Removing Labels

CFL Systema Orlando“You label things. You look to put a concept into something familiar. In a box. When you stop doing this, your Systema will greatly improve. . . . . “

Those were the words of my Systema teacher, per my last trip. There were hard to hear, but accurate nevertheless.

For me, one of the worst books written is also one of the best books — the dictionary. Over the years, I became accustomed to looking up words to find their meaning. While a definition is helpful many times, it is also very limiting. There are times when concepts need not be defined. There are times when actions need to be experienced, not categorized.

The more I train, the more I have come this realization:

The small parts of Systema are not small at all. Neither are the great parts, great. They just are.

These are just concepts I have created. Labels. . . .  so my mind and my ego can somehow, some way, try to understand a complex art.

My ego is like a sculptor, trying to chip away at a rock, trying to make it understandable and graspable. Systema is not mean to be understood or intellectually grasped with the mind. It is not meant to be labeled.

It is meant to be experienced. It is meant to be felt.

Labels are great for food and clothes. Not for Systema. Not for my life.