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IZVOR Pistol Defence - Holland 2016


Just over a week ago I spent three days training with the president of the Federation of the Russian Martial Art IZVOR, Michael Grudev in Holland. Unlike other Russian style instructors I have trained with Michael likes to spar with his students and Friday gave me a chance to step in the cage with him for some grappling and boxing sparring. 

His exposure to BJJ and Sambo became evident when we grappled and I can say he is a tough unrelenting opponent on the floor.  As for his boxing it leaves mine in shame and exposed many areas I need to work on before we next meet.

The next two days saw him teach a seminar at the 'Systema 4 you' gym in Haarlam, run by Fred Van Der Boerk, which focused on the theme of getting off the line of attack.  To illustrated this theme he started us all off with some work against pistols.

Again Michael Grudev's pragmatic approach shone through when he started this session with these realities of facing a firearm:


  • If they know what they are doing you will not take the weapon from them.  A professional will never let you close enough to do it.
  • If they can shoot the further away you are from the weapon the more danger you are in. The only thing you can do is to in a zig zag pattern.
  • If the gun man is stupid enough to come within reach with the weapon or put it in contact with your body there is a slim chance you can disarm it. 



In this video Michael is teaching students at the seminar how to get off the line of attack when the weapon is presented.  It is worth noting how he uses the lead hand to identify the line of attack so that his body can get of it.  This is a common theme to many areas of IZVOR and exploring it will improve your application in other situations.  





In this video Michael is showing how a pistol at close range is easier to disarm due to the direct effect contact with your body can have on the weapon.  Again the idea is to get off or deflect the line of attack so that if the weapon was to fire you would be less likely to get shot.





I will be posting more on this seminar and some of the lessons we learnt during it.  Make sure you are subscribed to our newsletter to keep up to date with these articles and videos. 


To learn much more about Systema and the Russian style please learn from our other articles and educational material in the Combat Lab Shop