Training Tips

Articles by Martin Wheeler

The articles presented here are for the education and enjoyment of the Systema community. The writers are solely responsible for the content and such content may not completely reflect the views of Russian Martial Art Systema by Vladimir Vasiliev. Any training conducted by you is at your sole risk.

Martin Wheeler is a Systema Instructor, certified under Vladimir Vasiliev.
He is teaching regular Systema classes at 21st Century Combat and Conditioning in Beverly Hills, California. He has over 35 years of various martial arts practice, teaching and training in Systema since 1998. Martin is contracted to teach SWAT teams and Special Operations Units and is also a produced Hollywood screen writer.

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Thinking Fast and Slow for Combat

by Martin Wheeler Published: March 26, 2017

Think fast, think on your feet, move your head, duck, punch - these are the words you will hear in most arenas of full-contact fighting. And if you want to win, it is excellent advice. Most martial arts require your brain to make snap decisions and act reflexively for the combatant to survive. But Systema is not most martial arts. Tension makes you think fast. Or should I say, lack of recognition of your own tension makes you have to think fast. ‘Boxing’ is often thought of as striking, with pure striking skill as the key to victory. But this is only half the story. […]

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A Question of Faith

by Martin Wheeler Published: April 19, 2013

A common question asked is: do you have to be Orthodox Christian or even religious in order to be good at Systema? The answer is no. But the concept of faith and religious philosophy in Systema is an intriguing one. What is the purpose of faith in Systema other than the well known health and well-being benefits? I think there are many, and they are certainly worth exploring, as the heart of the art is more than certainly rooted in religious philosophy. To me it seems likely that the concept of Systema has been around for a very long time, a lot longer than the name Systema itself. […]

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Why Systema?

by Martin Wheeler Published: September 08, 2009

Over the recent years I have read with interest on the internet back and forth as to the validity of training in Systema by observers who have only viewed experts in the art on YouTube or video. Usually a comparison is made to the most visual of fighting arts, mixed martial arts. The same types of questions are posted over and over again, "Why do they train slowly? Why does this look way too easy? Why did that guy fall over and seem unable to get back up?" And I read with equal interest the various ways in which the art is defended by practitioners of Systema. […]

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Systema Training Martin Wheeler

Training Outdoors

by Martin Wheeler Published: June 26, 2008

Like most of us, I spent my formative years traipsing from one dimly lit dojo to another to discover the arts we are all so passionate about now. Church halls, YMCAs, garages, boxing gyms, we congregated wherever some teacher had rented, begged, or borrowed to figure out how to beat, bloody, or force a tap from a willing opponent in relative privacy. And as much as I have come to love the smell of stale sweat that hangs in the air of any reputable training hall, there is nothing to me now like the smell of fresh air. […]

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