FightClub Instructors


Emmanuel Manolakakis – Club Owner & Chief Instructor

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Emmanuel has over 25 years of experience in a variety of martial arts, including Karate, Olympic freestyle Wrestling and Western Boxing.

Emmanuel has spent the last sixteen years focusing on SYSTEMA [A.K.A Russian Martial Art], under the tutelage of Vladimir Vasiliev and Mikhail Ryabko.

His strong coaching, motivating and teaching track record dates back to1988.

Emmanuel has earned several coaching certificates, letters of appreciation and awards for his proven leadership skills.

Complimenting his martial arts studies and leadership abilities is an academic history filled with certificates, corporate diplomas and a Bachelor of Arts degree from York University in Toronto.

“As a person and as an instructor he [Emmanuel] is TOP NOTCH and I recommend that anyone who has the chance to visit his school or one of his seminars goes. It will definitely be a life changing experience.”

David Strachan, US Navy Special Boat Team 20 Training Dept LCPO

“Without doubt, the fight skills that you are able to equip your students with are both incomparable, effective and a real world practical line of self defense

Joseph Gulesserian, MBA

Assistant Instructors

Mark Fan

Mark has been exclusively studying Systema at Fight Club since 2005, and has complemented his training with seminars from Vladimir Vasiliev, Mikhail Ryabko, Konstantin Komarov and Valentin Talanov. He has assisted in teaching youth and adult classes since 2011. Mark studies why medical errors occur for a living, and uses the same rigor and attention to detail to enhance Systema training for himself and other students.

 Julian Trimble

Julian started training in Systema at Fight-Club in 2008 and has attended seminars hosted by Emmanuel Manolakakis, Vladimir Vasiliev, Konstantin Komarov and Valentin Talanov. Julian has been teaching youth and adult classes since 2011 and these experiences nurtured his desire to become an elementary school teacher. He has an extensive background in security and bases his training heavily in pragmatic survival. Through the guidance and mentorship of Emmanuel, Julian has grown to appreciate and study Systema for all its aspects: the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. For him, Systema is a means to living a good life, becoming a better person and ultimately creating a better society.

 Michael Mekhail  

 Michael Mekhail has been practicing the art of Systema since 2011. Michael takes a holistic approach to training and teaching, with a focus on health and healing. His classes use dynamic exercise and massage to strengthen and relax the body, and breath work to cultivate inner awareness and develop a strong psyche. His main goal in teaching Systema is to help his students better understand and express themselves. He believes there is no age too old or too young to begin this journey. He has taught students from ages 4 to 75 and has run multiple youth classes and summer camps alongside Emmanuel. Michael has applied Systema principles to enhance all aspects of his life, like long distance running. This helped him run four marathons and two ultra marathons.

Lily Ponce 

Lily has been a student of Emmanuel Manolakakis since early 2008. She studied boxing and kickboxing prior to finding Systema. As one of the only female students that taught and studied under Emmanuel she learned how important and vital this teaching was to share with others. She now lives in Calgary, Alberta with frequent trips back to Toronto to keep up here training. She teaches after school programs to teenage girls and working on her course called System of Defense to teach women and girls how to protect themselves in all situations.

Jamie Lippiatt

Over 20 years experience training and 10 years teaching in various martial arts including Systema, Judo, Jiujitsu, and Krav Maga. He is a certified Systema Instructor and student of Vladimir Vasiliev and Emmanuel Manolakakis Jamie has won numerous championships in sport martial arts but now focuses almost entirely on his Systema training. Going deeper into his understanding of himself and the world around him in a pursuit to understand the deeper meanings, to heal the body and soul and live a joyful life. Jamie is also a Holistic Nutritionist specializing in working with wild local plants foraged in the forest, the food most natural to build a superb state of health and amazing strength.

Rean Johnson

Rean Johnson has been studying Russian martial arts since 2001 under the watchful eyes of Emmanuel Manolakakis Head instructor. Rean Journey to Systema was by accident at the time he was working for the Toronto Raptors basketball team and a few of the players suggested he should study a martial art in his downtime. After a year of researching and not wanting to wear any funny uniforms someone recommended Russian martial arts. It was new and different. After attending a few classes he was hooked. He love the way they moved. It was a great atmosphere for learning and most importantly it was fun. Studying systema exclusively for the past 14 years Rean has developed a keen eye for detail and it shows in his work and teaching.

Barry Gibson

Walking into FightClub 7 years ago was a life changing experience for Barry. He was in his late 30’s when he started training and was a point in his life where he needed more physical activity; gyms didn’t appeal and sports were not his thing. After searching the internet for options, he discovered Systema and was hooked after his first class. Barry loves the creativity and freedom as well as the mental, physical and spiritual challenges offered by training in Systema. FightClub has made him stronger, healthier and better equipped to deal with the stresses of modern living.


DID YOU KNOW…The number of fat cells in your body is determined at birth. A gain in body fat does not increase the number of fat cells, but rather the size of the existing fat cells.


toronto systema training

401 Donlands Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 416-200-0200