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Focusing On The Principles Of IZVOR

Rob Ivanov explaining IZVOR knife defence to Sunny


On day two we met up with Rob and his IZVOR students and we trained in a park and woods where his group regularly meets for their training sessions.  


The theme for today was focused on basic IZVOR principles and how they are trained using different drills.  Our first topic was IZVOR punching and the use of a principle they cal triangle.  For those familiar with my manual on Systema structure breaking it involves keeping your fighting arc pointing towards your attacker.


Like Maksimtsov Systema both feet point towards the opponent however the rear foot has the heel raised with pressure on the ball of the foot.  When the arms are raised the hands pointed towards your opponent’s chin, which could be considered the appex of the triangle.


From this position it was easy to use an angled plane and movements familiar to kadochnikov Systema students whilst moving forwards.  The general ideas was to escape the line of attack often using the plane to slide around the attack whilst throwing quick strikes to disorient the attacker.  If they tried to move away from the onslaught you pressed forwards, but some of the strikes hooked around the back of their neck to prevent this from happening.


These strikes can be very similar to boing, open hand or use other parts of the arm such as the elbows.  One thing they have in common is a written down set of principles that have plenty of similarities to the striking principles of other Systema Schools.  One thing that was very evident was the trinity strike though it was done closer and with far smaller movements than I usually practice.


We then looked at wrestling and this included using Systema takedowns and the use of the elbow to maintain the distance between you and the attacker.  This use of elbow is something I have worked for a while within Alex Kostic’s material, but I think I have a far better understanding of it now from the additional focus Rob put on its use.



Sunny using structure breaking in knife defense


Rob worked hard to make sure everyone had the information they needed, corrected mistakes and then moved on to more material in his effort to download as much of what he had learnt from his instructor Michael Grudev.  This included working on slopes and against a wall, knife defense, firearm disarming and multiple opponent work.  



Working against a wall allows it to provide support

when kicking



No matter what the topic there was an emphasis of applying the principles and that it should work under pressure.  This made for an interesting change of pace from fast work with pads to slower drills aimed at getting technical points correct.


Having completed an incredible training session we showered and then head into the Old City of Riga.  It has to be said I have visited many Eastern European cities since I started training Russian Martial Arts, but this city is definitely the most stunning I have seen.  Brightly colored buildings surrounding busy squares where musicians were playing seemed to be the norm.  Rob showed us around and explained much of the history of the city as he went. 


Exploring the historical city of Riga


After exploring for several hours Sunny and I returned to our hotel to try to capture as much of what we learnt in our notes because we knew we had much to learn the following day and we didn’t want a single piece of Rob’s information to be lost when we got even more new ideas from Michael in our next session.



For more information on studying the Science of Systema and learn the lessons that I have learnt on my travels check out our other Systema blog articles and the educational material in our Combat Lab Shop.  Our educational material is unique in the English language.