Friday, 27 February 2009

On Systema Fist Fighting

Since during our current training sessions of the Göteborgs Systema-RMA Klubb we're emphasizing on fist fighting, I would like to present this basic analysis of the various constituting elements and the way Systema basic principles apply to combat with hand strikes. I hope all of you will find it interesting and hopefully helpful in your training.

To begin with, there are basically three things we do in Systema after we deform our structure so as to "zero out" the force of a strike coming our way. We either a) spring back to form and release the stored elastic energy in the form of a counter strike, b) confirm the incoming force, break the opponent's structure in order to cause a cognitive gap or c) rotate keeping in close contact with the opponent, once again to affect his structure and balance. Obviously, fist fighting is described in case (a).

Now the elements that comprise Systema fist fighting and the areas that we want to address with our training are the following:

1. Receiving Strikes: The ability of our body to absorb force, dissipate it towards the rest of our structure and store it as elastic energy in our connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, myo-fasciae) through "wave" movement. I believe it is obvious that shockability plays not only a bio-mechanical role but also an important psychological one in the realm of hand-to-hand combat.

2. Movement as Defense: This term is borrowed by Serbian Systema senior instructor Alex Costic (Emmanuel Manolakakis uses the term "evasion skills"). In Western boxing, where we know exactly where our opponent is (in the ring, standing in front of us:-) and his attacks come from specific angles, the defense consists basically of exposing the least amount of our body, through our stance (we face the opponent sideways) and the "guard" position of our arms and hands, that cover the frontal vital targets. In Russian Martial Art the attacks might come from unexpected angles and we're also trying to cover the possibility of multi-person attacks, so our defense is mainly getting out of the way of force, wherever that may come from. This can be done by:

  • walking out of the way (as Mikhail Ryabko says, "move with the feet"),
  • yielding to the force (deforming our structure)
  • deflecting the force with the hands and arms, AFTER yielding, or
  • any combination of the above (which happens most often).

3. From Any Position Any Strike: Once again, unlike Western boxing, where the power generation platform and delivery system is so specific (the staggered stance), that we try to keep it intact while moving around, and the strikes can only be straights, hooks or uppercuts, in Systema we want to be able to generate significant force with our fists, palm strikes, hammerfists, backhands etc towards any direction, and not only to the front. The trajectories of the strikes in RMA, instead of one-dimentional (like the straight boxing punches) or two-dimentional (like the hooks and uppercuts) follow a figure-eight pattern, which not only makes them unpredictable but is also a large part of the secret behind the "uncanny" power of Systema punches. Of course it is of utmost importance to always try to punch without breaking our form. The strikes can either be:

  • Ballistic, i.e. producing impellent force, to cause pain and injury, just like in Western boxing, or
  • Structural, i.e. disrupting the opponent's structure so that he's momentarily unable to launch further attacks.

Based on this analysis I believe it becomes easier to classify the overwhelming number of Systema drills (a friend tried to write down all the drills he had seen in a small number of DVDs and he exhausted himself at 200!) but even more important, to create our own drills, based on the attributes and skills we're trying to cultivate. I sincerely hope this will help to make your training sessions more productive. Let me know what you think!

Friday, 20 February 2009

Systema Seminar in Sweden with Emmanuel Manolakakis

Systema Sweden and Systema RMA Norway are proud to announce:

Systema Russian Martial Art Training Seminar

With Emmanuel Manolakakis
May 2nd & 3rd 2009, Göteborg, Sweden
One of the top Systema instructors in the world, for the first time ever in Europe!

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Emmanuel Manolakakis has over 23 years of experience in a variety of martial arts, including Karate, Olympic freestyle Wrestling, Western Boxing and most recently, Systema. He was one of Vladimir Vasiliev’s first students and was certified to teach Systema Russian Martial Art in 1998. He is currently certified in Systema RMA by Mikhail Ryabko, Vladimir Vasiliev and Konstantin Komarov. For more information about Emmanuel Manolakakis, The Fight Club gym or his instructional DVDs and books please visit

All martial arts practitioners of any level are welcome to attend to the seminar. No prior knowledge in Systema is required. Participants must be at least 18 years old.

Seminar fees:
Members of Systema RMA Norway/Systema Sweden and certified Systema instructors: 100 Euro for both days.
Non-members: 120 Euro for both days.

Since this is the first time Emmanuel will be teaching in Europe, we expect many participants, so if you want to reserve a spot, please hurry and register! Send an e-mail now to or and ask for the seminar invitation, which includes all the info you need.

"Why don't you Systema guys train in techniques???"

The issue I would like to address in this article is the fact that, in Systema RMA training, we do not learn specific techniques, something that people who have trained in other martial arts find incomprehensible or sometimes even annoying. For example, check out this quote from a post to a very popular martial arts forum, written by a person who supposedly trained for three years in Vladimir Vasiliev's school, in Toronto: "We were never taught ANY techniques at all. Not a single time in my 3 years was I instructed on how to do something properly, like a choke or a double-leg. I was so insulated in the group-think cult-like mentality of most systema practitioners that I convinced myself I didn't need technique".

Before we I proceed, there is something I'd like to clarify, in order to avoid misunderstandings. Training in "martial arts techniques" is different from training in order to achieve "good technique". According to the Russian Martial Art basic principles, "good technique" is the integration of breathing, structure and movement during performance, and this is something we always give tons of emphasis to during our sessions. On the other side, "martial arts techniques" are sequences of movements that if performed in the "ideal way", will always produce predictable results. For example, the Ying Zhao Fan Zi Men system from Northern China (also known as Eagle Claw Kung Fu) has 108 techniques. Each of them addresses a specific combat problem (e.g. defense against a front kick, crashing attack against the opponent's guard, etc) and also has a title, ranging from self-explanatory (for example, "Step and Punch" of "Step and Grab") to really cool and poetic (like "The Eagle Pounces from the Sky on the Defenseless Sheep"). Techniques can also be sets of instructions on how to perform a simple skill "correctly", like the boxing jab (straight punch with the arm closest to the opponent, for those of you not familiar with boxing terminology). Now, the basic promise given by all combat systems who train specific techniques is that, if the practitioner performs endless repetitions of these movement sequences, they will become "second nature" (what they actually mean is conditioned reflexes) and this way he or she will be able to perform those under pressure. Of course, according to this rationale, the more techniques one has trained in, the more prepared he will be to face the challenges of hand-to-hand combat. There is also another rationale, according to which, since people nowadays do not have a lot of time to devote to their training, one should only train in "high percentage techniques", i.e. movements that give answers to the statistically most probable situations that might occur in combat.

Trying to break down a very complex activity (like fighting) in its partial components and dealing with each of them separately is actually a very... well, logical thing to do. That's exactly the way the human brain functions when it deals with life: it classifies everything that we see, do, or happens to us, and associates it with the outcome of our interactions. Then it attaches to the classified material one of the three following labels: "worked", "didn't work" and "I don't care". Afterwards, the brain bunches similar experiences into categories, transforming this way our experience from something specific to something generic. For example, once you learn to tie a pair of shoes with laces, you will most probably tie all the shoes with laces for the rest of your life the same way. Same way with driving - once you know how to use the stirring wheel, the gearshift and the gas pedal, brake pedal and clutch, you know how to drive almost any car. The reason our brains creates mental models and streamlines procedures is simple: it is more economical in terms of information processing. One cannot even imagine how arduous life would be if we were to learn anew how a key lock works, every time we had to use a different key, or if we had to figure out what a toothbrush is every time we saw one!!!

So, even if the human brain is an extremely complex mechanism, the world around us is even more complex. And since the human mind uses generalization and creates automated responses to practically everything in order to to deal with the world, why not use those to "organize" combat? Isn't it more efficient to learn one reaction for a left hand and one reaction for a right hand punch, one for the front kick, one for the double leg takedown, one for the side headlock and so on, and train these ad nauseam, till they become "second nature"? Well... not quite.

The human brain functions on one basic assumption: what happened before will most probably happen again and what has not happened won't probably ever happen. And this assumption works reasonably well in linear, logical systems that always function according to the law of cause and effect. I personally very much doubt that the world we live in is such a system (that's why accidents happen), but for the moment, let's just focus on the field of hand-to-hand combat. First, have a look on the following video of Mixed Martial Arts bout between Russian fighter Alavutdin Gadzhiyev and Japanese fighter Hikaru Sato on March 2008. I have been a MMA fan since the dawn of the sport in the early nineties and I have never ever seen a knockout such as this. For those of you, who have little knowledge on the subject of ground fighting, let me quote here the Wikipedia entry what is known as the "mount position": "The mount or mounted position is a dominant grappling position where one combatant sits on the other combatant's torso with the face pointing towards the opponent's head. This is very favorable for the top combatant in several ways. The top combatant can generate considerable momentum for strikes, such as punches or elbows to the head of the opponent, while the bottom combatant is restricted by the ground and by the combatant on top" ( In a few words, in the world of MMA, when one fighter has mounted his opponent, he is practically invincible - he is not supposed to get knocked out by a punch coming from the ground up!!! What was the fighter on top thinking the moment before Gadzhiyev's punch shut his brain down? Probably that, what happened before, will happen again and what has not happened will never happen...

Charles Perrow, a sociologist known for studying industrial accidents wrote*: "We construct an expected world because we can't handle the complexity of the present one, then process the information that fits the expected world, and find reasons to exclude the information that might contradict it". Classical science is a typical example of predicting an outcome and then conducting an experiment to confirm the prediction. Martial arts techniques, by providing answers to a number of questions, choosing to ignore a number of others, are also a form of prediction since, in a way they aim to control the future. The fault in this particular way of thought is that there are systems which do NOT behave predictably. Take the weather, for example: you can describe what a lightning is using basic math and physics, but can you predict with accuracy when and where it will strike? Same thing with hand-to-hand combat: it is fairly easy to describe (after all, it's just punches, kicks, throws and takedowns, ground positions, submissions and chokes, right?), but being able to accurately predict what's going to happen in a fight is… well, you better ask Hikaru Sato about this, but I bet he'll answer that fighting is rather a complex system (check out than a linear one.

What most martial artists who practice specific techniques fail to see - or refuse to understand - is that there is no such thing as an “ideal technique”. Every time you throw a left jab or a front kick, every time you go for a double-leg takedown or a hip throw, it is a different movement you perform, since it is practically impossible for the human body to perform the exact same movement twice and since the relative position of two opposing bodies in space cannot be exactly the same twice. The difference between one repetition and the next is always there and although it might be slight, according to the postulate of complexity theory, “enormous consequences flow from trivial-seeming events”. If you have ever witnessed novices practicing judo, being unable to understand why they threw their partner in the first attempt of a technique but not in the second, “while they did the exact same thing”, then you know exactly what I mean…

So what exactly do we do in Systema RMA, in order to prepare for combat as if it were a complex, chaotic system? Actually, there are a number of things. First of all, we don't train techniques and we definitely do not name them. We don't "execute" a lunge punch, a reverse punch or a fruit punch, for that matter - we just learn how to deliver impact according to the principle "from any position, any strike". Personally, instead of using the term "punch", I prefer to ask my students to "apply force with the fist”. We do not learn how to "execute" a major outer reap or a single-leg takedown - we learn the principles that make a bipedal creature lose its balance and fall and then improvise throws specifically tailored to each relative position between us and our partner. Sometimes, the result might be a major outer reap or a single-leg, but we wouldn't know that:-) When we train to defend against specific attacks, we consciously try to come up with a different response every time. We never "graduate" from the study of a specific subject, but we keep on revisiting it and viewing it from different perspectives (for example, the basic pushing drill, the most fundamental drill in order for a practitioner to learn how to absorb force, is done with hands and fists when our subject is unarmed combat, with knives when our subject is knife fighting and with sticks when we study stick fighting). But most importantly, we try to view each one of our drills and each one of our training sessions with a beginner's mind, as if we do it for the first time each time, always curious and always inquisitive! Because sometimes one can be too sure of himself and, in a non-linear world, this might prove lethal.

* as quoted in the book Deep Survival (Norton, 2003), by author-journalist Lawrence Gonzalez

Thursday, 19 February 2009

On Human Movement, “Talent”, Martial Arts Training and biomechanical Exercises

It is fairly common knowledge I think: among the people who take up training in martial arts or combat sports (I believe the same thing goes for all kinds of sports and other movement practices, like dancing), there are two distinct categories. On one side, we have those who have graceful movement, who “make everything look easy”, who grasp everything taught to them from the first moment and (more often than not) achieve a high level in the sport or the art they practice. On the other side, we have those who are “badly coordinated”, or “have two left feet”, the ones who have to struggle for years in order to master just a few basics, or just quit after a short period of training, because they are “not talented enough”! I have a simple question for you on this issue: why? Why are there two sorts of people, in relation to movement? Well, I don’t know about you, but this fact puzzled me since I first started training in the martial arts, when I was a teenager. And until I started training in Russian Martial Art, I hadn’t found a convincing answer.

During the years I’ve been into martial arts I’ve seen a number of strange movement “symptoms” which were seemingly inexplicable. For example, the first time I taught a group of san shou (Chinese kick boxing) beginners, I demonstrated the “right cross” punch. A number of students were able to execute this basic [1] technique immediately, but there were others who although they saw the movement and received instruction on how to perform it, they did something completely different from what was demonstrated: the toes of the rear, driving leg were pointing to the side instead of the direction of the punch, and the torso did not rotate enough, so in order to reach the target, they had to bend sideways, resulting in an inability to generate force. A few years later, I trained with a 105 kilo police officer, who could bench press and squat my weight for many repetitions (and I am in no way what you would call a “small guy”) but could not swing a stick at me with enough force to even make me flinch. I’ve also met Wushu forms competitors of an international level (athletes who were both explosive and flexible) who could jump, twist in the air and land in a splits position, but could not perform a round kick and I’ve also heard about a guy who trained in kickboxing for three years, was fairly good in punching and kicking, but after three training sessions in Systema Russian Martial Art, could still not perform a simple forward roll!

One conclusion I reached from the very first moment, was that these symptoms had nothing to do with strength, speed or flexibility, muscular attributes, that is – the majority of the people I’ve mentioned above were able-bodied and pretty close to the common definition of “fitness”. So, while they (just like numerous others I am sure you know of and have trained with) seemingly had no problem with their muscles, they did have problems performing specific, not especially complex, movements.

Since my question (which hopefully, must have started puzzling you by now) regards the movement of humans, it might be helpful if we got some help from the study of human movement through the application of mechanical principles, also known as the science of biomechanics. One of the pioneers of the study of biomechanics (actually, he was the man who coined the term) was Russian Jewish neurophysiologist Nikolai A. Bernstein (1896-1966). In the 1940s, Bernstein wrote the book On Dexterity and Its Development [2], one scientific work which remains interesting until today, in which he presented his major ideas on the development and control of voluntary movement and the notion of dexterity in particular. In the second chapter of this book, he presents the fundamental problem of motor control (i.e. producing a specific movement, as opposed to moving in general), which is none other than… well, excessive freedom to move, the richness of mobility of human movement organs!

One of the main characteristics of the human body is its extreme articulation: “… We have only in our extremities and head-mounted devices [eyes and tongue] close to a hundred directions and types of mobility (degrees of freedom [3]). If we add the snakelike flexibility of our neck and trunk, the resulting number is enormous” [4], writes Bernstein. So, unlike the moving parts of a machine (for example, the piston of an engine) that only have one degree of freedom and are forced to move on a single, exactly defined path, human movement is characterized by an infinite and quite arbitrary variety of such paths. In simple words, let’s say that I have a friend, Bob, who is sitting in my living room and wants to pick up his coffee mug from the table and have a sip. Well, the problem in this specific movement Bob wants to perform is that his body has the ability to perform it in an infinite number of variations. But, if he does not want to bathe himself - and my carpet – in hot Java, only a limited number of these variations are correct, so he must make a choice, in order to control his movement. Thus, we reach Bernstein’s definition of motor coordination according to which, “Coordination is overcoming excessive degrees of freedom of our movement organs, that is, turning the movement organs into controllable systems”[5].

So, then, how is it that we achieve control of our movements? Actually, this role is played by a number of sensory organs in the body. Bernstein, again: “It is common and customary to think that the execution of a voluntary movement is fully the responsibility of the motor systems of the body – muscles, as direct movers; motor nerves transferring motor impulses from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles; and brain motor centers as the source of the command for the motor impulses. On the contrary, the sensory systems of the body are not less busy than motor systems during execution of a movement. Continuous, corrective flows of signals are transmitted to the brain along sensory nerves of all possible modalities, including tactile, visual, muscular-articular, vestibular (from the ears, transmitting signals about the equilibrium), and others, informing the brain whether the movement has been initiated, whether it proceeds according to a plan and whether corrections are necessary”[6]. To sum up Bernstein, voluntary movement involves a two-way exchange of information between the brain, the muscles and various sensory organs. In order for our movement to be predictable, we require a constant stream of sensory information from the outside (perceiving through our senses, that is), in order to maintain ongoing control of our muscular function from the inside out. Thus, scientists refer to a sensory-motor system.

OK, in order to slowly start drifting back to our original question, which was “why do some people have so much trouble learning to perform specific movements related to martial arts”, let’s check out one of the dominant theoretical approaches used today to explain how people learn and control motor skills. It is known as the dynamic systems perspective and that too grew out of the work of Bernstein (1967) and later, that of M.T. Turvey and J.A.S. Kelso. According to the dynamic systems perspective [7], “when we first learn a skill, we tend to freeze the degrees of freedom in a way that limits coordination and control. Then, as skill is acquired, we free some of the degrees of freedom, thus allowing for the movement to be performed more efficiently and accurately. Finally, we learn to exploit the degrees of freedom, an evolution in skill development that is needed to perform at a high level in any context”. So, could it be that a number of people remain stuck in this first stage of “freezing” the degrees of freedom? Or maybe even, have a number of degrees of freedom “pre-frozen”, thus not available to them when they begin learning a new motor skill?

I remember something I read a few years ago in the book “Pain Free”, by anatomical physiologist Pete Egoscue. “Muscles that do not move, pretty soon become muscles that cannot move”, claimed Egoscue, and although this sounds like stating the obvious (like “use it or lose it” or something equally run-of-the-mill), it contains a great amount of truth in it. It would probably be even more precise if written like this: “Muscles that do not move, pretty soon become muscles that have forgotten how to move”. Could it be possible for our muscles to forget how to do their job? According to Thomas Hanna, founder of the field of Somatics, it certainly is, in this state of pathology he termed Sensory-Motor Amnesia (SMA), which is basically “a memory loss of how certain muscle groups feel and how to control them” [8].

That is definitely a cool name, you might observe, but how does this thing happen and how does it work? Well, to make a long story shorter, during the course of our lives, our body responds to daily stimuli (psychological stress, repetitive strain, injury and trauma) with muscular reflexes. If these reflexes are repeatedly triggered, this responsive contraction of the muscles becomes habitual, which means that we cannot make it relax voluntarily, so after a while we no longer remember how it feels to have those specific muscles relaxed. As Thomas Hanna puts it [9], “…the feedback of sensory motor impulses takes place below the conscious level of the brain’s voluntary functions”. Now, have you ever had the chance to train with a partner so tense that he felt like a piece of wood? If you asked him why he had so much tension in his body, he would probably answer that he doesn’t have any tension. And even if you kept on reminding your partner to relax, again and again, all you would achieve is to become a nuisance, because he just doesn’t remember how it feels to be relaxed anymore, as the brain can no longer order the muscles to relax!!!

Of course, not all the muscles in one’s body are affected by SMA, but remember, we’re talking about movement here. In order for your body to produce movement, there are groups of muscles that have to work in synergy, like they were chains. It is easy to understand that if just one link in a chain is weak… well; you know the rest, don’t you? It might be slightly reassuring to know that SMA does not affect everybody. According to Thomas Hanna, “Some humans have an early and intense accumulation and show these symptoms early. Others have the good fortune to escape these effects of stress and trauma, and they are just as supple and lively at 70 as they were at 25”. But, could it be that the fortunate ones, who have escaped the effects of stress and trauma in their lives, are those who more often than not excel in martial arts training, the ones known as “talented”? And could it also be that the less fortunate ones are those who have trouble performing even the basic movements, the “untalented” ones?

One other thing you should know about SMA is that it can avoided and it can be reversed, because the human body can simply be reprogrammed, through specific methods of exercise. Now, take a moment and think about this: let’s say my friend Bob decides to take up martial arts, so he goes to a typical martial arts school in order to take his first lesson. There, after a brief warm-up, he will be instructed on how to perform specific martial movements – also known as techniques – that he will either be able to perform efficiently of less efficiently, depending on how many degrees of freedom in his movement are inhibited. The problem is that, if Bob belongs to the group of the “untalented ones”, there are going to be some techniques that he will never be able to perform efficiently, no matter the number of repetitions he performs (actually, the number of repetitions of a technique performed with inefficient body mechanics increases the danger of serious injury)! Wouldn’t it make more sense if Bob first explored all the degrees of freedom in his body in order to get re-acquainted with the ones he might have lost in the course of his life, so that he could then proceed unhindered in learning specific movement patterns? One might remark that Bob should not train in martial arts at all, but should instead try first a method of exercise in order to specifically address his motor deficiencies. This might be correct, but remember, Bob does not consciously know that he has a motor deficiency and his typical martial arts instructor doesn’t know it either, instead he probably thinks Bob is… untalented.

When I first started studying the Russian Martial Art, I was surprised (maybe even unpleasantly) on how much time the practitioners spend in non-combat oriented training, until I understood that there is a whole system of exercises that addresses possible motor problems, which is integrated in the Systema training method. Before practicing strikes, takedowns or knife defenses, the Systema practitioners practice the so called biomechanical exercises: these are either range-of-motion exercises (in which one bends, twists and rotates each one of the joints of the body in all possible directions) or “Systema floor work” (various rolls, somersaults and other movement patterns on the floor) in order to explore all degrees of freedom in the body, first with no resistance and then with the resistance provided by gravity and a hard floor. With the help of these exercises, each practitioner develops correct and efficient movement practices, which he then puts to use in combat applications.

I already have some experience on how effective this Russian approach to martial arts training can be in steepening one’s learning curve, both from my personal practice and people I’ve had the opportunity to train with, in both the Athens, Greece, and Gothenburg, Sweden, Systema training groups. Of course, my experience in no way constitutes scientific proof but still, I firmly believe that there is a great number of people out there whose quality of movement in general and level of performance in any martial art or sport [10] can be greatly enhanced by the biomechanical exercises of Russian Martial Art. My good friend, Jeet Kune Do instructor Vangelis Zorbas, with the assistance of Systema practitioner (and also a very good friend of mine) Vassilis Stamatiou, is already testing the effectiveness of the exercises with a number of students in the Athens Academy of Jeet Kune Do Fighting Technology. I urge you those of you who haven’t tried them already, to have a look at the resources listed below and give the exercises a shot. Or at least, until you try them, please do not believe anybody who tells you that you’re not talented enough to practice martial arts!

Resources for study:

1. Coach Scott Sonnon’s ( IntuFlow is an excellent program of range of motion exercises and it is available on DVD. You can also find part of it available for free on YouTube. Coach Greg Mihovich ( Amazing Mobility DVD is also a good program of range of motion exercises.

2. Systema instructor Alex Costic ( has filmed a very interesting DVD, Movement as Defense, that includes a great number of range-of-motion and floor exercises and their possible combat applications. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Suggested Reading:

1. Latash Mark L., Turvey Michael T. Dexterity and Its Development. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, 1996. This book consists of Bernstein’s classic text On Dexterity and Its Development, plus a number of essays by contemporary scientists working in the same field. Not in any way a light read, but still, very comprehensible and a great help for anybody who would like to know more about motor control and motor learning.

2. Hanna, Thomas. Somatics. Da Capo Press, 1988. A groundbreaking book on sensory reeducation in order for one to understand and deal with a major category of human health problems. The exercise progressions described in the second part of the book are simply excellent!

[1] The right cross punch is a “primal movement”, similar to the movement one does in throwing a ball, a stone or a spear, so it is supposed to be, more or less, a “natural movement” for humans, not a complex skill that requires extensive instruction.

[2] According to my friend Cailean Todd, the closest person I’ve ever met to what one would call a ”Russian Martial Arts scholar”, Bernstein’s work is the bridge between Victor Spiridonov’s Combat SAMBO and the sophisticated analysis of underlying principles that defines Aleksey Kadochnikov’s Systema.

[3] The “degrees of freedom of a movement” is the number of separate independent elements that must be controlled in the body to produce a coordinated action.

[4] Latash Mark L., Turvey Michael T. Dexterity and Its Development. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, 1996, p. 32

[5] Ibid., p. 41

[6] Ibid., p. 42

[7] Vickers, Joan N. Perception, Cognition and Decision Training. Human Kinetics 2007, p. 7

[8] Hanna, Thomas. Somatics. Da Capo Press, 1988, p. xiii

[9] Ibid., p. 27

[10] General Alexander Retuinskih, founder of the ROSS system, has actually applied the training principles of Russian martial arts in the practice of SAMBO wrestlers, boxers and members of the Russian national hockey team.