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Wiki Revision Date - 10 Feb 2015 13:15
Any Systema school will give you a fairly good idea of how to take a person down when they attack you. When this happens, they sacrifice their stance, control of their center of mass, and a great deal of defensive capability just to hurt you. If you can see the weaknesses they create in this moment, it takes no effort on your part to put them down. There is a major problem with this: when you let them strike you, you will get hurt. A powerful or well placed strike can even hurt you enough that you never get the chance to exploit their attack. To make sure this doesn't happen, you need to know how to take a strike.
There are a few ways in which a strike can be taken by the human body. The ideal way would be with an angled plane. When people think of this, they see a ramp, but you don't necessarily need to use anything that looks like one. You just need to create the effect. You can create the actual structure to take something more or less passively, or you can create the effect actively by just following a strike or gently nudging it away slightly. You can use your arm, leg, shoulder, or any surface of your body to create the effect of a long, angled surface to meet the strike with. This way, you can meet any unarmed or blade strike with your bare hands with very little effort.
Another way would be to use the wave, which is particularly emphasized in Systema Ryabko and Vasiliev, in which you relax and let your body give as you take the strike so it dissipates across a large surface. Although it does work against an unarmed person, it's not as desirable as an angled plane due to the fact that you still get hit. If over exaggerated or used against a fast series of coordinated strikes, it will also cause you to flop to the floor and leave you at a massive disadvantage. This should still be practiced particularly with the head because if you don't see the attack coming, it turns a knockout or a kill strike into a glancing blow. When used correctly, it will often create angled planes.
The final way you can take a strike is with a block. In a block, you will be trying to actively strike or push the striking hand, leg, object, or body away. If this is the only way you're comfortable taking strikes, then you should use it, but it takes a lot of extra energy and will put large or dynamic strains on your body that could be difficult to control and lead to bruises or breaks. The only thing worse would be to take the strike in full.
The Paradox (Another Example of Angled Planes)
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