Systema (Система, literally meaning The System) is a Russian martial art. Training includes, but is not limited to: hand-to-hand combat, grappling, knife fighting, and fire-arms training. Training involves drills and sparring without set kata. It focuses mainly on controlling the six body levers (elbows, neck, knees, waist, ankles, and shoulders) through pressure point application, striking, and weapon applications. It is still relatively unknown, but Systema or relatives to it are being taught by several practitioners inside and outside of Russia. Systema is often advertised as being a martial art employed by some Russian Spetsnaz units.
One of the variations most written about is known as Ryabko's Systema. Mikhail Ryabko claims to hold a rank of colonel in the Russian military and to have military special forces and traditional Russian martial arts training. According to Ryabko's claims, the style is based on "Hun and Mongol martial arts", was created by the Cossacks in 948, and was supposedly taught to him at the age of five by a member of Sokoli Stalina (Russian: Соколы Сталина "Stalin's Falcons") which Ryabko described as a secret force of Joseph Stalin's personal bodyguards. Ryabko operates the Systema Headquarters in Russia. Vladimir Vasiliev is Ryabko's senior student, who has emigrated from Russia in 1993 and founded the Russian Martial Art Systema Headquarters in Toronto, Canada.