1. Clip reel of practitioners of systema, a Russian martial art that seems to be gaining some traction in the West now that there are people over here to teach it. Tito’s systema in Spook Country seems to have as much in common with parkour as anything else, and its exact relationship to the systema described by Bigend in Pattern Recognition is, like the history of the old man who hires Tito, perhaps a bit cloudy.

    From Pattern Recognition:

    "Systema," Bigend says.

    "What?"

    "Those three. The Russian martial art, formerly forbidden to all but Spetsnaz and KGB bodyguards. It has its formal basis in Cossack dancing. Quite unlike anything Eastern." He looks like a very determined child, on Christmas morning, who’s finally gotten his way and been allowed downstairs.

Notes

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