Final Lessons in the Movement 1 Course

It’s been a great summer/quarantine project putting together this free movement course for anybody anywhere who is interested and willing to do the work. The final lesson are now available, in case you haven’t been keep up. Here are links to the complete course syllabus.

preview | introduction | 1 ground checks | 2 turnovers | 3 crawling | 4 push-ups | 5 rolls | 6 sit-ups | 7 transitions | 8 squats | 9 jogging | 10 free move | 11 walking | 12 recovery | comprehensive practice

In all there are 15 blog posts, 13 Lessons, 41 videos, and written instruction throughout. It’s been a lot of work, but I’m really happy this is now available to everyone. It’s like class I taught that just keep on teaching on its own. How wonderful!

I wish you all well and hope you are continuing to train however you are inspired to. Only by travelling on this path do we find out where it leads.

 


New Lesson on Walking

We are working toward the end of this series of lessons, and I am struck by how much is really there to explore in each one. Honestly, just this work on walking could be a lifetime of practice. I remember Konstantin saying about a particular practice that the whole of Systema could be found in that. Similarly, I recently had a conversation about a famous Karate master who only knew one kata. It was a very “basic” one, and yet it was all he needed. Really, all practices are like that. If you go deep enough into any one of them, you will discover everything in yourself.

Here’s the intro talk for the Walking … but I encourage you to go watch and read through the whole lesson. Each instructional video is about 10-15 minutes with three drills for practice. And each lesson has a video talk about how to take this practice deeper. I hope you all are healthy, well, and training with sincerity and pure intention.

 


New Lessons on Jogging and Free Movement

By now, if you’ve been following these posts, you should know that new lessons are coming out on my website every Thursday. Two new lessons are up, on:

Jogging

Free Movement

Those of you who have trained with me and have been trying to keep up with some Systema training will maybe find this lesson on Free Movement of particular interest. If you check out just one lesson in this series I recommend this one … and the upcoming ones on Recovery and Comprehensive Training. Okay, that’s three. But why just hit the highlights when you could do all the lessons and really benefit from the progression.

Hope you’re all doing well. As always, I am here for questions and more direction if you need it. Until next time …

Train hard, and be at peace, my friends. :)


New Lessons on Transitions and Squats

Two new lessons are up on my website in my free course on Level 1 Movement. As usual, some of the exercises will be familiar to those of you who have trained with me, but they may also explore some new areas we have not covered in class.

Here’s a link to the lesson on Transitions:
Mind-Body Practice / Movement 1 / Transitions

Here’s a link to the lesson on Squats:
Mind-Body Practice / Movement 1 / Squats

And here’s a little talk from the squats lesson on the importance of pushing yourself in training. Just in case you don’t get to the full lesson, this is a good reminder for those of you endeavoring to continue your training at home.


Lesson 6: Sit-ups

Lesson 6 is out on my website, covering the topic of sit-ups. The approach is not from an exercise perspective but from a movement perspective, a relaxation under pressure perspective, and a calming the mind perspective. The exercise part is just a bonus. :)

I hope some of you have been following along and training with these lessons. The content really covers the fundamental work. It’s not glamorous or exciting like practicing the martial arts aspect can seem, but that’s the point. The way I am showing to train in this video course is really how we should be approaching our martial arts training, in Systema anyway. The profound work and ultimately the really effective work come through deep introspection, through looking at yourself, your own doubts and fears, your limitation, your fantasies and arrogance — all these things — and learning to let go of them. The real process of training is the process of understanding yourself. This has been clear from all my teachers and verified through my own experience.

But you gotta do the work. :) Keep training everybody, in whatever way you are or can. Skill and insight comes to those who persevere in practice.

Here’s a link to the new lesson: https://matthewlowes.com/2020/07/22/mind-body-practice-movement-1-sit-ups/

Here’s the intro talk:


Lesson 5: Rolls!

Lesson 5 on rolls and rolling is up on website. For many of you this will be a review on the basics of rolling, but there are still good reminders in there, like relaxing through trouble spots, rolling on the soft parts of the body, and integrating rolls into continuous movement.

And there is the Going Deeper video, which encourages you to keep training despite doubts, setbacks, or difficulties. I’ll share that here, in you need any encouragement to keep muddling forward. Or click here to see the entire lesson.


Lesson 4: Push-ups

This week we delve into everybody’s favorite topic: push-ups. So much can be learned from them. The strength that comes, especially the relaxed strength that come from doing push-ups with minimum tension, is a great result. But the really great thing about doing push-ups is they’re just hard enough, just unpleasant enough, just pressure enough to be an excellent stimulus for studying yourself, your thoughts, your emotions, your fears and desires.

In training, we do this with strikes too, of course. But while socially distancing, it’s hard to find somebody who can give you good strikes, the kind that allow you study yourself in this way. However, all that same work can be done with a push-up, and in a way that is self-regulating.

The self-regulating part is good and bad. One the one hand, you don’t have to deal with your partner’s clumsy strikes or somebody not giving enough or giving what you think is too much. On the other hand, you don’t have to deal with these things, which are good challenges themselves.

So when doing push-ups, think about the training like taking strikes. Mostly work on technique at an easy to moderate level. Learn to coordinate breathing, manage tension, and study your mind’s reaction to the work. Once you have some proficiency in doing this, you have to push yourself, do a really hard push-up! Or set of push-ups. This is like the deeper strike that takes you to another level, a deeper place, where the training becomes quite intense.

The challenge for you is to learn how to challenge yourself deeply in this way.

Click here to see the complete Push-ups lesson, or click on any of the lesson’s below to catch up.

COURSE SYLLABUS

preview | introduction | 1 ground checks | 2 turnovers | 3 crawling | 4 push-ups | 5 rolls | 6 sit-ups | 7 transitions | 8 squats | 9 jogging | 10 free move | 11 walking | 12 recovery | comprehensive practice


Movement Lv1 / Lesson 3

Lesson 3, on Crawling, is now is now available on my website. This free course is a progression of fundamental work for Systema. This crawling lesson is a big one! There is so much here, and this Level 1 lesson is just touching the surface. Konstantin once told us he had his group in Russia doing six months of nothing but crawling work to lay the foundation for everything else. And really, you could nothing but this and still understand the great depth of Systema.

For those of you who have done some basic crawling work with me, you can be working on the following:

  • Leading with the breath.
  • Investigating lower and lower tone and amplitudes.
  • Sustaining overall continuity of movement.

And for further direction, pay particular attention to the video on Going Deeper. Here it is:


FULL COURSE SYLLABUS

preview | introduction | 1 ground checks | 2 turnovers | 3 crawling | 4 push-ups | 5 rolls | 6 sit-ups | 7 transitions | 8 squats | 9 jogging | 10 free move | 11 walking | 12 recovery | comprehensive practice


Movement Lv1 / Lessons 1 & 2

Hello Systema students and friends!

My project to deliver fundamental Systema training that is idea for solo practice continues. Lessons 1 and 2 are now available on my website, each easily covering a week of focused training.

I know I’ve said this many times, but we often are so excited about training with others and getting to punch and throw and wrestle that we neglect to do the core fundamental work that leads to real progress and transformation. Now is a great opportunity! Too often we are distracted by fighting with others. Now that it’s not an option, we are forced to fight with ourselves.

I can’t speak highly enough of this work. At the beginning it will seem all too simple. You will get bored or anxious or impatient. See … already you’re fighting with yourself. Make room within yourself for everything. Engage in the practice as a process. You don’t know where it’s going yet. You have to trust the process. Give it your attention, your curiosity, and your sincere desire to discover something beyond what you think you know about yourself and the world.

Here’s the intro talk to Lesson 2. The complete lesson includes step-by-step instruction, notes, a talk on going deeper into the practice, training routines and objectives.

COURSE SYLLABUS

preview | introduction | 1 ground checks | 2 turnovers | 3 crawling | 4 push-ups | 5 rolls | 6 sit-ups | 7 transitions | 8 squats | 9 jogging | 10 free move | 11 walking | 12 recovery | comprehensive practice


Movement Lv1 / Series Introduction

Here’s the introduction to the series of training guides that I’m putting out. The complete first lesson is available now and could easily cover a week of very fundamental Systema training. Although the early lessons may seem simple, they are very deep, if you apply yourself to consistent daily practice. I hope you’ll follow along with me as I cover a lot of the work I do in my own solo training, including relaxation and ground movement, core exercises, transitions, walking/jogging, free movement, and recovery. By then end, I’ll be tying all these topics together into a concentrated and comprehensive training session you can use in your solo practice.

If you have questions or want advice on how to take a particular drill or exercise deeper or to the next level, please contact me. I’m here as a teacher and happy to help guide you in any way I can. Since this course has good training even for people not interested in Systema or martial arts, please pass it on to anybody who you think may be interested in this work.

COURSE SYLLABUS

preview | introduction | 1 ground checks | 2 turnovers | 3 crawling | 4 push-ups | 5 rolls | 6 sit-ups | 7 transitions | 8 squats | 9 jogging | 10 free move | 11 walking | 12 recovery | comprehensive practice