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As any human, I tend to forget. Not being a professional Spetznaz of Special Ops operative, the information Vladimir Vasiliev and other instructors share in their Systema classes, although very important and useful, is not crucial in the day-to-day urban life.

So unfortunately, the valuable lessons you get a chance to learn three times a week (if you are lucky), important training tips, your mental and physical states in the class, and the small successes you achieve while training tend to get forgotten if not used every day. Having a baby in the family, a job and a bunch of household chores do not help either.

After several years, I figured this is really inefficient. While Vladimir's patience is commendable, it could be put to better use. So I started a journal and have been studiously keeping it for the last year and a half. I recommend this as a first step to anybody who values their time and wants to see improved results of their training. Writing about personal experiences definitiely helps one understand them better and is a good way to check if you are going to be able to explain the concepts to the others.

However, pen and paper have their limitations. For one, reading what you wrote a year ago in a rush may be a challenge.  I found that some information in my notes tends to repeat itself (e.g., when I describe warm-ups at the start of the class), while other pieces such as new principles deserve a separate record to which you can refer later on. Again, searching for a note in a notebook may not be so easy.

Finally, as an Instructor in Training, I believe in giving people value for their investment of time and effort and do spend quite a bit of time preparing if I am going to teach a class. Having notes from several prior classes on a similar subject proved very helpful, if available, whenever you are planning for a class.

The last drop was something Mikhail Ryabko said to aspiring and current instructors at the Summer Camp in Toronto last August - "You only become an accomplished instructor if you have prepared and trained another instructor". When teaching anybody, including other instructors, it helps a great deal to be able to put your thoughts to paper first, so I felt compelled to start working on that particular skill first.

This site is intended to kill all the birds mentioned with one stone. It is partially there for my own gain - to organize the notes of what I learned while practicing Systema. The other, and probably more impotant objective is to share the knowledge and start an active exchange of information and ideas with other Systema practitioners and instructors who are not fortunate to have regular access to the Masters such as Vladimir Vasiliev, Mikhail Ryabko, or Konstantin Komarov. And if it helps other instructors in the field to structure their own classes - so much the better.

Hope you enjoy the posted articles.

Please feel free to comment any materials you see on the site. I welcome any questions and will try to answer those in a timely fashion.

Thank you,


Ivan Butsan

October 5, 2010

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