SYSTEMA / New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND RESOURCE SITE                                                     Last updated: 21st June 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 (minimal energy expenditure) and effectiveness (proven in combat and on the street).  It relies on an understanding of human bio-mechanics, physiology, kinesiology, and psychology. 

Systema constantly evolves through the practitioners adherence to the simple principles of breathing, continuous movement, relaxedness and correct body form/posture. Another important aspect of the System is non-destruction - to yourself or your training partners. 

During training sessions students explore and come to understand how their bodies and minds perform under high 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.

All forms of movement within Systema are based on your body's natural movement.  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.

Training Systema will help you:

  • Increase your fitness and body awareness
  • Improve self confidence and overcome fear
  • Increase your focus and mental discipline
  • Acquire self-defence skills to protect yourself and your family
  • Challenge your limits and harness your strengths
  • Systema in Motion - Vladimir VASILIEV


    Mikhail RYABKO - Hand to Hand


    SystemaNZ - Goals

    To provide a resource base for New Zealanders interested in training Systema skills.  

    To promote Systema through links to training groups, seminar information

    To help Systema to grow and develop in NZ