July 4 2015

Rick Merrell Systema Seminar 6/27/2015

2015-06-27 Rick Merrell Systema SeminarRick Merrell gave us a great Systema seminar. We trained specifically for defensive knife fighting. Very interesting.

Let me first state that if you are ever unfortunate enough to be in a knife fight, expect to be cut. It’s going to happen.

That being said, this was an eye opener for me. I like the Systema philosophy that you need to flow with your opponent. For instance, in this seminar, Rick kept saying to feel the point of the knife, where it is pointing and move it that way.

You don’t move it by force or fight, but rather by flow. You disable the blade by getting the flat side engaged. It’s not easy, but it is doable. Its also contrary to the automatic fight or flight response.

The seminar was not about attacking someone or learning how to cut with a knife. It was about feeling the flow of energy in a very material and concrete way.

2015-06-27 Merrell Systema flyerI have never worked out with Rick. Against advice from Scott and Tom, the Systema instructors I train with on a regular basis, I had to push Rick to see what he was about and what he had.

Oh man did I learn. Rick quickly disarmed me and used the knife against me. Even though I continued to fight, he had me spun around such that I was bending backwards while he was holding my chin and exacerbating the bend in my back.

I still fought. Rick responded by slamming my chest so that I fell to the ground with the wind knocked out of me.

It was not a hit he used either. It felt more like a concrete block hitting me. The energy came straight down and connected. Pretty cool.

I will be working out with Rick again. He has weekly Wednesday night classes in West Palm Beach.

Anyway, the underlying lesson, which runs through my whole martial arts experience and which I need to fully integrate into my being, is to flow with the energy of the attack.

I have to really learn how to feel it. Which means peeling away layers of the onion and reworking my automatic responses.

Systema has a more integrated way of doing this than other martial arts. So much so, that it appears completely free form to the outsider. But it is not.

It’s a System. And it works very well with my other martial arts training.

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Posted July 4, 2015 by Alexander Socia in category "Systema

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Attorney, Martial Artist


  1. By Jacob on

    Hi I just moved out to west palm beach and looking to train in systema. please let me know if you teach or know someone who teaches systema down in west palm beach. I can be reached at 917 553 2461

    Thank You,


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