Video: Systema Massage by Glenn Murphy, Chief Instructor at NC Systema

Massage and physical body-tempering are essential elements of Systema training, and part of what makes it such an effective - and sustainable - style of martial art.

There are many ways to train for fighting, and for practical self-defense. But a good number of them will leave you physically or psychologically damaged within a decade or so, in effect *decreasing* your readiness and effectiveness in the long term.

Sure, 20 and 30-somethings may get away with it for a while. But for most martial artists, joint pain, muscle strains, and progressive immobility are the norm. In short, it's not really self-defense if you kick your own arse first.

Not so with Systema - where we dedicate at least as much time to preparing and repairing our bodies as we do studying how to disassemble those of our opponents. Here, we walk through a basic massage pattern you'll see at the end of most Systema classes - here, and across the globe.

Curious to learn and practice more? Join us for a class:

Stick Work: Starting Simple

We're back into weapon work again at NC SYSTEMA in Durham, NC and enjoying a variety of themes over two weeks - including defense against sticks, chains, and firearms. Even had a bit of stick-on-blade action at the Friday night class, which pleased the Filipino Martial Art adepts within the group. It's always fun to explore subtle movements with weapons - to see how they limit the wielder in specific ways, and how you can find the unique leverage points - both physical and psychological - that each type of weapon produces.

That said, it's important to understand - and to practice - the basics. For example, when faced with the range advantage of a stick, finding the proper distance and timing are critical. This clip explores a couple of tactics for doing this. Namely: 1) drifting beyond range to find safety, and 2) moving inside range to find power. Enjoy.