FightClub Club News

Working with Speed Seminar Coming Up!

March 7, 2020


“Working with Speed” 

FightClub Seminar next Saturday, March 14th from 1-4 pm  



A Manny Minute – Unpredictable & Fast Knife 

Listen to Emmanuel explain and demonstrate some of the ways he trains unpredictable & fast knife attacks. Don’t forget to like, share and comment on it.


Working with Weight Seminar Review Part 3 

Weight as a Teaching Tool

What I also liked about this work was that the concept of ‘weight’ synthesizes a constellation of related ideas, all of which could be a seminar in their own right. We have already talked about how using weight forces students to be more sensitive to timing their partner, but weight also addresses several other concepts, including:

  • Balance: Disrupt someone’s balance with weight and you disrupt their ability to apply their strength. Like a truck taking a turn too fast, there are windows of opportunity where your partner is ‘on the edge’ and only requires a light touch to be tipped over.
  • Muscle linkage: The individual who steers forces through the skeleton so that big muscles handle big loads and small muscles handle small loads will optimally distribute muscular tone and will result in lower perceived effort. Finding this optimal muscle chain allows you to apply weight to a partner without overburdening any one part of your body (i.e., tension).
  • Joint centre of mass: When two people grab on to each other, they form a single ‘body’, and therefore if one person moves their weight with commitment, they can transfer forces into the other person through the grab simply by relaxing their bodyweight into a specific direction.

These are all closely interrelated concepts; you cannot really work with one without describing the others. Emmanuel’s choice to frame the seminar in terms of weight provides a wonderful and easy to remember idea for working on all of them: feel your weight going into your partner. This heuristic strategy helps students bypass the conceptual complexity of what to do with their arms and legs, and instead helps them focus on recreating the experience of moving weight, regardless of the exact situation they encounter. This approach has the potential to address relaxation, timing, sensitivity, distribution of effort across multiple muscles, and off-balancing altogether under the umbrella of a single concept. For this reason I thought it was not only an excellent seminar to attend as a participant, but also for teachers looking at different ways to convey the ideas inside Systema.

The Next Frontier: Weight and Speed

I think all the participants got a lot out of the seminar, but I am particularly interested in how working with weight will with Emmanuel’s perspective in his next seminar, “Working with Speed”, which is coming up on March 14th. While the two can be complementary, working with weight also implies a sort of heaviness and inertia which is hard to change once the movement begins, and this seems to be a bit of a contrast to working with speed. I’m sure we’ll all get a lot out of seeing how these two ideas come together. ~ Mark Fan

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