Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Systema en Cali Colombia by Jason Priest.


If you’ve never trained Systema with Danil Ryabko and never been to Colombia, then this is the perfect opportunity to enjoy what will surely be the South American Systema training event of the year!

I had the chance to train with Danil in Tokyo last year and it was a truly great experience.  I highly recommend you take any chance to train with Danil.

Earlier this year I visited Colombia for the first time.  I joined Frank for his bootcamp in Cali in March.  Colombia is a beautiful country and Cali is a great city.  It is large enough to have pretty much everything you’d want while you’re there, including deluxe western-style accommodations (as well as local traditional hostels and hotel that are well appointed and very reasonably priced), huge shopping malls and some of the best food I’ve had in my life (the fresh fruit is unbelievably good). It also maintains an of old world charm that will make you feel like you’ve been transported away from your everyday life to someplace truly unique.  There is a nice laid back atmosphere that makes it easy to relax and immerse into the local culture. 

The best part about Cali is the people.  The local System group, led by Carlos, are wonderful and friendly people.  The hospitality I experienced is something that I will always remember.  I was great training with the local group as well as so many others who attended from all over South America. It’s always nice to meet people from around the world who are enthusiastic about training Systema.  My Colombia visit was no exception.  Everyone was highly motivated to train and eager to learn.  Between everyone there was enough English language ability to overcome my very limited Spanish and communication was no issue.

The countryside around Cali is very beautiful.  If you have the time I suggest making a vacation out of your trip to the seminar and seeing come of the other cities Colombia has to offer.  With a highly varied geography, there are cities on the ocean, both on the Gulf Coast and Pacific, as well as jungle and mountain areas. 

If you’re thinking about going, don’t hesitate.  This could be the trip of a lifetime!

Jason Priest
systema Instructor HQ
Toronto Canada

oronto Canada

Systema by Diego Betous.


I’ve been devoted to studying this wonderful discipline called Systema for several years now. Hand in hand with my master Fabián García and based on Systema’s philosophy and life style basis  I’ve discovered values, ideas and motivations that I have forgotten in other martial arts I’ve studied in my life.
When Pedro, my training colleague, told me about the possibility of travelling to Colombia to train in a Boot Camp for two days with remarkable international instructors we didn’t give it a second thought
It´s hard to bring international masters to Argentina. We are far away and our economy is complicated. Finding an instructor in a country in South America, who organizes a seminar with other masters, to share the activity and who speaks Spanish was an opportunity we couldn’t miss for the world. Fabián García has taken seminars with Vladimir Vasiliev and Ryabko, among some of the great masters of Systema. And in the past we had the chance of attending an excellent seminar by Maxim Franz. But a trip to Colombia could not be wasted.
I won’t talk in this article about the wonderful hospitality and kindness of Colombian people. If I had to describe the country’s beauties, the warmth of its people and the good will you find in each person I wouldn’t have time to talk about the boot camp.
After spending some days going over the city of Cali, the day of the climb finally arrived. We climbed on foot, through a path in the mountains and we got to a clearing where we could see an impressive valley. The landscape was breathtaking and just the fact of being in such a beautiful place paid off the trip.
We arrived at night to the camp site and we set up the tents in the middle of a drizzle. Far from bothering us, the cold water was the perfect excuse to warm up the group. A bunch of strangers gathered around a campfire, drying tehir clothes. A variety of characters, students of many different martial arts, laughed and joked till dawn. As we didn´t know each other, there were no names. Nicknames appeared spontaneously and most of them reffered to our countries of origin obviously. Therefore I became “Argentina”, another one there was “Ecuador”. We had a “Perú”, a “Venezuela”, many “Colombia”… we joke about being the Mercosur of martial arts.
Chats started with the martial arts we´ve practiced. We are all black belt of one or several disciplines: Hapkido, Taekwondo, Karate. And Systema’s mistery was  always around. Pedro, my argentine colleague has been training for several years just like me. Others have started a short time ago in their countries. Many came to know Systema for the first time.
We went late to bed. Smelling of smoke but happy.
The next day starts with training. We have breakfast facing  a beautiful and afterwards we begin with the drills. When we arrived, we thought we’d have a conventional Systema training, in charge of the international instructor Frank Arias. A kind of “long class” that would last two or three days with the advantage of having a different version from a Canadian instructor that would give us a new vision of this martial art.
What we found instead was something more complex and interesting. We had Frank Arias from Canada who showed us Systema in movement and dynamic applied. A way of facing real combat, fight an armed and unarmed opponent, standing and on the floor. But along with Frank Arias we had Jason Priest, another Vasiliev instructor. Jason showed us relaxation, the punch, and several drills to increase our power. We could see details and adjustments in combat attitude with Jason, Systema’s way of thinking.
Another unit was given by the instructor Carlos Albán, an athlete’s doctor from Colombia. He taught us breathing, health and resistance. Systema is a combat method but also a way of looking after your body and spirit. He showed us the ways to modify and isolate the pain, divert the attention and focus it at will.
José Rafael León Delgado, from Venezuela followed. He had prepared a firearm unit in which we studied and trained in handling a gun, the way we moved and defended in the city. Also we learnt the agressor’s psychology, and how to find both mental and physical answers to an attack.
With this team, the journey was more than justified. Not only we understood Systema applied in effective and real situations but we also we studied Systema focused on health, relaxation, both mental and physical strengthening and prevention. All of this took place in a dream landscape, surrounded by a group of people who were moved by support and good humor. We enjoyed long talks and laughs around a campfire during the nights, tasting peruvian “pisco”. We excersised concentration and smiles during the day, training hard. We traded stories, knowledge, ideas. We passed e-mails and facebook contacts generating a strong bond. During the last chat we had, I emphasized that “I feel I came to a seminar and ended up having a trip with friends where I learnt Systema as a plus.”
However we had more coming up. We finished the camp and flew to the Colombia’s Mountain Hunters Regiment. We were invited by the Colombian Army to give a small Systema seminar. Out of nowhere I found myself surrounded by soldiers ready to fight. We spent a long afternoon sharing a complete special training with the Colombian army, an unexpected and wonderful experience. We played, laughed, hit and fought again surrounded by many soldiers that watched closely and exercised with us. We could have ended there but there was still more Systema aspects to learn.
 Systema as a discipline has a deep biomechanical human study. It is based and develops the physic and mathematical aspects of movement. Update and refresh the style comes not only by constant training but also through science. On our last day in Cali we went to Dr. Acero’s study, one of the main biomechanical and sports investigators. He made several videos of movements for his studies. There we could value how movement was filmed with special cameras, in a movement laboratory. Angles, speed, bars, gun movements, etc. That was a very interesting aspect of the discipline: the theory.
This whole huge experience ended with a nice dinner in a wonderful restaurant in Cali and the necessary local shopping to buy all kind of gifts. The best memory we keep of this boot camp are the hard training, the concepts, the landscapes, the unexpected events and the great kindness of the group, that is usually created among Systema students.
There must be a reason why.

Diego Betous
Systema Vladimir Vasiliev training group.

uenos Aires Argentina

Monday, May 12, 2014

Systema Training.


Systema training is based on the four basic principles of Systema: breathing, relaxation, posture and movement (biomechanics). As a result of conditioning, you will not only increase your strength, flexibility and endurance, you will develop a better understanding of your body and apply it to all aspects of your life.
Although Systema training was historically developed for the military, it does not focus on strategies for combat alone. The training is deeply connected to healing and recovery as well. The Russian style training is very versatile and allows any individual of any age, body type, gender etc. to train successfully to achieve their physical goals. Training benefits everyone from the serious martial artist to the people who want to further explore their potential range of body movement or increase their health and physical fitness.

"Whether you are an athlete fine-tuning your body or recovering from an injury, Systema exercises will help. Ultimately, whatever your goals are, it will improve the quality of your life". By Frank Arias 2011.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Systema Miami. Frank Arias Seminar Nov 9 -10 2013


  • Frank Arias is one of Vladimir Vasiliev's old students from SYSTEMA HQ in Toronto. Frank will be visiting us on his way back from South America and will be doing a 2 day seminar on Saturday Nov. 9th and Sunday Nov. 10th, 2013.
  • This seminar will be limited to 20 people to ensure a more personalized experience. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Student/Member $125, Non-Member $155
Become aware of self-defence techniques used by SPETSNAZ Russian special forces which do not require strength alone to be effective. Emphasis will be on fundamental principles of breathing, movement and body mechanics. These permit individuals to be efficient and move freely and effectively, regardless of the situation and/or position of the attack. This class is designed for all levels of ability, from non-martial arts participants to those with more experience.
Day Time Start End Location
Tue & Thu 6:30-8pm Sep 23 Nov 20 Studio 2
Tue & Thu 6:30-8pm Jan 13 Mar 12 Studio 2