Systema’s Values

Be a good person and everything else will come to you.

Mikhail Ryabko

Strength. Courage. Humility.

In Systema, the key values are Strength, Courage and Humility. We recognize the importance of training our bodies and minds to be capable and resilient. At the same time, we consider it extremely important to recognize our limits and work with them. Systema training is designed to help us learn deeply about ourselves – both the good and bad and through the recognition and acceptance of our limitations, build a stronger self and community.

Know Thyself

The original name of Systema was “Poznai Sebia” or simply, “Know Thyself”. The idea being that training in Systema provides individuals with conditions which will help them develop greater self-understanding in both mind and body. The Russian system developed out of a need to have an efficient fighting style that was coherent with the Russian Orthodox Christian belief in the sanctity of life.

This philosophy is evident in the training goals – especially in our partner drills. All drills are performed for the benefit of our training partners and are not a place for showcasing our skills. Our system teaches us to place the needs of our training partners above our own – a concept that takes some time to wrestle with.

Class environment and culture

Classes taught in Systema have a very open format. While there are many familiar drills and exercises we commonly employ, most of class is progressed according to the way the students respond on the day itself. For those unfamiliar with our culture, it is much more similar to a workshop session than a typical classroom lecture. The participation of every person adds to the whole experience.

It just so happens to be a martial art

Vladimir Vasiliev

An art with no secrets

In Systema we train in the full spectrum of physical and psychological work from day one. This is sometimes a point of contention other martial artists who see the psychological aspects as “advanced work” which requires years of training before approaching.

This understanding only takes into consideration the realm of physical violence. In the modern world, most of the violence we face is in fact psychological. The martial arts can and should bring exceptional value to those who might never need to use it in a serious hand-to-hand combat. By approaching the human person as one whole psychological and physiological benefits of training at the highest levels bring the mental and spiritual benefits to Systema practitioners from the first day.

Our approach to training in the martial arts prioritizes the context of people living in the modern world. Once a healthy psyche has been developed, it is much easier to learn self defence skills without harming oneself and their training partners.

Sounds like what you’re looking for?