Is Systema an effective martial art?

Is Systema an effective martial art?

Systema is a Russian technique of self-defense. For those who are interested in learning self-defense techniques, Systema serves as a boon. But before deciding whether it is good or bad it is better to check all aspects of it properly which we will try to find out through various sections of the article titled- Is Systema an effective martial art?

Is Systema an effective martial art?

Yes, Systema is a quite effective martial arts technique. Although it also depends on the trainee that if he or she has practiced it enough or not. The true test of its effectiveness can be administered when someone goes through a difficult situation. Systema is unique because it doesn’t have many boundaries associated with it.

Practice of Systema

Systema is mainly focused on four towers i.e., movement, body position, relaxation, and breathing. It involves the use of movement and balance of the opponent against him or herself or using weapons if required.

The motive of Systema training is to defend yourself but without damaging your opponent’s body or psyche. A Systema practitioner is taught to settle any circumstance being in any position. It depends on the dedication of a trainee to learn and apply the learnings in any situation.

There are several styles of Systema such as Systema Ryabko, Systema Kadochnikova, Systema Talanov etc.

Few basic moves which are involved in Systema are listed below:

  • Arm Jam — One fighter twists his hips and tries to trap the opponent’s arms and elbow under his thigh.
  • Ground framing — A fighter can fall during combat, in that situation instead of wrestling, the fighter can make a frame using his forearms and optimize the space available for movement and strikes.
  • Hand-to-Hand combat — It is a close-range fighting practice between 2 or multiple people. Often militants are trained in hand-to-hand combat. This enables one to answer attacks within grappling range and effectively set back the attacker if there are weapons.
  • Rolling takedowns — This is a very effective exercise for building a fighters’ confidence in tackling further takedown attempts. For this exercise, one partner remains still in front of the other one and the other one can try to roll down slowly and by studying the partner’s actions he/she can attack them.
  • Disarming weapons — This technique teaches you how you can safeguard yourself when an attacker attacks you with some weapon, which could be a gun, a knife, or anything whether you are armed or unarmed.

    Apart from these moves the system also involves a unique move called “systema striking”. It is unique because its effectiveness is determined by the delivery of moves. In this technique, the size and strength of the fighter don’t affect their ability of striking.

Systema’s origin- Is Systema an effective martial art?

The inception of this very martial art is traced back to the tenth century, but its major development took place in early twentieth-century Russia. Where the Soviet government emphasized research and development for Systema.

Systema was developed from Cossack fighting, which was used by KGB in counter-terrorism groups.
Russian Special forces (Spetsnaz) used Systema as a self-defense system. Its significance also grew because many people who know this martial art go to the military.

Earlier it was used by militants for law enforcement, but now its use became more popular as a self-defense technique. Often Hollywood fighters also take Systema lessons to make their fighting sequences more realistic.

How to learn Systema?

Anyone interested in learning self-defense or combat can seek Systema training. There are several good Systema training schools. However, it is good to properly research before enrolling yourself in a class. It is because one should always seek to learn the purest form of art since the world is filled with diversity. Hence, even the techniques taught have changed over time due to the number of influences they have been subjected to.

Training period

As a normal person, it is expected that after consistently practicing for three weeks a change can be noticed and practice of some 2-3 months can make you capable of defending yourself from any threat.
While learning anything also depends on the learner’s ability to grasp the knowledge. Becoming a master in any art can take a lifetime as learning never ends.


Consistent practice and dedication are the keys to being good at this martial arts rather than any martial art. Given Below are some media commendations which might interest you. Systema doesn’t involve any grading or belt system like judo or karate. Systema is quite different from oriental martial arts. Since Systema is based on European training it doesn’t have a formal movement pattern. The decision to learn any martial art should be taken after thorough research about different martial arts, one’s temperament, and many aspects. And the efficiency of anything is also decided by how one learns and from which means he or she learns and how they use it in their life.

Frequently asked questions:

Can one learn Systema through YouTube videos?
No, YouTube videos just show some Systema tricks while Systema is much faster than those small tricks, and you can’t learn it properly unless you seek help from a professional trainer.

Is there any uniform associated with Systema training?
There’s no specific uniform or dress code. But you can put on similar clothes to your gym outfits.

What equipment is needed to learn and practice Systema?
Learning Systema doesn’t require any specific instruments. It can be learned anywhere, anytime. But Systema trains one to respond against an armed person.

Are Systema and Krav Maga the Same?
Krav Maga is a system developed for Israel’s defense forces, while Systema is mainly a Russian martial art and Russian special forces use this technique. So, both are different. While both are based on grappling and striking techniques.

Is Systema deadly?
Sometimes, Systema may involve firearms or knives which makes it a deadly martial art. But the systems training also prepares you to handle this kind of situation.

Is Systema an effective martial art?

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