Tuesday, October 20, 2009

2009-10-21 - GS and Russian martial arts

Pavel brought about a mini revolution in the West when it comes to fitness and strength training via his "Russian Kettlebell Challenge." Since then it has become clear that there are various other approaches to kettlebell training that are less famous in the Western world. The same thing seems to be true when it comes to martial arts. Most Westerners are familiar with Karate, Judo, Kung Fu, etc., but very few Westerners are familiar with the Russian martial art simply known as "the System."

What seems to distinguish Russian approaches to kettlebells and martial arts is the emphasis on no-harm, relaxation and survival. Whereas there is often an emphasis in Western countries on the external aspect (such as a flat tummy or gorgeous pecs) the Russian approach is all about survival and economy of motion. The intent of both RMA and GS is to survive a confrontation (whether it be with an enemy or a set of heavy kettlebells) with the least effort. I have yet to find any system that is so user friendly and that allows for anyone to discover their own unique movement potential as the Russian "System." Systema has no "rules" or "katas" in the formal sense of the word...just movements that contribute to health, survival and freedom of expression. Systema also does not include the concept of competition or an opponent...just blending with the force being imposed on you. Use just the tension that is really required...nothing more, nothing less. Hopefully I will soon be in a position to share some more practical info on the power brought about by a thorough study of the traditional Russian martial arts. For now; feel yourself living via your breath!

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