. Need to be present in you, first – Not your art form. My favorite part of Systema is how students use this as a template that they mirror onto other parts of their life. The attributes mentioned above are so important in our lives. Practice them and then template it into other parts of your life.

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