Manny Seminar

Day2The first thing that came to mind is “I need a thesaurus.”

It is a common practice at the end of a Systema seminar to sit around in a circle and offer our thoughts about our experiences of the past couple of days. Normally, this is not a problem. This weekend, it was almost as challenging as the seminar itself.

When something is this good, it is hard to put into words. Even the absolute perfect verbal description will fall short. Such was the case here.

Emmanuel Manolakakis taught an absolutely brilliant seminar, covering movement, breathing, strikes, knife work and a host of other topics. The one thing that jumped out over the course of the weekend was the extremely creative drills that were done. Over the years, I had done countless drills but none like these. “Highly applicable” were the 2 words that can be applied.

Day 1 focused a great deal on multiple person movements, often from the ground. Again, the aspects of relaxed movement, and breathing were brought to the forefront.

A unique strike to the hamstring area using your knee was the memorable movement from Day 1. Overall, the training on Saturday fluid, creative and opened a slew of doors.

Day 1 was a precursor for Day 2. In other words. . . just when you thought it could not get better, it most certainly did!

Strikes and knife work were the themes of the day. I had done a fair amount of both over the years, but never quite in this fashion.

Side note: I found myself saying that phrase quite a bit over the weekend – I did this before, but never in this manner. This is one of the great values of learning from multiple teachers. At least one will speak to you in words that you will understand. (The other 7 teachers – who said virtually the same thing – will probably laugh or at least scratch their heads. Such is life.)

Overall, it was just exceptional. Aside from the top notch training, it was a pleasure seeing my friends – Marc, Kenny, Alex, Carlos and others. The warm energy undoubtedly contributed to a spectacular weekend.


* Big cudos to Marina (from Central FL Systema school). Of the 25 or so participants, she was the only female who trained this weekend. It took courage, and we all applaud you!

** Also special thanks to Kenny Gonzalez for setting up this weekend and for the kind gift. It is an honor being your friend.


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