Hello, my name is Konstantinos, and I am a Systema practitioner from Cyprus. I have started Systema just 2 years ago and I have no experience in other martial arts. My teacher is Senior Instructor Lampros Fekkas from Greece. As a Systema beginner, I have been very impressed by its efficiency and even more excited with the appliance of its fundamentals in my daily routine – from simple to difficult situations. Therefore, I feel obligated to share with you my dreadful incident in which the Systema has helped me in a great manner.
In the afternoon, on the 17th of April last year, I decided to saddle my horse and go country riding. During the ride, I was searching for a suitable place to gallop my horse. After a few minutes, I found a large and level farm field that was ideal for that purpose. However, in the farm field, there were many piles of cropped wheat in parallel lines. Ignoring the cropped wheat, I entered the field and started galloping the horse between the lines in a parallel way. The only problem was that every time I made a turn, I had to cross over some of the wheat – pile – lines. Unfortunately, during a turn the horse slipped over a wheat – pile – line and fell. Immediately, I jumped off and managed to be separated from the horse. After that, the horse got panicked, stood up and started running – unfortunately in a direction towards me. Lying on the ground and trying to get up, I didn’t realize that the panicked horse was coming to me from behind. Unluckily, he hit me at the back near the spine at the area of the right kidney and got away. An enormous pain filled my back. I lost my balance and fell down shouting. The pain was getting bigger and bigger; it was so excruciating that my breath had stopped. I couldn’t shout anymore. All the muscles of my back were tightened and I started losing consciousness. At that moment, I recalled the pain management and the rest of the Systema basics I have learnt from my teacher Lampros Fekkas. I immediately started intensive burst – breathing, inhaling through nose and exhaling by the mouth trying simultaneously to relax my tightened body. These had managed to calm my agitated inner state giving me the psychological strength to withstand the whole difficulty and not to lose consciousness. Eventually, with small movements combined with breath, I took out my mobile phone and called for help. After an hour later, the ambulance came and took me to the hospital, where the doctors identified cracked ribs, kidney rupture and other serious wounds to my body. So, they decided to keep me in the intensive care unit for some days, and finally, after a month I went home. Fortunately, 6 months later, all the wounds had been treated and I have completely recovered.