There is a reason why Russian Martial Art is called Systema (literally “The System”). 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.
In Systema, the synergy of three components creates a true warrior – Combat Skill, Strong Spirit and Healthy Body.
The body has to be free of tension, filled with endurance, flexibility, effortless movement and explosive potential.
The spirit or psychological state has to be calm, free of anger, irritation, fear, self-pity, delusion and pride.
The combat skill includes movements that are powerful and precise, instant and economical, spontaneous, subtle and diverse, the signature of a true professional.
The key principle of 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.
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 old style of fighting could be severely punished. At the same time, the authorities quickly realized how viable and devastating the original combat system was and reserved it just for a few Special Operations Units.
Sensei Niko Huffman has participated in Budo Camp since 2003 and has more recently participated as an instructor in Systema. Currently Niko studies primarily Kickboxing, Kyusho and Systema. He is a member of the Independent Aikido Alliance and Kyusho International, and is an Instructor-in-Training in Systema under Vladimir Vasiliev.