This week we talk with James Somerville - Toronto-based Systema student, academic, and author of Meditations on a Russian Martial Art. James has a PhD in History from Queens University, and wrote his thesis on the dictum Know Thyself, as popularized during the Italian Renaissance era. As such, the book presents an interesting - if somehwat critical - take on the origins, practice, and historical context of Systema. Here, we discuss several core themes from the book, including:
* What motivated him to write the book
* Systema as a modern military art (vs an ancient / medieval one)
* Martial arts as performance arts
* The mixed implications of Systema philosophy
You may not agree with everything the James has to say here, or in the book itself (https://www.amazon.com/Meditations-Russian-Martial-James-Sommerville/dp/B08C9CYZ49/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=meditations+on+a+russian+martial+art&qid=1601480879&sr=8-2). But at the very least, it is a thought-provoking account of his very personal quest to understand and contextualize the art.