Russian Martial Art – Striking With Movement

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One of the first things you must learn when striking is how to move. Too many people make a good solid strike and just stand there.

In Boxing, you may well hear a trainer shout out to the boxer – “don’t stand there and admire your work”.

What that means in simple terms is do not stop and look at how good your punch/strike was, because there is a good chance that the person will strike back and even worse, have a group of friends who intend to finish what was started and certainly not with your best interests at heart.

In Russian Martial Arts and certainly in what I teach, movement is an essential component. You want to feel that you are moving naturally and with the awareness of your surroundings.

In any combat situation you need to ensure you always have the advantage and that should start long before any confrontation has started.

Be constantly aware of your surroundings, but do not be paranoid. Learn to spot threats before they occur.

Now there will be situations where you may be unable to move because you are in a confined space and I have dealt with this in previous articles, but your first concern, when you can, is to EVADE.

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Which Is Better Systema Or Krav Maga?

military martial arts

I get a lot of questions about Krav Maga and the similarities with Russian Martial Arts, especially Systema.

Now those of you who have read my articles will know that I place more importance on the man behind the art rather than the art itself.

Bet let’s get back to the point – both arts were devised for street reality and not competition and were Military based and this fact alone separates them from many other arts.

Military Martial Arts have one specific purpose and that is to very quickly dispatch your enemy and that of course, could mean killing them. Krav Maga was developed by the Israeli Military and funnily enough has Slavic origins!

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How To Stop An Attacker with Ballistic Shock Striking

How To Stop An Attacker

We all would like to Stop An Attacker, which is why the purpose of a ballistic shock strike is to stop your attacker dead in his tracks, it is as simple as that and it causes a shockwave through the body and stops the attacker from continuing.

You will often hear people being told to punch ‘through’ the target and whilst it is a good thought, there are many cases when the punch becomes nothing more than a push and you find yourself back to square one, with your attacker coming straight back at you for round two!

What you are trying to do is to punch into the target of your attacker so that you almost ‘leave the punch in him’. In this way there is nothing he can do and often, they fall directly to the ground and are incapacitated, allowing you to escape.

Training for this type of strike is easy, but like everything else, requires hard work and practice, but it must be the right kind of practice.

I start by teaching people the right positions of the body to strike and this involves walking around a training partner, feeling the points around the body where for example, your fist will fit. One place that it does is on the solar plexus.
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Martial Arts Kata Forms

Kata Or Forms

I often get asked the question as to what I think about Kata or Forms. Many Eastern Arts have these in their teachings and they have been around a long time.

Russian Martial Arts do not have the same structure and although there are some weapon drills (similar to Martial Arts Kata Forms) there are no formalized movements.

The purpose of kata or forms is to give a set of movements in order to practice the techniques and also build the spirit of the art within the student.

The student will start with the most basic forms and then over time will advance to more complicated forms until all of the forms are learned within the art. Forms go hand in hand with the techniques of the art and sparring.

The idea is to put the techniques into movement and practice them correctly, maintaining balance, the correct posture and also in performing the technique. The techniques are often practiced in two-man drills until the student has the technique mastered.
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Different Martial Arts Styles

Martial Arts Style

You don’t need me to tell you that there are many Different Martial Arts Styles and with the rise in popularity of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), you can see that many have come together over the years to get to this day where we almost have a unified sport to compete in.

Different Martial Arts Styles range from the more traditional Chinese, Japanese and other Asian arts and even those in Russia.

Traditional Asian Martial Arts tend to be much more formal and many of the styles in China for example were based on animals – Tiger, Crane, Dragon, Snake etc. These arts contained lots of forms designed to train both the technique and body.

Around 15 years or so ago, very few people realized that there were Martial Arts practiced in Russia. Many had heard of Sambo and Combat Sambo and of course the arts taught to the Military, but few had heard of an art called Systema or literally translated ‘The System’.

Systema was an art taught for real world self-defense and protection and was taught to the bodyguards of the successive Presidents.
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The Best Martial Arts Style

the best martial arts style

It is a question heard all of the time – what is The Best Martial Arts Style? Unfortunately there is no real answer as they all have something to offer.

So if we cannot define the term ‘best Martial Arts’ then how would you go about selecting one?

Well we have yet another difficult question but one of the first things you can do is to go and look at a variety of them and see which one suits you.

Some Martial Arts are very formal and may not suit you, others not so much, but you might like some discipline in your life, so they may be more suited to you. In any event an instructor should welcome your wish to look at what is being taught and if you come to me you are welcome to watch, participate or do a combination of both.
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Learn How To Punch Harder with Expert Val Riazanov

how to punch harder with expert val riazanovIf you have not already, please read my previous post “How To Punch” before moving on to this post!

Who does not want to learn to punch harder? Punching hard is one of the most sought-after components of almost all Martial Arts or systems and actually it’s very easy to do.

What I am going to do here is talk about the key aspects of how to punch harder rather than the specific techniques and applications, which I will cover in future articles.

Also, I going to talk about it from an ‘ideal’ perspective and by ideal, I mean from a training one. Real combat is extremely nasty, dangerous and you will often find yourself in a ‘compromised’ position – back up against the wall, out of balance etc.

From the training perspective you can learn the full technique, with the correct balance and motion and from there, you can start to put it into practice.

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Learn How To Punch from Expert Val Riazanov

learn how to punch

How to punch seems a simple question as from childhood we learn what a punch is and often how to use it.

But as with anything else there is an optimal way of punching and this can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of the punch. Let’s stay away from Martial Arts for the moment and take a look one of the most recognized sports – boxing.

A boxer makes his living learning how to punch, that is of course if he a professional. When a boxer first enters the gym, he or she is taught how to stand, footwork, how to hold his or hands up in a defensive position and then how to throw the basic punches of a jab, cross, hook and uppercut.

So what we are talking about here are four very simple punches and a foundation of stance, footwork and then the last part of how to move – forward, back, left and right etc.

I am looking at this simplistically because learning how to punch is a very simple process, it’s the application of the punch or punching that is difficult. But lets get back to the boxing training.

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Understanding What Real Self Defense Really Is

real self defenseIt’s an interesting term – ‘Real Self Defense’, because you would naturally think that all self-defense would be ‘real’. So what does it mean exactly?

Well for me, ‘Real Self Defense’ is the self-defense that works, as obvious as that may sound, so why state the obvious?

Simply because a lot of what is out there simply doesn’t work and I don’t mean to be harsh here, but when we are talking self-defense, we are talking about protecting and saving lives so it has to be taken extremely seriously.

I see people from all walks of life in my personal teaching, classes and seminars and I see a wide range of other Martial Arts and systems and my goal is not to change what they do or know but to add to it and give them more options to work with.
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