Systema training? Love it but I don’t have time to practice!

Late systemaSo how do I get the time?

Well that’s quite a question, I can see many of you reading this blog going “Yeh! Been there, bought the t shirt. This guy is going to bleat on about going to the gym every day, do hundreds of push-up’s, squats, and sit-up’s.”

Whilst you are in some ways correct, the need to regiment yourself into an exercise regime that can hinders your social life to a degree when you don’t actually have one is as counterproductive to healthy living, as eating all the wrong foods and sitting vegetating in front of the TV. We are by nature social creatures, we can spend a certain amount of time in our own company, but ultimately we will crave the company of others.

Systema training is not a special “only do it now” time thing, it is actually a “do it all the time” thing. It should become part of your daily life, at work ,at rest, at play and at home. The need to put aside specific and set amount of time to practice does not need to be an essential or compulsory thing. If you work best in a solid frame work, knowing at certain points in time you will be doing “A” and then after a period of time you will then be doing “B”, hey! That cool! Because it works for you. That is the important thing “it works for YOU!!” You should however, endeavor to include some aspects of basic Systema training in your daily life. Doing something religiously is not a bad thing, but that thing you do should,

a) Be simple enough to be done every day.


b) Done every day!!

This means even if it were to sweep the kitchen out once a day that’s fine, but every day you should sweep out the kitchen.

I am a shift worker and I am actually on my dinner break at 05:40 (Yes, I did say dinner!) on a Tuesday morning writing this blog, because I am fitting my needs around my life, and I neeeeeed!! to get this blog written.

So how do I “religiously” train my Systema and to that end my other martial arts? Every day I am thinking about one or more aspect of my training,Thinking of Systema it is constantly there in the pre frontal cortex of my brain, which controls my abstract thinking and thought analysis, and if you think about it (please excuse the pun!) exercise of the brain is as much an important aspect as is exercise of the body. Martin Wheeler once said, “Systema is in constant movement, but this can be movement of the thought process and much as movement of the body”. So we carry the information of what we have practiced in our Systema classes around with us in the form of memory and experience, now we need to translate this know-how into usable and practicable time saving training.

When I have arrived at work I park up, lock the car and make my way over to the booking on point. On this short journey I regularly practice my breath lengthening, using my walk from the car park to see how many steps I can accumulate  on the inhale and exhale.

I arrive at my locker and need to get my kit out, which means a squat is required of me, so down I go relaxing and breathing away making sure I don’t do that “old man” thing of making weird noises as you bend or crouch.

Arriving at my cab I set myself up for the journey ahead focus, on my breathing, and sit at the driving controls (hey! That was another squat!), give the old shoulders a jiggle, yep! all nice and relaxed, and off we go.

And so on it goes throughout the day everywhere I can fit it in I do some Systema, and yes I do go to the gym and I do my hundreds of push-up, squats, sit-ups and leg raises, plus all the other gym type stuff. But the bulk of my Systema training is done as part of my life cycle, religiously.

Our behavior towards ourselves is as important as it is to others, if we short change ourselves we essentially lying, and you are the last person you want to lie to.


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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One Comment

  1. Great article Andy! It’s really interesting how people can bring Systema into their everyday life like you do, it just proves that Russian Systema is much more than a martial art, it can be a way of life and benefit people who study it greatly. I have started to use the squat motion more in everyday life as you suggested, because it keeps my back straight whilst strengthening my leg muscles. Win, Win!

    I look forward to more Blog posts 🙂

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