Last weekend I had the amazing opportunity to attend and participate in our very first Russian Systema Seminar at Pittsburgh Kettlebells. Friend and Systema Instructor Jason Swanson was kind enough to teach a select small group at the studio the fundamentals of Russian Systema. This unique martial art has really become a great part of my fitness routine and has given me a better understanding of how to train in a relaxed state.
We started with an interesting mobility drill that Jason Ran us through. In order to take down your opponents in Russian Systema, you have to master your own mobility. Systema is NOT a strength based martial art, but rather a martial art based on breaking your opponents structure by being relaxed and mobile. The first mobility drill Jason had us learn was the tea-cup exercise.
If you are familiar with Tai Chi, you should know that the Tea Cup exercise opens up your shoulders, back, and helps keep your body loose and relaxed. If you aren’t familiar with the tea-cup exercise, here’s a video that should help demonstrate this drill.
Now, in terms of Systema, the tea-cup exercise is actually used in a way to take down your opponent. When you master your upper body mobility, you are actually better able to manipulate your opponent. Again, this is NOT about strength but rather about being fluid enough in your movement to take out your opponent. Don’t worry if you’re confused, I’ll let Jason tie it all together here. Check out this video to see how a basic mobility drill can allow you to take out an oncoming opponent.
If you are interested in participating in future Systema Seminars, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Pittsburgh Kettelebells directly. We will be hosting more of these seminars in the future and I would absolutely LOVE to see all you fitness enthusiasts, fellow instructors, or just those that are curious to stop on out at the studio for some really unique martial arts training.
That’s it for today! Remember to eat smart, train hard, and enjoy your life!
Janelle Pica-HKC, CPT