I was Googling for more information about the shashka and found this, which I rather like:
It’s from a Systema school in Omsk which, as it happens, is where the Siberian comes from. The school has a website and a Facebook page, but only in Russian; I can read the Cyrillic alphabet, but I don’t speak Russian beyond a few words remembered from my schooldays, so it’s not much use to me. Still, now that I know I’m staying in Beijing, I have been meaning to take the Trans-Siberian railway back to the UK at some point, and Omsk is on the way (and cheaper than Moscow, I suspect!), so if I wanted to get some training in Systema… hmmmm…. watching that clip, I’m intrigued again by the way that ‘Systema’ ie Cossack fighting skills, are intimately bound up with dancing – which teaches relaxation, rhythm, timing, spacial awareness, and lots of other martial arts goodness…
Anyhow, coincidentally, I had a reader request via email today for more news about the Siberian! I’m happy to oblige, and I’ll have to tell her that she’s developing a fan club 😉 She’s happy in her new job, working for a very large and important Chinese company in central China, and is about to leave for a week or so to Kazakhstan, on business. However, I think i may need to clarify that the Siberian and S. are different people; I have a feeling there might be some confusion there…. The Siberian is an ex-girlfriend, and still a good friend (I’m lucky, and am still good friends with most of my exes). S. is the most beautiful and accomplished woman I’ve ever met; she’s younger than me but has achieved more than most people (including me) manage in several lifetimes. She’s my good friend and unattainable muse…. (sigh…)…..
So, ahem, moving on to swords: I found that shashkas are being made by Windlass – an Indian firm, suppliers to Her Britannic Majesty’s Armed Forces, not to mention the US Marine Corps, among others… Their shashka looks rather nice, and I am extremely tempted to buy a couple…. They also sell Hungarian sabres, which seem to be the same as a szabla… Plus, as a fan of Serenity, I’m intrigued to see the Operative’s sword….
Tying this up, it seems that Systema RRB, the Omsk-based school, have an offshoot branch in Malaysia, according to this article… Some of my readers from Singapore may be interested in popping up to KL to check it out and, if so, I would love to hear your feedback!