Systema! (The System) – Russian Martial Art

Get in Shape, Get Home Safe!

Try out our ongoing Systema class Thursdays or Saturdays.  Or sign up for the Systema Self-Defense Course next Month here!

Santa Rosa Self Defense Teen Safety


Private sessions are available for you and your group to learn this art in a more focused manner.  Click here for more information.

Systema FB Promo Banner

More Russian Martial Art Information

Systema classes follow a natural progression and cater to ALL levels of skill.  Classes are run in a manner that puts the health and well-being of the participants at the forefront. Assisting individuals and families on how to pay for an intervention, impacted by drugs and alcohol, mental health disorders and related problem behaviors through a comprehensive system of Education, Prevention, Intervention and Counseling. Also, those studying other martial arts and sports will also benefit from the methods of Systema and find the information readily applicable.

Do want to know how to defend yourself but aren’t  interested in learning long sequences or testing for belts?  Well the Russian military elite trained in a scientifically designed martial art that is incredibly effective.  It is called The System or “Systema” in Russian (Система), and is more a collection of principles and concepts than a collection of techniques.

Designed for use in their Special (Forces) Operations Units only, this art is based on the physics of levers, inertia and timing.  It has been pressure tested on the battlefield and in private protection since 1920.  But its actual roots go way back to the 10th century!

This art does not require belts, uniforms or ranks.  There is no cage to fight in or trophies to chase.  It is effective enough to actually count on to protect your life and that of your loved ones.  Its was not designed for sport application, its only purpose is to develop workable, life-saving skills fast! Real self-defense can be gritty, appear clumsy and violence can occur almost anywhere.  It is in those moments when you’ll be glad that you prepared for it.  That being said, the training sessions are still done in true FMAC style -fun and exciting.   It is actually the Systema tradition to have fun in your training and to take care of your comrades.

So the training will certainly be enjoyable despite the seriousness of the subject matter.  The best way to study a serious subject is to not be too serious about it.  Talk to any emergency service professional and they’ll tell you the same thing.  You can expect to learn at your own comfort level how to roll safely on any surface not just pads, you will learn how to defend yourself from the ground, against knives, chains, sticks, multiple opponents, strike like a sledgehammer and even defend yourself with your hands tied. We will all push ourselves beyond our limits to new levels of self-control and abilities.  This is very exciting indeed.  Get started and call right now!

Systema FAQs


What is Systema, what does it mean or represent?

Systema simply means the “The System” in the Russian language.  And ultimately it means to know yourself, your body and how it interacts through the physical world and with others.  It is a complete martial art with a host of benefits outside of its incredibly effective self-defense applications.  It is called The System because it is based on principles and concepts that fit together to help you find a way to best express yourself and your natural movements in life and self-defense.

It’s not like other arts that have rigid patterns called Kata that must be memorized and adhered to.  And it’s not the type of martial sport that focuses on fitness and athletic prowess for application.  Systema has no sport application whatsoever and it has no techniques, per se.  Instead of trying to force you to think and move in a certain way, Systema shows you how to flow naturally.  A good analogy might be made with music.  If you learned how to play by reading sheet music only then you would have trouble freeing yourself from the sheet music.  If you learned to play by ear and could “feel” the music once you learned your basics, then you would always be able to play with anyone or create your own songs easily.  Systema’s unique training methods allow you to learn the basic concepts and principles easily and then you actually understand how to operate your body correctly.  Since its movements are based on the science of physics, you will learn how to overcome your opponents muscle advantage with a mechanical advantage.  The same way a crowbar or wheelbarrow allows you to exert more force or carry more than you could without those tools.

Using this same music analogy, if a person trained with sheet music only was told that they had to play and keep up with someone that had years of experience over them and that this person was not going to use music sheets and will be changing the songs unexpectedly, how would they do?  What if they were told that their life depended on their successful music playing and that it could happen at any time?  With this added pressure it would be very difficult for such a person to be ready and adapt quickly and fluidly or even survive the encounter.  With this in mind, you may be able to see the value of principle-based instruction versus robotic memorization or sport arts that require speed and strength to work.

So what can I expect to learn in a training session?  What will I actually do in a class?

Every Systema class is different and every instructor may deliver a lesson differently. The four main areas of focus are breathing, form (as in body alignment), continuous movement & relaxation. Since all physical movement follows the physical laws of motion, the classes focus on understanding how to move your body efficiently. We slowly add ever increasing combat stress on a gradient scale. But to give you some idea we will do breathing drills especially while stressing the body or putting the muscles under a load like squats or push-ups. Learning to operate your body under stress and remain calm is the core secret of any true martial art. Without this all of the techniques “collected” over the years will go out the window during a self-defense situation -regardless of what martial art a person has studied.

In time you will learn how to roll safely on the floor and how to move your body around avoiding other people.  This eventually leads to defending against punches, kicks, knives, sticks, chains, multiple opponents, fighting on the ground, against the wall, with your hands tied and more.  It is important to know that you will go at your own pace and you can always tell your partner to speed up or slow down.

This sounds good but I’ve never done anything like this, is there a Beginners Class –I’m a little concerned?

Systema does not separate into beginners or advanced.  In fact, there are no belts or ranks in Systema.  No classes are alike and each one is delivered like a mini-seminar.  Another important concept used in Systema to encourage the student to grow and improve their ability to confront danger, is to avoid traumatizing or damaging the other person’s psyche.  So you are always in control of the speed and intensity of your drills.  You may be asked to do things that you’ve never done before and find that you can do them.  A fight or vicious attack can be very traumatizing, we want to help you handle or even avoid a situation like that –not cause one.  By training on a gentle gradient of speed and reality you will eventually be ready to confront any type of attack.

Does it really work?  Has it been pressure tested in the real world?

Yes.  Systema was reserved for the Russian Special Forces and has been in use since 1920.  Its roots go back to the 10th century, and it has been pressure tested effectively in the real world.  This is why there is no sport application to Systema.  This is why many law enforcement and bodyguards are attracted to it.  The Russian Special Forces needed something that was very effective and easy to learn, that’s why they reserved Systema for their military elite. Now with its release to the general public anyone who wants to learn realistic self-protection can learn Systema.

Read the rest of this entry »

Free Report!
320-D Tesconi Circle, Santa Rosa
Off of North Dutton Ave, between College Ave and Guerneville Rd.
View Larger Map
See our 5-Star Reviews on Yelp!
Family Martial Arts Center Santa Rosa We have more 5-Star Reviews in the Filtered Section!
Schedule a Karate Birthday Party!
Find us on Dojolocator
¡Hola! 今日は Bonjour Guten Tag

Free Homepage Translation

Increase your website traffic with