Interview with Systema Instructor Alexander Maksimtsov
I am currently lucky enough study Systema Kadochnikova with the head of the Ukrainian Federation of Russian Martial Art, Alexander Maksimtsov. Taking advantage of free he is with his knowledge I have asked him to do an interview for our blog and this is the first part of an ongoing interview:
Paul: Could you tell me a little about yourself and your background?
Alexander: I am 47 years old and I am a retired police colonel. When I was 7 years old I started to study free style wrestling, after that boxing and hockey at the same time, then judo, sambo. From the age of 12 to 18 years old I studied different styles of karate.
Paul: How did you first find Systema and why did you start studying it?
Alexander: I first met with Systema when I was in the army. However in the army no one taught Systema.
Despite the fact that I was in the Special Forces, my training was mainly aimed at survival. We did a lot of shooting and exercises for special endurance. That training was a lot of running with various obstacles, sometimes barefoot on the rocks, as well as skiing. All this was equipment.
However in the Army, I was in close contact with an officer, who took me to his training. He did not tell me anything about what he did, but asked me to attack him in different ways, since I was very experienced in martial arts. At this time I did not know the name of this martial art, but it was very unusual.
I was a head taller and heavier than this officer. I had good coordination, speed and strength, but it was very difficult for me to hit him. There was almost nothing I could do when he had a weapon or anything else available. These studies were not regular and after some time he was transferred to another unit.
After the Army, I was offered a chance to serve in the police, special units that deal with and apprehend dangerous criminals. In this work, I had to deal every day with the detention of dangerous and armed criminals, crazy, drug addicts, etc.
I was very young and I was curious. But I always felt that my colleagues and I did not have enough expertise to meet these challenges. Yes we did these jobs, but the number of police officers in our group always outnumbered the criminals, at least two times and sometimes three times. Plus we had a good special protective equipment, weapons, etc. Despite having such an explicit advantage, it was very difficult both physically and psychologically for us.
We often had many injuries and for long time we could not to relax after a difficult operation. Many of my colleagues abused alcohol to relax. This all had a bad impact on mental and physical. I'm always interested in these sorts of issues.
While in 1988-1989 the military newspaper started printing Kadachnikova lessons for the military. These were short articles about Kadochnikov and his system. I began to deal with this issue. At that time it was impossible to visit the Soviet Union and train with Kadochnikov. But in the early 90's Guide Security Service of Ukraine made a special request to the leadership of Russia's security and several people, including myself, were sent to a special training school in Krasnodar. This was a special training centre for Special Forces.
More questions will be answered in future blogs. If you want to meet and train with Alexander he is teaching in February during February 2012. Please check out his website for full details of these events and other seminars that he teaches.