1. Don’t worry about not knowing what Systema is all about.
Everyone begins Systema the same; not knowing much. Don’t let that feeling discourage you. Trying not to figure out everything that first class is the best way to approach your first Systema lesson. Systema can be confusing the first time you experience it, and everyone you meet in class felt the same way at one time. Systema has a way of changing your perception of combative arts as well the perception you may have about yourself. There are students in class who are new to martial arts and students in class who have many years of martial arts experience, but they all started the same way in Systema. Not knowing much at all. They all had the same feelings you will eventually experience when you first walk into class. So there’s no reason to feel out of place. We’re all in this together. Have an open-mind and see what Systema has to offer you. That first class will be the beginning of an exciting journey.
2. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but here’s a tip to focus.
You might feel overwhelmed in your first class. That’s ok and to be expected. But here’s a tip – focus on one thing that class. For example, you will hear a lot about Form, Movement, Relaxation, and Breathing. Focus on one of those principles rather than all of them at once. If you’re having trouble understanding how they work into your Systema lesson, try working on only one of them during drills. As you move forward in your training, you’ll be able to develop all four working together. But don’t worry about not understanding everything thrown at you that first class. No one does.
3. Don’t worry about learning techniques in your first Systema class. (Or any Systema class).
You may have heard this already, but we don’t try to learn or rely on techniques in Systema. We instead rely on natural movements and develop our understanding of Systema by working on four things each class. Those four things are Movement, Breathing, Form, and Relaxation. That might sound simple enough, but they each are big topics that may be confusing at times. This will especially be true for newer students. Don’t worry about techniques and let your body respond naturally, and you’re first class will be much more educational.
4. Don’t overthink things.
I see this often with newer students, the tendency to overthink what you’re doing. This may sound strange, but sometimes your brain gets in the way of your training. We try to take much of that overthinking from you and let your natural instincts take over your training. Rely more on your natural abilities rather than what you think you should be doing.
5. Be curious and ask questions.
Systema class is very open and friendly. If you have a question at any time, just ask. There are bound to be questions during your first class. Don’t be afraid to ask the instructor or a fellow students. Curiosity probably led you to your first Systema class. It would be a waste to not ask questions to feed that curiosity.