This past friday was the last lesson day of the martial arts colloquium. The topic of the week was systema. Unfortunately, due to another commitment I had to miss the first half of this specific colloquium, which usually was not the case. As I walked up to the dorm to join in with the lesson, a fire alarm went off. The colloquium dissolved and we all went to D2 for dinner.

However, systema is one of the styles of martial arts in which I was most interested. It is the only martial art we studied this semester to be developed in its modern form directly for use in the military. Over the semester, I have been focusing on the practicality side of each martial art. While martial arts tend to have a significant mental and personal development aspect, the self defense aspect is the only one that is generally exclusive to forms of martial arts. So I figured that systema would be the most useful for that purpose. Unfortunately, I am still to inexperienced to really judge the effectiveness of any martial art merely from watching its use.

The primary problem with merely watching its use is that most demonstrations are staged or merely for practice. There are no videos of self defense videos used against a person using a knife to kill.  How would these martial arts fare then? I would expect that the success rate in these cases would be significantly lower, though higher for those with any martial arts training at all. Still, how could I know for sure? Would I have to deeply study all the types of martial arts or are “Top 10” lists or something similar reliable?


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