I have a friend, Steve Drucker, who is without a doubt, the best health care provider I have ever met. Steve is a chiropractor and we worked together for years at the Institute of Natural Medicine. I had the privilege of watching him work and treat people successfully time and again. He was certainly one of the people who had a tremendous influence on me and was instrumental in helping me build the biggest practice in S. Florida at the time.
I also admired him because of his focus. He was a chiropractor and did not wander into other areas; in other words, he would not venture into nutrition, herbal medicine, acupuncture or anything else. He was the 100 percent opposite of me.
I was an Acupuncture Physician, but also expert in herbal medicine and nutrition. I used trace mineral analysis testing, blood test assessment, homeopathy, tui na, auriculomedicine, Contact Reflex Analysis, Neuro Emotional Technique, Total Body Modification and a half dozen other modalities. I loved the variety, the mental stimulation it provided and the great value it had for patients. It was neither better, nor worse than Dr. Drucker’s approach. Just different. Really, really different.
Flipping pages to my martial arts world, I am the same way. Systema is my favorite and the art that I train in the most by far. I have 2 brilliant teachers (David and Rick Merrell) and am most grateful for them. I also teach The Approach, do Tai Chi and other inner work (based on Hsing I and Bagua), train in Escrima on Saturdays and even dust off my sword and do some cutting on Friday nights now and then. As the Organizer of the Orlando Martial Arts MeetUp group, I also get to experience little “tastes” of different arts throughout the year. It is extremely exciting, fun and filled with martial adventure.
Some people hate this approach. Too much information. Too confusing. Too _________ (fill in the blank with your favorite adverb). To this I say. .. . . . . . you are correct.
Some people love this approach. It is stimulating. You look get to experience newness and come back to your core art, feeling fresh. You understand where the roots of Systema originated, and thus able to move more effectively and efficiently. To this I say. . . you are correct.
I cannot tell you this way of training is right. I can only say it is right for me. I am following my path, my Tao, and it feels not only right, but feels truly amazing. The levels of happiness when coming home from classes are almost indescribable. I live for this.
Students also are loving this. In class, we do 99% pure Systema but every once in a while, I toss in something from other arts. The freshness and positive energy feels reinvigorating and everything pick up from there.
My life is truly blessed. One of the reasons is martial arts and the incredible teachers and students I come in contact with on a regular basis. I do not have to travel the country or the world to seek what is hidden in plain sight, right in my back yard. I do not have to spent a fortune on seminars at the expense of my family or our future. Genuine masters are here, if you are willing to look and do the real work.
Follow your path. You will always be lead in the perfect direction.