Systema Academy Breathwork for Life Seminar: 22 Jan 2022

The theme of this years fist seminar is: Breathwork for life.

It is running on the 22 Jan 2022.

We will  explore the basic elements of Systema Breathing and look at how to take them from conscious practices to unconscious skill. How to integrate them into life in a way that moment to moment you are making positive deposits in your physical, mental and emotional bank account.

When integrated into daily living, Systema breathing will help to :

  • ​Improve stress response
  • Improve and stabilise blood pressure
  • Slow heart rate
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Improve emotional wellbeing
  • Stay calm
  • Increase energy
  • Think clearly
  • Manage pain
  • Move freely
  • Endure longer
  • Recover faster
  • Remove stress
  • Mitigate trauma and injury

Over the seminar we will introduce, integrate and show how to naturalise the Systema breathwork approach into your everyday movement and responses to stress.

We will look at ways to incorporate them in normal, natural ways, so that you begin to better feel the benefits of the key principles of breath work.

Integrating the practices and principles into your daily life and training is the only real way to realise the full potential of arguably our most important function: the gift of the breath of life.

Details:

Date: 22 Jan 2022
Timings: Sat: 11am Finish 5pm |
Venue: Systema Academy, Avonside Enterprise Park, New Broughton Road, Melksham, Wiltshire, SN12 6PX.

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

Parking: Ample on-site parking available.

Details:

The In Person cost is £80.

 

To join the sessions via zoom the cost is £40.

 

Timings:

Saturday 22nd January

11.00 – 14.00 – Session 1

14.00-15.00 Break

15.00-18.00 – Session 2

It will be a small group with lots of opportunity for questions, discussion and peer learning. The aim is find and peel back the layers of tension that hold us back in Martial Arts and life.  

 

Payment:

To pay by GoCardless (preferred) click the appropriate link: 

In person 1 day : £80

Zoom 2 sessions : £40

 

To pay by Paypal click the appropriate link:

In person 1 day : £80

Zoom 2 sessions : £40

 

 

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

Click on the image to order

Systema Combat
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Click on the image to order

 

River Wye Canoe and Camp Trip 24-25 July 2021

River Wye Canoeing and Camping Trip 24-25 July 2021 – Booking Open!

Canoe down the River Wye, one of this Britain’s more beautiful and spectacular river sceneries.

Camp overnight on Saturday (tent and roaring campfire) and then back home for lunchtime on Sunday.

Start time – 11.30am Saturday 24th July in Symonds Yat.
Finish time – 10.30am Saturday 25th July at the Campsite.

Basic camping kit will be needed (tent, sleeping bags and mats, cooking equipment, food etc. full list will be given on booking).

This is a fantastic trip down the River Wye. A timeless trip of high adventure and the the kind of trip that childhood memories are made of!

Numbers will be limited. Please let me know ASAP.

Costs:

£70 per child and £80 per adult.
To pay via paypal click below:
Please email me matt@matthill.co.uk for BACS details to pay by bank:
Adult
Child (16 and below)
Children must be accompanied by an adult.

I look forward to welcoming you on the adventure!

Best wishes,

Matt.

Autumn Systema Camp 20-22 Nov – Wiltshire

For the first time!

For many years people have asked me to run a camp in Autumn. I have always resisted it. Until now. The current situation has meant that we cannot do the normal Autumn Intensive indoors. So I have decided to run an Autumn Camp.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

The camp will run over 3 days in line with Government Guidelines.

This may well be the last chance to have that overnight nature immersion and deep push of the reset button before the winter months.

Camp Topics: The camp will take place from 20-22 November in Wiltshire and will cover:

  • Outdoor skills: fire lighting, kit packing and prep, camp set up, outdoor cooking, self management for the outdoors, map reading, knife skills, moving across ground, and new *patrolling skills and hand signals.
  • Systema Training:
    • Breath-work: for Comprehensive, diverse and adaptable breath training for optimising your health, and emotional state.
    • Physical: Systema massage, strength and conditioning,  tension and release, balance and agility, sensory acuity, mobility, body balancing
    • Combat: Weapon handling skills, distance management, awareness,
    • Movement: Smooth, free, effortless movement in all terrains.
    • Awareness: The outdoors is the best place to open your senses & improve your level of awareness. We will also work at night, and with sensory impairments.
  • Mindset: Being out in the woods for 2 nights in Autumn is not a comfortable thought for most of us. The Army has a saying that anyone can be cold, wet and tired. It takes no skill at all. To be able to function highly, enjoy and thrive in adverse conditions takes a different mindset, the right kit and clothing helps, and the knowledge and skills to use it properly. We will cover all of these key elements in the November Camp.

More Details:

The camp will take place completely outdoors, in fields and woodland, no enclosed spaces, no physical contact, no other people (except the lovely landowners) but lots of social connection around the campfire.

All the training will be focussed on the health and wellbeing aspects of Systema with some training in self defence and awareness also.

There is so much that you can do that is holistic, energising, invigorating, immune system boosting and stress busting.

We will live, sleep, train, cook and eat outdoors, explore breath work, massage, stretching, movement, awareness, bushcraft and survival skills.

You will come away not only feeling great, but with improved skills in those key areas.

The outdoors is perhaps the perfect place to have a socially distanced Training Camp.

We remain up to date with advice taken from a HSE and Risk Professional and the following measures will be in place:

  • We will work in groups of 6 to ensure that we are in compliance with guidelines.
  • All of the training on this camp will be no contact. (With the exception of Systema bodyweight massage using the feet).
  • Everything is optional, so you can participate or not in each of the activities).
  • There will be separate sleeping areas for everyone and plenty of space to ensure distancing.
  • Food will be prepared and cooked individually using your own camp stoves, so there will be no sharing of equipment or utensils.

All of that said we will be able to come together to train, commune and connect in a gloriously beautiful and natural environment.

There is no better way to welcome in the season than to spend a night out in it.

Being healthy is not an accident, it is a skill that can be cultivated.

Systema has so many practices that can bring remarkable improvements to your sense of vitality and wellbeing.

This camp will show how to access and unite your bodies systems to optimise your sense of health and wellbeing.

Who can attend?
The course is suitable for men and women of all ages and skill levels.

Living Systema. At the camp we are together 24-7. It is an ideal time to begin to understand and refine how we build the feeling of Systema into everyday life. For 3 days you will live, train and immerse yourself in a holistic approach to Systema and living.

Suitable for all levels: Due to the training methodology the training is suitable for all levels, complete beginners to advanced students. Everyone learns together. As such the camp is ideal for those who wish to experience the breadth and depth of Systema for the first time.

Accommodation: Accommodation is camping. You can bring your own tent, or basha (tarp). This is the ideal time to try sleeping in a hammock or bivvi-bag under a tarp with the forest as your walls and the stars as your roof.  A comprehensive training session is given to help you set up. Of course you can stick to a tent!

Packing List: A full packing list is provided.

Cooking. This year all cooking will be done individually using your own equipment to avoid any cross contamination issues. A full example food list will be provided.

Dates: This years camp will run for 3 days. Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd Nov.

Cost: The cost is £200. See below for payment options. Places will be limited so it is advisable to get in early.

Payment Options:

  • Go Cardless: Click here
  • If you would like to pay via BACS please email me for details.

Cancellation Policy:
At this late stage, as soon as the payment has been received, the registration is considered valid and binding. However, if you contract COVID-19 or if lockdown measures come back into place preventing a participant from attending a refund will be made.

Other than for the reasons stated above, participants who are absent from the camp, forfeit the entire amount of payment. There is no right to a refund of the seminar cost in this instance, but another person can take your place.

Places will be limited.

I look forward to welcoming you to another great training camp. Please email if you have any questions: matt@matthill.co.uk

My very best wishes for your health and training,

Matt.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Henry David Thoreau

Health and Wellbeing Systema Camp II – 4-6 Sept

Back by demand!

I have been asked to run a second Systema Camp this year.

The feedback from the Wiltshire Systema Camp that we ran on 10-12 July was overwhelmingly positive.

It was shorter than the normal camp, just 3 days, but what a difference 3 days made to people.

They came from all over the country, for all kinds of reasons, but all had one thing in common: It was their first time mixing with a group post lockdown.

If Carlsberg did easing out of lockdown weekends, this would probably have been it.

It was all done outdoors, in fields and woodland, no enclosed spaces, no physical contact, no other people (except the lovely landowners) but lots of social connection around the campfire.

All the training was focussed on the health and wellbeing aspects of Systema. There is so much that you can do that is holistic, energising, invigorating, immune system boosting and stress busting.

We lived, slept, trained, cooked and ate outdoors, explored breath work, massage, stretching, movement, awareness, bushcraft and survival skills.

We came away not only feeling great, but with improved skills in those key areas.

Several people have asked if I would do it again and numbers pending, I would.

The date would be 4-6 September.

The outdoors is perhaps the perfect place to have a socially distanced Training Camp.

We remain up to date with advice taken from a HSE and Risk Professional and the following measures will be in place:

  • We will work in groups of 6 to ensure that we are in compliance with guidelines.
  • All of the training on this camp will be no contact. (With the exception of Systema bodyweight massage using the feet).
  • Everything is optional, so you can participate or not in each of the activities).
  • There will be separate sleeping areas for everyone and plenty of space to ensure distancing.
  • Food will be prepared and cooked individually using your own camp stoves, so there will be no sharing of equipment or utensils.

All of that said we will be able to come together to train, commune and connect in a gloriously beautiful and natural environment.

After a long period in lockdown with will provide a deep immersion in nature to push your reset button, boost your immune system and move your skills to the next level.

Click here to stay updated about the Camp.

Being healthy is not an accident, it is a skill that can be cultivated.

Systema has many practices that can bring remarkable improvements to your sense of vitality and wellbeing.

This camp will show how to access and unite your bodies systems to optimise your sense of health and wellbeing.

Click below to watch a Systema Camp Trailer (note that there will be no contact work on this camp):

Who can attend?
The course is suitable for men and women of all ages and skill levels.

Over the three days a range of topics will be covered by day and night in field, forest and water:

  • Breath-work: for Comprehensive, diverse and adaptable breath training for optimising your health, and emotional state.
  • Physical: Systema massage, strength and conditioning,  tension and release, balance and agility, sensory acuity
  • Movement: Smooth, free, effortless movement in all terrains.
  • Survivial: Map Reading, Shelter Building, Fire Lighting, Knife work, outdoor cooking, Hammock, Tarp and Sleeping set up, Kit Packing, Moving across ground,
  • Awareness: The outdoors is the best place to open your senses & improve your level of awareness. Working at night, and with sensory impairments.

Living Systema. At the camp we are together 24-7. It is an ideal time to begin to understand and refine how we build the feeling of Systema into everyday life. For 3 days you will live, train and immerse yourself in a holistic approach to Systema and living.

Suitable for all levels: Due to the training methodology the training is suitable for all levels, complete beginners to advanced students. Everyone learns together. As such the camp is ideal for those who wish to experience the breadth and depth of Systema for the first time.

Accommodation: Accommodation is camping. You can bring your own tent, or basha (tarp). This is the ideal time to try sleeping in a hammock or bivvi-bag under a tarp with the forest as your walls and the stars as your roof.  A comprehensive training session is given to help you set up. Of course you can stick to a tent!

Packing List: A full packing list is provided.

Cooking. This year all cooking will be done individually using your own equipment to avoid any cross contamination issues. A full example food list will be provided.

Dates: This years camp will run for 3 days. Friday 4th to Sunday 6th Sept.

Cost: The cost is £200. See below for payment options. Places will be limited so it is advisable to get in early.

Payment Options:
Paypal: Click here
Go Cardless: Click here

Cancellation Policy:
At this late stage, as soon as the payment has been received, the registration is considered valid and binding. However, if you contract COVID-19 or if lockdown measures come back into place preventing a participant from attending a refund will be made.

Other than for the reasons stated above, participants who are absent from the camp, forfeit the entire amount of payment. There is no right to a refund of the seminar cost in this instance, but another person can take your place.

Places will be limited.

I look forward to welcoming you to another great training camp. Please email if you have any questions: matt@matthill.co.uk

My very best wishes for your health and training,

Matt.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Henry David Thoreau

Tips for easier breathing

I put this video out on social media a week ago, but I know that some of you here are not on Facebook etc.

I did the video for someone who had COVID-19 and was struggling with her breathing. This was also picked up by BBC Radio Wiltshire and I did a short interview with them.

There are some key elements that can inhibit breathing and a couple of things that will make breathing easier. They are in no particular order:

Position:

  • If you are ill, you will want to rest and lie down.
  • A big proportion of the lung is in the back, so lying on the back can restrict your breathing.
  • Alternatives are lying on your front, or sitting back to front on a chair with a back and leaning your chest against it.
  • This will allow you to open up your back as you breathe, getting a deeper breath.

Tension and Emotion:

If you are tense and fearful, your breathing will be restricted. It is hard to breathe through this tension which can feel like a tightness or crushing feeling in the chest and shortness of breath.

A couple of key things can help this:

  1. Pathway (nasal breathing):
    • Breathing through the nose will bring calm into the body.
    • Try to make the breaths light, soft and almost wispy, as they move down through the body.
  2. Movement:
    • If you feel tension or restriction anywhere, try to move that area of the body lightly. This will break up the tension.

Click the video below to watch:

Tips for breathing easier through difficulties

I hope that you found the odd useful tip in there.

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

Matt.

Tips for working from home during the lockdown

Most of us are now working from home or spending a lot of time in the home. For many this will be a new experience. Some of you may be enjoying it and for some it may be tough.

In many ways for me it is business as usual. Apart from when I go to teach at the Academy, I spent most of my day working from home before the lockdown.

I have also spent a lot of time working from home in previous roles, from corporate crisis management to consulting.

I have found that there are a few things that have made a difference:

  • Getting up early.
  • Start of the day routine – ‘Golden time’.
  • Planning the day.
  • End of the day routine.

Get up early

  • I wake at 05.30.
  • For me this is the Kings time of the day, before most people are up. It is peaceful and you can focus without interruption from colleagues, family members, emails or calls.
  • Ceasar was famous for using this time to, ‘steal a march’ on his enemies. His ability to move his army vast distances in the early hours before dawn and be where the enemy did not expect him was legendary.

Golden time – about 90 mins:

  • The first thing that I do is to pray or meditate for 5-10 mins. This cleans me internally relaxing and inspiring me.
  • Mouthful by mouthful I slowly drink a bottle of water.
  • I do some physical and breathing exercise to open up, stretch, relax and fill the body with breath. This doesn’t need to be a lot. Just 10 mins is fine. I usually run through the Systema pillars and a little ground movement.
  • I then do a task that involves creativity or motivation to do, such as creative writing, business planning, solving a problem etc. I find that I am most focused and creative at this time of day. This is usually about an hour to 90 mins.
  • Cold douse – Before the lockdown this would have been a shower, but now I leave a bucket of water out over night and then douse with it before I go in to break fast.

I find that this routine really sets me up for the day. I sometimes feel as though I have done a full days work before most people are out of bed. Don’t get me wrong, 05.30 hasn’t always been easy, but now I don’t even use an alarm, I wake naturally at this time. N.B sometimes I will sleep in till 6 or even 6.30. I don’t mind this as it means I needed it.

I then go back into the house and break fast with the family at about 07.30.

At about 08.30 I go back to my office. I know that I am very fortunate to have a separate office, but even if you don’t, try to have a habitual space in the house that is work, rather than sitting on a sofa with a laptop. It is good to separate work and home. It means that at the end of the day you can, ‘leave’ work.

Daily planner.

  • I think that there is truth in the saying that if you don’t plan your day, someone else will.
  • A plan leaves you less stressed. You can of course deviate from it, but at least then you know where you are deviating from and where you are going back to.
  • I schedule my day in 30 minute slots. Obviously some tasks will take up a little less, some a little more. You also have the pleasure of crossing things off and seeing what you have achieved by the end of the day. Things that get scheduled may typically be things like:
    • Content writing
    • Calls
    • Reading an article or studying a video
    • Teaching
    • Training etc.
  • As well as work tasks I also schedule in reading time, downtime such as walking the dog, and spending time with Sarah and the children.
  • I sometimes take a short nap no longer than 15 mins.
  • I also see the wisdom in resting and recharging 1 day in 7. A Wednesday or a Sunday is this day for us as a family.

End of the day.

  • My office work day finishes at about 16.30 and the final thing I do is a, ‘brain dump‘.
  • All of the unfinished work, questions, threads and wisps of ideas that are running around my head get added to my, ‘to do’ list. This helps to stop them running around my mind when I leave the office and I can focus on time with the family.
  • I then schedule the next day so that the following morning I hit the ground running and don’t have to spend the golden time figuring out what to do.

Of course this routine sometimes slips, but I would comfortably say it is in place 80% of the time and that is enough.

I hope that you found the odd useful tip in there.

I’d love to hear if you have any things that you do differently.

My very best wishes for your health and training,

Matt.

Systema Zoom Seminar – Recordings available – Free or donation.

Below are the recordings of the session that will be up for a short period. The recordings are free or by donation. 

Suggested donation £8-12 per session.



Session 1: – Complete – recordings available here: 

Session 2:

Session 3:

My very best for your health and training as always,

Matt.




Live online classes a big hit!

Sign up to get links to join the classes:

Due to the events around COVID19 we have moved the classes at the Academy online for members and have also opened up options for non-members.

They have been a big hit!

We had over 100 members and non members attend the classes so far.

Here is some feedback that was echoed by all:

“Thank you for having the online class last night we really enjoyed it, great fun, good to feel that lovely familiar feeling, moving and breathing. We were amazed how good quality the picture and sound were. It was remarkably comforting to see so many familiar faces, almost as important as the movement itself.”

“I felt so calm and relaxed after the class, just what I needed after a very stressful day.”

The second daytime session was attended by people from all over the UK and Europe.

About the classes:

  • Classes are 1 hour long.
  • The classes are mixed ability and suitable for everyone.
  • The main focus is on breathing, movement, relaxation and a range of activities to promote health and wellbeing. Some classes will have different focus areas ranging from:
  • Core movement work to improve strength, flexibility, fluidity, recovery and endurance, self massage, partner massage, mobility, ground flow, guided breath walks, balance work, rolling and much more.

Current Class Schedule:

  • Monday: 19.30-20.30
  • Tuesday: 19.30-20.30
  • Thursday 10.30-11.30am and 19.30-20.30
  • Saturday: 09.00-10.30
  • I will likely add more classes soon.

Family Members: 

Families members are also welcome to join in and have already been doing so!

Guest Payment options:

  • There will be at least 5 sessions per week.
  • Probably more as interest seems high.
  • There are two payment options:
    • £8 per class or
    • £50 per month unlimited classes (If you do just 2 sessions per week this saves over £25.)

For guests please make the payment via PayPal or card below before you attend the class:

1 class (£8)

Unlimited Monthly classes (£50 per month):

  • Click here to easily set up payment (you can cancel at anytime).

Numbers are capped and details of classes will be sent out before each session by email.

If you would like to be notified please join the newsletter below:

Sign up to get links to join the classes:

Helpful tips:

  1. If this is your first time joining a Zoom class please try to log-in early, check that everything works, then you can leave the meeting and join 5 mins before the start time.
  2. Voice and Video. When you join you will be able to talk with and see other participants while you wait for the class to start. In the bottom left hand side of the screen you have the option to mute yourself and turn off your video. You can disable your video if you like and/or mute yourself and just sit quietly and wait. This just means that people cannot see you or hear you. You will be able to see and hear everybody else.

Here is a helpful 1 minute video if you get stuck, but basically here are the steps:

  1. You will receive an email with a link to register for and join the meeting.
  2. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information (Meeting ID and Password) about joining the meeting.
  3. If joining Zoom for the first time you will need to download the App. Once you have the Zoom app on your phone/computer you won’t have to do it each time, so in future it will just be meeting ID and Password.

Remember to trial it early, to double check.

Hope to see you soon!

Best,