It is never the most exotic. Or the most dramatic.
It is simply the best.
This was yet again, my experience this past Saturday. Rick Merrell did an exceptional Systema seminar, featuring basic and very advanced knife work. About a dozen people were treated to this 4 hour event in Boca.
The event began with basic movement from a static position, with a knife. It is an interesting concept – “basic” movement – as we soon found out, there are a great many details involved in basic.
From here, we progressed to the most interesting and intricate work involving subtle finger movement to defend against the knife and remove it from the attacker. I have never seen anyone else teach this type of work. As mentioned, it is subtle but extremely intricate. It is also the most effective work against the knife I have ever seen.
Overall, this was exceptional, a word I have come to know and expect when training with both David and Rick Merrell. Over the past 2 or 3 years in particular, I have come to truly appreciate working with Rick like never before. His style is much different compared to others and the detail and subtlety — 2 words that I repeat frequently when describing him — are finally starting to sink in. I am most grateful for him, but in terms of his Systema teaching as well as our personal talks.
One of my favorite quotes is a perfect fit here: We travel the world in search for what we need and return home to find it. Training here is not for the feint of heart. The school is visually unimpressive. The area is not the best. You will not be taking selfies of the experience. You will not be posting dramatic images or collecting t-shirts from around the country or the globe. You will only learn true Systema, from the very best in the country.
For me, that is enough.