Fluidity and Power

Greeting community its been a long while since we last posted a great article. The following article was well written and holds some heavy content. Part of training lies in the use of all our senses. Reading is one of them! Enjoy!


Fluidity and Power
by Glenn Murphy


Training at Russian Martial Art HQ Toronto is always a humbling and enlightening experience.

As if the direct instruction and attention from Vladimir were not enough, no matter when you show up, there are just so many talented instructors and training partners at that gym. And for many – myself included – getting a chance to work with the Zettler Twins represents a high point of every HQ visit.

I first met Adam and Brendon in 2008, when they led a morning exercise session toward the end of the immersion camp that summer. In the years since, I’ve had the privilege of becoming a student and friend of them both. Whenever I’m in Toronto, I always arrange a private lesson with them and always seek them as training partners if they’re on the mat at HQ.

As a result of the outstanding training they have been getting from Vladimir Vasiliev, their skill level is very high, enabling them to work safely at your level while testing your boundaries throughout. And although they move with fluidity and power, and strike with alarming heaviness, they are always controlled and precise. When you work with Adam or Brendon, there is a level of respectful awareness that enables you to go faster, harder and heavier with little fear of injury. Whatever you feel you can take, they are more than happy to give.

What makes Adam and Brendon truly engaging – aside from their slightly unnerving tendency to finish each other’s sentences – is their emphasis on showing over explaining. Rather that talking at length about the topic at hand, the Zettlers prefer to rip straight into action – demonstrating clean, fluid movements in a variety of different contexts.

As Vladimir stated in our podcast interview earlier this year, the ability to see – rather than analyze or deconstruct – is a key attribute in learning and teaching Systema. Or as he put it:

“When you see it, it is yours. When people try to explain, it’s harder. Maybe they can’t explain it properly. Maybe you’re not ready to hear. Maybe you hear it wrong. But if someone can show – and you can see – then it’s yours.”

For those who can see, it’s a powerful torrent of information. We may not all be able to move like Vladimir and his top instructors, but seeing the possibilities opens up new avenues of the combative mind. And with practice, perseverance, and patience, this kind of movement is attainable.