A few reflections on “Clothing as a Weapon”
This could be regarded as one of the “Environment Series” along with “Improvised Weapons”, “Defense in Confined Space”, “Fighting in a Car”, and “Fighting in the Water”.
by Al McLuckie, February 05, 2013
Environment could be defined as anything inside, on, or around you – and to regard it all as “allies”. Inside you could mean spitting blood and or saliva into the eyes of an opponent. Around you, the floor, walls, corners, objects fixed and manipulatable, even a low ceiling. (I knew a Capoeira guy who could run up a wall, kick off the ceiling, and strike you on his descent.) And, on you, in this case, your own and your opponent’s clothing.
This title, for me, contains a perfect balance of concise explanation and demonstration. This helps equally the auditory, as well as visual learners. The kinesthetic part of the course requires training the material.
Other martial arts like Judo/Ju-jitsu have collar chokes and grip work, some Silat systems have methods of using a sarong, for those that wear them, but too often end up as a collection of memorized techniques.
There is a massive difference, for example, between being someone who can say, “I know 10,000 knife disarms”, and one who can say, “I am skilled at disarming”.
Techniques versus process. Although each section is worthy of commentary, my favorite is the work with a leather coat. Who would ever think of yanking your coat lapel to initiate a sharp body motion of avoiding a strike, or using the coat as a canopy to bounce off a body-shot. Amazing.
The leather of a coat is something that was once alive. In Vladimir’s hands, it is given a second life as you see it become an extension of his nervous system in masterful applications.
There is an example of Vladimir’s humor which made me laugh out loud. Martin Wheeler is removing his t-shirt without the use of his hands – after 4 minutes of excruciating work – wave work, breath work, micro work, core work, work that has no name as of yet, his shirt fall triumphantly to the floor to deserved applause.
Then, Vladimir says, “Now, put it back on”. (I’m pleased to report that after months of diligent practice, Martin has the time whittled down to 3:59 seconds).
Some who train in martial arts are seduced by the idea that the amount of information/techniques they acquire and memorize equates with their efficacy in martial application.
Point and click for access to information that, pre-internet, would have required time, money, travel, effort, and risk to acquire.
This is misguided, as information is merely the raw material, not the end product.
With the internet, our reach has become infinite, but our grasp can prove to be weak.
The unfolding genius of Systema as taught by Mikhail Ryabko and Vladimir Vasiliev, is that we are being given the tools with which to turn knowledge into wisdom.
I would like to give you my humble observation of Vladimir's new video Clothing as a Weapon.
by Brian Hammond, November 17, 2012
This practical but creative video shows how something as simple as a jacket can be used as a weapon. I've studied Systema for almost 11 years and have been hoping and waiting for Vladimir to share his expertise on the martial application of clothing. The video is precise and easy to follow where he is very diligent in showing and explaining the usefulness of clothes in self-defence.
One of the things that attracted me to Systema was that it was never ostentatious, but merged well with natural behaviour, from putting on a pair of pants to taking off a jacket. It teaches you to be simple in movement and ergonomically sound. Vladimir’s video is excellent in showing how to use what you wear for defence and offence in unpredictable situations. I would highly recommend it to anyone practising martial arts.
Vladimir's new video Clothing as a Weapon, opens up a whole new world for me, on how you can defend yourself in a confrontation, or the many different ways you could attack using your own clothes!
by Adam Zettler, September 22, 2012
Watching Vladimir demonstrate this work using clothing was awesome! I was fortunate to be in this video helping with the demonstrations. And I can tell that having experienced Vladimir's work first hand, his precision, speed and his control was amazing.
I thought escaping from my own coat would be easy, until I tried :) My own tension in my body was preventing me from escaping properly! I recommend everyone to watch this video, then try it yourself, you wont regret it!
Adam Zettler, Systema instructor