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Systema footwork part 1 - The Square step

When I first spent time at Vladimir Vasiliev's Systema school in Toronto I noticed that he had a way of moving that was very different from what most of his students were doing, but I couldn’t put a finger on what this difference was. 

After my return I trained with Nick Woolley who was a friend that I had made during the trip.  Having spent a week training with us at Vlad’s Nick had gone almost straight from there to the Systema Kadochnikova School taught be Alexeey Kadochnikov in Krasnodar, Russia. Nick was also quite unique because he had a degree education in biomechanicsand therefore was well placed to understand the science of Systema.

Despite the short time Nick had spent training in Russia his movement was the most Vlad like that I had seen any student display.  One of the main differences was the way that Vladimir and Nick moved their feet in a very distinct fashion that I had not been taught during my trip to Toronto. 

Time moved on and I found many other areas of Systema to study, but this foot work remained a mystery to me until last year when I started to study Systema Kadochnikova with the head of the Ukrainian branch of the school, Alexander Maksimtov.  It was then that the biomechanical footwork I had seen in early 2000 was finally given a name 'Square Step' and was explained to me. 

The ‘Square step’ is a method of movement employed when escaping any top down or linear attacks from the front.  Not only does it allow us to get our head out of the way of an attack, but it simultaneously removes the groin from the line of attack, because the movement is generated from the centre of mass.

In the this clip I will explain the biomechanically effient footwork of Systema called the ‘Square step’ and how to practice it. 


For more information on the Science of Systema check out our Structure Breaking Manual and Structure Breaking Video Lessons.