Vladimir Vasiliev – Mikhail Ryabko
Systema DVDs & Books
Let Every Breath gave me a lot to think about and at least eight years' worth of things to work on. Well worth reading.
It's a good book. I found the worshipful admiration and gratitude for his teachers a little off-putting … but I do appreciate the humility and gratitude that makes someone want to share how amazing someone else is. However, when I recommend it to others – and I will – I will probably suggest they begin in chapter 3, where the breath teaching starts.
The Russian Orthodox flavor was great. Many martial arts texts (particularly the older ones, but also a number of the new) are tinged with religion. After so many Buddhist, Daoist, Shinto, etc, it was nice to see an Eastern Christianity view.
You can tell that the creators of this method were special forces and that a lot of the early training was military. You can tell that the author practices about a dozen martial arts very intensely. How? The really rather sweet, innocent assumption that everyone who reads this book is an athletic male in his prime.
I have had to completely adjust every single exercise shown in this book to something I could do.
First they have you doing lots and lots of push-ups while doing interesting breath patterns...with no tension anywhere in your body. Just as I was trying to figure out if I (with my pathetic upper body strength) could possibly work up to doing a push-up that slowly if I did it from my knees, the author has a helpful suggestion. Guess what? If doing endless slow push-ups is so easy that not only do you not have any muscular tension but you're actually bored, you can hook one ankle behind the other to make it more interesting!
I had to put the book down to laugh.
I remember my first day of kindergarten. I was four years old. I remember my mounting panic as I struggled to sit up as the teacher instructed, with my legs out straight ahead of me on the floor and my torso perpendicular to the floor. I couldn't do it. My legs simply aren't flexible like that. So I particularly enjoyed it as the writer explained that the double leg lift was easy for breath work because hey! Who can't just slowly lift both legs to a 90 degree angle without any tension? The trick, he says, is knowing when to stop so you don't overfill those lungs. Oh, and stop a lot along the way, not letting your back arch.
My Army friends would probably have a blast with this. But I am modifying every exercise for myself, based on the thought that breathing in these patterns under physical stress will probably bring me most of the same benefits: it just takes a lot less to stress my body that it does for, say, a Navy Seal.
Yes, as other reviewers have said, the actual content is more of a fat pamphlet than a book. But it is a very valuable fat pamphlet. It will take me several years to work through this, and more to make it a natural part of my everyday life. I am grateful that the author boiled down this game-changing teaching into so few words, so that we can grasp the important things and start working on them immediately. It is simply and purely the fundamentals, without frills to obscure the important parts. It is well explained and simple. And every coach, every sensei, every trainer will tell you that it's the correct practice of the fundamentals that matters.
since that last incident I've been taking the bus with the same gentleman I had a problem with. Yesterday I was alone with him in the bus ride home when, all of a sudden, the gentleman called my name. He said "hey, sam" I turned around and responded with "yes" in a pleasant tone of voice. He proceeded to apologize for his behavior and asked my forgiveness for the whole incident. He said he did not know what came over him that day but that he was really sorry. I assured him I did not held any resentment against him. He proceed to tell me that he was hurting inside as if something was tearing him apart because of the incident,. He said " you did nothing wrong, I'm ashamed of myself for treating you the way I did." I, again told him it was ok and that I would like to be his friend. He accepted and we shook hands.
He was visibly shaken and humble in his apology. As we talked further I told him I'm in the process of opening a business. He asked me what? and I told him I am a bodyguard and martial art instructor and will open an academy soon in my area in Vacaville, CA soon. He said " oh, god I'm glad you did not respond in kind or I would be in serious trouble. I told him that in the systema we try to avoid such encounters whenever possible. I also told him that the Systema is a christian based martial art. He again apologized and said he also was a christian (catholic) and was ashamed of his behavior.
As we parted ways he said he was feeling much better and that I was a better man than he was. I invited him to take classes with me in So. San fracisco, Ca as I teach a few people on lunch time.
Car Fight (DVD) by Systema Masters Vladimir Vasiliev and Konstantin Komarov of Russian Special Operations Units This DVD is a unique, front line look at Defense and Survival in and around your Car or Van. Gain from the covert crime prevention and combat experience of the top Russian professionals. Be ready to defeat the most vicious attacks and learn the special skills needed to survive Criminal Assaults, Road Based Hostility, Carjacking, Accidents, and Terrorism. Get the must-have knowledge from the famous Russian masters. See how to control your fear and panic. Observe how to move in and around a vehicle. Discover how to take action and prevail in the most life-threatening situations. …Essential viewing for all drivers and passengers!
The first thing that comes to mind when watching this essentially informative DVD is how do they know all of this? When Major Konstantin Komarov speaks of exiting a car underwater and saving your child, he does not come off as theorizing about it. It's clear that he's been there and done that.. often! Vladimir's demonstration in civilian surroundings is priceless. The ease and fashion in which he moves in the real world is indistinguishable from the classroom. A hallmark of a skills that directly translates to the world we live in. --T Nguyen
This video is informative, thorough, and useful from several perspectives: 1) General Civilian Issues - the video deals with scenarios for becoming comfortable in and around your vehicle in preparation for possibly anxious situations, entering and exiting the vehicle in a variety of different scenarios - inc. road accident, vehicle falling into water, saving trapped passenger\'s, escaping moving vehicles, etc. This is very informative. We spend time learning how to exit an airplane in case of emergency every time we fly. Statistically speaking, a motor vehicle is more likely to get into an accident than an airplane, so in my opinion this portion of the material in the DVD should be presented and offered to all civilians because it could save many lives. 2) Military and Paramilitary - for example, scenarios dealing with ballistics and weapons in and around the vehicle, how to use the vehicle to your advantage as a shield, what parts of the vehicle to use and not to use, etc. Also shown in the DVD is how and which parts of the vehicle are often used in extreme urban warfare, assassination, and terrorist situations, which was very interesting. Some of the situations that Konstantin discussed were mind-boggling and I don\'t think even Robert Ludlum or Ian Fleming would have thought about some of these scenarios. 3) Self Defense in all situations - this portion of the video deals with situations where you are being attacked with fists, legs, chokes, knives, guns, etc.. around and in the vehicle. The part I liked the most in this section was how Vlad used the vehicle itself and the edges and protruding portions of the vehicle as weapons against the attacker. This ties in well with the video on Confined Spaces, which is also a must in anyone's RMA video collection. Again, I would be hard-pressed to name anything out there that teaches this material to the general public. So I am rating this a must have to anyone interested in Systema practice. --Jim Rigopoulos
Vladimir's new Car Fight DVD is useful for the everyday driver, professional driver and professional bodyguard. The techniques displayed are extremely efficient and relevant for a small confined space where you are limited of movement and time. The efficiency of these techniques are extremely important in the real world, life and death situations depicted in the DVD! A true testament to Vladimir and Konstantin's experience and knowledge showcased in this DVD and others, is that you don't have to be an expert in any field of training in order to be able to comprehend and utilize their techniques. The instruction is clear and concise and the footage displays every detail of the movement in each demonstration. --Sergei Ma Prices & Ordering
Russian Stick Combat Vol. 1: Defense by Vladimir Vasiliev of Russian Special Operations Unit Empty-handed against the stick... this volume presents everything you need to know to defend yourself and prevail against one of the world s oldest and frequently used assault weapons. Learn the drills unique to Russian Systema fighting and prepare yourself for any stick contact, in any position, while in-place or on-the-move, against single or multiple opponents. Enjoy this spontaneous and effortless work at both slow instructional format and at real speeds. You will be amazed at the simple and effective ways of defeating any vicious stick attack with your bare hands!
Russian Stick Combat Vol. 1: Defense Brilliant!!! That is the first thing that came to my mind as I was watching this DVD. The progression and demonstrations along with perfect explanations are amazing! I have never seen anything so exceptional from any other martial art on the subject of stick fighting, and I've seen them all, from Irish to Burmese stick fighting with everything in between. Nor have I ever seen a DVD by Vladimir of this caliber. He demonstrates his true genius in this master piece. --Demetry Furman
This truly is a landmark new release Russian Stick Combat DVD. People have been clamoring for coverage of Russian Stick work for many years, and now finally our ship has come in! The personal highlights of this DVD took my understanding of weapons work and Systema fundamentals to a whole new plane. The topics list below should say it all: Warm Up Preparation for Contact Position 1 Position 2 Position 3 Combining Positions Evading Under a Stick Using Body and Limbs Stick Held with Both Hands Prepare for Stick Strikes Defense on the Move In-Class Training People, this DVD is finally the last greatest word on this topic. In Russian Stick Combat, Vladimir offers a whole segment, and related material across many other segments, all the details of exactly how to work on filling the body. This is an essential mega-step forward in Systema training materials. It's obvious that the stick is the secret tool that hugely expedites this development. Another hidden gem, like so much of the Systema training catalog, the stated topic is a keyhole opening through which the entire panorama of Systema becomes sharply visible. The other theme that especially struck me was the core idea we often have heard of working against the opponent rather than the weapon. Again the equivalent of more than an entire segment is devoted to examining and illustrating this idea from every possible angle. Others more expert than myself would be able to say definitively, but in my view this idea could be the foundation for all weapons disarming and survival work. And in my opinion, the bedrock fundamental ideas of working against the man not the weapon are better presented here than I have ever seen anywhere. Another key point, for me personally, was that while other stick fighting materials that I have collected tend to emphasize the stick per se, and be limited and specialized to a particular single type of specialized implement, it is radically obvious that the stick fighting principles of Systema are completely general across any kind of impact weapon. I felt that mastering the material here would enable me to survive and prevail in any kind of impact weapon assault, such as club, bat, pool cue, metal pipe, 2 by 4, etc. As I have witnessed such attacks on several occasions, I have a lively personal interest in such generalized skills. And naturally the master at work jaw-dropping inspirational value of this DVD is beyond compare... --Martial Art Media Critic
One word that is entirely over-used in marketing today is unique--particularly when describing martial arts DVD's. To paraphrase Bruce Lee, how unique can one art truly be over another when we ultimately have 2 arms, 2 legs and only so many ways to use them? Well, that type of logic normally operates as a running referential for me until I see a DVD like this one. Non-practitioners often say that our art looks a bit like Jujitsu, a bit like Aikido, a bit like Tai Chi and so on. Naturally, all body movement will resemble one another. What I try to convey that's it's not so much our principles or techniques but rather our way of training that defines our distinction. This concept has never been more fully and beautifully illustrated than it is in the newest Stick Defense DVD. Vladimir's work is incredible as always--beyond words. Added to this, the DVD contains a healthy assortment of student work, displaying different interpretations of the same core concepts which as a teacher, I massively appreciate. These components alone would make the DVD a huge value to any library but what really sets this production apart is the sequence of drills and exercises to help build an individual's skills. These concepts and exercises are so uniquely "systemic" and yet so efficient and so obvious that I wonder how in 25 years of martial study, I never encountered anything like this. Stick has always remained a large component of my training simply because it offers a hyper-accelerated learning curve. Once you can deal with the greater length and speed of a stick, the same mechanics and clarity overflow with relevance into your empty-handed work and all other aspects of your training. I could not give this DVD a higher recommendation. Beautiful work Vladimir and crew. Thank you for making this knowledge so generously available. --Kevin Secours
About Vladimir Vasiliev
Vladimir Vasiliev Director and Chief Instructor of Systema Headquarters. Born in Russia, Vladimir received intense training from the top Special Operations Units instructors. Vladimir's work spans across 10 years of extensive service with the Special Operations Unit. Vladimir moved to Canada, and in 1993 founded the first school of Russian Martial Art outside Russia - Systema Headquarters. He has since personally trained and certified well over 300 qualified Russian Martial Art instructors and schools worldwide, and has provided an Award-Winning instructional film collection. Prices & Ordering
About the Author
Joe Mayberry is a Systema Instructor certified by Vladimir Vasiliev, police detective, former United States Marine, bouncer, bodyguard, and a highly sought after self defense speaker and instructor. Trained in Martial arts since 1974, Joe brings a no-nonsense approach to his teaching and a street smart attitude to his approach to the martial arts. In 2010, Joe opened Systema St. Louis, the only school of Russian Martial Art in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. Joe and the school have been featured on every major news outlet in St. Louis. In 2014, the school was featured on The Oprah Network. In 2012, Joe founded the Systema Warrior Foundation for the teaching of Systema to disabled children. Joe has traveled all across North America bringing Systema to children with disabilities free of charge. Joe and his family happily reside is St. Louis, MO. Prices & Ordering
The purpose of this book is to provide a guide for students and teachers, to enhance their training and teaching.
It provides 25 combat drills to improve your fundamental skill. Among other things you will learn: fluid movement, to be calm under pressure, a natural and spontaneous response, fast recovery and how to be dynamic and effective in defense and attack. This book will be useful grappling, striking, weapons based, competition or reality based Martial Arts.
For teachers there are 25 easy to understand drills that you deliver, develop and adapt to your classes. Tips are provided to show how they can easily be developed, to give birth to many more drills, creating an endless source of inspiration and variety.
'Matt Hill is a strong and caring person, a talented instructor and a very experienced professional. His Systema shows great skill and understanding. I highly recommend training with Matt for people of all ages.' - Vladimir Vasiliev
About the Author
Matt Hill is the owner and chief instructor at his Systema School in Wiltshire, UK. He started training in the Martial Arts in 1987 and by 1991 he was living as a full time student of Aikido giant Morihiro Saito in Iwama, Japan, where he lived for two years. Matt is a qualified Systema Instructor under Vladimir Vasiliev, a 5th degree black belt in Aikido and an ex Parachute Regiment Captain. He teaches full time at his school, as well as leading workshops throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East. He is committed to his personal training and sharing the gift of Systema with as many people as possible. Prices & Ordering
Never before has a book been written that goes into such depth into this ancient martial art. Major Komarov provides clear explanations of the concepts of Systema, breaks them down into step by step practice programs, all the while describing real life experiences. --Achille Currado
It is a great honour and privilege to get an advance peek at this monumental, definitive work. HARD-WON LESSONS FROM THE GREATEST TRUE LIFE ADVENTURE! --Scott Meredith
Reading this book reminds me of Konstantin giving a lecture: a thorough command of the subject matter, well organized chapters with superbly detailed lessons, plus excellent stories which support each bit of information. Here you have it all: A Systema master, who also has psychology of combat degree, plus he is a master instructor--He really knows how to teach this stuff. I particularly like that he gives instructions of exercises, with some details left to individual interpretation, but with an excellent explanation of the rationale and benefits of that particular exercise. This is a book that people will read over and over, now, and in the future, and they'll probably find meaningful tips that can only be discovered as the readers mature in their understanding of the universe that is Systema. Along with the book "Let Every Breath..." and the instructional videos, this really becomes part of a learning library for Systema practitioners of all levels. --Alberto Nacif, MD
About the Author
Major Konstantin Komarov is a PhD in Combat Psychology, a commander and pedagogue to military professionals, a highly experienced bodyguard, a mentor to troubled youth and a trainer to numerous Systema practitioners around the world. Konstantin is one of the most knowledgeable and thorough instructors of our time. Prices & Ordering
Also, you have to understand, Systema is not for everyone. You need to be open minded. Get rid of your pride, ego, ambition and prejudice. The aim of Systema is not to be the best competition fighter that ever walk the earth, but to become as good person as possible. To discover yourself. To get to know yourself and overcome your shortcomings.
By no means, don't get me wrong. It is a fantastic supplement to your training. Full of great drills. How to structure training on different levels of progression. How to work with different kinds of people, how to help them to overcome their fears. Full of advice on how to understand and correct most common mistakes. Exercises that will help you develop necessary skills.
Really great element of this book, is part, in which Dr Komarov explains how to learn from training videos. He also puts great emphasis on "following the right path", in which I completely agree with him. You can do a lot of work by yourself, but being able to attend seminars, camps and workshops with qualified and experienced instructors, training with different people, is crucial in making sure we are going in the right direction.
Don't get put off by negative reviews of this book made by people who clearly have no idea what this book is about. Reviews made by people who think Systema is like Krav Maga and this book will teach them secret techniques 😉 Once you see the contents, you will realise, there is no pictures or drawings just solid and competent source of information.
This is not a book you read once, it is a book you keep coming back to. Every time learning something new.
With a light and simple movement of his fist alone, Vladimir Vasiliev is able to apply stealthy and shocking power of greater depth and freedom than professional heavyweight boxers can achieve with their entire focused mass, strength, torque, and momentum.
Vladimir's spontaneous and intelligent strikes work against any target, from any position, for immediate resolution of armed or unarmed confrontations, for energizing a partner, and even for healing. These strikes are the culmination of precise movement, impeccable timing, exact contact calibration and extraordinary emotional clarity. This is the meaning of "Hit Different."
In STRIKES: Soul Meets Body, chief Systema instructor Vladimir Vasiliev reveals the physical and psychological training regimen that underlies this unprecedented martial arts capability, rooted in centuries of Russian combative and spiritual tradition.
From the depth of the soul to the edge of the knuckles, experience the truth and the power. Prices & Ordering
I felt like this book kept my eyebrows raised the entire time I read. Sometimes my thought was, "What a brilliant way to put this complex concept I've struggled with!" Many times it was, "Wow. I....have to make a note of this, right now." And occasionally it was, "Goodness gracious, those Systema people are hardcore."
This 300 page book took me six weeks to read, and I was reading diligently. This is because I have page after page of notes, and frequently stopped to reread a passage, or stare off into space and consider, or go back to my own practice and see how I had been doing things and where the gaps lay.
As the title says, it's about striking. How to hit. But to get there, Mr. Vasiliev and Mr. Meredith discuss:
-- How to maintain awareness in combat
-- How to free your body, so that it can make multiple strikes and adjust to openings and adverse situations (such as being grabbed, surrounded, or injured)
--How to learn to keep a cool heart in the heat of the moment
-- How to give all the damage to your opponent when you strike, instead of splitting it 70% - 30% with them
-- How to learn to stop being afraid of getting hit, losing, etc.
--How to breathe calmly and well while going through crazy situations
--How to have a relaxed, powerful, responsive body
--How to take a hit
They give drills to get you there (crazy, hardcore Systema drills).
This is one of those books that I will certainly reread. And be working on these things for years.