Inside Secrets Of Soviet Special Forces Training Vladimir Vasiliev with Ron Borland Published by Optimum Training Systems

Compiled though conversations with Mr. Vasiliev during January 1997.


A Note From Optimum Training Systems ………………..1 About Vladimir Vasiliev ……………………………………….3 Russian Martial Art – A Brief History …………………….7 Soviet Special Forces Training ………………………………9 Training Tips ……………………………………………………..23 The Russian System of Combat – Some Philosophy ..35 10 Guidelines For Achieving Mastery in the Russian System ………………………………..41 Introduction to the Russian Health System …………….47 Conclusion …………………………………………………………57



A Note From OTS

The information in Inside Secrets of Soviet Special Forces Training is designed to provide you with practical, efficient techniques that can be used to insure your personal safety. Training can be strenuous and injury may result if you don’t treat material with the proper care and respect.

Always consult you physician prior to beginning any exercise or physical training program. Should you experience any strain, stop immediately and seek the advice of a licensed health care professional.

Appropriate protection gear should always be worn when practicing any of the techniques connected with this book. This must include eye protection, head gear and groin protection.

Any weapons used in this program are employed for education or demonstration purposes only. Situations depicted in this book are also intended for educational purposes only. None of the techniques described in this book or accompanying material should be employed unless your life or physical well-being are in imminent danger.

Always, when possible, avoid any physical confrontation. In the event of a hostile or life threatening encounter use only the force necessary to stop the threat and remove yourself form danger. If you are in question of what actions may constitute “reasonable force” and “excessive force” contact your local law enforcement agency. Laws vary in each state and jurisdiction.

Individuals involved in the production of this book and OTS assume no responsibility for any injury or damage resulting from the execution or practice of any techniques presented.

Inside Secrets Of Soviet Special Forces Training contains detailed instruction of serious, potent techniques for personal safety and survival.


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About Vladimir Vasiliev

Vladimir Vasiliev spent 10 years with a SPecial Operations Unit (SOU)- the Russian Army Special Forces. During his decade with SOU he became a master of the Russian Martial Art, the fighting system that made the Soviet Union’s elite soldiers the most feared in the world.

The unit Vladimir served in was even more exclusive than our Navy SEALS. Very few in the Soviet military even knew of the training Vladimir and the others in his unit received due to intensive government secrecy about the unit. Even fewer were allowed training in these techniques.

In Soviet Russia, military service was compulsory. You had to do your time with the Soviet Army. Most went in to the Regular Army where their martial arts training consisted of training in “Sambo”, a martial art based on traditional Oriental styles emphasizing jiu-jitsu or kick boxing.

Others, the healthiest and most promising, were placed in to Special Forces units. The best of the best were placed in to elite special for forces units. At first, the Russian authorities experimented with different fighting systems from around the world to see which was most effective. The unit Vladimir trained in specialized in the ancient Russian martial arts.

This system was found to be superior to every other system tried by the RUssian Special FOrces. Not only could it be practiced with a remarkably lethal efficiency, it was incredibly multifunctional. It provided results far beyond the others in any situation in a much shorter period of time.

The Russian were also concerned about training soldier in a way that they could resist psychological stress. As in the Vietnam War, many soldiers returned emotionally crippled or had psychological problems when serving in places like Afghanistan or Chechnya.

One of the main goals of the training in Vladimir’s unit was to prepare the operators to endure any military operation and stay sane and functional. The Russian Army wanted to train an elite group that could be called on at any time to go anywhere and, in a moment, gear up to maximum fighting readiness. As we’ll discuss /4/ later, the training was almost inhuman, certainly beyond anything our SEALS or Delta Force undergoes. But the result was a soldier the likes of which the world had never seen before.

Even when these people became civilians, that were so skilled and tough that the Soviet government would call them back into action to secretly participate in a mission. It must have been strange for the friends and co-workers of these people. They’d be doing their regular job in Russian society and then, suddenly, they wouldn’t be see for several days. When they returned from some incredible mission, nobody would know where they’d been. Nor could they talk about what they’d done. They simply went back to work as if nothing had happened.

The people in these special units were so well-trained and efficient that the Russian Army couldn’t afford to let them go. Even when they were out of the Army, they were on call. Vladimir was one of these people.

His special area of expertise was hand-to-hand combat based on techniques acquired from the Russian Martial Art. His specialty was fighting unarmed against opponents with weapons, sometimes going single-handed against 6 attackers at once.

Vladimir was in many actions and battles, most of which are still considered classified by the Russian government. Some were special combat missions behind enemy lines. In other operations he’d act in much the same way a SWAT team member does in our country. He also served as a bodyguard of high ranking individuals. His experience ran the gamut from military to civilian applications.

Ultimately, other SPETSNAZ operatives, KGB men, political body guards, elite paratroopers, metropolitan SWAT teams and other in need of hand-to-hand expertise came to Vladimir for training.

There’s an old saying that says, “Those who can’t do, teach.” Vladimir was an exception to this. He was not only a master of the Russian Arts. He also had the ability to pass that mastery on to others.

Much of the essence of Vladimir’s training and the nature of the Russian Martial Art is located in its unique psychological and psychic emphasis. In this book, Vladimir will begin to unlock some of those secrets for you so that you can put them to use in your own attempt to master the Russian Martial Art.


Key to this training is Vladimir’s overall philosophy to combat, summed up as follows:

“Fighting skill should evolve into an unconquerable weapon that can’t be seen until used nor taken away while its practitioner is alive.”

Your fighting skill is thus not only measured by physical abilities, but by your ability to access your own unique psychological, psychic and even spiritual powers.

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Russian Martial Art – A Brief History

Throughout its history, Russia has been under attack. Whether from North, South, East or West it’s been a rare year when Russians weren’t involved in battle.

Because it is such a large country, these battles took place on different terrains and in a variety of climates ranging from freezing winter to sweltering summer conditions. Attackers always came with their own unique styles of combat and weaponry. As a result, the Russian defenders had to learn to fight against a variety of styles and in a variety of conditions.

The Russian Martial Art dates back to the 10th century and evolved because of the wide variety of conditions and attack that Russians faced. The Russians warriors acquired a style that combined and strong spirit with extremely clever and versatile tactics. These tactics were simple, practical and deadly and worked against any type of enemy in any circumstances.

They were also not limited by strict rules of engagement or structure. This separated them from most other marital arts. There were no stances, no katas, no uniform and no formalities, rituals or belts. All

/8/ Boys often started their training at the age of two. loyalty and physical preparation. all national traditions were suppressed. they returned to their everyday lives in the fields and shops of Russia. At eighteen. they’d learn to ride a horse. Then. In this way. By age ten a boy was expected to master weapon techniques using wooden weapons and by age twelve to master unarmed consisted of real-life. knife fights and other contests were held between individuals and large groups. They weren’t some contrived martial art form designed for the elite. The Russians were renowned for their courage. The Russian nation prepared its warriors in a way that didn’t interrupt their regular labour. In St. People couldn’t afford the luxury of supporting professional armies. grueling exercise. the martial arts in Russia were incorporated into daily life. Holidays and fairs were especially good for these event and fist. Right away. . at age four. Russian fighters have been much respected by other cultures throughout history. Petersburg. contest with up to 10. sparring matches and contest of guile ware held on a regular basis. These were intense. these great martial art skills and traditions developed over the course of centuries were nearly lost under Communist rule. Romans. immediately applicable principles. exercise. First they learned to used toy weapons. The Russian fighting style was lost for the common man. wrestling. The Greeks. Once the Battle was over. Games. Following the Revolution of 1917. you learned how to defend yourself against a knife to the stomach. stick. They also had to pass a survival test where they were left alone far from any shelter without food or weapons.000 participants were held. Arabs and Avars all tried to employ them for their own armies. A “People’s” System It also must be remembered hat most of the early Russian warriors were not soldiers by trade. young men were given demanding tests in all fighting skills as well as swimming and breathing through a hollow cane while under water. punch to the head or painful choke. once the capital of Russia. Not surprisingly. Unfortunately.

to put it mildly. There we were forced to carry dead people to make us less sensitive to the dead. defense tactics. All levels of human ability. at an intermediate or lower level where it would activate the necessary combat response without producing any of the inhibition fear can bring. /9/ SOVIET SPECIAL FORCES Training The SOVIET SPECIAL FORCES approach to training in their Russian Martial Art system was. Techniques were geared for a wide range of situations including covert military operations and the protection of high ranking officials by elite bodyguards. The old Russian system continued to live on in secrecy in private academies and among a few people who quietly continued their training and passed it on to new generations of their family. Fear was to be kept in its proper place. They wanted their elite SPecial Operations Units not to fear death.The masses were supplied with the substitute fighting system “Sambo”. Some perhaps criminal. we were brought into morgues. The Russian Martial Art also lived on in those few top units of the SOU. We were being screened to see if we were mentally fit to continue. our trainers were watching us to see how we reacted psychologically.were stressed in the new system. Combat techniques. But their goal was to create a soldier who would be immune to the psychological torment of battle. All this time. harsh. new philosophies and survival practices were grafted on to the system. When there were serious car accidents. Most people would call it cruel. In the beginning. There they were perfected. .the physical. psychological and psychic. we’d be called to the scene to deal with the gore and pain there.

The trainees were taught to fight these emotions. . Again.breaking your arm or being cut with a knife. they’d pull the strings rendering you without the use of a leg or arm and throwing you off balance. Each person would have sensitive areas. It is intuitive. another trainee. The SPETSNAZ trainer would bend your arm back until you stated screaming because you couldn’t take the pain anymore. Trainers would also attach strings to your ankle or arm during sparring matches every once in a while. with a very attractive man. Again. the purpose was to teach you to fight under any circumstance. They wanted to see to what extreme you could go before breaking. They would use this exercise to teach you how to relax under pain and open up new personal potentials for endurance. some-/10/body else would get a knife and start poking you with it. we went into the next phase where we were tested to see how we perceived and responded to our own physical pain. Russian Martial Art doesn’t tell you what point to hit as much as it teaches you to sense what point to hit. You’re basically telling your fist to find the right point to attack.d be forced to go through unbearable pain during some of these exercise. For example. You’d have to continue defending yourself while overcoming this handicap. You were then given a choice of the two extremes. Others would produce aggression. In the Russian Martial Art. Different points on the body will evoke different emotions in different people and at different times. We. as if this wasn’t enough. Overall mod also plays a role in pressure points. and have them administer the punishment to see what your reaction was. Certain places would provoke fear. you might take off your shoe and hit him across the face. Then they’d take your friend. Electric shock was used. the goal was to teach the trainees how to survive in any kind of environment. We were also hit and punished in pressure points to see how we reacted. pressure points aren’t fixed as with other martial arts. At that moment. This could be an area about which he was very vain and sensitive.If we passed this segment of training.

it was painful but there was more to this exercise than learning how to survive pain.” They’d also take our beds out in the rain and snow and leave them there all day. you were also expected to learn how to be creative and act spontaneously. You were expected to go well beyond mere physical and psychological mastery to a point where intuition and that sixth sense that we all have but seldom use became a part of your daily life. . Key to this adaptability was the psychic training you received. For “cold training” we were forced to swim in all kinds of water. being able to come up with unconventional and unusual responses and decisions in different situations. they’d freeze stiff. The poison of the ants served as a stimulant and gave you extra energy during survival situations. Then they’d bring them inside and we’d have to sleep in them overnight. You went all out. Divergent thinking. was an absolute necessity. despite your fatigue. We’d have to lay on the hill for a couple of minutes until we were bitten everywhere. We’d be run hard for long distances. Often. /11/ Perhaps more importantly. You were to be able to work effectively in any kind of situation and never fear it. And they didn’t put up with any holding hack. The SOU saying was. You had to be totally adaptable to survive in their unit. Psychic Training The goal of this training was to make you multi-functional. We were also trained to fall on the huge ant hills you’d find in the forest and allow the large black ants that lived there to bite you. Again. and then have to begin fighting or sparring without benefit of any rest. 10 miles or so. “The water is too cold for swimming only it it’s ice.We’d also be exercised to the point of exhaustion and made to continue far past this point. or suffered the consequences. while carrying heavy ammunition or armaments.

to tell if their drink was poisoned. At other times. if any. If anything at all changed while you were sleeping. the instructor would also walk around the class looking for trainees who weren’t paying attention to the total environment they were working in. or touch. and we’d have to wake up or answer for it with our superiors. While sparring. The trainee would then have to come into the room and tell the instructor which glasses had been charged with the energy. It was much like “touch healing”. on a mission. Some instructor. he’d hit you with a stick over the head. we learned how to do this. Poison has a much stronger energy than regular water and that energy is discernible to those who have learned to access and use their psychic abilities. We became completely aware of how a room looked. we were brought into pitch black rooms and had to guess how many people were in it. you’d be blindfolded for the entire time. We even became aware of tactile. They’d concentrate on the water and send energy into it through their fingers without touching it. who were skilled at passing psychic energy. We put all this information into a mental picture and then fell asleep.Awareness. or tapping into your sixth sense. You’d have to follow what was going on. but one grounded in a psychic form of energy. We’d also be blindfolded and have to identify colors just by touching colored blocks of paper. Training classes could run for 5 hours and. sounded and smelled. The purpose behind this exercise was to teach the trainee how. This taught the trainee very quickly to be aware of where everyone was at all times. in some. do your exercises and come to an understanding of the principles the instructor what teaching without the use of sight. awareness was to extend far beyond the normal five senses into the area of the psychic. would take a few glasses of water and charge them with energy. we were also taught to picture everything around us. . After much experience. The trainer would change something in the environment. was a focus for many of the exercises. perception. If he thought you weren’t aware of his presence. Again. This was not an electrically based charge. you were to waken immediately to respond to any situation. /12/ Before sleep. sometimes even slightly.

we’d be able to get up immediately to responds. of whether or not he had a particular facial feature. They had to watch footage of deeply disturbing scenes. to protect him from the potential damage to his psyche. But we didn’t have to show off. Eventually. graphic episodes of war or criminal activity. you came to understand and respect the extent of your lethal powers and learned to use them only when necessary or in pursuit of the necessary military goal. As we’ll talk about later. to notice details highly relevant to his work. develop the skill of practical observation. My feet are never covered at night. such a s serious accidents. And what was also very important. Some trainees were also given exercise to help them come to terms with the emotional impact of extreme situations. That way. we had a license to kill and we used it when necessary.We were also taught to sleep with our feet outside of our blanket or bag. I still sleep this way. It became difficult to even hit somebody at this point unless you had ample cause. or what was the shape of his knife. if some threat presented itself. to completely avoid the emotional involvement and instead of that. Because we were in a special unit. It was a very useful drill to prepare the trainee for carrying on with his mission no matter what dramatic events might be happening around him. he would learn to view the footage professionally. Gradually. A beginner trainee would quickly realize that he could not give accurate answers. such as how was a certain person in the scene dressed. As above. /13/ . Later the student would be asked unusual questions about the episode. After three months of this kind of serious physical psychological and psychic training you’d gain an enormous potential for fighting skill. scenes that included serious physical and psychological violence. trauma or death.

there is a strong moral side of Russian Martial Art. You won’t be nearly as effective. If you want to be a master. . the essence of the Russian Martial Art is a focus on our “good” side. This understanding brings you to new levels of ability. And you come to respect human life. I came to understand how fragile humans were and how valuable human life was and I didn’t want to be associated with someone who might use the lethal force I’d acquired for evil. and would ultimately weaken the inner power. You come to respect your own abilities and their place in the world. as there is in many of the other martial arts around the world. you come to appreciate how fragile the human body is and how easy it is to kill.” Physical skill and knowledge aren’t enough in this system. you come to understand that there is something beyond you. your movements will be a prisoner of that evil and lacking in freedom. you must stay on the moral side. You become careful to do the least possible damage to your attacker to end his threat. A Force For Good Despite some of the training described above. All movement in the Russian Martial Art is free and natural movement. The rule of thumb in the Russian Martial Art is: “Ten wounded is better than one dead. totally out of character for the warrior. When you reach a very high level of training. If you have an evil nature. To become a bully or use your powers in the pursuit or in connection with evil would be a disgrace. not everyone who practiced these arts became good and respectful of God and nature. We teach this principle in our classes strongly today. Certainly. but the best masters did. When you become a master of this style. /14/ This is one reason why I left Russia and settled in Canada.

They have a persistent need to control. for aggression. There are many aggressors out there. The Russian system tries to free the student of this fear and protect him from the even greater terror of becoming an aggressor. and you limit your potential. and the Russian system guards against this kind of excess. an aggressor can only be overcome by an individual who is strong spiritually. You can also smile or laugh during sparring. Difference with oriental styles There is. In short. They also fear the possibility of their own humiliation and this drives them even harder away from good. In fact. no ritual or bowing with the Russian Martial Art. You may shake hands with an opponent. practical application of a martial art is a sad and inevitable part of our civilization.However. There sparring is supposed to take place with a positive energy in tune with the overall Russian philosophy. . sparring is seen more in terms of a fame in the Russian Martial Art. but there is no formal greeting process. You respect your opponent. there’s also a great fear of becoming a victim. Sometimes in life we become those things that we fear the most. Use it for evil. after all. if you’re deadly serious during with a practice session. And. you will be unable or too fatigued to make the /15/ change in demeanor necessary to react to a truly serious situation. The physical components of the Russian Martial Art are only one aspect of the fighting system. It’s not really that serious. To understand yourself and realize what your abilities are and what your role in life is should mark the beginning of your training. of course. With all the aggression in the world. Such a powerful weapon can only totally be revealed to a person with a good psych and honest intentions. put down or hurt somebody. The Russian system stresses the need for moral and spiritual growth. how will you be able to be serious when a real threat comes along? The Russian Martial Art philosophy is that if you take life and training serious all the time.

this coincides with the principle of the freedom of movement so important to the Russian Martial Art. The solar plexus thus works as a provider of electrical energy for the inner organs. This is essential to proper execution in the Russian system. ingrained response. glands and contraction of musculature under periods of stress. that shooting out of air. The Importance of Mobility The D’an-T’an also represent the center of gravity for a person in the traditional arts. you act with a specific. Moves are choreographed. All that release of breath and energy with every punch. the sympathetic system responds. They tend to take fixed. When the body experiences an increase in activity or an emergency situation. you are allowed to act with intuition and freedom of movement. Laughter and jokes are very uncommon if not inappropriate. as is done with the Russian Art. If your opponent takes a particular action. stable stances. Again. does not allow for training to be fun or a game. though. Faces take on a tense or stern expression. This comes from the nature of life in the mountains where these arts were originated. These nerve endings are part of the sympathetic nervous system that transmits impulses activating physiological response to the inner organs. . It’s considered to be the “sea of inner breathing― or a place where all inner energy – Tzi or Chi – accumulates. Ou have no flexibility But if you take your sparring more as a game. The fighters look tough. Where the Oriental D’an-T’an serves as a reservoir. The Russian style recognizes a similar point in the solar plexus just behind the stomach but it is not a mere collection point. blood vessels. Likewise. Fighters in the oriental school are more in touch with the ground.Many of the traditional martial arts are very serious. This area comprises a powerful. Then there’s the “oriental breathing― techniques other martial arts use. the Russian solar plexus is interactive with the rest of the body. The solar plexus nerve endings have their own access to internal organs. interconnected system of nerve endings often referred to as the “brains of the abdomen― by physiologists. the Oriental Arts locate an area around your navel called D’an-T’an.

that makes you most effective. for example. It’s believed that. a person lives and moves in a way to minimize the effect of intense ultraviolet rays and piercing winds. There was squatting and sitting with the legs crossed and the absence of chairs in daily life. you use a . They rely on stimulus-response routines. for increased stability against the elements. A rabbit. The Foundation – Natural Movement Traditional martial arts are not really spontaneous. Practitioners are taught that when a strike with a stick comes at you from a particular angle. if a person imitates the behavior of animals in his movements. In the mountains. In fact. Finding a lower center of gravity. the European higher center of gravity gave you greater mobility. every being has its own identity. /17/ In nature. This is not good for the Russian system. European conditions were different. can’t play the part of a wolf successfully. those animal-like movements used in the Oriental arts do not comply to human movement patterns. but constant movement. In this way. The need for such stability was not present and this led to a new martial arts principle – mobility. It disrupts the paths of nature and the natural movement on which we rely. a human cannot play the role of a snake or dragon./16/ Remember that geography and and climate and a people’s biophysical response form the tactics for individual martial arts. was necessary. Likewise. Where the lower center of gravity provided stability. It’s also important to note the Oriental martial arts’ cultural focus on imitating animals. But the world of people is very different that that of animals. they limit of hinder natural movement. it will bring him closer to nature. In the Russian system it is not stability.

you do this. it is important to experience fear to know how you’d naturally react to a strike. What is important is to learn what you natural response to such an attack would be. Indeed. Each soldier was taught to build his fighting abilities on those natural reactions. Virtually any movement is acceptable. Nor is it good from somebody who has never had to deal with a real strike. duck or cover up. . This “natural reaction― is something you’re born with and it is essential to become conscious of it when learning the Russian system. charge him with a knife at full speed to see how he reacts. In this way. They performed different body movement to evade the same kind of strike.― is what they are taught. If his initial reaction is to lean back. for example. Though it may sound illogical given the need to control fear. He will always move away spontaneously in a particular manner. you wouldn’t want to use a block. the principle doesn’t seem to make sense. Each person reacted differently. We had to know how we’d naturally act when reality struck. He may jump away. patterned response or block. “If they come at you this way. all the trainees were lined up and the instructor would hit each one of us unexpectedly. “If they do this. When I was first being trained in the SOU. a student might find it best to follow by raising his arm to intercept the knife. Bringing attention to the movement will help him realize what his /18/ natural reaction is. you block it this way. you don’t fight your natural movement but use it to your advantage. When a student is new we will. There’d be a good change you’d break your arm. Each person was unique in his reaction.specific. lean back. If somebody is coming at you with a bat in real combat. for instance. Technique was ultimately based on those first natural reactions.― But this is not very ^practical. The important thing is to remember that each person reacts differently and that these different reactions are the key for devising a defense. The student is then taught to build on that initial movement. We do the same sort of thing in my class.

The principle used here i the so-called “flying center of gravity’.While that arm may come up naturally for balance. if a man is standing on a bridge and is attacked and his natural response is to jump back he’s got to be aware that he can’t do that ini this situation. A series of moves will thus be practiced. it may also be used to hit the attacker in the elbow and force him to drop the knife. At the same time. If he does. . the pelvis always moves ahead of the shoulders. Keeping the feet grounded enables maximum power for movement of the arms and legs. Each shoulder can be moved separately. Pelvis and shoulders also spin on their own horizontal axis and form the “figure eights” we talk about in-depth during physical training. for instance. The “Flying Center of Gravity― Then again. The rest of the body can thus stay relaxed while you move the necessary part. he’ll fall off the bridge and into the river. it is also essential to learn what your natural response is so that you can guard against it when in situations where it may be harmful. For instance. learning to move properly is the primary goal from the beginning in the Russian Martial Art. Again awareness of you own body and identity along with what’s going on around you is essential to mastery of the Russian System. The point of suspension of the pendulum is somewhere over the head. Whatever your natural response. spinning in all 3 dimensions simultaneously. Of course. Sliding into the pendulum is much like skating without allowing your fee to leave the floor. The body sways up and down. it moves like a pendulum. all stemming from the trainee’s original reaction and the continuing natural movement of his body. In this way. One must be able to move all body parts separately. to master this system you must also be able to move so that your appendages and the rest of your body can move in different ways simultaneously It’s a kind of 3-dimensional movement of the body. You don’t need to involve the /19/ whole body.

during training sessions. you should not consider the Russian Martial Art a sport. in heat or cold. the whole body should be perceived and used as a complete system. And at any moment. The goal of hand-to-hand combat is to survive in extreme and unpredictable environments. in heavy forest or open park. Usually. Arm movement should not be reliant on a particular stance or support from the legs.At the same time. The conflict can also be with one person or many. you’ll have to fight without any physical or psychological warm-up. either. on slippery ground or boggy sand. Conflict can take place at day or night. Moreover. you should never prearrange attacks with your partner in the Russian system. By “thinking” we mean allowing the body to spontaneously find the solution for any unexpected situation. All movements should be dynamic and multifunctional. in an elevator. arms and legs must be free. Real conflicts don’t take place in a gym. You shouldn’t think about a particular strike of defense or the person you’re facing off with at the moment. When the physical contact begins. Though one part of the body may be moved while others relax. It can take place at close quarters or at a distance. fighting should be completely unconscious. That’s why. You never know what the conditions of a confrontation will be. . It is impossible to prepare techniques for all potential situations in a fight beforehand but it is possible to teach the body to “think”. You may be tired. they should never be cut off physically or psychologically separated from the actions of the other parts. You should never move just for the sake of moving. /20/ One thing to remember: there is no single kind of combat situation. sick or wounded. Legs should stay light and mobile. They are all different and you must be ready for anything. Hitting power comes from the pelvis. in a car – virtually anywhere.

The fixed stances and threatening poses you find in other martial arts contradict the principle of instant readiness necessary to the /21/ Russian arts and their focus on continuity of movement. get out of a trap or perform other necessary tasks. It is hard to apply the principles of classic Kung FU or Karate to real life. Body language will tell you a great deal about your attacker and his intentions.” In many martial art classes too much time is spent on learning unrealistic poses and classical moves that no longer have meaning. Nor should this make you diminish the importance of body posing or body language in any way. The Russian system recognizes that a fight can break out from any body position. too. This is not to say that such training is totally useless. You must preserve some strength so you can survive after you victory and care for your wounds.It is also important not to give your all as you would in a sports contest. We also study defense from common positions where the arms and legs may be in an uncomfortable positions for starting a fight. help somebody else. In a confrontation with opponents that have no knowledge of the techniques of classical martial arts those opponents have reactions and behavior that are completely unpredictable. These stances are not practical. It does provide a kind of order or internal and external structure and organization for training. While it may have a particular beauty and the ritual be inspiring. . STudents thus study defense from a “conversational stance”. As martial arts master Bruce Lee once wrote: “Real application of techniques themselves has little use in a street fight. it doesn’t prepare students for a real fight. This would be any position they happened to be in a the time including sitting standing and lying down. which is why none are included in the system.

indifference or confusion with your own body. The fact that no two street fights or combat situations are the same fits well with this “natural movement” philosophy. Still. this can also be used for maximum advantage. If they’re tenacious and psychologically determined. It can sometimes be beneficial to express weakness. it soon becomes unimportant what kind of attack they face in the course of training. the firs thing I look for in a student are psychological characteristics. it is natural movement. Most of these reactions come from inborn defensive instincts. /23/ Training Tips Below are several training tips I use in my gym that you may want to apply to your own training.The way you position your body in response to a possible threat can also provide great advantage. although I’ve made them more human and less painful for my students. Because students in the Russian Martial Art don’t prearrange strikes or repeat them. Others. It’s also very important to be able to show unusual or unexpected stances. Some go back to my own SOU training. threat. That’s why it’s much more practical and effective to become consciously aware of your natural movements and come to under-/22/ stand and use them as basic for further work in “teaching your body to think”. this can be developed and used for maximum advantage. that defines the Russian Martial Art. If someone is smart and quick on their feet. a person’s natural reaction to unpredictable situations. It would be impossible to train and memorize every possible response to a particular situation. This has ultimate practicality in the real world. . I’ve more recently discovered to be effective for students. You’re facing a nearly infinite number of possibilities. As an instructor.

Determination is essential. You should not allow yourself to get in a rut. I also try to keep the training sessions fun and urge you to do so. You can’t just take a person off the street. Once they have that dedication. too. You’ve got to want it. . Not that I don’t insist on dedication. Any “tough guys” trying to prove themselves at the expense of other trainees are quickly corrected. I never even wanted to teach and it took the efforts of people who wanted training in the Russian Arts to get me into the field. I can help strengthen them psychologically and spiritually. They are wasting both their time and mine. In four years at my school. You’ve used yourself up and left no more room to make the transition from civilian to warrior. Again. I never really thought seriously about it until I started my school. I also don’t think in terms of “weaknesses” when dealing with my students. I believe that the main thing a teacher can give a a student is a strong spirit. bring them in the gym and expect them to excel. I enjoy doing it but I still insist on effort from my students. Now. You should also work /24/ to make every training session fresh and different. Variety is essential. I must make this point: if you’re serious when there is no threat. the key factor in mastering the Russian Martial Art is desire. I have no time for someone who want to come in and mess around or not put in the necessary effort. Any so-called “weaknesses” can be turned into an advantage and you shouldn’t let them keep you from training or believing you can become a master. You don’t want to be totally serious until something totally serious happens. But training must be made fun. I do! I came to become a teacher in a roundabout way. I have yet to repeat a class. You should be serious on the inside. I ensure that there is a good atmosphere in the gym during training. but on the outside look so as to relax your opponent. when a threat really does arrive you’ll be left with nothing in reserve.In fact.

Curved. We don’t want to hurt anybody. this merely means he will be able to work well at a close distance. for example. An attacker with a straight and simple knife is likely to have a more healthy and balanced psychological outlook. With a straight blade. are an art in themselves. you should try working with the real thing. amore reserved or somber character or a streak of violence or quick temper. You must stay positive and believe in yourself. Individual differences between people provide strengths and opportunities. a person is more inclined to perform stabbing and cutting motions. serrated. You’re trying to get in touch with proper natural responses through the repetition of training here. But once you reach an advanced stage of training. You don’t want things to look or seem phony. If he is lanky and tall. the more realistic the training the better. circular work and localized cuts are more likely. They require realism and for proper training. Even if the knife is not a sharp one and relatively safe.If a person is short. angled or especially long or short knives can signal a more aggressive nature. Any deviation from the basic knife can indicate personality differences. can tell you how someone is going to attack. Whatever you decide to use. The kind of weapon can also tell you something about an attacker’s personality. it should have the same characteristics as a real knife. for instance. As long as the individual can properly and safely handle it. With a curved blade. this means he will be able to work well at a distance. The shape of a knife. not weaknesses. /25/ . Use the Real Thing We use wooden knives or sticks in the initial stages of training. Knife defense tactics. you should try to insure that it has the same weight and coloring and shines the same way as the real thing.

Knives present a very serious situation. Likewise. but it is something you should be aware of in sizing up your opponent. If the attacker is throwing the knife from one hand to the other or rotating it between his fingers. Striking For Awareness Earlier. in a way. Their confidence may be low at the moment and this could set them back. albeit on a less painful level. they hoped to increase you abilities over a wider variety of conditions. When an attacker uses one. it’s also important to realize he’s most likely expecting a passive victim. they’ll be asking for this kind of training. he may be scared away in the first moments of the confrontation. Others may be less committed to their training and be offended by the act and I don want to lose students. he is making a choice between life and death and greatly increasing the possibility of a fatality in comparison to emptyhanded combat. these are general characteristics and can’t be taken as a rule. We have some pretty tough customers in some classes and. I’m careful who I hit. If you react defensively and with the effectiveness proper training can give you. You can begin to think of your own clothing in terms of defense and how to best position yourself to present an effective defense. For these reasons you should practice with different kinds of knives and make them as realistic as possible. . Some people may not be ready for such things. If someone takes a knife and attacks you with it. And I’m glad to give it to them because it does work. An attacker’s physical demeanor will also tell you something about the knife. In this way. But you can pretty well sense what people need and who can handle it and who can’t. I try to do similar things. I told you how the SOU instructors used to surprise trainees with a strike from a stick when they were sparring to throw them off balance or handicap them. you’ll know he’s wielding a lighter knife and that it will bring lighter cuts. knife type won’t always tell you about personality type. You aren’t limited to in the way you can strike. Specific moves can be performed with any kind of knife. however.Granted.

If you’re in a training group. You intuitively try to sense where the next blow is coming from and move the correct body part away in response. You may want to add to the difficulty of the exercise by blindfolding the student and having him hold a cup of water as he moves away from the attack. Both partners start with their eyes open and begin with gentle pushes. Different body parts – legs. shoulders – are targeted and pushing gets harder as the exercise continues. Each man is an individual and will react as such. The eyes can also be closed in this exercise. thus stressing the Russian Martial Art principle of separate movement of body parts. you rely more on you intuition than in other martial arts. With the eyes closed. only the shoulder moves away. If the shoulder is being targeted. The same kind of exercise can be done between training partners by pushing. so does someone in the Russian Arts find a way to strike and defend properly. there’s little sensory input to tell you where the blow will be targeted. Blindfolding a student and having him move away from a knife attack by using his intuition and unsighted senses can be a very valuable exercise. for instance. You will be surprised how often an experienced practitioner can sense the targeted area and more away effectively. . The partner has to move away only the part of the body being hit.There’s nothing like a surprise stick or slap to extend one’s awareness to the proper parameters. The goal here is not only to move away from the attacker but to not spill the water as you move. Much like an animal intuitively finds its way home. arms. The stomach is only bent if it’s being targeted. Blindfold Training In this system. It’s a great exercise for teaching balance. you /26/ may want to try this yourself by having one of your partners provide the surprise strike. Your fist basically finds the right target intuitively and your body reacts to a strike in an equally intuitive fashion.

Talking and verbally examining some of these principles may be the key in getting a good start on mastering them. provide a firmer strike and are even more effective for this kind of training. They’re more solid. Each person should explain what he understood during the session. One of the things I find with my students is that they don’t know how to relax because they don’t know what real tension is. they don’t recognize or aren’t aware of when they’re tense. this will help you understand principles better. My response is to have them work on tightening their muscles consciously so they become aware of the . and the added focus they provide. will help the student achieve the kind of awareness necessary for proper execution of the Russian Martial Art. I’ll also have my students close their eyes at the end of a session and answer questions about what was going on around them during the class.Sticks can also be used for this exercise. In essence. Talking makes you more aware of these principles and their personal applications. Relaxation Exercises Though it seems like the last thing you’d want to do in a fight is relax. “Who was the last person to walk into the gym?” “How many windows are there on that wall?” “What was written on the T-shirt of your opponent?” These questions. you need to be able to effectively deal with tension and negate it to be effective. it is important to have students /27/ talk about their experiences. It helps to put your actions into words. “What kind of socks did your last opponent have on?” I’ll ask. Post-Training Exercises At the end of each training session. In your own mind. what he’s having trouble grasping and what insights he might have had during the class.

As far as dealing with this tension. follow by taking 10 counts to breather the air out and complete the exercise by holding the breathless state for another 10 counts.tension. for example. Any body part can be relaxed. For instance. Positive energy or power in imagined coming into the body part as it breather in and negative energy is exhaled through the same part. I’ll have him stop and tense his shoulders up degree by degree until they’re as tense and tight as they can be. you can treat it by imagining breathing through it. you can take 10 counts to breathe in. /28/ then left leg and then both legs at once. then exhaling through it. and relax it. In the SOU. Deep. hold it very tight. Breathing through different body parts can also relax that area while getting energy into it. we were taught to heal ourselves this way. I’ll follow with the right leg. You’d simply imagine taking air in through the arm. hold the air for another 10 counts. The exercise is simple. We’ll talk more about breathing later when we discuss the Russian Health System. Fear and Pain Control . slow breathing to different counts can be very helpful in relaxing. stand and twist your body and then go through your breathing exercises. You should also try to breathe in different positions. Kneel. If I see someone in class who ha tense shoulders and can’t relax. The I’ll have him relax so he can consciously feel the difference between the two states. The mere act of breathing through the injured body part will bring a great deal of added energy to the area and promote recovery. The we’ll do the whole body. I’ll tell them to tighten up the right arm. energized or even healed in this way. Then I’ll have them tighten their left arm. By contrasting different levels of tension the better come to realize what a relaxed state feels like. This tensing up and relaxing shows them the difference between relaxation and tension and helps them be more aware when tension is present. Don’t just lay on your back. then relax it. Suppose you want to relax your right arm. breathing is a very good tool. Sometimes I’ll have students lay down on the floor and concentrate on tightening up body parts one by one. If your stomach is hurt.

One exercise I use to teach fear control involves having a student lay on the floor and allow 4-5 of his partners to grab a different part like the arms. The first is “mental fear” and it’s inside your head. It’s a result of your own response to pain. You twist away sharply and may tear your knee. In this way. It’s the fear that your mind deals with when facing a dangerous situation. especially mental fear. Or you may put added pressure on a shoulder that’s stressed by trying to pull away. after a while. Still. is necessary for your proper response to an attacker. too much fear can freeze you or present a barrier to natural movement. On the one hand. you’re likely not to take a dangerous situation seriously and get careless. While ti’s important to control mental fear from affecting you abilities. It can be your friend. Mentally. /30/ . If you get too cocky. The second kind of fear is “physical fear”. But. Most trauma and injury comes from the animal-like response of /29/ “physical fear”. But some amount of fear. you cause your own injury. legs or head. Each pulls their body part and twists it in a different direction. but mental fear should be controlled. It’S in the body and its (sic) physical response to danger or attack. Your body reacts inadequately. the student must deal with some immediate fear because he can’t control the situation. You can pay a big price for this carelessness. inflicting pain on the prone student. he’ll start to realize that having more than one body part twisted can also help you relax and even get away.There are two basic kinds of fear. it’s important not to get rid of it completely. It may even have to be dealt with during a training exercise. Physical fear should be conquered. you may understand that your partner isn’t going to kill you but your body still may fear the contact.

Basically. you’ll naturally be able to relax more. You also come to see pain as less fearful. your attention is more dispersed. You’ll also give the attackers the chance to work against each other. But you can work in team having one person holds your arms down while someone . Here’s why. you’ll quickly find this worsens the situation but if you can relax you’ll take away the possibility that you’ll injure yourself through your own response. you can also create a situation where the twisting of the attackers actually contradicts itself. Strikes in the face can also be useful. your fist twists or rotates. Contact Is Important Indeed. You learn new ways to go with what they’re doing or position yourself so the twisting cancels itself out. By paying attention to all areas instead of just one. if all extremities are being twisted. of course. You don’t want to overdo this. you’ll find that attackers can actually interfere with one another and take pressure of (sic) one body part by moving another in a complementary fashion. you take away the pain focus. If you tense up. you don―t fight your attackers here. By not fighting the attack and positioning yourself in various ways. You conquer your “physical fear― so it can’t harm you and learn to limit the mental fear so you don’t freeze and can act creatively. Those punches should wind into the body as taught in Russian Martial Art physical training. But if all your extremities are being twisted. We’re not trying to injure anybody. you tend to concentrate all you attention on that leg. any sort of physical contact exercise helps you to control pain and fear. You’ll also find that.In the process of the exercise. Don’t just pretend you’re pushing. This provides even harder contact and provides more pain for your partner. As you contact the body. Th e pushing exercises we described above are a good example. From there you can progress from pushes into punches. The most important thing is to make sure there’s contact. They thus work against each other and to your benefit. It’s spread out over all the pain areas and this helps. tense up and make the pain even worse. Make real contact. If someone is just twisting one of your legs.

Only by being hit and experiencing some pain will you learn the nature of that pain. Contact is a necessity. Confidence Builders In SOU we would spar while being presented with physical handicaps and I find this very useful today. You start by taking 10 seconds to go down. If you can’t use your arms. of course. If you can’t use anything else. Fighting with a limitation can also demonstrated how much you can do to protect yourself even when under a handicap.slaps or otherwise works to your face (sic). As you continue your training. strength and confidence to your overall demeanor. This will create fear at /31/ first but the more you practice the less likely you’ll be to jerk and freeze and give in to “physical fear―. By fighting yourself through these exercises you can add character. you do the exercise very slowly. The goal is to create some pain without injury. You’ll be surprised what you can find to defend yourself when you use your mind creatively. Training with an arm or two tied behind your back or otherwise limiting your ability move can be very good for developing your abilities. Rather than going up and down in the standard squat. you can move these time periods slowly up to 20 seconds and give yourself even more of a test. how to react to it and how best to deal with your fear of it. Extended squats are also good for confidence building and strengthening the spirit. I’m very careful with this in class. But this kind of habituation to pain and being hit must be done. Demonstrating the ability to defend yourself against such odds during a sparring or other training exercise can really be a great confidence builder. hold it for 10 and then come back up using the same 10 second count. use your shoulders. Use Of The Eyes . look to that matter inside your head called a brain and use it. Push-ups can also be done this way.

The way you use your eyes is very important during a fight. Your increased connection with the universe gives you a certain detachment from the fight and increased consciousness that can be very helpful. Looking straight into the eyes also signals a desire to overpower your rival and further aggravate the situation. Looking straight in the eyes of your opponent indicates an increased challenge or sense of threat. It is fear and anger that prevent the fighter from looking up. . This is generally regarded as demonstrating the highest. when you make eye contact. The principle behind the Russian System is not to depend or rely on any one response. Looking above the opponent gets you more united with the universe. But it may not be advantageous to inflame the confrontation in this way. you could find yourself intimidated or thrown off balance. Looking below the eye level of your opponent (especially below /32/ the waist line ) activates an animal response in terms of emotions. It’s best to look above the heads of your opponents. These emotions. You don’t get stuck on anything or caught up in particular games or response patterns. You have a better perception of the overall situation. This makes you a lot weaker and seriously hampers your fighting ability. The level at which you look at your attacker will greatly determine energy levels during the fight. The radius of extrasensory awareness can increase to nearly three feet. this approach will also have little effect. At the same time. when uncontrolled. More positive energy and power result from the energy links that come from your eyes connecting sky with ground. psychologically weaken you and suppress your own energy field. You avoid the pitfalls of eye contact and the low level gaze. This concept exists in other Eastern arts as well. If your attacker is wearing sunglasses or it is dark. most professional level of fighting skill. Doing so will seriously harm the freedom of movement the system needs to work effectively. Your attacker may also have perfected a strong look in his eyes and.

they are actually quite different in nature. It’s very hard to learn to keep your eyes up.The body also becomes lighter. But the alternative is not good. Physically. There can also be a time shift. Activity Being able to distinguish between Action and Activity is very important in mastering the Russian system. /34/ Blank /35/ The Russian System of Combat -Some Philosophy Action vs. if you’re in a group fight and can’t take your eyes from the arms and legs or weapons of an opponent it’s guaranteed that the fight will not end well for you. though. Meanwhile. It is something that is demanded of you Something spontaneous and of the moment. looking above the head also widens your horizon. where event move slower than they are actually do allowing you more ease of effort and less stress in the timing of your response. It may /33/ even be enhanced. In fact. It requires much practice and your should make sure to stress it in your training. Peripheral vision and vision of lower levels is not hindered. you’ve opened yourself up to other levels that you couldn’t access with your eyes in a downward or level position. An Actiontakes place when a situation demands it. Though many people think of these two words as similar. It is easier to make the kind of circular movement stressed in the Russian Martial Art. .

pain and concern. think of yourself in an interview situation.An “activity― does not come from demand. it is an Activity. It drains energy. But our minds will always find a way to justify or rationalize it. But when you get to the interview. After that. If give him the inappropriate answers that you pre-planned. instead of responding to the demands of the situation. It fills the void when you don’t want to face reality. It’s important to understand that many people spend most of their energy on “activity―. It is a response to itself and unnecessary. If you are hungry and eat. It is important to look at your life and distinguish between those things you do that are “actions― and those that are “activities―. The situation has changed from what you thought it would be and. that’s Activity. That’s “activity―. “Activity― makes it hard to relax. It comes from a restless mind. but they’re fooling themselves. But “activity― doesn’t correspond to what’s going on around you. An Activity expresses frustration. always doing something. Most people say they want to be active. the interviewer may want to get information your haven’t prepared. It expends great energy and constrains your movements. And when a moment comes where Actionis required all that “activity― may find your energy reserves empty. this is an Activity. that’s “activity―. Activities indicate that you’re preoccupied with something and can’t be yourself. It is actually a way to escape from your own /36/ worries. Similarly. You may prepare your answer and behavior in advance. you should begin to become more involved and direct your energy toward Actionwhile recognizing when “activity― appears and avoid it. If you answer his unanticipated questions directly and spontaneously. . We are good in tricking ourselves in this way. It can be very destructive to yourself and others. But if you aren’t hungry and eat anyway. “Activity― is not based on what is real or natural. you give yourself over to what has been planned.

Real Actionallows the body to think. It allows you to adjust to any situation. . The Russian system also teaches your body to think. This is especially true when you’re confronted with more than one opponent. Acting spontaneously and naturally are key principles. The Way Of A Soldier vs. Suppose you’re also told that your opponent is a karate specialist. The Way Of A King The Russian system can also be defined by contrasting the way of a soldier with the way of a king. to form habits. You end up functioning like a robot. The Russian system dictates that only the natural response of the body will provide a proper defense. not your mind. You’ll be defeated by your own mind. He has very little latitude for responses to a situation. Life is a win-lose situation. This can make you very tense and severely constrict your movements. Your response may be to create some ex/37/pectations for him. the Russian system teaches you to be versatile and unpredictable. But what if the guy turn out to be and expert in judo? He’ll take you totally by surprise and wrestle you right to the ground. Instead of performing learned patterns as they don in many martial arts.The Russian system stresses Activity. An Actionstate would have allowed you to adjust to his attack and provide a realistic response. An enemy must be either destroyed or conquered. It’s much like a yoga philosophy. Before you know it. Suppose you’re in a situation where you’re told your opponent is a master of martial arts. All those expectations you had led you to perform an “activity―. He’s drilled to be like a machine. You’ll come to expect quick kicks from him and create and prepare a whole response pattern. Responses are developed and made a habit. you’ve created a whole identity for him and used up a great deal of energy. The mind stays out of it. /38/ The soldier is taught to take orders.

Suppose a soldiers is in a fight and has a chance to strike effectively with his knife using his left. In the end. Some people get used to smoking. It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about. In most cases. There are no “good― habits and “bad― habits.These habits work unconsciously. They do not require awareness. He does not. This. takes it out and lights it up. in any way. If he’s worried or concerned he reaches inside his pocket automatically for a smoke. of course. He ends up being defeated by his own habits. he is as subservient to his habits as he is to his superior officers. it’s all about equal. /39/ . hand. “activity― discussion above. It’s a habit. If you live without them. Some get used to eating vegetarian food. the habit of working with his right hand makes him throw the knife over to it. And they can be easily observed. he does not even realize what he’s doing. In this way. much to your disadvantage. gives his enemy just the moment he needs to gain the advantage. even in a critical situation. If you live with habits. You serve it. But instead of striking. Some put their right pant leg on first. an ingrained response. You can be totally divorced from them. Watch a person take out a pack of cigarettes sometime. you’re living the way of the soldier. The same thing can happen in a military situation. Some get used to eating meat. an inconvenient. have to evaluate what he’s doing. He is like a machine. Any habit is a problem. He ends up knocking the knife right out of the soldier’s hand while he’s juggling it. It’s much like the Actionvs. Some don’t. you live the way of the king. He’s not conscious of his actions. The habit doesn’t serve you. the habit of working with the right hand can’t be overcome. A soldier must obey orders and perform as directed. In the end. Some their left.

the king lives naturally and free. your body tenses up and loses its freedom This is the moment at which it is most important to move correctly.Why? Because a soldier must follow but a king doesn’t. Move-/40/ments experienced during training pass through and are understood by the mind. With relaxation. you can work to develop what many people would consider “good habits― but you’re still not living your own life. He gives them. You’re not performing some mechanical system of movement provided by some other martial art. . To move correctly you must relax. At best. uncontrolled response to a stimulus. The “reflexes― nature gives us help to survive but only up to a point. awareness and freedom are essential. In the Russian system. He is relaxed and without restraint. This allows them to react at any moment in a spontaneous and easy manner. you body can work and continue to respond freely and naturally to any situation or threat. A “reflex― is a direct. As a rule. these “good habits― become what is called “second nature―. The king releases that life is unpredictable and presents an unending array of potential challenges and responses. A king is above everyone. They are then loaded into the muscles. There is no prior planning. In a way. He is not a worrier. Nor is it the way of the king. Sure. it is a reaction to something we are not ready for. memorized tactics or anticipation of situations here The way of the king is to not anticipate or plan but to “act―. He doesn’t take orders. The Way of the King and Movement When we look at proper movement in the Russian system. after your initial reactions. But “second― is not natural. His life is one of Actionnot “activity―. While the soldier must obey and live the life of a servant. this may be seen as creating habits but the bottom line is that you’re creating your own system of actions. we are looking at “reflexes―. In other words.

Still. another part of the system’s philosophy is to only impart on the attacker the least damage possible to end a threat. Again. Do Not Be aggressive This may seem contradictory but it is the essence of the Russian Martial Art. not aggression toward others. Devotion to the principles of the system will serve you well in any battle. If you can avoid any confrontation do so. Respect for others and the fragility of the human body breeds a respect for your own skills and opens up new levels of ability. act with appropriate firmness but never in a callous or careless way. Living in harmony with yourself and all that is around you is also essential for true mastery of the Russian system. Think Continuously . be secure that your mastery of the Russian Martial Art will provide you with superior firepower. “10 wounded is better that one dead. 3. If you must take action. is far less likely to present itself. Use the intuition and body awareness the Russian system teaches you to see possible trouble and avoid it./41/ 10 Guidelines For achieving Mastery in the Russian System 1. Where necessary. 2.” The Russian Martial Art stress (sic) self defense. Bad situations are far less likely to occur. evil. in the form of an attacker. nature and the people around you. Harmonize Your Life If you live in harmony with yourself.

you won’t respect your attacker of the dynamics of the situation you’re in. If you don’t have fear. The only rule in the Russian Martial Art is that there are no rules. No specific guidelines for specific situations. Consider the possibilities. the fight will probably not end well for you. but the person wielding it. There are no fixed katas. . As we mentioned above. it is the body that does the thinking but to properly understand your place in the world and the ramifications of your actions you must not turn yourself off to your intellectual side. When in a fight. You rely more on intuition. Accept The Necessity Of Fear And Anger You must be aware of the fear and anger inside of you. Again. eyes should be directed above the attacker.Don’t be close-minded. Your body and intuition will find the answers and the proper response. responses or rituals here. When you’re fighting you should never concentrate on the weapon.) 5. There are solutions for most any situation. You’ll get too cocky and pay the price. Understand That It’s Not The Weapon That Does The Harm. Do Not Rely On Rules Every situation is different. 6. It is not the weapon that will do you harm. Yes. But The Person A weapon is just an extension of a person. (Only moral limitations. If you can’t take your attention off the weapon. but the actual attacker. There are an infinite number of possible combat situations in the world and an equal number of possible responses. Fear keeps you from becoming overcon-/43/fident or falsely believing you’re in control all the time. A little of each can be very helpful. /42/ 4. awareness and focus should be widened. it is natural to stare at a knife or gun but it shouldn’t take up your attention.

But anger at the proper level can keep you sharp. . Instead of allowing fear of opponents they attempt to replace that fear with the memorization of certain moves. In fact. You may move away from a punch or kick but one part of your body always remains in contact with him. When not felt at all. That way you know where he is. you allow him to keep a hold of you so you know where he is and can monitor his actions.Similarly. It is a mistake not to respect AND fear your opponent to some degree. But you slip away from him only in the respect that you neutralize him so he can’t hurt you. You first instinct may be to separate from him but that’s not the idea here. At the same time. you lose motivation. /44/ If an attacker grabs hold of you. it’s not necessarily bad. Memorized moves are no match for the kind of awareness and care fear can provide. This is something that a lot of martial artists don’t do. aware and moving without constraint. Of course. 7. Slip Away Without Breaking Contact When In Combat This is one of the most involved principles we’ll talk about here. You must do enough damage to render him harmless. You can even use him as a human shield if need be. you must bring him under control. as he holds on. Maintaining control of the attacker and the situation are of essence. You stay close to him. When not properly controlled. it can get out of control and lead you to do foolish things. He may try to move away himself but you don’t let him. There’s also a psychological angle here. it’s good to allow him to grab you. anger keeps you from becoming overconfident or sloppy. Experiencing fear and anger will insure that you take your attacker seriously. You’re aware of his exact location and can fight other people simultaneously if necessary. You continue to aggravate your attacker as you control him.

We’re also talking about relaxing your mental approach so that you aren’t evaluative and thinking all the time about situations and your . slow and too great an effort. It will bring you down psychologically and make your movements seem ponderous. feeling clumsy or funny will make you feel like your feet are glued to the floor. The self-consciousness you feel will also kill your awareness of what’s going on around you. This principle also includes taking responsibility for you actions. By relaxation. Where movements should seem like flight in the Russian Martial Art.You never really break contact until the attacker is totally neutralized. If you feel awkward or clumsy. 9. The inability to escape psychologically weakens and upsets the attacker thus bringing him even more under your control. It overcenters your focus and brings you down to earth in a very negative way. If you treat yourself with a sense /45/ of humor and understand that one is always a student. we’re not only talking about physical relaxation. Much as you become aware of the world around you as you live or right. 8. Expanding awareness to your total environment is a big part of mastering the Russian system.Don’t Be Self-Conscious About How You Look While this certainly applies to combat. I’ll even laugh at my own movements in class. I try to set an example of not being self-conscious so that it’s passed on to my students. I’d like to discuss this principle more in terms of training. mastery will come to you a lot quicker and so will the respect of others. that will also make your body feel heavy and not very mobile. If you are afraid to look awkward or funny – you are lengthening your process or becoming skilled. you must also become aware of those things that you leave behind. I always tell my students that nobody is a Superman. Do Everything With Awareness and Relaxation We have stressed this throughout this book.

reflex and natural movement. Heavy displays of strength and power may rob you of technique and will certainly rob you of energy and endurance. But while nobody really wants to be sick. /46/ 10. the king does not worry. relaxing as you move and expending only the energy necessary.possible responses to them. the . Like most other martial arts. You may end up winning the battle but ultimately losing the war because you spent yourself unnecessarily. Remember. even when it is the life of an opponent. Always Perform With The Least Possible Effort You don’t need to be super strong or powerful to become a master of the Russian system. Your skills in the Russian system will be greatly affected by your overall health. A healthy warrior is far superior to an unhealthy or injured one. /47/ Introduction To The Russian Health System The most valuable possession a person has is his own life. your response to a situation should not be tension and worry but instinct. Health is the foundation on which life rests. it’s amazing how many people do nothing to prevent illness and protect their health. The Russian system holds life as sacred. and indeed life itself. The constant fatigue caused by modern living and its persistent tension. This will leave you with no reserve for the situations and responsibilities you may have to face after a fight. You should be light and natural. He is a man of “action” not “activity”. is dependent on health. The quality of a life. Likewise. we rely on leverage and technique instead of brute strength.

No sources cited We don’t want to go back to the Middle Ages. almost 30 percent of all illnesses are caused by medications. As you may have noticed in your own life and those of others. who has successfully been working with it for 50 years. physical or intellectual fatigue – as the main enemy.whether emotional. medications play a significant role in 25 percent of all deaths. In the best circumstances. Medicine itself is the cause of many allergic. Even when we are sick. When the old cells die. There are acute cases where pharmaceutical sand the newest technology is necessary for proper treatment. But far too often chemicals are used to treat symptoms while the cause of the disease inside a person is left untreated. we have a tendency to think only of treating symptoms and not our whole being. Many of us only come to appreciate and be aware of its importance when we lose it. healthy order of cell growth in the body. This system was also a part of our training in the SOU. Many health problems and stress agents originate in more radical problems like radiation. respiratory and skin diseases. the body may begin to poison itself. . chemotherapy and vaccines. The RUssian Health System identifies fatigue. The Russian Health System I was taught was perfect by a Russian philosopher and practitioner. Profiriy /48/ Ivanov. The goal of the Russian Health System is to anticipate dangers to our health and mobilize our natural defensive powers to fight disease before it happens. It’s been reported that in the countries of Western Europe and North and South America. I think that many of its components can be very helpful to students training in the Russian Martial Art. Fatigue has a negative effect on the whole nervous system. of course. there is a constant process of renewal for the cells in our body. healthy ones grow to take their place. Exhaustion interrupts the natural. Healthy cell growth is hampered.inability to rest properly and other factors combine to gradually break down health. illness often follows a period of exhaustion. In the United States. When exhausted though. Conventional western medicine relies on drugs and other foreign substances to treat these symptoms but drugs can create even more problems for the patient.

When faced with the same situation. It focuses on increasing the level of vital energy by stressing the following: -Strengthening The Body With Water -Cleansing The Body From Inside -Movement -Proper Breathing . we often see kidneys malfunctioning. most disease cannot live in them. The kidney. Despite this. the body reacts with apprehension. is capable of doing ten times the work it normally does in cleaning the body. individual philosophy and personality. Much of its success depends on keeping the energy level of the person high. In the next phase. The body rallies its reserves to overcome the stress factors. As a result. It’s important to point out the personal nature of stress. one person may really worry and test his reserves while another remains clam and rested. but out response to it that is important. It’s not so much the stress. Scientific research tells us that every cell in our body has at least 20 times more energy potential that any virus or bacteria. But if the stress is sever and our strength and reserves not up to the test. though. With our resources depleted. we can get sick. But we also have natural reserves in the body that help us tell every cell in our body to help us fight stress and disease. for example. Many are not even working at close to top capacity or stress levels. The Russian Health System believes in keeping the body strong /49/ and preventing disease instead of treating it as it arrives. we can fall into an exhaustion phase.When we are first confronted with difficult circumstances. personal history and maturity. No source cited If these cells are strong. That response depends on factors like character. our body organs are much stronger than we believe. resistance is offered to this stress. This is where stress and the road to exhaustion begins.

Both the Russian Martial Art and Russian Health System philosophically mirror and support each other. as cold as you can get from the tap. degrees Celsius (thats nearly 108 degrees Fahrenheit). Its positive effects are almost miraculous and it’s not just for people training in the martial arts. When used together. Your body temperature rises to nearly 42. Indeed. While I don’t require this of my students. 40 degrees Celsius is deadly for most viruses and bacteria and this procedure raises body temperature 2 degrees Celsius (and nearly 4 Fahrenheit) above that! . Many in Russia swear by its benefits and many of my North American students who have tried it are equally convinced of its powers. /50/ It’s almost like having a mini-explosion take place inside of you. Strengthening The Body With Water This involves pouring a bucked of cold water over your body twice a day.they combine to produce a result far greater than the sum of their individual parts. and our it over you head. It’s a simple procedure. My wife and I both use it. It feels like a pleasant warmth and surge of energy inside. many have caught on to its benefits. As it was explained to me in Special Forces. As a result. this way you get the two cycles of the day involved and receive both positive and negative energy charges from the earth. This should be done one before 12 noon and once before midnight every day. they are a perfect example of synergy. I will stress it to those who are open-minded to it.2. Meanwhile. this explosion of warmth will kill off most bacteria and viruses. You just fill up a large bucket of icy cold water. she carried on with it throughout her pregnancies and we started our children on it when they were two days old.-Interaction With Nature It is interesting to note how well these principles match the psychological components of the Russian Martial Art we talked about earlier. In fact.

After pouring the cold water over my head small. . while using a special deep breathing procedure. I knew people personally who could burn holes in pavement doing this exercise. as such. But its benefits are so great. Many times. you will yourself to get out and do it. Many times you’ll be feeling lazy or cold. a way to add inner strength and personal reserves. If you’ve got a cold or flu or feel like you’re getting one forget the cold medicines at the pharmacy. cleanses it. Impure. And it must be done twice a day no matter how you feel. It also gives the martial artist more energy. especially during the winter months. It is never pleasant to do this. We have this on video tape. It’s also less expensive and more accessible.The optimum way to perform this procedure is standing on the ground. You may see some remarkable things. but this exercise really does work. You feel rejuvenated after the procedure. But be aware. Snow just can’t melt this way. strengthens it. You never get used to it. We always do it outside even if the weather is bad and we have to stand in the snow. In fact. Cold water is a much more effective treatment. the negative energy leaving the body even broke the pavement! It sounds very strange. This is especially important if you feel sick or have a cold coming on. in cases where you feel like you might be getting a cold or flu you should perform the procedure every two hours. The water basically runs though our biofield. neat holes were formed under my heels and the ball of my foot where the negative energy left the body. I actually burn holes in the snow doing this exercise. and it is. sick and negative entities are flushed from the body. In some cases. With the body releasing all that negative energy and disease it must have somewhere to go. It will help you /51/ fight off the illness very quickly and without any medications. barefooted. bring you into harmony both in internal and external relationship s and balances circulation in the body’s energy channels. It’s also a daily act of will power and. That “somewhere” is through your feet and into the ground.

in the form of water in the bucket. This procedure has become very popular with my students. this is not the same as a “cold shower” or washing your face. you should do it for at least 24 hours once a week. “Whole water”. You should have your last meal at 6:00 at nigh and eat no more food or water until 6:00 the next evening. Cold is the most important stimulant in our metabolism. sick cells. more energetic performance in the gym. a baby takes water in though its skin. You can perform all your regular activities. As mentioned above. It cleans out not only the digestive tract. You can train. They find that it not only aids overall health but also leads to a better. It is the best way to mobilize our body’s reserves to pull together and fight weakness. It is important to continue with the cold water rinse when you’re fasting. I believe the optimum fast lasts 42 hours and this is the fast I perform during the week. As for washing your face. most of these bad cells will die from lack of water. beginning to perish right around the 20 hour mark of a fast. Fasting with the cold water rinse will teach your body to absorb water through the skin again. though. or not eating food and water for a period. When you get thirsty. is very important. It also helps to destroy unhealthy cells in the body. If you’re going to fast. has a charge of energy far greater than shower water. Just don’t eat any food or drink water. why stimulate just that area when you could be helping your whole body? Think of it this way. This absorbed water will aid /52/ in giving you more energy to get through the day. but other parts of the body as well. Pouring cold water over your body causes your central nervous system to call upon each part of your body to work better and direct more energy to weaker areas. these sick cells are the first to demand water.Please note. They are also the first to die out. After a full 42 hours. Cleansing The Body From Inside Fasting. We don’t practice this after birth by we still have this ability. go to work and recreate in whatever way you choose. Nothing makes the body work faster than cold. When in the womb. not drinking water kills unhealthy. .

Healthy cells have the reserves to get through a period of no water. He knows this will clear out bacteria. Saliva is a remarkable substance. yoga generally recommends 8 glasses of water a day. But the same system of yoga that suggests drinking 8 glasses of water a day also warns us that. of course. Modern medicine often recommends drinking a lot of water for health. Likewise. This is important because. “A pitcher of water by the bedside of a sick person can kill him faster than the disease itself”. it changes. A lot of harmful bacteria die under the influence of protective chemicals in saliva. Despite the focus on drinking water. You need the water for the heat. In fact. but it is wise to drink your water in small sips to make full use of the healing powers of saliva. For these reasons. when water is mixed with saliva. to take advantage of the protective substances in the saliva. our bodies also begin to make water out of fats and mucus where bacteria could normally multiply. So does yoga. Is this really effective? If you’re living in India or another extremely hot climate. Without drinking water. the yoga practitioner also realizes that it’s important to live without it sometimes. /53/ You don’t necessarily have to lick yourself. as do some tribal nations. yes. Drinking water in small sips is also stressed in yoga. Dogs and other animals lick their wounds. viruses and harmful elements that can’t exist without water. A lot of people may worry about the lack of water during a fast. water is mixed with saliva. short fasting without water may be especially helpful during respiratory illness like the common cold and resulting infections. dehydration is bad for the body. . Bacteria and viruses don’t. In this way. Small amounts are taken into the mouth where they moisten the mouth cavity and are savored.

A working muscle demands more blood and the body actually builds new capillaries while the old ones begin to expand and contract better. your body starts to expand the system of blood vessels around that muscle. pumping a bicep will improve blood supply to the bicep area. or fleshy part of the muscle. /54/ . In traditional exercises it’s generally the muscle belly. In bodybuilding. that gets worked. For example. the tiny blood vessels surrounding each muscle fiber. The network of capillaries. Lack of movement leads to atrophy of muscle tissue. you don’t end up adding bulk like the weightlifter. your circulation improves evenly. The most direct and important effects of exercise take place on the circulatory system. or cord-like parts of the muscle attached to the bone. you work muscle groups separately. There is a big difference between the exercises you do in training for the Russian system and other exercise programs. grow. mental and physical stagnation and rapid aging. Little improvement in other areas will be seen. slowing of the metabolism. Joints and muscles are also connected to the inner body organs thought the body’s system of nerves and energy channels. The elliptical movements of the Russian Martial Art also aid in strengthening protective energy fields that keep body parts from injury. Muscles are more ready to act without warm-up if a sudden threat presents itself. but you keep muscles limber and avoid stiffness. thus improving the capacities of the muscle. The unusual movements of the Russian system help improve energy flow through these channels. In this way. When you exercise a muscle. The Russian system makes you use all muscles in the body. you must move and exercise your body to stay healthy. They’re not worked group by group. are the focus. In the Russian system the tendons.Movement Movement is also very important to health. In short. for instance. As a result. not separately. joint stiffness. All body parts work together.

is essential.and operating at less-than-peak efficiency can have grave effects on health. Then alternate so you’re taking in air thought the other nostril and exhaling through the one you originally inhaled through. It has long been noted that people who don’t breathe though their nose properly during early development later find themselves lacking in mental skills. this gland needs rhythmical cooling. negating the effects of harmful substances to the body. Without the cooling. it pushes on the liver. Correct breathing uses three body components – diaphragmatic. cleaning the air of dust. using the whole chest and stomach. It also pushes blood in the veins ahead toward the chest cavity. Intercostal (rib) breathing is also a part of correct breathing and it must be incorporated and linked with diaphragm and upper respiratory (or nasal) breathing. Simply breathe through one nostril and exhale though the other. wide muscle that moves down slowly when activated.Proper Breathing One should learn to breathe rhythmically and deeply. the pituitary’s work is disrupted and this can have a harmful effect on the body. It only gets this through nasal breathing. Lower breathing. The air taken through the nose also cools and ventilates the main sinus of the skull.smelling. The nose does a number of important jobs. making use of the diaphragm (the wall of muscles between the chest and abdominal cavities). The diaphragm is a very powerful.the pituitary gland. This eases and directs the flow of bile from the liver and provides better circulation in the abdomen. The back wall of this sinus lays against the most important gland in the endocrine system. The pituitary gland controls the production of all the body’s natural hormones. warming the air in winter. intercostal and upper respiratory. For proper functioning. When it does. memory and other physical skills. . Nasal breathing is often ignored but it is as important as it is misunderstood. That’s why the Russian system stresses taking air in forcefully one nostril at a time. This is excellent for cooling the main sinus and pituitary and is a strong source for biostimulation.

Conventional western medicine doesn’t have all the answers. you are still below God is essential. It’s also essential to the Russian Health System that keeps the warrior healthy and at the top of his form. If you want to become a master in the Russian Martial Art and live a healthy. meditation and proper maintenance of the nervous system. strong. Interaction With Nature The Russian Health System is founded on the belief that if you are good to the world around you. spending time with it. despite your skills and experience. productive life. Religion is also important. breathing by counts can also be a helpful exercise. exhale for another eight and hold again for a final eight count. /56/ /57/ In Conclusion . hold it for eight counts. it can do more harm than good. In some cases. utilizing the Russian Health System could be the key to opening the door to a new world of physical. psychological and spiritual strength. safety and well-being. Realizing that. This can also aid in relaxation. A good starting pattern for the beginner is to take in eight complete counts of breath. Loving and appreciating nature. Staying in contact with your “good” side and regular prayer are essential to a true master of the Russian Martial Art. Humility must be served (sic). that world will be good to you./55/ As mentioned earlier in this manual. being good to other people and respecting human life are all important parts of this belief.

the Russian Health System stresses prevention. In developing his physical identity and using personal creativity. Though formulated inside a country that many Americans and others in the West consider authoritarian and lacking in originality and inventiveness.of ending a fight before it begins. Almost constantly under attack. With proper training. On a cultural level. While the training we received in the SOU was often brutal. democratic society where the individual is. creativity and versatility. Much as there was no single type of “combat situation for the Russian warrior. He had to be versatile to survive. Over the years I’ve developed a more humane approach that. The Russian Health System is a perfect match for the RUssian Martial Art.The Russian Martial Art stresses individuality. it is so unique it will never be seen until used. All other principles are centered around it. can be used by a public not likely to embrace the SOU ways. if possible. in theory at least. the principles of the Russian system actually fit very well into a capitalist. there is no single kind of fight you’ll experience on the streets of your town. It also bypasses conventional medicine’s reliance on drugs in much the same way the Russian Art bypasses conventional warfare. the Russian Martial Art can and will develop in you the fighting skills of an unconquerable weapon. So personal and strong that it well never desert you as you walk the face of the earth. Philosophically. one must also be aware of Russia’s long history. The rituals and set responses and pattern are not always effective. The psychology and link to the individual’s spiritual and psychic side all aid the warrior in his ability to access his true physical nature and reflexes. king. the Russian warrior had to learn to battle a wide variety of opponents over a wide variety of terrains and climate. while teaching the principles and philosophy. This weapon comes from within. the principles of the Russian system were still visible through the pain. Like the Russian Martial Art. Anything can happen and you have /58/ to be ready for it. psychologically and spiritually they mesh together to produce a result far greater that the sum of their parts. The Russian Martial Art reflects this kind of readiness and awareness. Natural movement is the key to the Russian system. he was able to defend his homeland against any possible onslaught. . As such.

.I salute your wise decision to study the Russian Martial Art and wish you all the best in your training and life.