The Benefits of Nasal Breathing – Free Video Clip

I have just finished editing and preparing a new on-line video course which I am really pleased to share with you.

It is a Systema Breathing Course designed for:

  • People wanting to deepen their understanding of Systema Health and Breath Work.
  • Instructors looking to add to their repertoire of teaching drills (there are over 2 hours of drills and exercises.)
  • People who spend a lot of time training on their own.

The course has information segments and exercises that you can study and do on your own or with a class or group.

There are over 2 hours of footage split into 36 handy video segments.

The course can be accessed from any laptop, PC or smart phone.

Here is a clip that you may find interesting about the benefits of nasal breathing:

I hope that you enjoy it.

I will be releasing the course soon!

My very best wishes for your training and good health as always.

Post Update: The course in now available here!

Matt.

Vladimir Vasiliev UK Seminar: How to get the best out of it – a key question answered.

Will the seminar be of value to you?

I have had several people email me to ask whether they will still get value out of the course if they come but can’t partake in all of the Vladimir Vasiliev seminar.

For some this has been because they are injured, for others it is because they are new and wonder if it will be too intense and for others it is because they are more interested in the health and wellbeing aspects of Systema.

I have thought carefully about my answer to each of them, because I don’t want them to come and then be disappointed. However, in each case my answer has been, ‘Yes, you should definitely come.’

There will be much of the seminar that almost anyone can do, regardless of confidence, skill or physical fitness level.

Additionally there is no problem at ANY time to stand aside and watch some or more of the drills.

IN FACT stepping out and watching from time to time can be seen as advisory.

This has been the thing that occurred to me as I thought about the answers. It is the key reason that I have advised all of the people who asked to come along.

When you watch the teacher (Vladimir) demonstrate and explain a skill, most people will then go and practice their own take on it. Some people will just go off and do something COMPLETELY different to what he has demonstrated. Anyone who has taught a group will have had the experience of witnessing this phenomena.

This is not always deliberate. We all have ‘built in’ filters and approximators that ‘delete’ and ‘distort’ much of the information that we are presented with to enable us to process it.

We then all jump straight in and start practicing, and often can’t see objectively whether or not we are really practicing what has been shown.

This is especially true during a long tiring day of practicing new skills and processing new or unfamiliar information.

With a small group, it is not so much of a problem, as the teacher can usually get around everyone during each drill and correct them. However, even this is not foolproof.

When you have a large seminar with a popular teacher, it is impossible for the teacher to see you during every drill.

Stepping out of the practice and watching from time to time allows you to have this objective viewpoint and calibrate yourself.

If anyone has any doubts as to whether they should do the seminar, for any of these reasons, please don’t hesitate to reply to this email and I will be happy to chat with you.

Bookings are now coming in so to make sure that you don’t miss out, you can book below.

Vladimir Vasiliev UK Seminar

I would love to welcome you to the seminar.

My very best wishes for your training and health as always,

Matt.

The (not so) surprising impact of fixing the things that you do everyday.

I received this email from a friend that I have known for a long time. He emails from time to time about the emails that I put out, and although he has never done Systema, he has done the 28 Day Challenge. Below he writes about the two key things that have stuck with him. They are not big things, but they are the things that you do everyday, and the things that you do most regularly are the things that define you, your health and your skills.

Matt,

I wanted to write to let you know how I have benefited from the Systema way of life.
The two key methods are walking and breathing.
Walking: I began to use the suggested method, of being straight and keeping good posture. Whilst initially, it seems unnatural, the benefits are really quite outstanding. No more the curved shoulders and slouch forward, but rather the straight spine, which has helped my lower back, a problem has been with me since I was 14 and cycling. The pain was nothing too great, but would be there if I walked like a ‘bag of potatoes’.
Secondly the Breathing method: I have found it excellent in high adrenaline rushes, a good example would be a near hit whilst driving. Following the correct breathing method brings you quickly back to a relaxed state. It also aids in physical exercise (don’t really need to tell you that), but, again, it is truly amazing the way in which you can return to a ‘normal’ level.
I don’t suffer from the health problems that many of your correspondents have had, but it just goes to show how effective the practices are even in small adjustments.
Regards,
John.

These things may seem trivial, mundane, but they aren’t. Just add up the amount of time that you spend on them. These things that you are doing all day every day. I would say these are the important things. Small adjustments here can have a huge magnification in your life, health and skills.

My book, ‘Living Systema‘ helps you to work on this element of your skill set.

My very best wishes for your health and training as always,

Matt.

Quite possibly the best way to start and end your day – Systema ground movement free video tutorial.

As a lifetime practice, I struggle to think of many things as beneficial to building and keeping a body that will serve you well into old age.

At the start and end of a Systema Class we will nearly always do some, ‘soft ground movement’.

At the start of the session this gently warms up the body, checks the muscles and joints for brittleness and tension, fixes injuries, and resets it from a day of poor posture, stress and tension.

At the end of the class it allows you to gently recover, check yourself for any sore spots, massage out any hits or tensions and psychologically collect and relax yourself.

I covered this on the recent strikes and massage course in Melksham. It seems very simple and structureless on the surface, but as is often the case with Systema, there is a lot going on beneath the surface.

Here is a 4 minute video that explains in a sequential manner the different levels of ground work and some key things to look for:

  • ‘Reaching’ into simple stretches to pull the ‘crinkles’ out of the body.
  • Rolling over the muscles using gravity and bodyweight to gently massage them.
  • Using random angles and directions in the stretches and movements to check the body.
  • Getting the feeling of Systema.
  • Gaining confidence in your movement.
  • Using movement to relax yourself inside and out.
  • Mixing in the pillars to check your strength to bodyweight ratio.
  • Going through the whole range from standing to lying and using the action of going to ground and vice versa to release tension.

Ground movement is a great place to start getting the, ‘feeling’ of Systema.

Finding the feeling of Systema will be the focus in the upcoming Intensive Seminar at the Academy in Melksham on the 21-25 November 2018

The seminar is half full, so to secure your space click here.

My very best wishes for your training and health as always,

Matt.

Systema Academy 5-Day Intensive: 21-25 Nov – Melksham.


The 5 day Intensive is running on the 21-25 Nov at the Systema Academy in Melksham.

The theme of this years intensive is: The Feeling of Systema.

For me, Systema is a feeling. I am either in a feeling of Systema, or I am not. This feeling is relaxed, balanced, smooth, calm. Wherever I am or whatever I am doing. As soon as I notice something pulling me out of that feeling into tension, I check whether it is appropriate or not, and if not, I release it and drop back into the feeling of Systema.

My aim on this intensive is to get you searching for that feeling. To know:

  • What to look for.
  • Where to look for it.
  • How to notice it.
  • How to practice it on and off the mat.
  • How to cultivate and maintain it.

The aim is find this feeling and maintain it through out the range of systema work, including some outdoor and environmental training (weather dependant).

Progression:
The course will progress over the five days covering, ground, standing, stick, knife, multiple attacker, environmental, and testing phases leading to an optional video recording of the final testing phase for you to keep and if desired send to Vladimir Vasiliev for feedback and/or instructor validation/renewal.

Health and Conditioning:
We will also cover the Systema approach to mobility, stretching, massage, deep and functional relaxation and conditioning work.

It will be intense but a lot of fun, with time for relaxation and use of the Academy for your own free training.

There is already a lot of interest and limited spaces.

The cost is £299.

It will be a small group with lots of opportunity for questions, discussion and peer learning. The aim is find and maintain The Feeling of Systema.

To pay by paypal click here. (Cost is £310 to account for paypal fee)

To pay by GoCardless click here. (£299)

To pay by BACS please email me for details.

My very best wishes as always for your training and health,


Matt.

P.S To help keep costs down there is also the opportunity to sleep on the mat at the Academy for a nominal nightly fee. First come first served.

Recommended reading for the course:

Systema Health

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Systema Combat
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New Video Podcast with The Scholar Warrior

Earlier in the year I did a very enjoyable video podcast with Robin Gamble of the Scholar Warrior Podcast. It was our second podcast and we discussed a lot of topics such as:

– Using Systema to augment traditional martial arts.
– Where I think the current fascination with Special Forces Training comes from.
– Layering and build training to get the most out of it.
– Being the influencer rather than the influenced.
– Explanation of the Systema Four Pillars.
– Transferable skills outside class.
– Comparisons of gym work vs Systema.
– Using Systema to deal with Stress in life.
– Links between rounded physical and emotional confidence.
– What’s inspiring me at the moment.

Robin is a real gentleman with some great insights into the world of martial arts and holistic approach to life. Click the image below if you would like to see the podcast.

My very best wishes for your health and training.

Matt.

Click the links below for Matt’s Systema:
  • Upcoming Courses:
    • 22-23 Sept Systema Seminar, Melksham, England. Waiting List only! to be added click here
    • 21-25 Nov 5-Day Systema Intensive Wiltshire. Melksham, England.
    • 23-24 March 2019 New* Vladimir Vasiliev, ‘Structure of Systema’ Seminar – booking opening soon.

Systema Strikes and Massage Seminar – 22-23 Sept

 

A 2 Day In-Depth Look at Systema Strikes and Massage – 2 sides of the same coin.

Systema strikes are characterised by their depth, power, effortlessness, unpredictability and healing power. Yes you heard that right.

This seminar will look at all aspects of Systema strikes:

  • Preparation. How to prepare yours and your partners body and psyche for strike work.
  • Structure. How to deliver the strike with minimal loss of power.
  • Short work. How to hit from close range for infighting and unpredictability.
  • Multiple strikes. How to hit multiple times in one strike and against multiple opponents.
  • Control. Learn how to control your depth in order to allow you to work without protective gear with all skill and age levels.
  • Feeling. Correct striking is a feeling. Learn when a strike feels correct in order to replicate it at will.
  • Strikes to heal and relax. How to heal and relax people with strikes. ‘What is in your heart comes out through your fist’

We will also end each day with massage. It is important to understand how to restore an recover from strike work. 1/3 of each day will involve deep recovery and restoration from the work. We will focus on how to take the same skills of releasing power and energy into strikes into releasing healing energy into massage. The focus on both is relaxation.

Over 2 days on Sept 22nd and 23rd I will lead you through training to understand:

  • Healing hands.
  • Percussive massage.
  • Bodyweight Massage.
  • Optional use of massage tools such as sticks and cossack whips.

Details:

Date: 22-23 Sept.
Timings: Sat: 11am Finish 5pm | Sun: 10am Start Finish 4pm.
Venue: Systema Academy, Avonside Enterprise Park, New Broughton Road, Melksham, Wiltshire, SN12 8BT.

Accommodation:There is plenty of good accommodation in the Melksham Area. A quick search on booking.com or airbnb will reveal all!

Personal touch:
The course size is going to be limited in order for me to spend maximum time with individual participants to address individual problem areas.

This course has been advertised already and is filling up.

Payment Options:

Paypal: £124

GoCardless £120

 

 

or email me for BACS details.

My very best wishes for your training and good health,

Matt.

The Master Key

When I find myself feeling under par health wise, struggling emotionally, in an emergency situation, or in a confrontation, my first check is to come back to the basics. In my experience, the right path in all these situations is to be found there. It’s just so easy to overcomplicate things. That said, basic is far from easy.

Health wise these are my first checks:

  • Is my breath nasal, light and easy? Can I take a full breath, into any part of my body, from my head to my heels? Or is my breath stuck somewhere?
  • Am I sleeping well? Getting to bed well before midnight? Waking feeling rested?
  • Am I drinking enough water, especially at this time of year, at least 3l per day.
  • How about my diet? Am I eating mostly real food, not too much, mostly fresh fruit and veg?
  • Have I been too sedentary? Am I moving my body through its full range daily? The pillars will do that for you.
  • Am I getting outside enough? Taking long, easy walks in a natural setting, doing some breath ladders?

During times of high stress, emotion or confrontation similar basic checks can be made, but these are more like scans. They are simple, but require daily practice under artificial stressors as we do in Systema classes. Unless you have practiced them and tested the skill under varied circumstances they will desert you in times of high stress.

  • Firstly you have to manage your breathing, and adapt it to the situation consciously and constantly. Left unconscious it will inhibit you in all but a very few emergency physical situations, and even then you want to be able to adapt your response. This will give you the mental flexibility to manage your way through.
  • Then you have to check your tension. Is the situation tensing you in a way that you are inhibited in your movement and thought. You need to be moving and scanning your body for tension, relaxing and releasing this, correcting the crumpling of posture that anger, fear, anxiety and stress bring, so that you are physically and mentally free to respond with different options.

There is a tendency to overcomplicate things. Looking for quick fixes such as drugs for health and wellbeing, the perfect technique in martial arts, the latest faddish diet, drink, supplement or piece of equipment in exercise. They may mask things for a short time, but rarely, if ever, stand the test of time.

The fundamentals underpin it all: your health, wellbeing, skills and situational management:

  • For health look to your breathing, sleep, hydration, nutrition and where and how you are moving your body, get outside. We need fresh air and open spaces, not poky rooms with artificial heat, light and a/c.
  • For combat skills and situational management, develop the skill to notice and manage your state. This is NOT easy. Especially under stress. You need to go through the cycle to achieve unconscious competence. The ability to notice when things are going awry and to self correct. This blends to a feeling, for me it is the feeling of Systema. Where my breathing, movement, relaxation and posture come together not as separate parts but merge as this feeling. As soon as I feel myself being pulled out of that feeling by a situation, I drop back into it. When I am in that feeling I know that I am in the best state that I can be to meet the challenge.

This is the key in Systema training. There is not a requirement to master every aspect of what is taught. You are there to grasp the master key that all of the aspects are allowing you to look at, and once you have grasped that, you have grasped the basics, and you are on the way to unlocking it all.

I am committed to sharing these concepts with as many people as I can in order to walk healthily and calmly through life together.

My very best wishes for your health and training.

Matt.

Click the links below for Matt’s Systema: