As self defence specialists in Essex, we know that self defence is not just about learning a number of physical responses to a given situation. It must incorporate psychological and emotional tools as well as the means to strike out. Conflicts encountered in daily life will each have different variables so an understanding of principles is more important then a programmed response.

What is needed was best expressed by Bruce Lee when he talked about the “art of fighting without fighting”. Through situational awareness, the problem should be avoided. The next level is verbally defuse the situation. If the next level is reached then something has gone very wrong and we need the means to respond with efficient and effective methods to survive. The consequences of our actions will not end there and may come back to haunt us in the future so a peaceful resolution should always be our first choice of action.

The Academy provides a system of self defence that incorporates a number of different martial arts, it is an eclectic system. It is not a martial art or a combat sport; it is a means of surviving the pressures of modern life, providing the mental and physical tools to live life to the full, without fear. It is taught with the intention of being used in a self defence situation and is never practiced as a sport, its fundamental roots can be found in Russian, Japanese, Filipino and Chinese martial arts. It uses natural movements making it easier to learn, with fluid, graceful and efficient techniques it is suitable for the weak and the elderly.

At the Academy in the adult classes Steve now promotes Systema as the main art. After many years of learning and teaching different martial arts he feels that the principles of Systema match his goals of being a practical means of self defence for the modern day. It incorporates many of the features found in Tai Chi and Filipino martial arts, it is a soft martial art unlike karate which relies on external power, emphasises relaxation and yielding. It has no grading system and does not teach forms. All of Steve’s previous training fits nicely into the new system and Systema adds some excellent physical and psychological training drills and gives a way forward to greater knowledge and enhancing physical skills.

Systema (Система, literally meaning The System) is a Russian martial art. There were a number of Russian martial arts that were suppressed during the Soviet era. These were examined by the military during this period to develop a form of combat that was efficient and quick to learn, they then added the latest scientific knowledge in the fields of psychology and physiology, the result they called the System or as we know it Systema and was then taught as a form of combat under the name of Systema (the System) to their special forces.

Systema Essex Logo
Iit is often advertised as being a martial art employed by some Russian Spetsnaz units, but since the fall of Communism and the breakup of the Soviet Union it has spread around the world as an excellent means of self-defence, especially for fighting multiple opponents.
Training includes, but is not limited to: hand-to-hand combat, grappling, knife fighting, and fire-arms training. Training involves drills and sparring without set kata. It focuses mainly on controlling the six body levers (elbows, neck, knees, waist, ankles, and shoulders) through pressure point application, striking, and weapon applications.