Groundwork

Silat I truly despise the question, “What art is Systema like?” My answer is “It is like Systema. Come to a class and experience it.” Did I mention how much I dislike this question.

Invariably, people from other arts will attempt to pigeonhole it. In my experience, aikidoists are the worst at this. “Systema is the missing piece in aikido.”

NO it is not.

It is not even close. You comments are ridiculous. It tells me you don’t know your own art, yet alone Systema.

Did I mention how much I dislike this question?!

OK, not that my liver is fully vented, if at gun point. . . .or Spetz shovel point, if you will. . . I was forced to answer the aforementioned question, I would say Silat.

The reason I like it (and the reason I answered the question in this fashion) is that Silat is an art that is not technique oriented. It is based on creative movement. There are no set patterns, and the practitioner is free to adjust and create accordingly. I had the honor of training (along with 3 of my Systema friends) in a Silat seminar last week. The focus was groundwork, and it was one of the most interesting seminars I have ever attended.

The attacks and subsequent defensive movements were often knee against knee or against ankle. Each┬ámovement was fluid, usually circular and very free. I keep repeating the word “creative” but that is what it truly was. Based upon your opponents size, flexibility, movement and other factors, there were so many unique opportunities for takedowns and strikes. Groundwork was never one of my favorites aspects of any art. That has dramatically changed, due in part to this seminar.

It was an exceptional seminar and one that I look forward to repeating.

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