The word “systema” can simply be translated as The System. It’s most well known use in recent years has been through certain special operations units of Russian Spetsnaz special forces, where it has been refined and developed for body guarding, covert operations, hostage rescue and anti-terrorist activities.

This can mean that, on first look, comparisons are drawn with other military arts such as Krav Maga, US Navy SEAL training, and so on. However the military application is only one aspect of The System.

In it’s purest form the art has been described as “a system of breathing and movement”. In this respect Systema is infinitely adaptable and can be practiced for many different purposes, from athletic or sports training through to health and well-being.

The above description is found on the website

The key principle of the Russian Systema is non-destruction. The goal is to make sure that your training and your attitudes do no damage to the body or the psyche of you or your partners. Systema is designed to create, build and strengthen your body, your psyche, your family and your country.

Systema has another name “poznai sebia” or “Know Yourself”. What does it really mean to Understand Yourself? It is not just to know what your strengths and weaknesses are, that is good but fairly superficial. Training in Russian Martial Art is one of the sure ways to see the full extent of our limitations – to see how proud and weak we really are. Systema allows us to gain the true strength of spirit that comes from humility and clarity in seeing the purpose of our life.

As the roots of the Russian Systema are in the Russian Orthodox Christian faith, the belief is that everything that happens to us, good or bad, has only one ultimate purpose. That is to create the best possible conditions for each person to understand himself. Proper training in the Russian Systema carries the same objective – to put every participant into the best possible setting for him to realize as much about himself as he is able to handle at any given moment.

One of Mikhail Ryabko’s words to the beginners is “Be a good person and everything else will come to you.” In a simple, yet comprehensive way Systema helps you choose and follow the right path.

The description above is from Vladimir Vasiliev’s site:

This training system “Systema” intersects with principles, conditioning exercises and techniques found in an array of other practices such as Judo, Parkour, Aikido, Brazilian Ju-utsu and the Feldenkrais Method®.

This video demonstrates falling and rolling techniques.

This video focuses on conditioning exercises to cultivate ground mobility:

A Systema teacher in New Hampshire teaches backward roll variations. He encourages his students to be aware of their preferences. His instructive demonstrations are slow and  fluid:

Here are more links to videos on Systema:

falls and rools:

2 Responses to “Systema”

  1. videos: the forward shoulder roll « Space To Move ~ Balance & Coordination Says:

    […] Systema is a Russian training system that also includes the forward shoulder roll. This video shows a […]

  2. Reversible shoulder roll slow motion « Space To Move ~ Balance & Coordination Says:

    […] as the forward roll practiced in the martial art of Aikido. The video cites the Russian Systema training as one of the origins of this conditioing exercise. This practice is also found in the […]

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