How far it’s come, and how time flies….

From Matt:
Myself and one of my military students, Aaron ( were at Dobbins today to set up a nice Pramek shop on base.
Basically, setting up for a weekly class that’s military only.
When the soldier on duty at the desk asked Aaron what we would be teaching, Aaron said, ‘Matt, tell them.’
I went through my 1 minute infomercial and the guys eyes lit up.
He said, ‘Systema?’
2011 – how times flies.
In 1997 – when I first got an RMA video and started practicing in my house, no one knew what RMA was.
In 1998 when I began training under AmerROSS under Sonnon’s leadership at the time, no one knew what RMA was.
My friends back home would laugh, talk about throwing shovels, Russian dance moves. It was a point of good laughs on me.
‘You’re leading a study group and trying to be an instructor in what? Russian Martial Art? Like Red Dawn? WOLVERINES! Why learn some Russian crap?’Now, 2011, I’m at the gym on a base and someone says, ‘Systema?’ While I explained the differences, I couldn’t help but smile knowing how far things have come and I had a small hand in it. I remember back in 2001 when it was Systema, ROSS, and K-Sys just starting and Kadochnikov system first getting a foothold in the USA. I was working like a slave on it – kind of like now. 🙂
Years later – Sambo is a common word in the martial art community. The internet has made every RMA out there accessible if the teacher wants it accessible. People are studying things no one had ever heard of it. One of my friends from the ROSS days is now studying Lubki! It’s brought the fakes and frauds…but it’s brought a lot of good, quality instruction, and preservation of Russian culture to the West.
Discovery does a special that includes AI Retuinskih? Sonny is out doing movies?
No one saw this back in 1997. I didn’t. I thought I’d be throwing shovels in a Spetsnaz outfit in 2011.
Enough good can’t be said about the people who worked, slaved, and fought to bring RMA to the US and preserve it. Back in 1998 no one even knew who was Ryabko was…it was all about arguing over who did what and who wrote what. Now, Sonnon is doing Tacfit, Vlad is still teaching Russian Style and going strong. I moved on from Kadochnikov, took time off and came out with Pramek.
I remember Victor Zavgorodnij laughing at me one day when I talked about the Cold War.
He said, ‘We didn’t want to fight you. We wanted to learn from you. Those are governments that wanted to fight, men in capitals. The people, we are all the same – we wanted to show you who we were, and learn who you were, and be free to do so.’
So, to all those who pushed hard, fought, got made fun of – the people who blazed trails when the martial art community laughed at RMA.
A big thanks is in order – no matter what style, system, or teacher.
We all worked hard – and today I saw that work paid off.
And to the guy who brought over cold water dousing – every time I do it, I hate you – and wish you had never come here 🙂

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