Inhale Faith and Exhale Doubt

by Stephen Cornelius


When I was studying Korean Martial arts and sparring at the age of 14 to 18, and then when overseas in Southeast Asia from 1967 - 1971 in the U.S. Marine Corp., I would occasionally be asked if I was angry or mad as seen by the look on my face during sparring or fighting or in combat. It always surprised me when some said that... Even when doing Aikido and Systema work: I was never mad or angry back then or now. It's seemingly just the way I look when I am very focused in the moment.

The camp picture (seen below) is all steady work, but with a compassionate mind for the guy I'm holding under water cognizant of his movement and tension. I was merely ready for the next movement, if any was required.

On the other hand, I may have just been seriously pondering if we were going to have chicken for camp dinner that night and then some ice cream for dessert. Maybe it's just the 63 years of interesting, hard living and a good life...

But have a look at me in the camp group picture ? ALL BIG SMILE sitting behind the instructors.

That's the real inside me...

I am the product of all my mentors and committed teachers... Systema is a place of discovery and for enlightening perception. What one does with it in anything they do, be it military combat or gently mentoring a young child or the lost soul of an adult toward a sense of care and confidence is its legacy: This is the worth and measure of value in Systema as I have found its essence taught by those practitioners I have met.

To inhale faith and exhale doubt with every breath of every kind.

About the author: Stephen Cornelius (seen in photo below) has been training for over 4 years with Mark Zamarin of Park City Aiki-Systema in Colorado, USA. Stephen is a Vietnam veteran with many years of martial art experience.