SYSTEMA / New Zealand

Training Session Example 1


             Breathing Drill (pyramid)

    - Walk in large circle, slow pace to start with

    - Inhale 1 step/exhale 1 step (few times around the circle)

    - Inhale 2 steps/exhale 2 steps

    - Inhale 3 steps/exhale 3 steps…….4, 5, 6, etc…….

    - Continue until 10 steps are taken per inhale/exhale

    - Reverse process back down to one

    Idea is to slowly add ‘stress’ to your body/breathing while remaining calm and relaxed. Breath length/rate must be consciously changed as needed. Ideal is that there is no real noticeable change in body and mind for the duration of drill. You may feel tension at times at the base of your neck and chest, try not to allow the tension to infect (spread to) the rest of your body.

    ***Can be progressed to higher numbers of steps, a light jog or ultimately running pace

             Go to Ground

    1: Slowly, softly, quietly go to the ground. Try as many different ways as possible - forward, backwards, sideways.

    Collapse your body, joint by joint (analogy - building demolition, when a building is demolished it is not tipped over (classic break fall) but it has the structure collapsed one part out from under the next - allowing it to collapse upon itself).

    Once on the ground (in any position - laying flat, sitting, kneeling) - relax and enjoy it for a few seconds then back to your feet - don’t use your hands to assist you in getting up. Again, try a number of different ways of getting up.

    2: Next, close your eyes - same process.

    3: Allow your partner to push you to the ground. Have him use different angles and really direct you to the ground - you follow the direction (sometimes you’ll really have to work out how to do it in a functional way - therefore work slowly)

    After a few rounds, your partner pushes you to the ground then while you’re on the floor he walks at you (in a straight line) you move out of the way and get back to your feet.

    Again, begin slowly then as you become comfortable allow the speed to increase.

    Should almost have a ‘lazy’ feeling to it - think to work as if you have to do this drill for the next 12 hours!

    Trade back and forth between you and your partner - also if possible change partners often.

    Do this drill until you’re nice and warmed up - even a bit tired


    Come to leaning rest (top push-up position) and just hold there. (Idea is to build up to longer and longer periods, 5mins +)If tension comes in try to spread it through-out your body, move the effected area, adjust as needed.

    Breathe!! Don’t feel sorry for yourself, your brain is what you’re really working here.

    Tell members that if they really need to that they should go to their knees to relieve stress - however keep the arms/shoulders engaged.

    This shouldn’t be a competition between members and they should focus on themselves - everyone is going to have a different capacity to endure. We’re just looking to show each other support and what is possible.

            Pushing/Receiving Contact Progression

    1: Static drilling - face to face with partner, attacker pushes with good intention to various parts of the receiver’s body. Work slowly at the beginning - allow them to ‘figure-out’ how to relieve the pressure.Good image to link to drill is have the receiver imagine that they are standing on the edge of a cliff.

    Work body parts independently - try to open up the movement of the shoulders, chest, torso, hips, legs.

    Work the body as one piece - work slowly and feel the chains of movement that are created (the ‘Wave’) and how it helps move the pressure thru and out of your body.


    2: Static drilling - same as above but stand side by side


    3: Static drilling - if in a group, have group stand in a circle facing inwards/spread the legs a bit wider than shoulder width, feet touching neighbor’s/push and pull one another. Work slowly, again if your partner gets stuck - keep the pressure on and allow them to figure a way to relieve the pressure.


    4: Moving drill - Same (partner) pushing drills as above but now start to move the feet. If you can deal with the push without moving the feet and keep your structure, ok. When the push begins to disrupt your structure - allow your feet to move to compensate. Allow the pushing to come from any direction and target whole body - face, arms, torso, legs.


    5: Moving drill with ‘Control’ added - drill as above but now add in a response by trapping/connecting with some portion of the attacker’s body. Try not to grab or rely on your hands all the time. Use your body as your third hand.Allow the push to put you in the correct position to respond - don’t run, invite the attacker in. Don’t go hunting to grab or get some contact - the response should work as a natural part of the movement generated by the push.

    ***You can go on to work on all kinds of things from these drills - add in striking, breaking structure, multiple attackers, knife work

           End of Session

    (End the session with something low-key and playful)This session was ended with two-on-one pushing session - opening up the things that were worked on during the session/bring in - going to ground/closing the eyes/trying for a bit of control.

    Switch the group/receiver around a lot - each person should take a few turns.

    Always try to end the session with a laugh - this will make people feel good about the training rather than ‘beat-down’ from the work.


    ### = 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, 10 squats (helps break up the training a bit and keep away ‘tunnel-vision’)