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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 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.
Systema 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 and it is taught by several practitioners inside and outside Russia.
It has gathered interest as coverage of it has increased. This coverage seldom specifies which version of Systema is being discussed. Some examples are:
- Budo International (February 2003)
- in 2004, Systema's top exponent in Dunbeath
- Journal of Asian Martial Arts (2005)[when?]
- Filming of Mikhail Ryabko and Vladimir Vasiliev at the United Nations Headquarters for a Discovery Channel program[clarification needed] on 25 October 2007
- in 2008, CTV Travel's Go Warrior: Russia (season 1)
- in 2011, Black Belt magazine:
- in 2013, Martial Arts Illustrated (April and May)
Use in fiction
- A mix of tradecraft and parkour practiced by Tito, one of the protagonists of the 2007 novel Spook Country by William Gibson
- Systema was used by South Korean actor Gong Yoo for his first action role in the 2013 film The Suspect.
- Systema was part of the combat training that the protagonist Jane Doe from 2015 American TV series Blindspot received in the United States Navy SEALs.
- "Systema at Black Belt magazine website". Black Belt. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- "Systema's top exponent in Dunbeath". North Tonight. Grampian TV via Web.archive.org. 15 May 2004. Archived from the original on 31 August 2005. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- "Go Warrior". Go Warrior. Archived from the original on February 26, 2008. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- Horwitz, Raymond (2011-03-24). "Mental and Physical Impact of Ballistic Striking". Black Belt. Blackbeltmag.com. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- Horwitz, Raymond (2011-03-24). "Proper Execution of a Ballistic Strike (Systema)". Black Belt. Blackbeltmag.com. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- Horwitz, Raymond (2011-03-24). "The Biomechanics and Psychology of Confrontation". Black Belt. Blackbeltmag.com. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- "Systema Ballistic Strikes in Action!". Black Belt. Blackbeltmag.com. 2011-03-24. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- Horwitz, Raymond (2011-05-12). "Systema Expert Discusses Self-Defense Biomechanics". Black Belt. Blackbeltmag.com. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- "Train Like a Russian Commando to Increase Power, Speed and Survival Skills!". Black Belt. Blackbeltmag.com. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- Horwitz, Raymond (24 March 2011). "SYSTEMA: History of the Russian Martial Art". Black Belt. Blackbeltmag.com. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
- Tabata, Yoshiaki; Yugo, Yuki. "Chapter 139". Akumetsu. 16. Akita Shoten. p. 10.
- Gibson, William (2007). "Chapter 35: Guerreros". Spook Country. G. P. Putnam's Sons.
- Pitcher, Jenna. "Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Arcade's newest fighter is a GothLoli Russian-styled martial artist". Polygon. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
- Co, Franz. "New Character Marie Rose Highlighted in Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate Arcade Trailer; More Details and Images from Famitsu". Shoryuken. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
- "Tough guy hidden in image of sweet Gong Yoo". The Dong-a Ilbo. 19 November 2016. Retrieved 2014-03-29.
- Hong, C. (17 September 2016). "Upcoming Drama "The K2" Hints At Incredible Action Scenes To Come". Soompi. Retrieved 19 November 2016.