Review of Konstantin Komarov’s seminar in Switzerland held on 15, 16 and 17 June 2012 (« Work in the woods » seminar)
So during three days and two nights, we walked, we sweat, we trained barefoot in the rocks and woods, we slept in the forest and we covered a wide array of topics presented by one of the best in this field Konstantin Komarov.
I personally loved the creative although rigorous approach of Konstantin who clearly brings us to the next level at each exercise in a very precise and organized fashion. The main purpose of the seminar was to discover our principal channel of perceiving reality and try to manage ourselves when deprived from it, see what we perceive instead and overcome the personal stress that may arise from such a change of perception. In other words, we worked to develop our senses in an unfamiliar and natural terrain and overcome our personal limits.
This on the other hand would help us accomplish a variety of tasks including following and trusting a partner, sensing the movement of another person or a perceived threat, moving unnoticed, ambush tactics, group and tactical work, etc.
As someone said from the seminar: “this time, I have the impression that we have touched the roots of Systema, working in groups in unfamiliar settings, at night as well, away from any comfortable gyms”…
So let me thank all the participants, especially to those who have not abandoned throughout the weekend and to those who have “played the game” with all their heart. Once again, we are not at war, we are not at the army so our implication in performing the exercises resides only up on us and our willingness to learn Systema and become better and more accomplished human beings in all spheres of life. Remember that we are always learning the most once we go past our comfort zone and that Systema cannot be reduced to exchanging blows in a given circumstances…
To finalize this, I would like to quote hereunder the comments I have received from Dominique, a 49 years Systema practioner from Jura, Switzerland.
“Again, thank you for this seminar! I made it home!
(Dominique had spinal column surgery a little bit over a year ago and never backed down during the “let’s carry a wounded person across forests and hills over 5 km” exercise)
I have re-read some articles written by Konstantin and in one of them he talks about fear and courage (see following link).
He mentions in the article that the worst fear is the fear of abandoning its comrades.
This is very interesting and it makes a whole lot more sense to me now.
During the Saturday night in the forest, I got lost away from the camps and after a few hours of walking I had to face the cold truth: I was lost. I know the mountains a bit, although not these, and walking at night like that can easily become dangerous and stupid.
If I was in the wrong direction, I could have walked too far away. I tried to look my ways going in circles but I actually had no idea about where I was. So I came to the conclusion that the best solution was to wait for daytime to re-orient myself. So I started building a small shelter made of branches from a small tree. I only had my training knife on me, not even my real one, how stupid! My brain was running wild so I figured it was a great opportunity to train and observe myself. I had three main thoughts in my head:
- I was furious against myself for getting lost
- I was worried for the group and ashamed for letting my comrades down
- I was wondering if I would easily managed to find the group back in the morning or not
The strongest thought of all three was the obsessed worry about the group, the fact that I was not standing by my comrades, the feeling I had for letting them down… It started to increase along with my anger against myself and it was moving by waves. I felt powerless. Now looking back to it, it was an interesting experiment as such.
So I managed to calm myself down using some « square breathing » and during these few hours, I slept a little, did some push-up and squats to warm up when too cold. So of course all this has nothing to do with what Konstantin is evoking in wartime situations but I have the impression that I really felt this emotion about letting my group down. A horrible feeling!
The fact that I was trying to reason myself did not change this feeling at all but I was quite happy to be able to calm my psychic down with the breathing.
I’m very happy about the seminar and it seems I have a better idea of the length of the path ahead of me and it’s long! Konstantin is a great man and an excellent teacher. Thank you!!”