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For other uses, see Systema (disambiguation).
Focus Hybrid
Country of origin Russia Russia
Parenthood Unverifiable
Olympic sport No
Part of the series on
Russian martial arts

Systema (Система, literally meaning The System) is a Russian martial art.[1] Training includes, but is not limited to: hand-to-hand combat, grappling, knife fighting, and firearms training. Training involves drills and sparring without set kata. In Systema, the body has to be free of tensions, filled with endurance, flexibility, effortless movement, and explosive potential; the "spirit" or psychological state has to be calm, free of anger, irritation, fear, self pity, delusion, and pride.[2] It focuses on breathing, relaxation, and fluidity of movement, as well as utilizing an attacker's momentum against him and controlling the six body levers (elbows, neck, knees, waist, ankles, and shoulders) through pressure point application, striking, and weapon applications. As a discipline, it is becoming more and more popular among police and security forces, including the US Secret Service,[3] and it is taught by several practitioners inside and outside of Russia.

Media coverage[edit]

It has gained notoriety as coverage of it has increased. This coverage seldom specifies which version of Systema is being discussed. Some examples are:

  • Filming of Mikhail Ryabko and Vladimir Vasiliev at the United Nations Headquarters for a Discovery Channel program (October 25, 2007)
  • Systema's top exponent in Dunbeath[4]
  • CTV Travel's Go Warrior: Russia (season 1)[5][6]
  • Black Belt magazine:[7][8][9][10][11][12][13]
  • Budo International (February 2003)
  • Journal of Asian Martial Arts (2005)
  • Martial Arts Illustrated (April and May 2013)
  • Systema was recently used by South Korean actor Gong Yoo in his first action role in The Suspect.


  1. ^ "Systema at Black Belt magazine website". Black Belt. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "News Story". Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  5. ^ "Go Warrior". Go Warrior. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  6. ^ "Go Warrior". Go Warrior. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  7. ^ Horwitz, Raymond (2011-03-24). "Mental and Physical Impact of Ballistic Striking – - Black Belt". Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  8. ^ Horwitz, Raymond (2011-03-24). "Proper Execution of a Ballistic Strike (Systema) – - Black Belt". Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  9. ^ Horwitz, Raymond (2011-03-24). "The Biomechanics and Psychology of Confrontation – - Black Belt". Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  10. ^ "Systema Ballistic Strikes in Action! – - Black Belt". 2011-03-24. Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  11. ^ Horwitz, Raymond (2011-05-12). "Systema Expert Discusses Self-Defense Biomechanics – - Black Belt". Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  12. ^ "Train Like a Russian Commando to Increase Power, Speed and Survival Skills! – - Black Belt". Retrieved 2014-02-06. 
  13. ^ Horwitz, Raymond (2011-03-24). "SYSTEMA: History of the Russian Martial Art – - Black Belt". Retrieved 2014-02-06. 

External links[edit]