For more than three years now I have been training in the Russian martial art of Systema, and has affected my life in many unexpected, but beneficial ways. This art, or combat system originated in Russia about one thousand years ago to defend the country against many invaders. It was later adopted by Stalin’s bodyguards and the Russian military, but only for selected elite units of Spetsnaz, the Russian special forces. Systema is very efficient as a self-defense system. There are no rules, no ranks or belts, no uniform, no competitions, no nonsense. Movements are fluid and natural. Training is not based on techniques or form that keep you in a box, but intuitive, made-up on the fly to accomodate the situation. The only goal of Systema is survival.
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