Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Star newspaper article

The secret’s out


The Russian martial art called Systema is slowly making its way to Malaysia.

THE motley group of 50, including children, huddled around while Andrey Karimov, a martial arts exponent from Russia, stood in the centre trying to coax people to fight him.

“Bring on the knives, the sticks and whatever weapons,” he challenged.

He was going to demonstrate how one could defend oneself using Systema, a Russian martial art.

There’s no escaping the speed and precision of Andrey Karimov (in combat duds) as he brings down Matthew T. Nekvapil. — GLENN GUAN/The Star

No one budged. Instead, they shuffled closer to the walls.

“Come on guys, he won’t hurt you!” called out businessman Matthew T. Nekvapil.

Still there were no takers. Amused, Karimov grinned and flashed his silver-crowned front teeth, looking even more menacing! Finally Nekvapil himself charged forward only to be repeatedly flung down by the burly Karimov — all in one or two moves. Slowly, the ice broke as more people got up and used their might, clumsily perhaps, to bring the Russian on his back.

One eventually succeeded, and the cheers rang out.

“If you are not frightened, you can defend yourself. In Systema, all you need is one or two movements to unarm the attacker. Among the vulnerable points are below the belt, upper back, face, chest and cheeks because there are a lot of nerves,” explained Karimov through translator Rustam Nabiullin.

Systema or “the system”, has no real history although it is acknowledged as a Russian martial art that uses drills and sparring. It may look simple but the moves can be potent and better yet, even girls can practise it without much difficulty. Karimov was in town last weekend to conduct a three-day Systema seminar and hold a preview for martial arts enthusiasts.

“Systema teaches you to be responsible for your actions and makes you capable of being a good citizen,” said Karimov.

At the seminar here, he pointed out that locals were not as resistant to punches as the Russians, maybe due to the humidity levels. Still, they were quick learners and picked up movements fast.

Andrey Karimov brings down another hapless volunteer. — GLENN GUAN/The Star

“I beat and punch the Russians harder!” he said breaking into laughter,

Explaining his interest in martial arts, Karimov said he grew up in Yekaterinburg, a dangerous city in central Russia. Bandits were rampant and thugs would attack people for no reason. It was a game for them to see which gangster group could attack the most number of civilians. Consequently, most people had to arm themselves with hammers for protection.

“I was only 14 then and didn’t know how to use knives. So my father, who was a wrestler, taught me how to knock someone down with a hammer. Now, my brother, who is 21 years older, carried a knife all the time,” revealed Karimov.

Yes, he’s been whacked many times, and the time came when he realised hammers were inadequate to fend off attackers.

Karimov enrolled in Sambo (another kind of Russian martial art) classes at 16, and when he moved to St Petersburg to study ethnography in college, he also registered in a street fighting school.

A friend told him about Systema and showed him some moves. Though a muscular fellow, Karimov was struck down by a single blow by his friend whose movement was too fast for him.

He decided he wanted to find out all about Systema. However, Systema was being taught illegally only to the police and special forces, so Karimov used a pseudonym and pretended to be a policeman.

“I was plain lucky. I was young and had a beard but since all policemen must be clean-shaven, I had to follow suit and managed to sneak in with my friend. The training was intensive and, for three years, I studied with the police before taking seminars from various teachers,” he divulged.

While honing his skills in Systema, Karimov started teaching Sambo at a school gym and that was when some parents requested he teach their children in Moscow. Karimov relocated and continued his Systema studies under Mikhail Ryabko, who has since devised his own system of training.

Later Karimov moved to Omsk, a city located in southwestern Siberia. For a while, he worked as a security guard and was constantly attacked with axes, pistols, sticks and metals.

“Once I caught a drug addict and put him in a room so that I could take him to the police station the next day. I fell asleep and somehow, the addict managed to free himself and attacked me with a pair of scissors.

The fight lasted 15 minutes but it seemed like two hours. I broke his arm and several other bones. I thought I had killed him when he laid still — until he pleaded with me to send him home,” Karimov recalled, showing me his scars from the tussle.

Karimov claimed to have caught 60 criminals during his two-month stint as a guard but he had had enough by then.

“I didn’t join the KGB because you can’t have prominent facial features and I wasn’t interested in the police force. Teaching is more interesting,” he said.

The next best thing? Open a school. Over the years, Karimov refined his technique and combined all his martial arts knowledge to start his own Siberian Cossack School in Omsk.

To date it has 160 students ranging in age from 1½ to 74, who learn all kinds of martial arts, including shooting and how to fight on a horse. Riders are taught how to use the horse’s hoofs against armed criminals. Occasionally, music is used for Systema so that the students can get into the rhythm of the movement.

“There are no exams but a council of elderly instructors decide whether the students can become warriors or instructors,” Karimov said.

Curious, I asked about his glistening teeth, and Karimov cackled.

“No, I didn’t lose it from fighting. I was 12 and fell off the ladder so I had to get replacement teeth.”

According to Nekvapil, who teachers Systema locally, the moves look simple but the strikes can be devastating. Nekvapil, 30, who holds a black belt in karate, first saw the art on telly and thought it looked cool. But he couldn’t find teachers in Malaysia so he flew to Japan, took a three-day seminar and was blown away.

“There is nothing fancy, but it’s all based on our natural movements and the body’s bio-mechanics. There are no grading, tests or levels to pass. It’s all about practice. In the classes, no one gets hurt as the falls are soft. The world is not a safe place anymore so it’s good if people can learn Systema and stay calm in a situation.”

Upon returning, Nekvapil set up a blog and immediately, people started enquiring about classes.

In July, he decided to start Systema Malaysia and offered free classes to grow the art. Training sessions focus on how to take and absorb a strike, how to control multiple attackers, techniques of moving, and how to defend yourself confidently against attackers with weapons.

Later, Nekvapil felt he needed someone senior to teach at a higher level and found Karimov through Facebook. The seminar was attended by 20 participants who were struck, whipped and hurled to the ground but they all emerged smiling and equipped with better fighting skills.

Japanese tutor Luce Look, 29, who is trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai, flew in from Hong Kong just to attend the seminar and picked up plenty of pointers.

“In Muay Thai, you try to rebuild your body but in Systema, you learn about your body and do the moves naturally. It’s nothing to do with being physically strong,” he said.

Look leads the Systema training group in his country and hoped to impart his knowledge to others once he goes home.

“Fortunately or unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to fight in real life yet!” he said.

Star Newspaper coverage!

Coverage in The Star newspaper today! 12th December 2009

click here to check it out!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Systema Siberian Cossack

3 days of seminar! Everyone had a great time and learned a lot. We will continue these exercises and movement during our classes!

Let's continue to grow Systema Malaysia!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Andrey Karimov seminar

Everyone is having a great time at the seminar and learning a lot :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Andrey Karimov preview

The preview had a fantastic turnout, even newspaper reporters came to cover and take pictures!

We are all eagerly waiting the seminar!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Systema Malaysia t-shirts now in stock!!

We had a few people missing and will try and get a better shot next week with more people. Nevertheless everyone was happy with their new t-shirts! Get yours today!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Andrey Karimov Seminar information!

The seminar is confirmed!

Date: 4th, 5th and 6th December 2009

Time: 4th (Friday) from 3:30pm until 9:30pm
Saturday and Sunday (5th and 6th) from 10am until 6pm. 1 hour break for lunch.

Venue: Garden International School, Mont Kiara
Google Map - click here
Garden International School website - click here
School contact information page - click here

International Visitors

Fly into Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) or the Low Cost Center Terminal (LCCT) if you are flying a budget airline.

Into KLIA - it is best to take the ERL (Electric Railway Line) to Sentral Station. the cost is RM$35 per way (USD$10). It is the speed train and takes 28 minutes.

Into LCCT, take a bus to Sentral station. The cost is RM$9 (USD$3)

From Sentral Station, take a taxi to your hotel (we recommend staying in KL, details below).

It would be best to stay in KL city, Jalan Alor if you would like to walk around town at night. Everywhere is safe but hey, you did come for a Systema seminar so what are you worried about! Jokes aside, KL city is safe.

Some hotels you can check out: hotels in Jalan Alor, Federal Hotel,, Capitol Hotel, hotels around Bukit Bintang (great shopping area)

USD$199 for 3 days
USD$140 for 2 days
USD$70 for 1 days

Seminar will be capped at 30 people to ensure personal attention! Register now to avoid disappointment!!

Andrey will be available for one on one lessons. USD$40 per session. Contact us for more information.

email us now!

Preview of the seminar

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

KaizenTao Fist work

This is good!!

Kaizen knife work

Good explanations!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What is Systema?

Taken from this site

The Elite Forces Handbook of Unarmed Combat, 2002
"Russian Military Martial Arts"
by Ron Shillingford

"The history of Russian/Soviet military martial arts is as fascinating as it is complex. Prior to the October Revolution of 1917, Russia had a multitude of regional and ethnic martial arts which are today collectively known as Russian Martial Art (RMA). From several millennia before the birth of Christ to roughly 6th century AD, RMA was a varied tribal practice amongst Slavic warrior communities, used in both internal and inter-tribe competitions and also in the reality of tribal warfare. The combat skills were passed from father to son, martial hereditary maintaining and also developing the corpus of techniques over the centuries. This was to be valuable, for from the 6th century AD, Russian tribes came more under attack form northern and western invaders, though the invader's first hand accounts of this time indicate that their opponents were ferocious hand-to-hand fighters. >From the 9th century, however, metallurgical advances were starting to affect the course of RMA development. Improved swords, spears and Armour led to the need for more decisive hand-to-hand techniques which could be used to tackle even armed opponents. Another, perhaps more profound influence on RMA, was the Mongol occupation of Russia initiated by Batu Khan in 1237, an occupation which remained until the 15th century.

Two centuries after the Mongol occupation, RMA went into something of a decline. The influence of less sophisticated martial traditions from the West and the eventual introduction of firearms meant a steady degrading of RMA authority and skills, though it remained as a persistent cultural presence throughout Russia into the twentieth century.

The revolution of 1917 signaled a major shift in the fortunes and direction of RMA in Russia. Following the establishment of the Bolshevik government, the communist regime set out to iron flat the Soviet Union's variegated cultural traditions and create a homogeneous socialist landscape. RMA was no exception to this policy, and in 1918 Lenin founded an organization under one Comrade Vorosilov to research Russian and foreign martial arts systems and create an integrated military combat form standardized throughout the USSR. Teams of investigators traveled throughout the Soviet Union, Mongolia, China, India, Japan, Africa and Europe and built up a massive profile of martial techniques and traditions. Once this was pooled back at Vorosilov's HQ, 25 Russian unarmed combat styles were brought together with karate, judo, and other defensive forms into a tiered structure of martial art skills to be taught to the military.

The top tier was occupied by the Soviet Close Quarters Combat (CQC) program. Taught only to Special Forces soldiers and Secret Police units, CQC was a highly secret selection of lethal unarmed techniques for assassination, combat killing and torture, techniques which kept close to the original teachings of RMA despite the Soviet attempts to deny this. Emphasis was placed on techniques such as strangulation and fatal strikes, these being thoroughly tested in the Russo-Japanese War and World War I. Below CQC was Soviet Police Subject and Crowd Control Tactics (CCT). CCT provided good restraint skills using locks, pressure point holds and compliance-generating kicks and strikes. Lastly, there was a general level of martial art instruction to be given to all Soviet army units, which was actually more geared to competitive sporting use than rigorous unarmed combat skills.

Thus the Soviet authorities assimilated RMA into their ideological structure while also preventing the total dissemination of lethal unarmed knowledge. The new forms were collectively gathered into a combat style known as Sambo, an acronym standing for Samozashcitya Bez Oruzhiya, meaning self-protection without weapons. Sambo generally fell into two categories: Sport Sambo and Combat Sambo, and almost all Russian military personnel would encounter its techniques in one form or another, though often without the lethality of training that Special Forces soldiers received. For there was another form of Sambo known as Combat Sambo Spetsnaz. This is essentially the repository of genuine RMA techniques, the Sambo reference in its title being meant to placate outside curiosity. Its techniques were taught in absolute secrecy, and it was often known simply as The System (Systema) by those who practiced it. It is now the province of Russia's elite Spetsnaz special forces units and of key personnel in Russian institutions such as the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Defense, MVD special units, VDV Paratrooper and OMON units, certain Russian Marine squads and other specialists. Slowly, the techniques of Combat Sambo Spetsnaz are becoming known to the outside world. Yet while there are many in the West who claim themselves to be Sambo instructors, some being former Soviet army personnel, few outside Russia actually have knowledge of the full scope, potential and techniques of Sambo as derived from the ancient RMA."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

OLEG SPECTOR - Systema SpetsNaz “Russian Style” Combat USA Branch - Chief Instructor

Just finished a training with Oleg Spector in Los Angeles, USA. It is interesting to see how different Systema instructors teach and put things together.

Every instructor has something different to offer and it's great to experience it!

check out his website on

Monday, October 12, 2009

New video from Andrey Karimov

Nice video with Andrey outside. Watch the girl kick some butt!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Andrey Karimov

Our December seminar will feature Andrey Karimov, read more about him below

Andrey Karimov,Russia was born 18.11.1971
In Region Middle Ural ,city Ekaterinburg.

1987 - 1990. he was practicing "SAMBO" at school of Olympic reserves,
<>(the elite school in USSR dedicated only for training Olympic
contestants ), in the city Ekaterinburg.
His trainers were: Fyodorov Alexsandar Sergeyevich -first champion of "SAMBO"
in the world and
Kozlov Alexandar Alexandrovich - the meritorious trainer of USSR (the greatest
title and award that some trainer could get in USSR ).

1990 - 1992. in city Sankt-Petersburg,he was practicing school of Russian
kulachnov fighting ( the special kind of Russian traditional fist fighting) of
Andrey Vadimovich Gruntovski.

1993 - 2002. was attending seminars of famous Russian instructor of
"Systema" (ex KGB lieutenant,in some way could be said its inventor)
called <>

2003 - 2005. was attending international seminars of "Systema" of M.V.Ryabko

Revised workshop prices

USD$199 for 3 days
USD$140 for 2 days
USD$70 for 1 days

We will have topics to cover attackers who use knives and parangs (long machete type blades)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Systema Malaysia t-shirts for sale!

Authentic Systema Malaysia t-shirts, 100% proudly made in Malaysia
US$19.99 excluding shipping - order yours today!

Friday, September 25, 2009


We are in the middle of organizing Malaysia's FIRST ever SYSTEMA SEMINAR!!

Andrey Karimov will be coming to conduct a 3 day intensive Systema workshop.

For anyone of ANY skill level, you are sure to learn the moves from one of the greatest Systema instructors around. Andrey is from Siberia and has roots from Military Sambo (of which there is a connection to SYSTEMA).

The workshop will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We are targeting November or December 2009. 3 day workshop, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from morning until evening. It will be worth it!!!

Knife protection (we need to know this, since so many robbers love to use knives and parangs!, long knives, etc)
Defending and attacking against multiple opponents

In order for everyone to get individual attention, we are capping this workshop to the first 30 people who pay and register with us!

The fee will be USD$199 per person - this is cheap compared to other seminars hosted in different parts of the world. An event not to be missed!!

Email for further information and registration!!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Systema Asia!

In a effort to start Systema in Asia, we would like all Asian countries to post their interest here.

We have weekly classes in a brand spanking new facility in Plaza Damas, Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Get in touch with us for more information!

Systema Asia!

In a effort to start Systema in Asia, we would like all Asian countries to post their interest here.

We have weekly classes in a brand spanking new facility in Plaza Damas, Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Get in touch with us for more information!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Systema classes Malaysia

People! I have just came back from training with the Master himself, Vladimir in Japan.

Awesome! I really want to start classes very soon so please email me for more information!

Let's start Systema Malaysia as soon as possible!


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Systema Malaysia!

Hello everyone!

This is a website dedicated to the Russian Martial Art - Systema.

We have a small group that has started to train here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Everyone is still learning so please feel free to join us for training!

Pictures will be posted soon!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Philosophy aspects of Systema

There is a reason why Russian Martial Art is called 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 Systema 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. Systema is designed to create, build and strengthen your body, your psyche, your family and your country.

Systema 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. Systema allows us to gain the true strength of spirit that comes from humility and clarity in seeing the purpose of our life.

As the roots of the Russian Systema are in the Russian Orthodox Christian faith, 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 Systema carries the same 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 Systema helps you choose and follow the right path.

Right from the Systema website