systema

Systema might not be one of the most popularly trained martial arts (at least, not within the United States), but this Russian style certainly packs a wallop! Its name simply means "The System," and that level of confidence from its creators tells you all you need to know about its efficacy. Like krav maga, Systema was developed for military use, and focuses on self-defense and real-life combat situations against armed or unarmed opponents.

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Vladimir Vasiliev on Why He Regards Systema as the Best Form of Self-Defense

Interview by Glenn Murphy

Unlike the general public, Black Belt readers know a thing or two about systema. In large part, that's because of the never-ending efforts of one Vladimir Vasiliev, the most visible systema teacher in the West. Vasiliev has appeared in Black Belt numerous times, and in 2013 he was the magazine's Instructor of the Year. In this exclusive Q&A, the Russian martial arts master talks about the essential components of his self-defense system and how it differs from the traditional martial arts and combat sports.

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Self-defense instructors often recommend running away as the best option when facing a knife. That’s not wrong. But have you been trained in how to run away? It's not always easy.

Defensive instructors generally advise running away as the best or maybe the only realistic option when facing a knife. That's not wrong. But has anybody studying martial arts been trained in how to run away? Most have not. It's not strictly a physical problem. It's that we don't have the right mindset for running away.

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