SYSTEMA / New Zealand

                                                                                                                                                     Last updated: 5th September 2019

What is Systema?

‘No rules. No belts. No nonsense. The system - a fighting art without all the needless baggage.’ Black Belt Magazine.

"Systema is an ancient Russian martial art adapted for use in modern warfare by the Russian Special Operations and the Soviet spy network. Needing the fastest and most effective training regime for their elite fighters and undercover operatives, the Soviets experimented with many combat arts, only to rediscover the most deadly and sophisticated among their own traditional Slavic hill-fighting roots.

Until recently Systema was hidden by the highest levels of the Soviet classification only to be opened up to the West by Russian Masters Vladimir Vasiliev and Mikhail Ryabko.

Subtle, brutal and uncompromising it covers all aspects of combat training from hand-to-hand to the use of weapons in any and all combat enviroments. With no forms or kata to memorize, no techniques, no belts, no predetermined attitudes to conform to, just natural movement that can be practiced for a lifetime. Resulting in the development of a deep understanding of human nature, Systema is truly a unique and boundless art." (M.Wheeler)


The Work  

Systema is a martial art and health system that is principle rather than technique based.

Its combative side combines striking, grappling and natural body movement for efficiency and effectiveness. It relies on an understanding of human bio-mechanics, physiology, kinesiology, and psychology.

Systema health practices focus on strong development of the breath and massage bodywork.

Systema constantly evolves through the practitioners understanding and experimentation with the principles of breathing, movement, relaxation and correct body form/posture

During training sessions students explore and come to understand how their bodies and minds perform under stress and during situations of conflict.  Learning is undertaken through series of drilling progressions that allow the student to experiment with their own limitations and strengths.

As students become aware of their own strengths they then develop skills around, and beyond these.  Training and skills become very personalised and develop into one's own 'System' based in the principles.

More information

For more information about Russian Martial Art - Systema, including methods, benefits and classes, please visit: