by Jean-Jacques COURTEY, Doctor in Economic Geography, Ph.D
Living in harmony and peace is very important for human civilization. And none of those concepts can be considered as empty or hollow words.
Even wild animals like tigers or lions, whatever they are males or females, don't behave at all like mad creatures.
In that way, "Systema" (which just means System...of combat) can be a help to restore simply harmony and peace where it has disappeared.
Systema is the very special martial art of Russian Special Forces ("Spetsnaz"), maintained secret till recently.
Its origin is not as recent as people may think. In fact, it can be traced in Middle Age (Xth century), under the form of Sambo (comprehensive Russian Wrestling). It was perfected after the fights against Sweden, Teutonic knights or Mongols.
It was forbidden in 1917 by the Bolcheviks, at the same time as the Orthodox monasteries were warriors were training. Only the agents of NKVD, ancestor of KGB, were discretely allowed to still use it at first.
The surprise of this secret martial art was thus total at the time of President Boris Yeltsin (b.1931 - d.2007), in the nineties, when it started then to be a little bit known abroad.
The way it is taught by its two modern (re-)founders, Mikhaïl Ryabko and Vladimir Vasiliev, and its third great master Konstantin Komarov, is quite interesting. The three of them have got a background of operational officers of Spetsnaz units, and a recognized excellence in their field.
The catchwords of Global Systema are "freedom, benevolence and humility".
It is operating like a strong and flexible skeleton on which you can connect various technics, like Aïkido or Jiu-Jitsu for example, but not only. Systema is a transforming martial art.
It is practised with casual clothes, the strikes are real (without gloves or protections) but not very violent to be adaptated to everyday life, and it has no belts. A different implemented breathing, used under a certain rythm ("4-4-4", or a bit more for instance) to fill lungs with air compressed, is one of the keys to abolish tensions. Again, movements may seem unusual and economical. And those paradoxes can give an amazing and unexpected sense of easiness and proficiency.
Above that, there is no limit to what it can be connected. And that's why the Chinese Special Forces more used to Wu Shu and especially Kung Fu, are now learning also Russian Systema.
Unusually, the epilog is to be written with various developments.
In that way, a new shape of things to come will install itself where needed.
Systema is a clever and silent method of martial arts, to operate now on the ground with a tie-down Rack and to hold stuffing, and it really deserves to be as known as the very popular Judo.
When Saint George, the patron of Russia (and England as well) was victorious of the Dragon, he achieved it alone, and yet he is remembered centuries after for this great exploit !