A Dirty Little Word!
For a long time the word ‘Technique’ has been considered dirty in large sections of the Systema community. Having been sold the idea of a principle based system with no specific techniques the idea of there not being techniques in Systema has been used to promote the schools and yet I think it is quite wrong.
We have to accept there are a number of approaches to learning being promoted in Systema world. Some based on application of scientific principles and other on more elusive ideas and yet both have techniques.
For a long time I used to try to avoid admitting to myself that techniques existed in Systema. I used to describe how master and pupils all seemed to make similar movements or responses to attacks as them being common possibilities, not techniques.
Now that statement sounds crazy to me now, but back then it kind of made sense. Wether you learn by watching, feeling then replicating an idea or by having the scientific principle explained first if you copy something and then repeat this becomes a technique.
The difference with Systema and at this point I am talking about the more scientific end of the spectrum, where students are shown specific movements and applications before exploring free work, is that these techniques are used to teach and explain exactly how the different scientific principles work and what they feel like to use.
Without knowledge of the Scientific Systema principles this teaching method fails because it would never get the student past replicating a certain defense to a certain attack. Just as trying to figure out what is going on without an explanation is equally challenging.
So let us be honest. There are specific movements and techniques in Systema that allow us to understand and apply the principles of science. From now on, certainly in Combat Lab we will not allow the word technique to be treated as a dirty word. It is something solid and beneficial, that helps us understand how to apply the Science of Systema to the situations we find ourselves in.
For more information on the Science of Systema and how it can be applied check out the Combat Lab Shop and the other articles in this Systema blog.