Martial Arts Social Media

I, like a lot of the people reading this blog, use social media on a regular basis. I am not concerned with posting up FB BLOG 02stasis on how I am feeling or what particular food I ate for my breakfast, I rather like to use the social media tool as a method of discussion and connection with others. I have noticed of late that many people in the martial arts community seem to have issues with video clips posted on sites such as YouTube or Instagram showing aspects of an art that doesn’t fit in well with the conventional ideas of what a “Martial Art” should look like.
As a teacher of Systema and American Kenpo I find myself looking at these arts from two different viewpoints. Firstly that of Systema. My view of the unconventional training methods used in Systema is one of daunting, but also refreshing. Daunting because of the aspects of skill full natural movement one needs to acquire that seem so far out of your comfort zone, and refreshing because there is always an invigoration of the soul when you find a new skill to learn and a feeling of gratification when that new skill is attained. It’s how we humans work through cause and effect. However from an outsiders point of view (in my case that of an American Kenpo practitioner, even though I go through the same emotional entrenching in that training,) I can understand how the unconventional Systema training creates emotions that can immediately bring on a strange type of mental tension. I also see how this tension constructs blockages in the thought and belief process which in turn seems to lead to a resentment that is quite frankly irrational anger. There are two basic reasons why human beings expressFB BLOG 06 anger, one someone has hurt us “Suffering”, and twom, someone or something is not doing what we want “Selfishness” . The reason for peoples attitudes on social media toward the unusual is in my humble opinion selfishness. Now I do not intend to offend anyone with the statement of claiming “selfishness ” as the reason, but there on the screen in front of the viewer is something that quite literally doesn’t fit the conventional idea of what the subject in question should look like. I have been training for over 35 years in the more conventional and understood that a punch would come in a certain way, as would a kick, or a wielded weapon, basically in our mind the square peg fitted nice and snug into the square hole. This makes us humans feel happy and contented because we can understand the concept involved, but when we encounter for the first time a square peg that is fitting, but not in the way we want or expect, it can cause emotions to erupt, which in turn are quite often expressed as anger .
FB BLOG 07We as Systema practitioners strive to remain calm and in control of ourselves in all situations, so if just watching a video of Systema causes the viewer to expressing signs of anxiety as shown by the comments they leave on social media sites, is this owing to their becoming angry toward the unconventional? Does it illustrates a fact that Systema is actually doing what it say on the tin? Whether someone is in combat or making comments on a social media site and are blinded by anger causing tension to develop from anxiety, then perhaps all along whilst they think they are in control, maybe all they are really illustrating is the control they feel is actually just an illusion.

About Andy Seatherton

Andy Seatherton has been practicing martial arts since 1972, when he began learning Judo in Exeter, Devon in the South West of England. Andy has been teaching Systema since 2012 having attended many Seminars with some of the world’s top Systema masters over the years, including Vladimir Vasiliev, Martin Wheeler and Emmanuel Manolakakis Andy is passionate about martial arts that are effective and practical, having previously studied Judo, Aikido, American Kenpo, Ju-Jitsu, Tang-so-do, European Boxing and Escrima.
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