Toronto, Systema and How Passion Changes Lives by hghplus


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									Vlad and Yours Truly Doing something that makes you happy stimulates your body. It is as if your body is rejuvenated in a special fashion. Doing something that brings joy stimulates your heart. It goes beyond the physical and provides needed fuel for your heart, your emotions, your psyche. Doing the thing that brings passion into your life is the only way to communicate with your soul. It is as if your soul says, ―This is it. This is why we are here. Not necessarily to do this but this is the vehicle to learn your life lessons and to help others.‖ Mission accomplished Toronto was the place. Systema is the vehicle. My trip to Toronto was one of the most enjoyable activity I have ever done. It was jammed packed with adventure, meeting people from around the globe, interacting with others, speaking with 2 of the greatest martial artist and having more fun than I ever imagined. My expectations were sky high. They ended up being far exceeded. After settling in the day before and getting a peek at Toronto, our training began on Saturday. Vladimir Vasiliev, co-founder of Systema and Sergey Ozherelyev, special forces trainer were the stars of the show. To say these men are talented is like saying the ocean holds a few gallons of water. Aside from the talent off the scale, one thing that struck me was the humility each one has. No titles such as sensei, shihan or even a Mister was required. First names will work. No bowing. No anything. Just 2 very special, very skilled individuals who wanted to teach us what they could in the time that we had. It was the personification of leading by example. They also treated everyone — from the beginners to the most senior of students — with the utmost respect. No exceptions. Unfortunately, I have not seen this in many arts or schools. Dan Linden Sensei was one exception as was my first karate teacher, Gary Michak. Other than that, the ―big fish in a small pond (like Orlando)‖ is way too common. Here was Vladimir, the best martial artist I have ever seen, once again, setting the perfect example. I will always remember this and am committed to applying this valuable lesson. Saturday’s lessons were hand to hand combat and a major emphasis on relaxation and proper breathing. The 2 latter issues would be THE theme throughout the 3 action packed days. To watch Vlad and Sergey in action was a thing of beauty. They were as loose as a Cirque du Soliel performer yet would strike like a cobra wielding a sledgehammer. The speed and power was outright scary. For them, it was normal. As mentioned, amazing skill and humility were inseparable. Sunday’s theme was knife fighting. I have never seen or participated in any art that deals with knife defense so effectively as Systema. (I would put Silat #2.) A number of us, particularly yours truly brought home a number of ―souvenirs‖ from that day. They heal fortunately and even more

so, act as a powerful reminder of what TO do and what NOT to do. I will get it eventually. . . . Monday was working against multiple opponents. Again, the image that stands out was watching these 2 masters working in concert against 2, 3 and 4 opponents. Despite being out numbered, they never stood a chance. Overall it was beyond spectacular. I loved every second of it, though time passed much too quickly. I learned a great deal and was highly inspired to continue my path of training. A few thoughts really stood out in addition to the aforementioned. Firstly, I appreciated training and going to Canada with my friend Carlos. Via this art, we have developed a close friendship and for this, I am most appreciative. Secondly, though I already knew this, I was once again reminded how exceptional my teacher truly is. David Merrell is someone who is a master of the art of Systema. It is an honor to work with him and to be his friend. For this too I am most grateful. Finally, Lisa really pushed hard for me to attend this event. She knew even before I did, how much this would impact me. Thank you once again. You have made my life so much sweeter. I left with expectations and returned with a bunch of bruises, improved skills and an aware of my passion, a direction that I will follow ad finitum. I have never been more happy in my life! Part 2 – CLICK HERE

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