A bit of water training:

Stand in the water at mid thigh depth and walk. Start slowly and try to make as little a wave as you can. If you have a partner have him close his eyes and sense your arrival. This is a good way to learn to walk softly. Next walk or try to run as fast as you can a few times. After you do this think for a while and try to start the movement from the body were the breath is and run a few more times. With a partner exchange a few leg hits underwater and than above the water and note how you adjust to it.

Lift both legs in the water and make a line with your body parallel to the ground. change the tension and light angles in your body to be able to breath from time to time and remain calm and relaxed as much as you can. (unless you are in the dead sea in which case just relax :))

Fill your mouth with water and breath as much as you can through the nose. Do a few push ups and squats and than a few sit ups and leg raises and note how this effects your movement and breathing. Being able to work with an uncommon situation is a sign of good improvisation and awareness skills.

Have fun.

Have a partner place his hand on you and push. Move that part of you which is in contact with his hand away from the hand and note how this effects  his movements in different ways. Now repeat and instead of moving away press that part or move as a whole in an angle to his movement so if he pushes your chest backwards you move to the side and forward. This lets (if you do this by choice rather than fright) you strike and lever his limbs and body due to the added contact and density in the point of contact. Otherwise he will find it much easier to escape the contact and build his spirit.

For example if you press your chest a bit forward as you move to let your partner or attacker finish his intended movement there will be a counter reaction in his hand from the unconscious mechanism which keeps us in place and gets us killed many times by fighting for a place instead of moving. Add to the first movement a hit from your forearm on the upper or lower side of his pushing arm and let your hand rotate naturally to find the best place to deliver this snap lever. Practice with care and keep breathing.

Lie on the ground with a partner at arm’s length and have him push you with one hand. Move with the direction of the push and add to this by using your body to turn and twist him. For example if you are both on your backs and he places and pushes your chest you place your hand over his and lift the other side of the chest letting his hand sink and in the same time turn so he is controlled and twisted facing down.

Work on this with awareness. If you are not relaxed you will not feel what you have and jump to false conclusions.

Stand comfortably and lace your fingers behind your neck but without them touching the back of the neck. relax your knees and hips and walk around a bit as you keep avoiding this contact and keeping the shoulders and neck as relaxed as possible. Now squat as much as you can down while keeping this condition and to make sure both hips and shoulders are relaxed lift one foot off the ground from time to time. If you are relaxed and each part can move freely you will do this well. Make sure the breath is continuous and that you start breathing before you start moving your body.

Have a partner hold one of your hands and twist it so the shoulder becomes tense. Keep breathing and feel where his direction is heading and align your body with it so you can escape without trying to overpower him. Fore example if he turns your hand so your palm faces you and bends your fingers toward you, you can take one step and and place your entire body in the same direction. It is a matter of joining his movement and adding to it so there is no tensing up or resisting but you have to keep moving otherwise it becomes a drill or counter action which is reaction rather than action. Keep moving and you will stay alive.

I am writing a starter base program for solo and starting group for Systema students which I will post in a few weeks. If you have any questions, suggestions or requests please mail me at ransuru@yahoo.com

Thanks, Sharon
Systema Israel.

With two or more partners choose the target man (or woman) and have all the partners walk into him in straight lines. Do a few minutes of this for each one as he evades getting hit by moving with the body and using both eyes to navigate and choose where you want to be.
Follow this by adding either a hit from the legs or arms or both and again you simply evade.
Now we add to this two things. One is that you will place one hand in your pocket or in your belt and you treat it as injures and unable to work (although you can also swing with injured limbs if the situation is dire enough) And two is that you close the eye on the same side of the injured arm. This will place you in a situation where you will see things when it is closer than before and you will have to move your body to respond. Work through this drill more than once to let you bring yourself back from the first state of disorientation and learn to move effectively with your body movement (walking and angles) to allow you to see more with what you have.
Take a strong thin rope and hold it with both hands at a comfortable width. Have a partner hold onto the rope and pull and push it in different ways to make you move and unbalance and you work to stay as relaxed and aligned as possible. This is a drill to help you learn to keep your hands full and relaxed. The thin rope is hard to hold without too much tension and you will learn to position and move so you can do the work using everything you have. Change roles and repeat the drill a few times and remember to keep the focus on you. If you concentrate on the rope you will not be aware of all your parts and how they work together.

Another drill with the thin rope is to loop it around a door frame or a pull up bar and lean as you counter with the rope held in your hand. Relax and find the right tension and angle to use so you can rest a part or all of your mass on the rope and it will help you control yourself.

Go to the usual push up position on the fists and tense and relax your body in parts and in waves. Remember to align the neck and head and to feel the body rather than remote control it with your eyes. Now go to half hight so the elbows are at 90 degrees. from this position slowly lift one arm relaxed from the ground and than when it is pointing upwards slowly raise your body up as well. This is a relaxation and awareness drill to learn to move from the body and letting the breath lead you under some tension. It is good to modify the idea to your type of personality and what is your focus at the moment.

Lie down with your face up and close your eyes. Have a friend push the tips of his fingers or his fist into your face or throat and you work to keep breathing and move when you feel you must. Do this a few times and change roles. Now do this with one hand pressing on the body and the other on the face and again move to survive without disturbing the hand on the body.
Move to a kneeling position and have him put one hand to keep you in place like on the back of the neck and another pushing into your face and do this when he is facing your back as well. Move to standing and repeat the drill and slowly make it a walking drill where you need to move with your body to avoid harm as he walks to you and gives you a fist to the face. Remember to keep aware of your breathing and tension and to move slow enough to learn from the drill. Laugh it helps.
Take a stick and sit down with your legs straight in front of you. Place the stick where your thighs meet the stomach and find a way to keep the stick in this position as you move to sitting on your shins, standing only your feet and back to the ground. There is much to learn from giving yourself two positions and finding ways between them. It is good to explore this change in different ways in order to find your best for that moment and to clean yourself from inner limitations. The same can be done with a partner giving you limitations such as placing the stick in your way as you walk with your eyes closed and this will increase your relaxation and awareness without creating fear. Move in a pace you learn from.