Older Blogs

New Instructor Development Program Opportunity

Full speed drill with padded bat (First Limoges camp)




On the 1st to the 4th November 2018 I will be back in Limoges, France teaching a four day residential immersion into my teaching methodologies used to train students to apply Systema in both practical situations whilst not destroying the body through poorly thought out training methods.


Those that have attended my seminars before know that I use a variety of methods aimed at accelerating learning that can be applied to teaching any martial art. Firstly students need to have a theoretical base and be able to perform the essential movement patterns. Most of the movements within the Russian style are based on the principle of efficiency. Even if they are also present within dance and over cultural activities they have only made their way into the way we train by being an efficient use of the mechanical properties of the human body. 


In fact many of the schools that have at some point referred to themselves as being Systema have specific exercises that are used to develop these movement patterns and very specific physical attributes that not only make fighters more effective, but also enhance a person’s health and physical capacity in their everyday lives. By this I mean that they build up a student both physically and psychologically into a stronger / healthier human being.


Training for real fighting is a tough balance between pushing hard enough to produce someone capable without pushing to hard and creating someone who later will suffer a reduced quality of life through injuries sustained when they first trained. We are not sports people who train to be effective during our prime with little regard to our health in the future. Equally we must learn from athletes and the people who train them to see what we can learn from their experience and methods.


This kind of research has been going of for years amongst many of the leading instructors in Russia. Many of these great teachers no longer describe their arts as Systema yet they all have a base in one or more Systema schools. They have continued to develop new ideas based on research of combat sports and other martial systems. Denis Ryazanov of the VOLK school has added huge amounts of new material from Petiki Tersia with his own Systema experience. Michael Grudev of IZVOR continues to train grappling and boxing, research the development of speed in sports along with other areas of research. The link to MMA can be seen in the Strela and Homoluden systema school along with a variety of systema schools.




Multiple opponent exercises (Limoges, Dojo)




Research of non-combative methods such as health, psychology and exercise methodologies has always been part of the package when Systema was developed and there is no reason why this should stop now. People such as Alex Kostic of the Systema Homoluden School and myself have continued our research and regularly add material to what we teach and change the way we present information so that lessons remain fresh and present the best opportunity for the student to learn. 


My seminar in France will reflect this research and the latest teaching methods that I use to develop a new generation of martial researchers and instructors capable of passing on my passion for the martial arts and teaching our approach. For that reason unlike other seminars it will be aimed at developing teachers. Many of the regular attendees are well on this journey without even knowing it and hopefully in time they will be in a position to represent Combat Lab themselves. I do not believe in cutting corners to make a profit and this process will not be simply a case of showing up for a sufficient number of seminars. Instructor candidates will over time need to demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical base, an ability to apply it under pressure and a desire to continue researching and developing material relevant to our interest.


Even if you have no interest in teaching there will be plenty of material to push your understanding of martial arts how to study it effectively. 


The along with presentations and lessons of how to teach the itinerary will be as follows:



Exercises for health and mobility.

Low acrobatic movements of the Kadochnikov system

Breathing exercises for health and efficiency 



Working against grips and holds

  • Working against the hold
  • Working in the movement
  • Using curves to move around resistance
  • Breaking grips
  • Using frames to change the shape of an opponent
  • Using pressure at angles that cuts across an opponent’s force vector 
  • Working with kicks and strikes to take the opponent down



Structure Breaking

  • Principles of structure breaking
  • Practical examples of applying the principles against resistance
  • Using the link between attention and tension
  • Free play exercises for developing the ability to work in a non-compliant environment



Deflection of strikes 

  • Three methods of the Russian style 1,2 and 3
  • Angled plains, wedges and screws
  • Covering and crashing
  • Avoiding the line of attack
  • Work against punches, kicks and sticks



Practical work

  • Phycological experience of aggression
  • Pre-emptive work and masking your intention
  • Situational work 



Travel to Limoges is easy. Ryan Air flies from the UK to the town and it is an easy train journey from Paris making it accessible from all over Europe. As in previous camps at this location we all stay at the gym giving us extended amounts of time to discuss martial arts and enjoy each other’s company. 


Students will need either a foam covered bat or length of pipe insulation that is the length of a bat, a note pad and pen, good sense of humour and a desire to learn. 


Boxing gloves and head guards with face protection will be useful for some of the exercises if students have them because they will allow students to push themselves safely in scenario exercises and testing. 


Please message the organiser Claire Petr through facebook or email for full details of how to secure your place on this unique event. Alternatively visit the events facebook page.




Join the Combat Lab family in Limoges