Due to their country’s location, Russia dealt with attackers from many other countries, all with unique styles of combat. To combat this broad and changing threat they developed an art based on simplicity and natural movement that could adapt to any situation and method of attack. Eventually adopted by the Russian Special Forces (Spetsnaz), Systema (“The System”) is a complete combat system based on four main principles: relaxation, breath, movement, and structure.
Due to its nature, Systema can be hard to define. Systema does not have competitions, no rules, no set katas, and no rank or belts. Systema is learned through drills and sparring, from solo practice to large groups. Striking, throws, joint breaks and locks, ground work, weapons work, and multiple attackers are just a few of the areas of study in Systema.
The best way to get a sense of what Systema is about is to come in and try a few classes.