Maryland Systema https://marylandsystema.com Russian Martial Art Rockville Maryland Thu, 13 Feb 2020 17:05:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.4 Systema Russian Martial Arts Is One Of The Secret Service’s Strongest Weapons https://marylandsystema.com/systema-russian-martial-arts-is-one-of-the-secret-services-strongest-weapons/ https://marylandsystema.com/systema-russian-martial-arts-is-one-of-the-secret-services-strongest-weapons/#respond Wed, 12 Feb 2020 17:15:25 +0000 https://marylandsystema.com/systema-russian-martial-arts-is-one-of-the-secret-services-strongest-weapons/ The United States Secret Service is responsible for protecting the President and other high level government officials. Their tactics and methods are amazing! This clip is from the Daily Top 10s list of 10 Secret Service Tactics that are Insane. Systema Russian Martial Art is featured on this list. Many people that are unfamiliar with Systema don’t understand how such a subtle martial art form can be so powerful and devastating. Number Three- Systema, Russian Combat. It’s expected that Secret Service agents would be highly trained in weaponry and combat. They are, after all, protecting the President, but some Secret […]

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The United States Secret Service is responsible for protecting the President and other high level government officials. Their tactics and methods are amazing!

This clip is from the Daily Top 10s list of 10 Secret Service Tactics that are Insane. Systema Russian Martial Art is featured on this list. Many people that are unfamiliar with Systema don’t understand how such a subtle martial art form can be so powerful and devastating.

Number Three- Systema, Russian Combat. It’s expected that Secret Service agents would be highly trained in weaponry and combat. They are, after all, protecting the President, but some Secret Service agents are more highly trained than others. Some are trained in a Russian Martial Art called Systema. Systema stands for “The System”, and it was originally used by military personnel like the KGB and Spetsnaz.

It is unlike any other Martial Art. It is known for its brutality and it’s anything goes mentality. Systema involves controlling the attacker’s levers, arms, legs, and elbows. It also involves defending against weapons and weapon disarmament. People trained in Systema are trained to deal with multiple attackers.

At the same time, they’re also trained to remain very calm while under attack. Systema is not just a combat tactic. It’s a way of life. And people who are trained in this uncommon Martial Art are expected to live the virtue of the Martial Art. And although someone practicing Systema appears calm and completely in control, don’t let the calmness fool you.

It is a highly dangerous Martial Art Style. Secret Service agents trained in Systema can easily kill an attacker, although their goal is to disarm, not kill.

Learn more at https://marylandsystema.com

Watch On YouTube

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Russian martial art in the USA https://marylandsystema.com/russian-martial-art-in-the-usa/ https://marylandsystema.com/russian-martial-art-in-the-usa/#respond Wed, 11 Dec 2019 18:29:11 +0000 https://marylandsystema.com/%d1%80%d1%83%d1%81%d1%81%d0%ba%d0%be%d0%b5-%d0%b1%d0%be%d0%b5%d0%b2%d0%be%d0%b5-%d0%b8%d1%81%d0%ba%d1%83%d1%81%d1%81%d1%82%d0%b2%d0%be-%d0%b2-%d1%81%d1%88%d0%b0/ We talked with Jim Eglin, a teacher of Russian martial art in the USA, we learned what it is and who is studying this ancient craft. Be sure to visit the Russian Heritage YouTube channel for more information on Russian culture. Watch On YouTube

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We talked with Jim Eglin, a teacher of Russian martial art in the USA, we learned what it is and who is studying this ancient craft. Be sure to visit the Russian Heritage YouTube channel for more information on Russian culture.

Watch On YouTube

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Martin Wheeler Interview with Captain Mark Bollong. U.S. Navy SEAL. https://marylandsystema.com/martin-wheeler-interview-with-captain-mark-bollong-u-s-navy-seals/ https://marylandsystema.com/martin-wheeler-interview-with-captain-mark-bollong-u-s-navy-seals/#respond Fri, 25 Oct 2019 15:47:39 +0000 https://marylandsystema.com/?p=395 Hello, Commodore Bollong, could we start with a little background about you? I am just a kid from Key West, Florida, went to school, joined the Navy as an officer in the SEALs, grew old and just retired after 27 years of service. What is your previous martial arts and/or combatives experience? When I was a little kid, my dad took me to a martial arts demonstration in my school gymnasium and I remembered some black belt slice a banana off one of his student’s chest…even though I was impressed, I never found a school to join as a kid…it […]

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Hello, Commodore Bollong, could we start with a little background about you?

I am just a kid from Key West, Florida, went to school, joined the Navy as an officer in the SEALs, grew old and just retired after 27 years of service.

What is your previous martial arts and/or combatives experience?

When I was a little kid, my dad took me to a martial arts demonstration in my school gymnasium and I remembered some black belt slice a banana off one of his student’s chest…even though I was impressed, I never found a school to join as a kid…it wasn’t until I went to University then joined a Moo Duk Kwan club which was Tae Kwon Do and Aikido, did that for a year or so but got bored with all the forms…did a little Okinawa Karate but got kicked out for not being obedient enough…went to SEAL training and learned a martial art named SCARS that shortly thereafter was booted from the community…then the Gracie’s changed the world and did (and still do) a bunch of sporadic BJJ over the years but never in one place long enough to get beyond a white belt…spent 6 months in the Philippines and learned an art named Arkijitsu and got a blue belt in that…always was on the lookout for military buddies to train with which is mostly BJJ and a little muy thai and regular boxing. Basically a mashup of half assed training that still keeps me interested in martial arts. I guess that is my path. 

What attracted you to Systema? How did you first become involved with it?

In addition to martial arts, I have always been interested in human movement and obscure fitness regimens such as MovNat, kettlebell training, gymnastics, parkour, yoga, physical therapies, core strength…you name it…I guess because of my research with that sort of thing, the youtube algorithm led me to a Systema video and it sparked my interest. I kept watching more Systema videos and I seemed to sense some value there. I could not find any Systema instruction near me so I did not do much about it for several years until I was stationed in Europe and I was watching a Martin Wheeler video and came across an ad for one of his seminars in Hamburg. I figured it was time to satisfy my curiosity so I signed up and once I met Martin, I was immediately impressed with the art and his ability to demonstrate and instruct. This was in 2015. Since then, I truly feel like it is the most complete martial art and movement art I have found.

What is your current training regime? How does Systema fit into your current training regime?

I have developed my own training regimen over the years…I half-jokingly call it the Hobo Ninja program because it is pretty informal and is a compilation of many different things I have picked up over the years and it is always changing depending on my current abilities. For some strange reason, I am fascinated by the thought of some old hobo living on his own but also being a master of all sorts of practical and effective movements that he picked up over the years. So I like to train outdoors usually, in many different terrain and maritime situations, barefoot if possible or at most with minimal shoes, moving in ways that have multiple benefits at the same time, and that train my neurological pathways towards functional movement patterns as well as my cardiovascular, mobility and strength conditioning. I also surf, mountain bike, and have a few other activities I am pursuing.

How, in your view, is Systema similar to other combatives systems? And what sets it apart?

Systems is really unique, it is not sportive, so there are no rules to limit it…it has a restorative aspect, which I find fascinating, where most martial arts are destructive…and yet it is also very brutal when it needs to be, while at the same time, being gentle…it is simple in that there is no need for protective gear, or mats, or gi’s…it doesn’t have a bunch of woo woo aspects to it, but it will blow your mind with new and unique concepts. It tends to attract very unique people to it. It is very complete, incorporating standup, ground, multiple attackers, any sort of weapon, any sort of situations…I have never experienced another art like it. 

What are you looking for in a martial art or combatives architecture? Are they same to you or different?

I guess I am looking for the most effective human movements that I can learn so that I feel competent in my life exploration. I don’t really care about the terms as much as I care about what is the best way to train that will produce the best results, which for me is an effective human body built for action.

Does a commander have different requirements from a martial art than a non commissioned operator?

I don’t really understand the question but I think I can answer it. The only difference in requirements is that a commander and a ‘noncommissioned operator’ is that the commander is probably on average older, so the operator might be able to withstand and recover from harder training. But regardless, both need to be ready to act in any situation so I would not differentiate the type of movements they are learning.

Would a special operator have different requirements from a
martial art than say, a soldier?

One of the things I discovered about military martial arts requirements, is that they are so different from how the movies or media portrays them. Now there are definitely some military guys that are incredible martial artists, but they are pretty rare, and they usually had a deep foundation in their art before they joined the military…usually a wrestling background. The combatives training provided in the military is really not enough to become very proficient unless it is complemented by a lot of outside training that a servicemember does on his or her own. The modern military just has too many training requirements to put on the members, there are only so many hours in the day and there are a ton of requirements vying for those training hours. Combatives is seen as a very niche capability for a military person and so it gets a minimal amount of investment. As a result, any combatives program for the military needs to be very simple, and require the least amount of time to teach and maintain. In my experience, the military only needs a few combatives actions: weapon retention, prisoner handling, and maybe…sentry takedowns. If a servicemember has the skills to do those two and MAYBE three things, then that would be more than sufficient to the needs of the modern military. The difference between a special operator and a soldier should not matter, especially if you are defining a soldier as an infantryman. Of course, there are tons of different ‘soldier’s’ (and airmen, and marines, and sailor…) types out there and very few of them need skills like sentry takedown, but all of them should have weapon retention skills because any of them might have to carry a weapon at some point, and all of them should be able to handle a prisoner because any of them might face that requirement at some point.

Now that you have been training for a number of years in Systema, do you have a specific goal for your training, are you just enjoying the day-to-day exploration, or is it both?

That is a tough question. I would love to say I have a goal to move like Martin Wheeler, but Martin has been a life long martial artist and instructor…it would be like me saying I want to play guitar like Jimi Hendrix. I don’t think I have the hours, the youthful hours, the talent to achieve that level. Which is very hard for me to admit. I don’t like to be negative though, and I know that anyone can achieve their dream if they try hard enough. But I am also a practical person. I think a realistic goal for me is to get to a level where I feel like I am ‘proficient’ in Systema. Where I am not trying to just ‘muscle’ a partner, but I am rather ‘flowing’ and using the right balance of tension and no more than required. I feel like if I can achieve that, then I could feel confident enough to teach. I am not sure if I would be a good teacher, but I think it would be fulfilling to offer instruction and be able to spread this art and meet the type of people who are interested in this sort of thing and would appreciate the chance to learn it. Something about it feels worthwhile in ways that few other activities feel worthwhile.

What is your ultimate goal as a student/teacher/innovator?

I learned from Ayn Rand that one of the most important pursuits we can have is to ‘create value’. The Japanese have a concept, I think it is called Ikigai, where they categorize a person’s life’s purpose in four areas that have overlap: what you love, what you are good at, what you can do that the world needs, and what you can do that people will pay you for. At this point in my life, I have a comfortable retirement, I still have some youthful energy left, I am hungry to create, and I think I have some things that I am good at. I love Systema, I want to feel that I am good at it so that I can be share it more widely with a world that I think could use more of it. 

What would you change about Systema training? Where do you struggle the most?

First thing I would change is I would do it more often. I think martial arts needs to be practiced at least 4 times a week. Next, I would try to incorporate more sparring at resistance levels, but this is tough with Systema because without protective gear, you can easily get to the point of hurting each other. If you place rules on it, then you are making it more sportive. I would like to add some rolling sparring, such as BJJ uses, but with a Systema focus. 
My toughest struggles are trying to learn new movement flows that don’t become patterns or fall back on past habits of tension.

Where are your biggest gains and improvements from training?

This is tough to answer because I don’t think I have trained with enough consistency to have improved, and yet I know I have improved since I began. It is hard to identify changes when you are re-educating your nervous system. My biggest improvements are probably more mental, in how I approach potential conflict incidents. In the past, I would have tensed up and been more obvious in my fight posture towards a potential threat, or I would have immediately gone offensive (Leeerooyyy Jeeennnkinnnss!)…now I breathe and focus on being in the moment.

What misconceptions do civilians have about combat or combat environments and martial arts training? Do you think Systema can address these issues?

I don’t think the average civilian understands the stress levels that a person might have to experience nor that you can train to prepare yourself for those stress levels. They also might think that the preparation is easier than they imagine it and that once you are prepared a little bit, then it is a permanent fix. The truth is that the training is rarely hard enough to prepare one for the real stress, and that the training never ends, it is a path, a discipline that must become a habit. Systema definitely helps address these issues, it is all about balancing tension and relaxation in as many stressful and different situations as possible. 

What do you find in your day to day life outside training that you feel the most benefits?

Systema showed me that too much tension is never the most effective option. It might work in a situation but it has a lot of downsides. This concept applies to life in general, so it has made me much more appreciative of controlling my temper (tension) and finding the best balance in every situation. 

What would you say to detractors of the Systema training
methodology after your experiences with it?

I have a really simple answer to this: Go find out for yourself about Systema if you have questions about it. That is what I did. I don’t understand people who think they know everything. I have been in SOF for 27 years, I have been around the world, I have met people from so many different cultures and places, I am very curious, I read a lot, I would say that I probably have a much greater experience base than the average person…and yet, the more I learn the LESS certain I feel about things. It is the ultimate hubris to make comments about things one has not experienced for oneself. If you think Martin’s Systema does not work and you feel the need to have an opinion about it, come to his class, or to a seminar and experience it for yourself. Then you can comment all you like. Simple as that.

How can people contact you for training?

I am in the middle of settling down in the Camp Pendleton area. I am thinking of starting a group on base and seeing where that goes. Email me at mark.bollong@gmail.com if you are interested in meeting up.

TRAIN AT THE ACADEMY BEVERLY HILLS   CLICK HERE

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What Makes Systema Different From Other Martial Arts? https://marylandsystema.com/what-makes-systema-different-from-other-martial-arts/ https://marylandsystema.com/what-makes-systema-different-from-other-martial-arts/#comments Mon, 30 Sep 2019 17:03:03 +0000 https://marylandsystema.com/?p=382 George Borrelli from Systema Colorado Springs wrote this attempting to answer the question: Q: “How is Systema different from other martial arts?” Please note: I LOVE AND RESPECT all other martial arts and still train in other arts. I am not trying to put Systema ahead of others and I am NOT PUTTING others down. Great respect for all of you that train. I am training in other arts too. I am simply attempting to tease out differences and nuances to answer the question. A: In so very many ways, Russian Systema is very unique. In fact, most when watching […]

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George Borrelli from Systema Colorado Springs wrote this attempting to answer the question:

Q: “How is Systema different from other martial arts?”

Please note: I LOVE AND RESPECT all other martial arts and still train in other arts. I am not trying to put Systema ahead of others and I am NOT PUTTING others down. Great respect for all of you that train. I am training in other arts too. I am simply attempting to tease out differences and nuances to answer the question.

A: In so very many ways, Russian Systema is very unique.

In fact, most when watching Systema in practice accuse it of being too “weird” and “not effective” because it is so unconventional. Most say that until they are hit by a Systema Master, then they have a change of heart, almost universally.

Keep in mind that using the term, “Systema” is a very broad term, similar to the Chinese term, Kung Fu, embraces many arts and many “splinter”, “sister”, and “cousin” arts. Systema does definitely infer a Russian Martial art or system.

I spent most of my 6 decades in some martial arts or another. I started with judo, then wrestling, then traditional forms of karate, then self-defense systems, Kenpo, TKD, Hapkido, full contact kickboxing, and many more. I never had seen anything quite like Russian Systema. To say that I was in a state of shock would be an understatement. I would spar with instructors and get hit with stuff I wasn’t able to comprehend at that time.

Trying to classify Systema is difficult. It is a hard or soft style? Is it internal or external? Is it a ground-based or stand-up system? Is it a weapons or knife system? All of these categories don’t suffice to describe Russian Systema.

It is kind of a soft style, yet the hits are brutal and worse than anything I’ve felt previously, even in full-contact KO fighting I’ve done. It does focus internally sure, but it also focuses on the impact to others definitely. It has stand up but has massive ground.

It includes all weapons and defense of weapons too. So, for me, it’s kind of like and internal/external system, that is soft in practice but brutally hard when felt. It covers all weapons use and defense. It spends equal time standing and ground an even in between! And is a health system to boot.

Is Systema a joint-lock system like BJJ, Hapkido, Aikido? Yes, Systema has lots of modified joint locks that start out looking somewhat like the arm bar and so forth but it’s not the focus. And there’s no equivalent tap out submission in Systema. Does Systema focus upon take downs and throws like judo, wrestling, aikdo, etc?

Well Systema covers what’s called balance disruption very deeply and most Systema encounters end up with the guy on the ground. But it’s not a takedown or throwing system. Does Systema focus upon pressure points when striking? Not really, no. Pressure points are given little time. However, the punches are really deep and impact the nervous system very profoundly. Phew!

How is Systema Different?

Almost all ways. Let me highlight some ways (there are more). Sometimes the differences are quite large, other times its focus or nuance differences.

Systema is a concept-based system vs. technique-based approach of other systems.

Systema has at the root a focus upon breathing – posture – relaxation – movement. They are all worked together, and all the time, as a true focus. These will be tied into and support all the rest. Most other systems don’t spend a lot of time on these or they are built-into their technique-based approaches. Systema pulls them out and works on them as a core focus a lot.

Natural calm breathing.

Some systems focus upon out-breath for power, like in traditional karate kicks and strike with the “kiaɪ” or yell. In Systema, the feeling is that this causes too much tension and make one vulnerable to incoming strikes it also might cause higher expenditures of energy and might cause one to run out of steam earlier.

Systema focuses upon a more natural breathing instead.

Training begins with breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.

The focus is on how to deal with internal fear vs other systems hardly address this and assume it will be nearly overpowering in a fight

There is also a focus on maintaining the human always, even under extreme duress vs. other systems focus upon how to defeat the other person(s). To me this means homeostasis.

The sister focus is upon health vs other systems have very little except a few notably Tai Chi and Chi Gong. Systema will spend class time in massage and other health-giving methods.

Systema teaches how to “self-heal” while fighting.

This is a complicated topic and sometimes a little difficult to understand. Very few other martial arts focus as much on this. Systema practitioners work with how to handle very impactful punches so they do less internal damage, and then to use this against the attacker, instead of letting do more self-harm.

All the movements are designed not to hurt self, deteriorate, nor injure yourself. Vs most other martial arts the practitioners may (depends upon how hard one trains and the style) suffer long term damage to joints, etc. So, you can practice Systema, even with bare-knuckle punching, well into old age.

Even Systema’s strikes are designed in a way not to jolt any part of oneself. The theory goes that even in boxing there’s a toll to body, joints, even the head with all the punches and the way it is done some energy comes back. Systema goes very deep in this with lots of study and lots of practice to prevent self-deterioration from the practice.

Systema has a corollary to not hurting oneself in practice and that is not to cause long term injury or health deterioration to the partners in practice. It’s a focus where not as much a focus in some other martial arts.

You can compare it to the operating system OS of a computer. It works on the core. Then all the applications (other arts) can be added into it. Systema welcomes and encourages training and competing in all other arts. Many Systema practitioners are also training in many other arts such as: BJJ, MMA, Aikido, Silat, Filipino knife arts, etc.

Systema spends a very high percentage of training on efficiency of movement vs other systems focus upon techniques, speed, power, etc. There are a few notable systems who have it in their premise, such as Ed Parker’s American Kenpo.

But, Systema takes it much further.

Systema even will take the bounce energy of punching one guy and add it to the force of the next punch, as just one example.

Systema has a focus upon conservation of energy. Practitioners are using much less than full effort. The theory is that full effort isn’t required most of the time in the fight, with the correct concepts. A reserve of energy remains for fighting the next guy and the next guy, for example. If a surge of energy is needed, it is there, but is used in brief.

Systema covers 100% of all aspects of all fighting vs most other systems have a focus, say stand up boxing, or BJJ/grappling ground. Therefore, Systema also takes a long time to achieve practical prowess. Where others focus and can achieve strengths in narrow focus areas.

Systema assumes and all the concepts and movements are based upon an assumption that there are displayed or hidden weapons and visible or hidden accomplices. Yet works equally well when no weapons and no accomplices appear in the fight vs most other systems fight one-on-one and it either is a weapon-based system or not weapon-based.

Systema trains a LOT in multiple attackers as a focus or core concept. Vs most systems are one-on-one, and the few that do some multiple attackers devote much less work and practice time.

Systema’s punches are incredibly deep and punishing. Systema’s punches, strikes, etc., are extremely deep, penetrating and sometimes devastating vs most systems punches, and strikes tend to be focused upon KO’s, bone and joint damage, some muscle impact. Note that I say “most”.

Systema has very wide range of punch concepts. Using varying amounts of body mass and other variables versus the hard striking and kicking focus of some other systems where you train punches that have the same amount of body mass and such behind them. Some even go very fast to full stop in “pulled punches”. There are exceptions of course. Perhaps boxing has a lighter jab and heavier cross, for example.

Systema’s multiple strikes are somewhat unique. They are and look very different from most other strike-then-strike approach. It’s something like, once you enter with your fist, it does additional impacts before leaving. Short strikes and bounce strikes are some of them.

Systema minimizes engagement time and tying up time vs. many other systems, notably BJJ where tying up is core approach

Systema has codified (see Kadachokov’s Systema to see what I mean) human levers and human balance disruption to a science vs most other systems teach technique-based approach

Systema has a concept called, “intention without commitment”.

This is the first I’ve seen of this idea and I’ve trained in many arts. I think at the higher-level, other arts do this. This concept tends to yield shorter duration movements when attacking or implementing a strike-break-throw.

Systema takes the art of blending or moving-with to another planetary level. So, it is similar in that regard to arts like judo or aikido and some others, but it is a core in Systema

Systema has great emphasis on punishing strikes WHILE doing other things that significantly affect the opponents, versus most systems tend to separate the two. Again, I stated “most”. There are some systems that come close.

Systema practices striking in movement while doing other things to them, and in all kinds of positions, without the need to pause/setup etc.

Systema’s strikes include countless that are meant to disruption or discombobulation rather than to KO/break/destroy. This opens up a much wider range of striking concepts versus most systems of fighting focus upon damage.

Systema’s balance disruptions are similar. Systema will nearly continuously disrupt balance without the need to make any singular one “work”.

Systema has a lot of conceptual work on maintaining one’s composure while disruption of another person’s composure. It is not done by talking crap or eyeballing. It’s done through physical impact and in the cumulative way it is approached.

Systema’s strikes are from anywhere and “nowhere”. Whereas most systems the strikes come from a loaded or cocked position. Systema develops strikes that have impact from any position any angle and any distance from the opponent

Hidden movements/ hidden intentions.

Systema’s work against an opponent is almost entirely hidden from him. And it has a focus upon deceptive touch and tells. From an outside observer it is difficult to see this. It is hidden from the person begin hit, not necessarily hidden from observers at a distance.

Systema’s hidden intentions become a rather deep study of human psychology of fighting. Whereas most systems other than perhaps ninjitsu and the approach of ninja, the work is somewhat more or tremendously more visible most of the time. There are generally more tells to notice.

In Systema training virtually all intentions are hidden by their very nature.

Systema has a focus upon falling softly so not to injure. Even though many arts like judo, aikido, hapkido, etc have falling techniques. Systema’s falls are designed to avoid injury to the spine and designed to handle weapons and be able to stay in the fight. There is no “slapping” in Systema falls as there are in almost all the others.

Systema also has training in the use and defense of virtually all weapons, from guns to knives to whips.

Systema is one of the few arts where it is sometimes practiced with the use of “live blade”, real weapons, and real bare-knuckle punches, etc.

I could say so much more. You get the picture, Systema is very different.

Please note: I LOVE AND RESPECT all other martial arts and still train in other arts. I am not trying to put Systema ahead of others and I am NOT PUTTING others down. Great respect for all of you that train. I am training in other arts too. I am simply attempting to tease out differences and nuances to answer the question.

Respectfully,
George Borrelli
Systema Colorado Springs

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