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Using The Systema Slap Pre-emptively


As I have described in my last post on the Systema wave movement allows us to transmit energy from a point of pressure (usually the floor), through the kinetic chain of the body and into the hand or other striking weapon.  In this article I will look closer at some examples of this.


Why Use The Systema Slap?

The open hand strike is a great pre-emptive strike as well as a powerful weapon once a fight has already started.  Not only is it incredibly debilitating to an attacker if targeted correctly it also allows the hand to be used to grab once it has hit unlike the closed fist of a punch.  Another important of using the hand to perform a slapping strike in Systema is that it is less likely to get damaged than a fist if it hits a hard target and this particularly important when we use the wave because of the force it produces.


Where to hit using the Systema slap

Remember one of the important principles of Systema Structure Breaking is to target the vulnerable points of the body.  For that reason slaps should be targeted to the face, ears and neck areas. 

A slap to the ear can cause sufficient pain to render an opponent unconscious and also is likely to rupture their eardrum and cause a loss of balance.  This is because the ears are an essential part of the body’s mechanism for maintaining balance.  That is why you can get the effects of vertigo if you suffer an ear infection and start to feel dizzy.

Blows to the face and side of the head are also likely to cause concussion.  The head rapidly accelerates and decelerates causing the brain to collide with the skull causing unconsciousness and possibly permanent damage.

The neck contains many nerves and arteries and striking pretty much anywhere on the neck is going to have a serious effect on your attacker’s ability to do anything.  The occipital ridge at the base of the skull is one such point as is the carotid sinus, which is the spot on the throat where you can feel the pulse.  A blow here can also effect the vagus nerve causing the heart to stop beating.  This is very dangerous and one reason that this kind of work does not feature in sports based martial arts.


How To Generate Force In The Systema Slap

In this Systema Video Lesson I look at power generation in the Systema slap using the wave movement.



For more information on the Science of Systema please check out the 'Biomechanics of Structure Breaking in Russian Martial Arts' ebook and video lesson downloads in the Combat Lab Systema Shop.