Weekly SYSTEMA Study Group

“Tomorrow’s Victory is Today’s Practice”

– Chris Bradford 

The Program

Personal Defense Strategies is pleased to announce a new weekly study group geared around the Warrior Lifestyle.  A true warrior is hard to find these days since; in most cases, their values run counter-intuitive to prevailing “wisdom.” It requires a set of both physical and mental attributes seldom found.  Honor, integrity, justice, and a sense of what is right are his hallmarks.  His ethics are not situational; they are his way of life.

The warrior needs to be just as proficient with his Glock 19 as he is with his iPhone and he can reload a program on his computer as easily as he can reload his “go to” rifle.  His focus needs to remain sharp and he is always striving for balance and improvement in spirit, mind, and body.  His training also requires that he be ready to defend his family, friends, or himself in certain situations.   

It is not uncommon to find people who claim to take these traits seriously, but I’m referring to people who “walk the walk – not just talk the talk.” The modern warrior isn’t anything like your average modern man.  The three major components embodying today’s warrior are combat skills, a strong spirit, and a healthy body.  These three components also form the basis of the Russian Martial Arts or SYSTEMA which will be the main focus of the weekly study group.

Vladimir Vasiliev said that SYSTEMA has another name – “Poznai Sebia” or “Know Yourself”.  What does it really mean to know yourself?  It is not just to know what your strengths and weaknesses are, that is a good thing but fairly superficial.  Training in SYSTEMA 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 purposes of life.

I was once told by a long-time SYSTEMA practitioner that altercations typically start in one of two ways; the first is when someone just wants to rob you – there’s not much you can do to prevent the onset.   The second way, however, is usually the end result of an argument.  When you feel your respect has been called into question, your ego often gets in the way and your ability to do your “work” through knowledge is gone.  No longer can you think clearly.  SYSTEMA teaches you to remain in control and to act accordingly.

Class Schedule

The weekly program will be divided into two classes.  The first class will be from 6pm – 7pm on Tuesday evenings and will consist of two 30-minute private training sessions.  As the student, you can choose any martial topic you want to review such as firearm manipulations, knife or stick training, house clearing procedures, general awareness and avoidance techniques, or developing a personal exercise routine along with nutrition recommendations.  These sessions will need to be booked in advance so the appropriate training aids and instructional material can be made available.  The fee for private lessons is $25 for a 30-minute session.

The second class will follow from approximately 7pm – 8pm and consist of an open group format specifically for the studying of SYSTEMA principles.  One week, we might be looking at breathing and fear; another week we may look at relaxation, flexibility, and movement, or understanding tension in ourselves and our training partner.  There will be no forms, katas, or a catalog of techniques to memorize.  A study of SYSTEMA will allow you to regain the body’s natural ability to move with spontaneity and freedom.  One’s progress is measured by honest self-evaluation.  The fee for the open group session is $10.  We will also have a discount card available for purchase which allows you to attend six classes for $50.

In addition to the weekly study group, we will periodically host other instructors for local seminars.  These will typically be held on Saturdays.

We do not have contracts but a signed waiver form is required before training with us.


Training is in a non-competitive environment with special attention towards safety.  SYSTEMA is normally practiced at a speed that allows the student to consciously process techniques and at a speed that the techniques are not dangerous to the training partner.

Health Benefits

Some of the health benefits of studying SYSTEMA include: 

o   Decrease in injuries and huge gains in stamina can be obtained by learning proper breathing and relaxation techniques  

o   Improvement in posture with an understanding of body structure

o   SYSTEMA exercises are typically isometric – they are designed to increase tendon strength and teach proper breathing

o   Reduction in stress by gaining an improved understanding of psychology

o   Learn to decrease injuries with a heightened physical awareness

o   Gain an increase in strength with an understanding of form, breath, and selective relaxation 

Final Comment

The best way to see what SYSTEMA is about is to come to the study group for a month.  There are many things to study and train so the content will vary from week to week. In one class, we will work on sensitivity drills, another class – receiving strikes, then fighting in a crowd, or fighting with a knife or stick, and sometimes force on force work with training guns.  It is always different – a commitment to a block of training will be rewarding. SYSTEMA also has several practical modern applications and the training involves a series of exercises to gain strength, flexibility, endurance, ease of movement, and power.  The material you learn may save your life or someone you’re responsible for.


Personal Defense Strategies LLC

226 Gainesville Highway, Suite C

Blairsville, GA  30512

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at 706-781-4526.  Hope to see you next Tuesday.

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