Using Music In Your Systema Training
The idea of training martial arts to music is not a new one. The first time I saw this done was in the book ‘Tao of Jeet Kun Do’ where there was pictures of guru Dan Inosanto and his students sparring to the accompaniment of drums.
Within some Russian martial arts traditions such as Buza the idea of training and sparring to music is common place and yet in my investigation of Systema the only place I have seen it done is when training Systema Kadochnikova with the Systema instructor Alexander Maksimtsov in the Ukraine.
In his drill we put different parts of our bodies on a wall whilst moving the other parts of our bodies to the rhythm of different pieces of music. The goal of this drill was to explore the different degrees of freedom available to us when different parts of the kinetic chain was restricted. The music helped him control the pace of this training and made sure no one moved too fast or slow.
Recently I have started to explore using music in our own Systema training sessions at Combat Lab. It started of as a way of encouraging my students to move. By varying the beat of the music I can moderate the pace of the session and either slow down or speed up the pace of the training by choosing an appropriate piece of music.
It also helps the defending student work at the same pace as the attacker. There is nothing worse than the defender working at top speed when the attacks are slow paced. By having the beat of the music to work to it encourages them to work at a similar pace.
In the drill my students are practicing in this Systema video lesson I use some music I have got from youtube and a fantastic Cossack music resource one of the members of our facebook group put me onto. Not only is the Cossack dance music a good pace for training it reminds the students that we are training a Russian Martial Art and creates a really exciting feel in our sessions.
One of my students after this session mentioned that the light hearted nature of the Cossack music helped keep the drill playful instead of it becoming serious when things didn't go to plan. If you want to get some Cossack music to use in your own Systema lessons visit this website. The music on it is royalty free and it is a great resource.