In July, I was fortunate enough to sit down with Adam Zettler, one of the famous “twin brothers” from the Systema HQ in Toronto and we had an interesting talk. Some of the thoughts exchanged during that conversation are presented here after (due to its length, I have decided to cut the article in three parts).
For your information ADAM ZETTLER will conduct a two days seminar near Geneva, Switzerland, on the 20-21st of October 2012 (limited to 25 participants). For more information contact us on: email@example.com
He will also conduct a two days seminar with his brother Brendon in Kortrijk, Belgium, on the 24-25th of November 2012. For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
A word from the twins – PART II
Subrosa: How long have you been practicing here in the Toronto HQ school?
Adam Z: Probably 7 or 8 years now…
Subrosa: What influence did practicing Systema had on you?
Adam Z: When I first walked into the gym I was more aggressive (fear again…) then I got hit a couple of time and I was thought to deal with these punches and feelings inside of me with breathing. The more you relax, the more you change as a person. You start to become healthier, you start to deal with people better and understand people better. See if you walk around with aggression, no one wants to be around and you eventually attract aggression. If you are relax, the opposite happen and this will eventually makes you happier to.
Subrosa: If you had to attach a word to the whole concept of Systema, what would it be?
Adam Z: It would be freedom…freedom inside.
Subrosa: What about discomfort…Is it important to you, you think, that we keep a certain level a discomfort during training?
Adam Z: Oh of course, for example as soon as you come here you’ll get punched but it is a gradual process. We are not here to destroy each other so we go step by step. It is a controlled discomfort for educational purposes. You are not trying to scare or destroy people. You help them to re-build themselves.
Subrosa: What about the health classes. There are three health classes a week now and it wasn’t like that a year ago, what are they for the people who reads us and don’t know about them.
Adam Z: It is basically the same thing with a stronger focus on breathing, relaxation. It is just another opportunity to work with yourself, feel and remove tension. But it is exactly the same thing we do in a class where you get punched, it creates tension and you have to remove it, that’s all. In the health class, there is less interaction maybe during the people. Everybody works with him or herself, identify tension and fear and study how to remove it to feel better, healthier and eventually younger. It is directly related to your martial art and your ability to fight. For example, if someone steps on you as part of a massage and you can barely receive it because it hurts so much, just imagine what that person could do to you if he/she wanted to hurt you and if he/she did kick you or punch you in the tensed spots. That is also a good example of why Systema is applicable to all activities because no matter what you do, with proper breathing you will always perform better. A lot of athletes would benefit for being more relax whether on the tracks or in the cage in MMA. Injuries mostly happen because of excessive tension at a given time.
Subrosa: So what would be your advice for people who train far away from here, have their group and so on. Would it be to relax and work on these health aspects first? The reason I’m asking is that many people want to jump all that part and get physical right away, work fast and free spare…any comment on this?
Adam Z: Speed is okay! But most people speed up because there are afraid. So they miss the point, will end up hurting each other and won’t be able to do it for long then. Everything should be combined together like a whole piece: breathe, relax, slow exercises and slow contact with a lot of pushing and…you know it is actually like driving for example, if you take your first car and speed up right away, you will never learn how to drive properly. If you drive slow, you will feel how it works and see many things. If you go fast, you surely won’t see much but most importantly, you won’t feel anything So speed is okay but you need to slow down, analyze your mistakes and then continue, otherwise you will be wasting your time.
Subrosa: Ok thank you very much Adam