Systema: A Russian Martial Art
Some time ago I found myself searching for a martial art that went beyond the typical form-based training. I had practiced Karate and Aikido, and although I enjoyed them immensely, felt like they were too rigid and stylistic. Most importantly neither of those arts (nor any others for that matter), addressed an underlying issue that I had faced since childhood: Fear of conflict.
When I was 11 I got into a fight that would change my life. The fight itself wasn't that interesting. For years I had been acting out my anger by tussling with kids in the neighborhood. What made this different is that I almost killed the child I hit, and the trauma of that experience haunts me to this day. It brought on a mortal fear of physical, emotional, and mental conflict that stayed with me until I found a very unique martial art called SYSTEMA, which is Russian for "The System".
I now have a regular Systema practice, and it has changed my life. Why? Because Systema is an art that teaches the ownership and resolution of fear, which leads to actions that are efficient, impactful and, most importantly, compassionate. If we act from fear we are almost always tense and ineffective. If we resolve that fear and act from love, then we become infinitely more supple and powerful. I have learned that I can be forceful and yet soft, strong but also kind, and most importantly I can move about the world with the confidence that I have what I need to act for the highest good of all concerned.
I put Systema on my coaching site because I often use certain practices with my clients, namely the breath-work that helps release tension and fear. Through structured breathing I help clients calm and center themselves, which helps them relax into smooth, efficient action. If you are interested in learning more go to: http://russianmartialart.com/index.php