There are a number of reasons why people begin training in a martial art. It is debatable whether our personal safety is more at risk today than it was 20 years ago however the fear of crime seems more prevalent nowadays.
Much of this might be attributed to the 24 hour media and rolling news coverage, however the impression many people have today is that the street is a dangerous place to be and one needs to be able to defend oneself and one’s family.
In recent years it has been common for both traditional and modern martial arts to promote themselves as self defence systems or street defence systems. There are many variables involved in improving ones safety and ability to defend against attack. Defending against attack in the gym can be totally different to defending against an attack in a crowded pub or a dark alley way.
The Russian Martial Art Systema was developed in a military context and special forces troops were trained to use this art in a kill or be killed situation. However it is easy to assume that the essence of Systema is to attack and destroy or defend and destroy an opponent.
No. Systema is best defined as a system that will ensure your survival.
Survival and escape must always be your 100% focus in any confrontational situation. It is very easy to develop an ego when training in a martial art that leads you to believe in your ability to win a fight. Confidence is important but misplaced confidence or an aggressive attitude can get you in trouble. If a martial art has only one speed, that of full on kicking and punching for all out winning then that doesn’t equip you to easily give a measured response to a threat. It doesn’t necessarily allow you to control an attacker and make your escape before things escalate. It may not allow you to adapt and survive a bad situation like being trapped in a riot with many bodies crushing the life out of you and overwhelming your ability to respond.
By developing a calmness and escape based approach to your defence you will find that life becomes less stressful. Systema teaches you the skills to survive almost any imaginable physical confrontation because it cultivates your own sub-conscious ability to survive. Rather than learn many individual tactics to try and counter different attacks, Systema allows you to respond to any attack such as an knife attack and allows you to identify opportunity for escape or counter attack instinctively.