Combat Systema: Volume 1
The Russian Martial Art of Hand-to-Hand Combat

By Jorge Figueiredo - January 2nd, 2015

Video images pulled from the sample YouTube clip from Paladin Press.

I believe that a well-rounded martial arts education should include more than one art, which is why I find Systema (a Russian martial art, also known as “The System”) so interesting. This hybrid involves various aspects of melee fighting, including quick-strikes, redirection of opponent momentum, grappling and other weapons-based movement (although, I find the unarmed aspect of it a lot more interesting). Kevin Secours, who many of our readers know from his work in Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, has studied under top Russian masters and has engineered a scientific approach to learning what I believe to be some of the main aspects of Systema that make it so practical: flexibility and fluidity. The “Combat Systema” approach is well laid out in Kevin’s first video with Paladin Press, Combat Systema: The Russian Martial Art of Hand-to-Hand Combat. If you are looking for interesting material to supplement your training (as a source of information), then this video is for you.

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The Counting Kingdom

By Jorge Figueiredo - January 1st, 2015


When a game can combine fun and education, it’s a sure bet that I’ll like it – for a number of reasons. First of all, as a parent, I love to have games on hand that I can feed to my kiddo when she’s in the mood to game – so that she’s not necessarily playing addictive garbage without any redeeming benefits. Secondly, I love games that force me to think – nothing like giving the ol’ noggin a workout to keep the mind fresh. The challenge to developers is that it is a tough tightrope to walk: too much on the educational side, and the game ceases to be as fun; conversely, focusing too much on the fun removes any educational benefit. The Counting Kingdom, developed by Little Worlds Interactive, is one of those games that strikes the perfect balance between the two – simple, fun, and educational, this is a PC game (also available on iTunes) that I would recommend to anyone from 6 to infinity.

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Lizard Island: Observation

By Jorge Figueiredo - October 21st, 2014


Sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get children interested in things that are good for them. Vegetables, chores, school – these are things that cause some parents to rely on bribery to achieve a reasonable result. While Budding Biologist can’t really help with the consumption of greens, they have made a very interesting app for iOS and Android devices called Lizard Island: Observation to help generate interest in science. This app allows your young scientist to experience some of what biology has to offer. What’s interesting about it is that it does offer a level of challenge that makes it far more than a passive experience.

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