Ground engagement is often taught as a survival skill instead of an integral part of natural movement. It is joy and pashion that fuel us in the best of ways. Roll and enjoy the movment so you can keep on developing and living instead of surviving.

And now to the movement/thought behind it:


Moving yourself from small to big and as one piece


Choosing to move from the breath and keeping a fluid mind


The eyes are the windows to the soul and the guides to each and every movment and inner balancing.


Moving your hips and shoulders as one to maintain comfort health and efficient movement.



Releasing the upper body to move along the natural pathways.


How to integrate upper and lower body as one


Building healthy movement awareness with the ground from the ground up.


Putting everything together and learning to let of of the way but maintinaing the path.

Go into a room where you have furniture that does not break like a soft sofa or outside where you have bushes and trees and close your eyes. Roll from place to place without opening your eyes and correct your rolls when you bmp into things like the wall, a tree or a rock. Learn to roll with care and to protect all of your parts as best as you can. Move slowly because if you are alone and with a broken leg in the woods it is a good bet you will not see your friends again.

Afterwards note how you placed your hands and legs as you were going down and rising to see what fear and awareness bring out of you and use it to your benefit. Add to this to create your own way of movement.

Take a knife and gently push it into your body. Relax your hips and roll to avoid the stab and as you go down hit the partner or where it should be to defend yourself. Get back up and check where your eyes are pointing and repeat. If you have a partner to do this with it will be better so if you don’t have a systema partner have your wife or kid push a pen into your flesh and if you don’t move relaxed have her line you in blue or red Innocent (do avoid hitting the wife and child, a tickle is just as good in this case since you have to place your hand relaxed to land the desired result)

Another solo or partner drill is to take a stick and sweep it through your legs. Lift the leg closer to it and move your body to blend with it and to control it. Remember that if you stay in place you are following his lead and not avoiding the fist. Remember to land soft on hard on this one or learn through the work…

to learn to be aware of the distance you move during a roll and to control it roll without walking. This means you take a few minutes (10) to roll without walking. You stand and roll and come back to a standing position without any steps. Move like this from spot to spot and relax using your breath to guide you. After a while you will automatically know and be more aware of how much you move in a roll and in which position you will naturally come to from the roll. This is important and will make your rolls more self aware in the ending and start as well since all the parts of the chain effect it.

Things to notice:

how are you feet placed in the start?
Where does the roll start in your body?
Where do your eyes look at the beginning and during the roll?
Are you changing your breath as you roll (hint: breathe like you do all the time)
Are you placing hard on soft and vice versa?
Are you doing something that is yours or mimicking?


To learn to roll with tools such as rifles and bars and to relax the shoulders start with a broom stick or even a broom. Sit on your behind and hold both ends of the stick. Now roll from side to side and forward and backwards avoiding hitting yourself with the stick or pressing it against your soft parts. Now Sit on one knee and do the same and than from a squating position. Change the grip to a shoulder width grip in the center and repeat the drill. Take care to watch your head and spine and look around as you move. Now hold the stick as you wish and place it at the back of the neck and repeat the drill, change to gripping the stick using your back and elbow pits (at the back) and see what solution you find to protecting your spine when your roll using this hold. Breath to relax and to start the movement in a better direction and than if you have a partner hold the stick in any way you like and have him move the stick as you balance yourself (while it is at the back of the neck or behind the back are good starting point) and roll if you need to. Remember that rolling is not something you do for it’s own importance. It is a tool to get somewhere and sometimes for fun.