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Matt Hill – Living Systema, Man-Eating Tigers, Breathing, Movement, Relaxation & Posture (#47)

Living a healthier life with the principles of Systema

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Matt Hill - Living Systema, Man-Eating Tigers, Breathing, Movement, Relaxation & Posture | The Black Country Buddhas Podcast | My Home Vitality

Introduction to guest:

Matt Hill is a Systema HQ Certified Instructor under Vladimir Vasiliev & an Aikido 5th Dan who was the first western student in more than a decade to be taken from Japan on an overseas seminar with Saito Sensei as his ‘Otomo’ (assistant), travelling Europe

He now runs The Systema Academy in the UK, offering a holistic solution for the mind, body and spirit.

A key objective of The Academy is to facilitate self-actualization through the learning process of the physical, psychological, and survival skills that are offered by Systema.

“Our aim is to develop natural, healthy, active people.  People who are skilled at defending themselves and others and able to stay calm, aware and able to act swiftly and decisively in stressful and dangerous situations.” – Matt Hill

“Systema is a hugely effective and efficient combat system. But it is so much more than that. It is a way of living and looking at the world. The realisations and health benefits are profound. Many of my current students would not have dreamed of beginning a traditional martial art. However they heard from their friends about the health benefits of increasing mobility, and managing physical and emotional stress and tension and joined. Now they love the martial side too.” – Matt Hill

Contacting Matt:


Facebook: @SystemaMattHill

Instagram: @matt_hill_systema

YouTube: Matt Hill

Key quotes and takeaways from the show:

“Takemusu Aiki” – give birth to martial techniques.”

“Physical exercise without paying attention to the breath is like eating food without nutritional value.”

“Train hard but don’t be fanatical” – It’s a long journey!

Breathing, Movement, Relaxation, Posture/Structure.

“Open up” – Release and relax around an injury.

Notice how much you hold your breath in everyday life.

“Moving with tension is like driving with the handbrake on.”

What are you training for? – Have you ever seen a Tiger doing push ups?

Question of the day:

Can you take us through an example of how you use breathing to relieve pain and remove stress?

Links to podcast sites:

Listen on iTunes
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Stitcher
Listen on Overcast

The full podcast:

Related episode:

If you like this podcast with Matt, you will also enjoy the one we recorded with Mikey Wright.

Martial arts and relaxation were key themes in this one, with some very interesting insights into how tension (or “intention”) moves through the body.

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Show notes:

  • 00:25 – Living Systema
  • 02:24 – Matt’s story of his travels, martial arts, the military, crisis management and Systema.
  • 31:43 – How to deal with classes of mixed ability (as an instructor).
  • 35:22 – How to identify when something feels right or wrong.
  • 45:16 – Tracking man-eating Tigers in India.
  • 54:39 – Russian Systema and its underlying principles explained.
  • 01:01:26 – The principles of breathing and techniques that Matt uses and teaches.
  • 01:05:19 – How to use breathing to heal the body.
  • 01:10:38 – The principles behind Systema movements – “The four core movements.”
  • 01:17:45 – How to improve your sitting and standing posture.
  • 01:24:00 – How to relax and make people relax around you.
  • 01:27:10 – Does Matt meditate?
  • 01:27:45 – What a normal day looks like for Matt.
  • 01:31:24 – Matt’s recommended resources.
  • 01:32:25 – Key lessons that Matt has learned during life and principles that he lives by.
  • 01:33:56 – Gaz’s story about how Systema transformed a lady’s health.
  • 01:34:52 – Where to find Matt.
  • 0136:17 – Final quotes that we didn’t get a chance to cover during the show.
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