It is not common to practice strikes as we talk and as a tactic of attack it is very helpful. To learn to work through this start by making a sound like AAAAA and letting a partner tap your chest stomach and back. You will hear and feel the changes in your voice and breathing and learn to be more sensitive to them. Now talk casually to each other as you exchange strikes lightly at first and work so the other will not see the strike coming (this is always a plus if you want to hit and not deter) work toward deeper strikes and add the neck and head to this drill. As a measure to learn without attaching too much fear to this work use pushing first and also open hand strikes. You might find it amusing to see how dificult it can be to do these two things at once.

A person who wants to sucker punch you and doesn’t have good sneaking skills may just walk up to you and ask for directions and as you speak that part of you that is “ready” takes a nap and the strike will land deep. Practice to avoid this and protect your family and friends.

Stand in front of a wall and place your hand or fist on the wall (or on a pole, whatever serves the purpose) and move to escape from your friend with a stick or anything with a good reach. Keep moving when you are hit and work to disarm the partner. Learning to work while being afraid will clean you from unwanted movement and give you better access to your true actions. Another way to get there is to walk with your eyes closed and have a partner or more place a heavy staff in your way and when you contact them you learn your first reaction without having to wear a social mask over it.

Stand naturally and lift one leg slowly without moving the hip to compensate for the mass shift. Do it slowly and a few times in different directions. Another way to do this is to use a gun or a simple lazer pointer like the kids use for presentations to mark an X on the wall and keep it there without shifting as you lift your legs. Later on do this as you walk and as you walk and shift from target to target. You can get a non Systema friend to help with moving targets as you can always ask friends to shove you around and hit you with staffs. It reveals a lot too about their nature. 

When you climb down a flight of stairs at night take the moment from time to time to do so in the light you already have and avoid going for the light switch. The same goes for electric can openers, finding a way to scratch your own back and so on. Knowing you can work in harder conditions and thrive can bring a lot of satisfaction to your life and when the time comes you will be able to go down the stairs if the lights are out or carry your son home even if the car isn’t working. It is the spirit that drives you and you have to build it so it will be there when you need it.
Take a regular movement you do like a push up or jumping up or anything that is useful for you and start doing it with deliberation to do the least amount of effort in each movement. Let your breath start each move (up, down, left , right) and continue past your regular amount or time. Now move your awareness through the body and become aware of the tension that builds within the body as you start to get tired (for example when most people do pull ups on a wall or on a bar they tense their necks to brace the shoulders and loose a lot of power). With the Inhale try to pull this tension to the breath and with the Exhale try to send it out and relax so you can move without harming yourself and continue to work. Do not be fanatic and remember the purpose is to learn something about your own way of doing things.
The book let every breath gives you a methodology to grow your ability and quality of life and work. For example you can grow work you can do with every breath phase and your awareness and relaxation within it. Lie on the ground and roll from side to side with exhale and inhale, right and left. After you do this. roll right on the pause after inhale and on the pause after exhale and than go to two rolls per phase and so on till you feel you reached your top for the moment. This can be three or ten depending on many things like the food you had or how much sleep you had and how sorry you feel for yourself at the moment. This can be adopted for all movement and walking too but in the start use rolling and the four basic drills to strengthen the body of: Push ups, sit ups, leg lifts and squats. Try to reach twelve per phase for each and notice how this changes your ability and relaxation when you are in a tension creating situation.

Note these point to consider:

Is it easier to stay in motion than to start moving?

Is it easier to feel the resistance and the relaxation when you are relaxed or tense?

Do you see these things coming or do they SURPRISE you and how can you be more aware?

Do you use your entire body when you move?

What happens to your body when you tense up or try to power through resistance?




Have a partner lie down face up or down and start applying your knees to his soft tissue (hard on soft and soft on hard) Don’t jump on him but place the knee on the flesh and relax down as you feel with your knee how his tissues deals with this. In the beginning you will likely feel a lot of tension as they try to overcome the tension and when this fails the doors will open and he will start to breathe his tension out and relax the tension down to the ground to survive. Do not harm each other and change often enough for this to work. Note if you feel differently after this (two points of focus are the front thigh muscles and the calf back muscles which hold a lot of tension due to bad posture and movement)
It is a common trick to talk your way into a driving lane or through a waiting line. they start explaining as they move and as the other is processing and waiting out of habitual politeness, he loses his spot, turn and initiative. On the road it is not fetal but in attackers where people approach you as they talk one way and do another most will go for the least amount of social tension and out of fear to look like a jerk or hostile they will loose their lives or worse their families. Think what feels right inside of you when you take out the trash or see a person smiling a salesman smile as they slide into a position you know is not good for you and choose to act to survive.

To protect yourself, your family, your country and fellow men.