Systema [aka: CNCTEMA – Russian Martial Arts] is a hand-to-hand fighting system, presently in use by the Russian Armed Forces. Unlike traditional martial arts used for “sport”, Systema is military based and current. The merits of learning Systema are immediately realized by the “every-day-man” when one learns the tactical advantages of an efficient military based martial art.
History of Russian Martial Arts
The Russian style of martial art dates back to the 10th century. Throughout the history of this huge country, Russia had to repel invaders from the north, south, east, and west. All attackers brought their distinct styles of combat and weaponry.
The battles took place on different terrain, during freezing winters and sweltering summer heat alike, with the Russians often greatly outnumbered by the enemy forces. As a result of these factors, the Russian warriors acquired a style that combined strong spirit with extremely innovative and versatile tactics that were at the same time practical, deadly, and effective against any type of enemy under any circumstances.
The style was natural and free while having no strict rules, rigid structure or limitations (except for moral ones). All tactics were based on instinctive reactions, individual strengths and characteristics, specifically designed for fast learning.
When the Communists came to power in 1917, they suppressed all national traditions. Those practicing the centuries-old style of martial art were severely punished. However, the authorities quickly realized the viability and potency of the Russian martial art and thus reserved it for the elite units of Spetsnaz.
Since the collapse of the Soviet system, many other Russian fighting styles have re-emerged through training, competition, and media publicity. Among others, the styles include: Sambo (a wrestling style), Slaviano-Goretskaya Borba (StormWarrior Style), military style of A. Kadochnikov, plus a variety of folk styles (e.g. Busa, Skobar, Forest Warrior, Kozachiy Sploch, fist fighting by Gruntovsky).
Philosophy Aspects of Systema
There is a reason why Russian Martial Art is called THE SYSTEM (the Russian word is Systema). It is a complete set of concepts and training components that enhance one’s life. In this case, acquiring the martial art skill is a way to improve the function of all seven physiological systems of the body and all three levels of human abilities the physical, the psychological and the spiritual.
The key principle of the Russian System 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. The System is designed to create, build and strengthen your body, your psyche, your family and your country.
The System 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. The System allows us to gain the true strength of spirit that comes from humility and clarity in seeing the purpose of our life.
Woven into Systema is 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 System observes this 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 The System helps you choose and follow the right path.