Archive for June, 2008
© Marc Wickert, www.knucklepit.com
As previously mentioned at Knucklepit.com, Ken Twaddell will be trialing a number of military martial arts and giving his assessment of the various styles. In this article Ken evaluates Systema – the Russian art of hand-to-hand combat and survival, which until the fall of the Iron Curtain was primarily used by “Spetsnaz”, an elite group of Soviet special forces.
For this assignment, Twaddell linked up with Aaron Ellis, who invited Ken to train with his group in Systema, so he could get ‘hands-on’ experience in the close-quarters fighting art.
Aaron is based in Morayfield, Queensland and has been involved in self defense, kickboxing, Muay Thai and other martial arts for the past 15 years. “My exploration into the realm of Russian strength training and kettlebells led me to the fascinating and effective Russian martial art known as Systema. ‘The System’ emphasizes versatility and improvisation in combat while utilizing brutally effective fighting techniques,” says Ellis.
“Before the fall of the Soviet Union, the style was most commonly employed in covert military operations and by bodyguards of high-ranking government officials. Russian immigrant Vladimir Vasiliev’s exposure to Systema came during his stint in the Soviet army from 1977 to 1979, before he was chosen as an instructor to the Russian special forces – a position he held until 1985.
“In 1993, Vladimir opened a school just outside of Toronto where he currently teaches the system to people who travel from all parts of the world to train with this Russian master. The system is now being taught openly, not only in the Soviet Union, but in Canada, USA, UK, and now a small number are practicing Systema in Australia,” says Ellis.
Back to Ken Twaddell
Today, it’s the middle of winter, as Knucklepit.com catches up with Twaddell at a cafe in Tweed Heads, Australia. An attractive young waitress has just brought mugs of coffee to our table as Ken chats of his experiences at Aaron Ellis’s classes.