IZVOR seminar in Holland 2013 Day 2
On the Saturday morning there were 19 people waiting eagerly for what was for most their first taste of IZVOR training. Amongst the group were people from different European nationalities including the UK, Holland, Germany and Bulgaria.
Michael started us of with a little knife defence. The point he wanted to make was that knife attacks don’t happen like they do in sparring and they are instead very close range. The attacker tries to hide his intention to attack and we need to work from any angle.
We therefore played a number of drills where the attacker did exactly that. As with all IZVOR training there was an emphasis on defending ourselves with minimal movement. This is one important factor in increasing the speed of our response to an attack.
Michael moved from person to person offering advice and correcting any mistakes that they were making.
He then ran us through a series of drills that had us moving around and with our partners whilst maintaining the correct distance for striking before we moved on to look at IZVOR’s approach to grappling.
One thing grapplers look for when trying to get a takedown is body to body contact. The reason for this is that if they are going to lift you any distance between their body and yours magnifies the force they need to do it.
Students of IZVOR take advantage of this fact by using their elbows as a barrier. This is combined with movement around the direction of attack, whilst the barrier is created using a short striking movement to deform the attackers structure. This then makes them much easier to takedown.
Another grappling concept Michael called the 50 centimetre principle. The idea was to continue the attacker’s inertia 50cm beyond the position they were heading towards and to use this to take them down.
From a clinch position he showed another way to break structure that he got from his time studying with Alexander Retuinskih of the ROSS School. In it we use the inertia of our hips moving to create a spiral in our opponent and use this to throw them to the floor.
In the striking section we gloved up and worked against a wall and finally did a traditional sparring drill that I have seen in a number of Russian Schools. In this drill we had to sit on a bench and spar. This foot work from the equation and encouraged greater use of head and upper body movement to avoid being hit. This was a huge amount of fun too and everyone really enjoyed exchanging blows with their partners.
The class then broke up for dinner and reconvened at a nearby school later in the evening for a lesson on the psychological aspects of fighting. This was a really interesting class and involved Michael explaining exactly how real world fights take place and the tactics he had used to deal with them.
One thing that surprised many in the class was that Michael advocated hitting first and explained that you are much more likely to have success in a self defence situation if you instigate the action using some sort of pre-emptive strike.
The lesson certainly got everyone thinking about what they would be prepared to do in a real situation and that in my opinion is very important and something that I encourage my own students to think about.
There is a chance to learn more about this exciting form of Russian Martial Art coming up on the 21 to 23rd June 2014 in the city of Riga, Latvia. This will be the first European Summer Camp where Michael is trying to get representatives from all over Europe together in one place to help spread what this school has to offer.
Lessons will take place on the beach and in the woods and there will be time put aside for further instruction in the psychological aspects of combat as well as teaching a very practical set of skills based on the principles of Russian Martial Arts.
In this clip shot the night before Michael demonstrates the 50cm Principle.
If you want to get involved in this seminar or simply want more details check out the official website or contact us through our facebook group.
For more information on Combat Lab's approach to studying the Science of Russian Martial Arts and learn how to train it for self defence 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.