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Bouncing and stamping in Russian martial arts




In traditional Russian fist fighting styles such as Skobar and schools influenced by their approach such as Systema Homoludens students can be seen bouncing and stamping as they move around throwing punches. This is very different to the approach often seen in Systema schools where the footwork can have the appearance of gliding or walking.


To understand the purpose of the bounce and stamp we have to look at the context that they are used. Traditional Russian fist fighting has a large proportion of it’s focus on fighting in a crowd. This tradition can be dated back to the 10th century and it is seeing a resurgence due to the efforts of the Skobar head instructor Alexander Gruntovskih and his students.


These man fights take place in several different formats. Wall against wall, one person in the centre of a circle and last man standing.


Circle fighting has one person against multiple opponents. Fighting is full contact and as the founder of Systema Homoludens, Alexander Kostic would describe full release. Due to the circular nature of strikes that fighting opponents that are surrounding you demands and the wild nature of the way they are performed there has to be a mechanism for stopping their inertia from pulling the fighter off balance. 


This is where the stamping comes into play. Grounding the strike is essential to preventing it from unbalancing the fighter and throwing them to the floor. Stamping as the strike is about to reach full extension does exactly that.




In this clip we see Homoludens founder, Alexander Kostic using a stampt to change the inertia of a strike into the ground.




Next we need to consider the bounce and jumping movements that also forms part of this work. 


These movements come from the centre mass throwing it’s weight behind any lateral movement. Also it allows the centre mass to continually move by forming a figure eight shaped pattern once combined with the twisting movement of the pelvis. Doing this not only allows for a much more efficient use of inertia it complies with the basic principles of movement that we see in another Russian School (Systema).




In this clip Skobar instructor, Dmitriy Khakimov can be seen using the wave movement of the body combined with the vertical bounce and rotation to generate a constant barrage of very powerful strikes.


To learn much more about studying Systema and our training approach  that develops realistic skills using the Russian style please read our articles and educational material in the Combat Lab Shop