Enter the Dragon with Bruce Lee is still one of those films that I watch if I come across it when I’m ‘scanning sky’. I don’t know if it is a shaggy dog story but I smile when I remember the story that apparently during its initial releases in China and Hong Kong, each night after the film was played there were mass kung fu fights outside the cinema. So ‘inspired’ were people by that movie to take part in this new phenomenon that they tried it out almost immediately.
Martial art is still a huge phenomenon and more than 30 years after Bruce Lee hit the screens it is bigger than ever. Whatever the inspiration that leads people to look at another path in life I personally believe that an introduction to martial arts is one of those few things that truly can change your life.
I have trained in various styles starting with Wadokai more than 20 years ago and more recently MMA type styles like Promai. I found Systema must be more than 10 years ago through a friend of mine and devoured each and every video that Vladimir bought out (yeah VHS videos remember them). I continued to do my other styles along side Systema but went ‘full time’ with Systema shortly after. I lived down in London for around 10 years and trained a lot with Greg Coveney down in Maidenhead (hi Greg) and started training with Dave Flaherty here at his shrewsbury systema school when I relocated back here a couple of years back.
Systema has had a big impact on my life. The other arts whilst effective in many ways, did turn me into a more aggressive person. Yes I could pound the cr*p out of a bag and break boards and all that stuff but when I switched to training in Systema there was never any aggression or ego or technical showing off. To many it is a paradox that one can become a better and more relaxed person, inspired to help not hurt, but also having the ability, should it ever be necessary, to deal out a measured and effective amount of punishment to anyone that crosses the line. Systema people are nice but never underestimate the power of the system.