I had the pleasure of first meeting Vali Majd during my first training trip to Toronto in 2011. Vali is both an awesome and humble individual who has a wealth of knowledge on Systema. My first training encounter with him was during a training session at Emmanuel (Manny) Manolokakis's Systema School Fight Club . We were practicing some knife work, when Vali cam at me with the blade. At the time I made my escape and attempted to control the knife and remove it from him. When my initial action didn't work I resorted to attempting to muscle the knife away from him. After a few moments of this Vali was kind enough to correct me by slamming the ridge of his bald Persian head into my nose (like it needed to get any flatter).
Startled, in pain and with eyes watering I stumbled back, recovered my balance and said the first thing that came to mind... "Yep, Sorry...My fault". At the end of class Vali and I were chatting during which he kindly explained to me that "Using a sudden burst of excess tension to accomplish a task could be just as bad as suddenly speeding up during the use of the slow training tool"
The next time I saw Vali after that trip was during his seminar in Auckland, New Zealand which was hosted by Loren Clements who teaches the Systema Auckland Club. During this 2 day outdoor seminar Vali taught us numerous lessons pertaining to Systema. But for me the one that really stood out was the importance of not only to"Know Yourself" but also to "Know For Yourself".
The following footage was taken of Vali in 2011 guest Instructing at Fight Club in Toronto.
Whenever I am asked about this gentleman I frequently respond with: "If you ever have the chance to train with this gentleman...Take it"
Before being named as Founder and Chief Instructor of Roots Dojo, Vali Majd, since 1996 had been, and still is a student of traditional Ryabko – Vasiliev Systema.
Vali Majd brings along an army of talent and could be considered honest and dependable; his lengthy exposure to the art, along with his abilities to practice, to teach, to demonstrate and to clearly articulate subtle concepts of Systema makes him and his dojo worth visiting.
2002-Formed Comox Valley Systema
1999-Founded Pacific Coast Systema (now Roots Dojo)
1995-Started at Russian Martial Art HQ, Toronto
Vali is a Medical First Responder and a Firefighter with the Denman Island Volunteer Fire Department.
It's not about chasing new information and jumping from one thing to another endlessly and frivolously.
It's not about using fewer things so that you stay within a certain comfort zone.
It's about going very deeply into the fewer things that you have.
This way you can understand them and yourself incredibly well without distraction. Then, although you have fewer things, you use them to do a lot of different things but incredibly well. Like a craftsman who understands his tools, and how to use them to create whatever he wishes.
An interesting thing a friend told me about his old Chi Kung teacher, who also happens to be my Doctor. This teacher said; "In life you learn a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h etc..., But then discover you only ever really need to use a,b and c...But many times in many different ways that yield whatever results you wish"
How well you use these fewer things depends on how closely you study them and yourself.