The Great Secret of Systema

secretIt started about 6 or 7 months ago. It was a feeling that something special has happened, continues to happen and is growing exponentially within our school. Something dramatic. An indescribable feeling.  A great secret of sorts.  For a long time now, I wondered what it was and how it happened.

What it the addition of new people? Maybe. The new people that train with us  now have added a great deal of energy, happiness and a unique flair to our Circle. All have been major contributors and “adders” to the group. We are fortunate to have every one of them.

What is the loss of a couple of (former) regulars? No, definitely not. In fact, quite the opposite. It truly bothers me when someone who has been a part of our group decides for one reason or another, to leave. Some have work changes. Others move to new cities. People come, people leave. Such is the nature of any school. Cie la vie.

Maybe it is the 1 million movement challenge? Though only February, many good things have come about from the challenge we have set forth. Many more will undoubtedly follow. We only started this on New Year’s Day. The shift has been going on for at least 6 months, not 6 weeks.

Perhaps it is the addition of new skills and new information— The Approach training (thanks to Eddie), Inner Power info (thanks to Dan and Sifu Jeff), new breathing methods (thanks to Hans), tons of great instruction and adjustments from my W. Palm trips (thanks to David and Rick) etc. This list is long and exciting. It has made us stronger, more flowing and added unique elements to our Systema.  As above though, it feels like it is a piece of the puzzle, but hardly explains the whole puzzle.

Re-invigoration of passion for Systema? No, way off here. I feel in a near-constant state of passion for this art. I love it and want to soak in every precious second I am around it. Though each day brings a re-invigoration by simply being awake and alive, it does not explain the sensation of the past 6 months or so.

So it is not the new people coming, nor a couple leaving. It is not the addition of new aspects nor a re-lighting of the fuse of Passion. So what is it? What is it?!

Perhaps the problem is not in a lack of answer but the improper phrasing of the question. Maybe there is no “it.” No one factor. No changing of components that mattered. No grandiose reason why.

The great feeling, improvements and overall  happiness we have been experiencing  are simply byproducts of moving forward in our training. In other words, grinding it out on a regular basis. It is the end result of the same big group, coming to the same big building, on the same nights, at the same time. And most importantly, putting in the work.

Maybe that is the great mystery. The “it” factor, the secret,  is hidden in plain view for all to see. Regular training leads to a lot of mistakes. It also leads to progress. Given enough time, one has the notion that, though the road is very, very, very long, anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort,  will make progress. The moments of progress feel special, even if just for a fleeting tick of the clock.

Thus great secret is revealed, and the revelation is this  — There  isn’t really a secret.  Train hard.  Come often. Give it your best. Over time, you will make progress, albeit an inch at a time.

The great British novelist Roald Dahl said it best:

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.” 


2 Replies to “The Great Secret of Systema”

  1. Ordinarily I would not miss a chance to go to the Peter Carbone seminar, but I have to go to a funeral this Saturday.

    I have tried to work on Dan’s methods from the seminar in Boca since they do not necessarily involve gross upper body movements (shoulders are somewhat better now thankfully). If you have notes on the ten of ten exercise, and also anything big that Dan covered the last two hours on the last day, I’d appreciate it. Did you get the email or contact information for the aikidoka –Danny– that was at the seminar?

    Dan Harden’s forum is great but the information is so scattered that I am having trouble locating specifics on many topics he touched on. I suspect Dan constantly fine tunes his approach.

    Really enjoyed the class today. So far nothing came apart during the workout, and I hope to attend the Rose Place Park outdoor workouts the next time they are held. Can you provide details on the time and dates? I have the address as 8200 Old Winter Garden Road, and its a lot closer than the regular classes.

    Thanks again for all the great training and the chance to practice Systema. If I knew enough about it to write something I would be glad to provide content for you.


  2. I will get with you on the Inner Power info. I have over 150 typed pages of notes. It may take. . .just a bit to get through :).

    Yes, you have the correct address.


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