Knowledge base

Alexander Solovev
Russian Systema

Formless Arts has ever since been a challenging concept to convey. Whenever people hear about such a concept, more questions and confusions tend to arise than immediate understanding. It takes time. However, when people do get a glimpse of its essence, the "obscure" concept starts to make sense and what comes out, instead, in terms of shared insightful experiences and revelations, is deeply rewarding.
I have been training Russian Systema with Alexander Solovev for about 2 years, the most mind-blowing and fruitful encounter ever. I regard his approach to martial arts akin to some of the challenges Formless Arts faces in posing a rather rattling notion to access at first.
The core of Alexander's method is the internal and subtle work, a small yet major difference that simply can't be perceived with naked eyes. Not even by attending his workshops one can easily capture what lies behind the curtains, the vastness hidden behind the classical self-defense demonstrations. What is shown is just the tip of the iceberg, a tiny portion that doesn't represent the profundity of it. There is only one way to get it straight and that is to taste it oneself. In other words, to have a direct experience in the body through a tactile interaction with the master. And even like that, it still needs time for the body to process it to the point when the mind would eventually get properly aligned with the experience and thus become ripe enough to sketch some right ideas on this unorthodox approach that seems to challenge traditional physics and biomechanics.

Trying to find explanations with intellectual faculties solely is a serious mistake. The analytical mind is the wrong tool to grasp how Alexander works. It would only generate more confusions and unnecessary conflicts rather than dispelling the aggressive skepticism that I've noticed going on around FB threads. In my opinion, those who are not control-freaks, prone to face the unknown comfortably, free of preconceived ideas with open-mindedness, are the ones who usually harvest the benefits.
Alexander is endowed with a fierce temper that can be intimidating. He doesn't allow the students to indulge in good feelings derived from false compliments, while there is still a hard and long way to go. It can be emotionally disturbing at times to cope with his storms of tireless merciless honest feedbacks. On the other hand, it pays off immensely. You truly learn concretely and effectively, as he is devoted to truly teach you something real. Alexander is unique in this way, a genuine teacher with an impeccable professional integrity who has developed a colossal knowledge into a rare gorgeous art-form.

The great news is that Alexander and I started discussing the idea of organizing a seminar where he would adapt his method for the Play-Fight type of crowd, somewhere in 2019. For a long time, I was wondering if that idea could possibly be worked out, always wishing it but having difficulties to envision how that meeting could take place. After my latest training with Alexander, I got very inspired and positive that this vision will come true.

So folks stay tuned to hear more from us! Meanwhile check out Alexander's YouTube channel to get an impression about his powerful style.
Text: Bruno Caverna, Formless Arts founder
Photo: Marina Sekacheva
Spring seminar in St. Petersburg 2018