I’ve made it to two systema classes in the last month. In the first, there were three of us there, and we worked mostly on ground techniques. In the second, I was the only student there; Mark took me through some groundwork, but we finished early. Mark works as a doorman in Swansea, and the preceding Saturday evening had, by all accounts, been a bit of a warzone; Wales had beaten England in the rugby, and the town boys were running wild. Marl had been caught up in it all, and he was feeling a bit weary….
In fact, he announced the next day via Facebook that he won’t be running the Cardiff classes any more. It costs him a lot of money to drive up from the west of Wales where he lives, and if there are only a few students then he actually loses money. It’s a big pity, but I can’t blame him at all.
So… Fortunately, there’s another systema class in the same location but on Thursday evenings rather than Mondays. These are run by Jeff Faris, whom I’ve met at one of Mark’s classes. It should be interesting; whereas Mark is very much of the Ryabko, and more particularly Vasiliev, school, Jeff has apparently trained with a number of systema people from different backgrounds.