What is a systema class like ?
Systema classes are held in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. However, most people like to push themselves to their limits, both mentally and physically. Training exercises usually take place with two or more people working together to help each other learn and give feedback. We like to work naturally within different scenarios and for people to be free and inventive with their self defence methods. Often the instructor will show ideas or solutions rather than fixed techniques. A hands-on approach to all aspects of self defence is a normal aspect of training. People feel that Systema classes are very relaxing and have a very positive effect on their health and well being.
Our syllabus offers a broad range of training. For newcomers, the important initial steps are in learning to fall and roll correctly, working with correct posture, breathing and movements and learning to cope with punches, kicks, grabs and holds. As your confidence grows, training can spread into many areas.
* Awareness training and body language interpretation
* Psychology of a confrontation
* Exercises for health, fitness and conditioning
* Balance, movement and coordination
* Devastating self defence skills that you will not forget, that will become part of you
* More gentle and non-threatening techniques to control your over-zealous colleagues at a Christmas party, or your drunken wedding guests
* Defence while sitting down
* Defence against multiple opponents
* Ground fighting
* Defence against common street weapons
* Using improvised weapons - umbrellas, magazines, credit cards, books, wallets, etc.
What should I wear for class ?
We have no uniform or clothing requirement other than it being
practical for training in
Are your instructors qualified ?
Our school and instructors have been trained and full certified by
Are there any age restrictions ?
We do not teach children's classes. We would recommend 16 years old as a lower age limit of our regular classes.
How many classes should I attend ?
It depends on why you are attending the classes. Self defence skills
come relatively quickly in the system, however most people stay for the
benefits it has on other aspects of their life - personal or
People come to martial arts for one reason, and end up staying for many. After the initial few months of training your perspective on martial arts (and perhaps on life) will change and you may want to learn different things.
Can I come and have a look ?
You can just look, but you shouldn't. Sorry if this sounds
unfriendly; we encourage people to participate, rather than watch.
The System, like life, needs to be experienced, not observed. If there are drills you are not comfortable doing, you can sit them out. But if you are sufficiently curious to come all this way to see us, please wear training clothes, and have a go! New participants are always welcome.
Hand to hand combat ?
Systema can train you to deal effectively with punches, kicks,
escapes from grabs and holds, and teaches you how to strike effectively
and efficiently from any angle. Fighting from the ground whilst the
standing opponent is trying to strike you and ground fighting are also
Multiple opponents and defence against them is covered extensively as there is often more than one assailant in reality, utilising attackers strikes against each other and using them as shields are a couple of the areas covered.
Personal protection, including that of others eg. girlfriend, wife, kids, friends, is part of Systema that can benefit not only yourself but the safety of those around you, making you more aware of your surroundings and possible dangers. This is only positive news for you and those you love and care about.
Is it like other martial arts ?
If you mean most mainstream martial arts, then the answer is no.
Systema has no grading or belt system and none of the formalised
patterns of movement associated with the Oriental martial arts.
Additionally it incorporates many areas of training not seen in the
Oriental styles and was developed from a European perspective.
How quickly can I learn Systema ?
The art was designed for quick learning. The basic principles can be
picked up very quickly with a little thought and application
I am already experienced in martial arts, what can you offer me ?
We think you will find our training methods very different from your
previous experience. It is not necessary to let go of previously
learned skills, but Systema will help you become more fluid in your
approach. Systema can be a valuable supplement to your existing
training as well as an art in it own right
I am a complete novice, what can I get from training ?
No previous experience is necessary to take up Systema. You will
find classes enjoyable and challenging with the chance to work in a
supportive atmosphere. You will learn unique fitness and strength
exercises and practical methods of all-round self defence (from the
psychological through to the physical)
How fit do I need to be for classes ?
Classes include a certain amount of physical conditioning. However
people work at their own rate, there is no pressure to "compete" with
What sort of people will I be training with ?
Average age is early 30s, with the youngest being just under 20 and
the oldest..... well let's just be polite and say over 40 !
Participants are mostly men, with a few women training too.
Our members are people of all backgrounds and all walks of life. Some have previous martial art experience, some still run their own martial arts school and a number are professionals in law enforcement, security and current or ex armed services.
Other occupations range from students through to lawyers, doctors, shop workers, bankers, IT developers, researchers, sculptors, professional musicians, web designers, bodyguards, doormen, and so on.
Do you teach weapons combat ?
In today’s society the use of weapons is becoming increasingly
common, with more and more people carrying weapons on them whilst in
public. The increased use of weapons means that people must be more
aware of their surroundings and should be taught how to deal with
weapons effectively without putting themselves in unnecessary danger.
Systema, unlike many other martial arts, teaches you weapons defence from possibly your first lesson. It is not wise to wait until you have covered years of training before you approach the subject of weapons defence.
In Systema classes you will learn defences against knives, sticks, guns, and how to use knives, sticks and improvised weapons to disarm attackers. Naturally as with unarmed combat, but especially because of the severity of weapons attacks, avoidance of the situation takes paramount priority. If he wants your car, let him have it, money can’t buy lives.