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Another Crazy Year Done.



2015 has been a crazy year and I want to thank everyone who has had a part in the events that have propelled Combat Lab to the forefront of quality Russian Martial Arts instruction outside of Russia.


The guys who train with me and have joined me on this adventure need a special word of thanks.  Without them and their patience there is no way that I would have been able to develop our material and teaching methods into what they are today.  Sunny Lum and John Piprani have not only stuck with me through the many different paths I have trodden, they have done an excellent job as ambassadors for our group in the wider martial arts community.


Next I have to mention some of the great teachers I have been able to train with this year.  In September I was part of a research trip to Moscow where I got to train with my current instructor Michael Grudev and a number of other Russian instructors.  These included Sergey Kutzenov from the Kadochnikov Systema school, Dmitri Drakin and Denis Ryuzanov of the VOLK school.


Also my cross training has reached new levels as I have added weekly judo classes to my busy schedule of Russian Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiujitsu training. Next year I will be returning to Russia at some point to further explore the Russian style and to continue my studies of IZVOR.


Now I have to mention an incredible bunch of people.  There is a growing group of people looking to host Combat Lab seminars.  These people have taken a risk based on video footage they have seen or more often than not the personal recommendations of other hosts and the people who attend my seminars.  They are often the unsung heroes and heroins that do not get the credit they deserve.  Claire Petr of Systema Libre in France started this ball rolling and I will always be grateful for her hosting my first international seminar.  This years seminar in Limoges, France was the biggest one I have taught yet and shows what great work she does to promote our work.



IZVOR Guard taught during Limoges seminar 2015.



Working from a conversational stance, Limoges 2015.



15cm Principle taught at Limoges 2015.



Trinity striking Limoges 2015. 



Escaping the clinch, Limoges 2015.



Destroying the fists and arms, Limoges 2015.


In April I spent some time teaching in the US at my first seminar outside of Europe.  Organised by Jason Swanson and Ian Castaneira we had students from as far away as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas join us for three days of intensive training focusing on the basic concepts of RMA and how to train them. 


Then there is David Savoy of the Systema Maksimtsov school, which is based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Every year he gets together a diverse bunch of martial artists for our annual seminar in Lausanne. Training with David and the guys is always one of the highlights of the year and something we will be organising for 2016.



Structure breaking, Lausanne 2015.



Padwork and Plasticity, Lausanne 2015.


At pretty short notice I also travelled to Holland twice to teach for two different schools.  Jeroen van der Kaaij and Daan Stelder organised the first seminar for their school, SportsMindz in Den Haag with the help of my old friend Michael VDW.  



Jeroen, Michael and I during the seminar at SportsMindz, 2015.


This was such a fun event because the group have three different RMA instructors that come from the Vasiliev Systema, Kadochnikov Systema and ROSS / Cossack schools in Russia.  This gave them such a great appreciation of the diversity of the Russian style that they could see beyond Systema or any one school.


The last seminar of the year was taught at the Systema Helmond School.  Their instructor JP Peeters brought together students from Vasiliev Systema, Talanov Systema, Systema Homoludens, Systema Maksimtsov and Krav Maga for a fast paced seminar that focused on getting the Russian style to work in a realistic environment.  Some of the people on the seminar were old friends and training partners and others were people I had only interacted with online.  Seeing them all grow as we explored material first from the view point of technical understanding then application at speed was another highlight of my year.




Helmond seminar 2015.


Who knows what 2016 will have in store for me, but there are some new adventures already booked or in the pipeline.  I am back teaching in the US in April.




I also have a series of seminars at SportzMindz being organised, I will be setting dates for the annual Combat Lab seminars in France and Switzerland too.  Also there are some really exciting projects I need to finalise details of soon before I announce full details to you, but one thing I can say is that they are going to push my comfort zones and the way I teach.


Last I would like to thank everyone who has been part of the Combat Lab community of Facebook.  It has been so influential in my journey and helped to bring the work of so many great instructors in Russian to the West.  I will continue to do this through the group and have plans to help them get more exposure from our growing group.


If you want to host a seminar in 2016 please contact me as soon as possible.  I have limited dates available and they are filling up really quick.  


To learn much more about how we train the Russian style with a focus on self defence or the  science behind our approach please check out our other articles and educational material in the Combat Lab Shop.