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Russian Systema Self Defence

Updated on March 30, 2017

What is Systema?

Systema (Система, literally meaning The System) is a Russian martial art. Training includes: hand-to-hand combat, grappling, knife fighting, and firearms training. Training involves drills and sparring without a set kata.

Russian Systema dates back to the 10th century developed by Cossacks (Russian warriors) who fought enemies from various parts of the world, each had their own fighting style forcing the Russians to develop a method that defeats every fighting style they faced on the battle ground.

When the Communists came to power in 1917, they suppressed all national traditions. Those practicing the old style of fighting would be severely punished. The authorities knowing how devastating the original combat system was reserved it just for a few special operation units like the famous Russian Spetsnaz!

Systema has no set techniques or kata's. Utilising the momentum and actions of the opponent against him enables you to take control of the situation. Their is no right or wrong just different ways to achieve the same outcome.

The free flowing momentum of Systema means you most be relaxed and with no tension to effectively breath, move, redirect enemies momentum and strike to disarm or control opponent.


What would you do if someone twice your size threw a punch at you.

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How does systema work?

Systema works on the principle that every scenario or situation is different, alas the system teaches you to be adaptive. Today Systema is still used by the Russian special forces Spetsnaz.

Systema is a self defence system designed for use on the battle field using hand to hand combat, knives, guns and improvised weapons. Aswell as learning to control any opponent, systema teaches you awareness of your surrounding, potential threats and improvisation of weapons or escape routes.

Systema is used worldwide by body guards, DEA, and security personal aswell as civilians. I personally used systema whilst working as a night club bouncer, as it's very effective in controlling people and moving around in crowds by utilising the free flowing movement learnt in systema. I could get from one end of the dance floor to the other in seconds by literally flowing through the bodies on the dance floor (like something out of the matrix).

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