Systema (which translates to “the system” in English) is a Russian martial art that involves a mix of grappling, hand-to-hand combat, weapons training, and self-defense techniques. Its tactics are highly adaptable depending on the student and geared toward each individual’s strengths and instincts, which makes it ideal for fast learning.
Systema, which was first developed in the 10th century, fell out of fashion as sambo became more popular in 20th century Russia, but is currently enjoying a new wave of popularity.
The Principles of Systema
To ensure the most effective self-defense, Systema encourages you to have a calm and flexible body and a peaceful mind. Its four pillars are breathing, relaxation, body position, and movement, and its techniques focus on capitalizing on an opponent’s momentum and the use of pressure points, strikes, and weapons.
Types of Systema
There are a number of different schools of this martial art and self-defense currently being taught around the world. They include Systema Kadochnikova, Systema Ryabko, Systema Vasiliev, and Systema TALANOV. In general, Systema has a very free style, and its only strict rules are its morals.
Since the turn of the century, Systema has rapidly been gaining international attention. It’s become a popular martial art for law enforcement agents looking for powerful but simple self-defense techniques and for Hollywood stunt people looking for cool new moves. Systema lessons — taught at both Systema-specific schools and other martial arts dojos — are now available around the world.