A mate of mine trains in it through in Glasgow. Says it's ok. But what he discribes sounds a bit "Waltish" to me; they wear DPM trousers in the class.
Systema is supposed to be the martial art of KGB Alpha, Spetsnaz etc. They make some outlandish claims for their art, including being able to knock someone down with psychic energy.
Ask yourself this: if the "telepathic knockout" exists, why has no one used it in the UFC?
If you want to take up a martial art that is used by SF, train in Krav Maga.
There are several styles that are taught to different units within the Russian Special Forces. These go under different names including Combat Sambo and Systema.
Systema is a name used by a number of instructors for their systems. Often they have a similar appearence, but the approach to training can be very different. These systems include Kadashnikov hand to hand, ROSS (which is an off-shoot of this style) and The Ryabko style that has become more popular in the west due to the exposure given it by Vladimir Vasiliev in Toronto, Canada.
Vladimir is an ex-member and instructor on a Spets special operations unit. (Sorry I do not know which one). His instructor is General Mikhail Ryabko, an author on Spets tactics, advisor to the minister of interior. Mikhail was trained from the age of 5 by his uncle and father and went of Spets operations from the age of 15. He has served in Afganistan and Chechenya.
The standard of instruction is varied. Very few students where dpm. The only time it is common is for outdoor training because it practical.
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