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Thursday, 6 December 2012

Systema and Tough Mudder

Today's blog is written by one of our Tempsford guys Nick Stafford. Nick recently completed the Tough Mudder 12 mile obstacle race and after hearign him talk about it at the last session I asked him to write up his experiences. Over to Nick.....

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Systema 2 years ago. The drills, the exercise, the relaxation and the camaraderie had me hooked. It took me a little while for me to realise that Ssystema was more than a martial art and the penny continues to drop on a daily basis why Systema practitioners train how they do.

As some of you guys already know i have recently completed "Tough Mudder" a 12 mile assault course designed by British Special Forces and at the ripe old age of 38 and having one too many bacon sandwiches I never dreamt that this was something I could achieve.It tested me to my limits and I know without Systema I would not have done it.

There were many times throughout the course that my Systema drills came into play, sometime instinctively at other times consciously. I am no  Systema expert and have no other martial art experience but in a relatively short time it has given me the tools I needed in order to accomplish my challenge. It surprised me that when I thought I could give up or go no further the things I have learnt from Systema got me through on such a noticeable scale.

The biggest help was the breathing. I focused on this for pretty much the whole course, especially the burst breathing to aid recovery -  but also the some of the other drills helped me regulate my composure in time of panic and relaxed parts of my body when tension was creeping in.

A lot of my movement was aided also instinctive as I moved over and under obstacles through the swamps and due to the nature of the course I fell over quite a few times, rolled nicely, unaffected and able to continue without breaking my flow. I even used Systema massage techniques on my team-mates when they went down with cramp!

So I am pleased to be studying Systema under the instruction of Rob Poyton at the Cutting Edge group in Tempsford. I know i have only scratched the surface of an endless learning curve but can feel the benefit and the effect it has on my day to day living and on any challenges i come up against in life whether physical or mental.

For those wanting to know more about Tough Mudder follow this link:

Nick (first time blogger)

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