Systema Sydney Russian Martial Art

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Got OODA? Or is it Something Entirely Different? by Systema Instructor Sonny Puzikas

Observations (no pun intended) through participation and while teaching over the years have led me to somewhat of a strange conclusion...

Is most of the training even conducive to let that illusive process often called OODA work? To function as intended? To be true cycle of observing reality, orienting in real time, making decision to act in most appropriate way based on information present and then, finally- act...

And what I observed has somewhat surprised me.

Through training that is focused on specific solutions of the problems faced- most often very narrow and limited field of "view" is being cultivated. Narrow field of view that is also focusing (and I use that term loosely, as such "focus" will result in blurry picture at best) on given problem through a prism of preconditioned and yet again- very limited- "orientation" tools, which are all geared in reverse direction to justify the preconditioned, trained, premeditated action.

In essence- a lot of modern training methodologies create fighters/operators who are- for the lack of better term- goal oriented with specific action being that goal- often ignoring what can be observed, thus excluding the "orienting" in current situation, with decision being made to chase the action that is not the best, nor optimal, nor efficient in current situation...

Action- especially conditioned habitual action- should not be the ultimate goal of Boyd's loop. The two O's are the most crucial components. Yet- aren't they excluded from this new "loop"? By the virtue of a fighter "looking" for an opportunity to execute specific action, in the process he is missing so much- mainly the reality in real time. Where targets, opportunities abound... Call it CPHA cycle... Chasing premeditated habitual action... 

About the Author: 
Sonny is a highly skilled operator gaining his experience from the special purpose unit (Spetsnaz) in USSR MVD. Sonny entered military service in late 1980’s and after the basic training was chosen for service in special purpose unit of Soviet MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs). The reality of violence was exposed from a very different perspective with many revelations and learning experiences coming not only from very intense and brutal training regiment, but also from operational deployments to central Asia and Caucasus regions with his Spetsnaz unit, as well as work in some correctional institutions in Siberia and Far East. Extensive interaction with personnel from special purpose units from KGB, GRU and other entities provided opportunities to learn and polish new skills in areas of armed and unarmed combat, tactics and field craft, fighting methods based on native Russian combat arts. After the military service Sonny traveled extensively throughout Russia and Middle East providing protective services.  Because of unique combination of skills and experience, Sonny became very highly sought after authority in the areas of rifle fighting skills, unarmed combat and field craft. He was featured in numerous publications, TV programs and a recent Discovery Channel special. For more information visit:

As always thank you for your insights Sonny,

Justin Ho
Principal Instructor
Systema Sydney Russian Martial Art

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