When I started this blog, I wanted to explore Cossack culture in general and, more specifically, the interaction between the cultural and combative elements of song, dance, and martial arts – particularly as expressed in systema.
This seems, recently, to have become a political issue, and is behind a low-level flame war rumbling along in one of the English-language internet’s most significant communities about Russian martial arts, Paul Genge’s Combat Lab International on Facebook. On the one side are those who think that the cultural and combative elements are of equal significance; on the other are those who are solely interested in combatives, and who dismiss the other group as Cossack wannabes.
I, for what it’s worth, am in the first group – which will surprise nobody.
Continue reading “In defence of dance”