Learning a new skill is as easy as A,B,C

Learning a new skill (like Systema) is as easy as A,B,C.

  • Aim
  • Begin
  • Continue

A is for Aim

definition: a result that your plans or actions are intended to achieve.

synonyms: work towards, set one’s sights on, try for, strive for, pursue, seek, aspire to, endeavour to achieve, have in view, have designs on, wish for, want.

It’s important to have an aim simply to help you plan & focus your practice. If you know where you’re heading you’ll have a better chance of figuring out what you need to do to get there.

Break you ultimate goal down into manageable chunks, which are easier to achieve. Get some quick wins under your belt & develop the good habit of achieving your goals.

It will also help to set time frames for what your trying to achieve. An open ended aim won’t help you to stay on target…someday never comes.

Equally you should ensure your goals are achievable & realistic. If you’d like to lose a couple of stone, it is unrealistic to aim to do this in a few weeks!

Aim Quotes

In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high.

Henry David Thoreau

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.


All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.

Orison Swett Marden

B is for Begin

definition: perform or undergo the first part of (an action or activity).

synonyms: start, set about, go about, embark on, get down to, take up, turn one’s hand to, undertake, tackle.

As important as it is to have an aim, it counts for nothing if you don’t take that first step!

Starting something new can seem daunting. You may feel uncomfortable but that’s to be expected, you’re stepping outside your comfort zone. You’re aiming to stretch yourself in an effort to change & grow.

The road ahead may seem long but don’t let that put you off. Just take that first step & see where it leads you.

Begin Quotes

To begin, begin.

William Wordsworth

He has the deed half done who has made a beginning.


Everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.

Pope Paul VI

C is for Continue

definition: persist in an activity or process.

synonyms: carry on with, go on with, keep on with, proceed with, persevere, pursue.

Continuity is where the real difference is made. Regular practice sustained over time is the path to competence in any new skill.

Once you’ve taken that first step, you’ve got to keep going.

A journey of a thousand miles might start with a single step but you still have to take the next 1,999,999 to get there!

It’s much easier to put in the practice when everything is new & exciting. The thing that separates those that acquire the skills they desire & those that don’t, is perseverance.

Continue Quotes

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.

Albert Einstein

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.

Robert Collier

Champions keep playing until they get it right.

Billie Jean King



Time to update your operating system?

Apple released the first iPhone in 2007. Since then they have released seven major iOS upgrades that have helped to make the iPhone the stunning success that it is.

iPhone 6

Regular updates to iOS help to make the iPhone such a stunning success

It isn’t just the iPhone – we’re all far too familiar with updating the operating systems of our various phones, tablets & computers.

…but when was the last time you considered your own operating system? The software that you use to operate that computer you carry around in your skull?

The attitudes, habits & responses that you have developed over the years that make you behave & function the way you do. Your myOS, if you will.

When was the last time you updated that? Have you been as conscientious with your self, as you have with your phone?

Systema offers you the tools to perform just such an update.

The complete system of health & combat training will take you to deeper levels of self knowledge, helping you to understand how to get the very best out of yourself.

Regular training will ensure that your mind, body & soul are working together to keep you operating at your optimum level.

  • Discover the power of breath
  • Develop relaxation
  • Release years of accumulated tension & stress
  • Re-learn natural & free movement
  • Become physically & mentally stronger
  • Overcome your fears
  • Build true self-confidence: an ironclad belief in yourself & your ability to cope with any situation

Systema gives you the key to updating your myOS, the operating system for the way you function as a person. The update you deserve. The update that’s long overdue.

Find out more about training at Systema Reading


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Systema’s like a box of chocolates

Systema's like a box of chocolates

Systema’s like a box of chocolates

Imagine you’re given a box of chocolates as a gift.

The box looks very inviting. It’s luxurious & beautifully designed.

Imagine the sounds as you unwrap it, open the lid & remove the protective top layer.

Imagine the smell of chocolate as your eyes devour the content, your finger taping the box as you decide where to start.

How does that first chocolate feel in your fingers. Smooth as silk? Embossed with an elegant swirl? Covered in nuts?

You take a bite. Maybe there’s the sound of chocolate cracking.

The chocolate begins to melt, as your mouth warms it. The taste fills your senses. Pure chocolate…maybe the flavour of caramel or nuts.

You feel special enjoying the gift you were given. You feel a warm glow inside.

Did you enjoy that?

Was it the same as actually eating the chocolate or did it fall short?

Reading about eating chocolate will have evoked memories of eating chocolate, but that’s a very different thing to actually having some!

…and, of course, you only had those memories because you’ve eaten chocolate before. What if you hadn’t? My description would be even less satisfying.

I’m sure you’ll agree that reading about something is nothing compared to experiencing it for real.

This is the problem we face when trying to describe an experience with words. Words will never be the same as the actual experience – especially when that experience is much richer, more complex & more involving than simply enjoying chocolate.

The only way to know the experience, is to have the experience.

It doesn’t matter how many videos you watch or how many articles, forums, blogs or books you read they will always be a pale imitation of the real thing.

If you’d like to experience Systema for yourself, then come along & give it a go.

Classes are on Monday nights from 8pm to 9:30pm.

Now, where’s that bar of Galaxy…


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First Class: New Club – New You

How one martial arts class could change your life

I’m delighted to announce that Systema Reading’s first class will be at:

8pm on Monday 24th November.

If you fancy trying a martial art, then I urge you to take the first step & come along to the opening night class.

It could be the start of something truly transformational.

If you’ve never tried a martial arts class before, the idea can be a bit daunting but don’t worry, you won’t be alone. The chances are that most of the people won’t have much martial arts experience & fewer still will have experienced Systema.

During the coming months, it’s my aim to focus on laying some solid foundations that will stand you in good stead for the rest of your martial arts career. Helping you to:

  • Reduce stress, tension & fear
  • Increase flexibility & endurance
  • Move with natural ease & freedom
  • Build confidence, courage & humility
  • Forge a warrior spirit

It’s the perfect opportunity for us all to develop & improve together: you, me & our club.

This time next year you could be one of the senior students watching as others start their journeys..realising just how far you’ve come.

Hope to see you there. You’ll be very welcome.


P.S. the opening night class is just £5. Anyone attending the opening night class will be entitled to pay the discount price of £20 for their year’s membership.

Further information About Systema Reading.

If you have any questions then please contact me using the form below.

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Cross Training: Systema Training with other martial art training

I’ve been asked if I think that training in Systema while training in another martial art would be a problem.

Sweaty man doing a pushup on his fists

Cross training

My answer is no, I’m of the opinion that Systema training would complement any other martial art training that you participate in.

The are a few reasons that I say this:

  • In Systema training there are no forms, katas, stances or specific techniques that would conflict or contradict your current training.
  • Systema training will help you to identify & release tension in your body & mind, enabling you to move more freely, more naturally.
  • Systema also works on the psyche, helping you to understand how you react under stress & fear.
  • Systema will also help you identify your limitations & give you ways of increasing your capacity to cope.

I believe that improvements in these areas would benefit any martial artist.

My experience of Systema Cross Training

Coming from Aikido, where training is quite prescribed, I’ve found the drills in Systema training very liberating. They give me freedom to explore & be creative.

I’ve also discovered a much deeper level of relaxation through Systema & I’m able to bring this back into my Aikido training.

Working with strikes is also proving to be beneficial. Learning to feel what it’s like to hit & to be hit is important because during a fight you will get hit & you will be hitting back. It’s better to learn about this while training than during a real attack.

I find the breath work is helping me to remain calm & highlights the tensions I have in my body & in my psyche. It’s only once we are aware of these that we can do anything about them.

As we say in Systema: Know Yourself.

If you’d like to experience the benefits of Systema for yourself, then please come along & try a class or two. I think it’s fair to say that a couple of classes won’t impact on your current martial art training & by then you’ll be able to form your own opinions.