I recently asked members if they would answer the question why they started Systema, and what keeps them coming back. Systema is so deep and diverse that people come for many reasons. Chris’s answer touched me, especially the end.
I first found Systema through some web browsing, looking for a martial art or fun physical activity that I could do with my eldest son, (I think he was 6 at the time). My wife found a video you had posted of the Saturday kids classes and it just looked like fun. We particularly liked how the kids were involved in everything, doing the demos, talking to camera etc and the way that the parents and children all trained together. We thought we’d give it a try.
The kids class was all we had hoped for and more, with an emphasis on fun and movement we were both hooked and as soon as my younger daughter was old enough she also joined. As a quick aside, she was at the time being recommended by her school for medical intervention due to worries about coordination and balance – worries that have completely disappeared within the last two years due in no small part to her Systema practice.
My youngest son and my wife are both planning to start on the Systema path in the new year so it will be a whole family affair, two generation with an age range from 3-40, all training, learning and laughing together!
My journey into Systema combat started after around 6 months of family classes. There was an open invite to a trial adult class and so I went to take a look. It was bonkers, very different to anything I’ve seen in a martial arts class before. Body weight exercises, but using someone else’s body, (such as press-ups on someone, squat while holding another person etc), full contact training but always with respect for your partner and the same sense of fun and adventure that was so addictive in the children’s class.
The thing that stood out for me the most was the movement, a fluidity and body control that I really wanted to have and I’m happy to say that I can now do some of those simple fluid movements myself. Movements that I could never have done before.
I keep coming back because there is always something new, there is a constant challenging of boundaries. I have learnt that I’m so much stronger (both mentally and physically) than I realised. I now believe in myself more. Finally, the classes bring a sense of peace that I get nowhere else.
Chris and his children have been training for over three years and it will be a pleasure to welcome the rest of the team to the club in the new year!
P.S. The 4 Day Intensive course on 16-19 Nov is now waiting list only for all four days.