Systema FAQs

The art of Systema often raises many questions about its origins and structure, here you'll find answers to these and more.

We make the following announcement in the beginning of almost every class:

  • Please ask questions!
  • Please do not do anything you don’t want to do! Sitting out drills is ok; doing the exercises at your level (not someone else’s) is expected.
  • Please tell us if something hurts! Let us know of your injuries before the class, and please speak up if you are not feeling too great during the class.
  • Please stop any time you want to stop!
  • Please protect your training partner, as well as yourself, at all times!
  • Please communicate with your training partners, don’t be a strong silent type. Ask your partner to turn things down or up, and to give you feedback on your movement- and be ready to provide feedback to your partner too!
  • Please don’t break anything! We mean- anything- floor, walls, mirrors, your training partners, or yourselves! 🙂


Now for the questions:


What should I wear to class?

Anything you are comfortable in. For most of us, it is a t-shirt, trainers (sneakers for our american friends:-) and either shorts or “longs”.


I have no martial arts experience. Can I handle the training? I am worried it may be too intense!

You train at your own level, not at someone else’s. Our expectations are reasonable, and we hope you don’t expect miracles of yourself after one training session! Yes, you can handle the training. The more experienced students are happy to work with beginners and guide them and support them.


I have a lot of martial arts experience. Will I be able to learn something from you?

We all learn something every day of our lives… Come and say hello, you don’t have to pay if you feel the class is not for you.


How long does it take?

How long does what take? 🙂

What are your goals? What are you prepared to do to achieve them?

We think that if you train twice a week, you will notice pretty interesting changes after about 20 hours of instruction. You will discover much more in a year or two.


Will I get hit in class?

Yes, if you want to. There is regular contact in class. The strikes are done with utmost respect for the partner.

No one will hit you if you choose not to participate in the striking drills, and the strikes you receive are never more than what you ask for. Senior students quite often ask their partner to hit harder, and you may very well be interested in the higher intensity- that choice is yours, and no pressure is ever applied to anyone to “turn it up”.

Are private lessons available?

Yes, private training can be arranged. After the initial discussion via email we will arrange a meeting to discuss your goals, abilities, expectations. In addition to the hourly rate, the student is expected to cover the expenses such as travel and hall hire.

To be continued….