“I Thought I’d Seen It All….Until I Discovered Systema!”




Click to hear student Steve Burczyk on


“What It Takes To Make An Informed Decision About Systema”


“Meet a 62 Year Old Mom Who Drives for an hour to train in Systema”

Real Students Say


“Most martial arts are a branch of the whole tree, Systema is not just a derivative–it’s the tree.”

-Hadi Ali

“Systema starts where most martial arts end. Most martial arts need to cross-train, Systema has it all so you don’t need to crosstrain….It free flows in such a way there is nothing I can compare it to…“I’ve never been hit as hard as I have in Systema.”

-Joe Malgioglio, former Golden Gloves Champion

“I’ve trained in Kung-Fu, Kenpo, Kali, Thai Boxing, Hsing-I, and Tai Chi for awhile. Systema, of all the arts I’ve done is the most unique-no forms, choreographed techniques. I’ve found techniques from other arts appear, without trying to do them.

I love the mental characteristics that Systema cultivates- a relaxed mind especially, that better-keeps you in the flow state.”

-Thornton Chamberlain

“When I started Systema I discovered how powerful a punch could be. I was blown away by how much force could be concentrated into a single blow!”

-Greg Mann

“The aspect of Systema striking that I have come to appreciate the most is the variety of strikes and the various outcomes that result from a Systema strike. In Systema a strike can be used as one may expect – to deliver a highly effective attack, but we also use them in defense however the strike can also be used in a completely unexpected manner to heal, relax, and invigorate our training partners.

Coming from a traditional martial arts background where the jab, punch, hook, and uppercut comprised a majority of the more common strike options I am very impressed with the effectiveness and simplicity of Systema striking. In Systema a strike can be delivered with total relaxation to hit our opponent either lightly on the body surface in order to elicit one response or it can be delivered deeply to impact organs and quickly incapacitate an attacker. In my opinion the effectiveness of Systema striking comes from the fact that practitioners are trained not to “telegraph” strikes but to deliver them in a relaxed manner that is very difficult to defend against. Due to this fact a strike is not often seen and a rather soft strike can often drop an attacker as it was not seen at all or was seen at a time where the attacker could not react quickly enough to avoid.

Systema strikes can also be used in defense. We commonly strike an opponent’s arm or leg during an attack which serves both the purpose of deflecting the attack but also causes pain and can then be used as the basis for a counter attack.

The most unique aspect of Systema striking is the use of a strike to heal, relax or invigorate students during training. Quite often a series of strikes is used to relax a particularly tense body part. As both the striker and person being struck are doing so without emotion the strike can relax both parties which is one of the cornerstones of Systema training.”

-Scott Crawford

“I am continually impressed, from both the giving and receiving standpoint, at how effective Systema strikes are. The combination of relaxation and directionality creates a powerful effect. They don’t just hurt, they disable.”

-Brian Coppom




I haven’t found anything that even approaches Systema when it comes to helping me breath and move right, which relaxes my back. (The way the muscles and bones were cut up during my back surgery and reattached has made my back really prone to spasms – the muscles simply don’t understand what is going on and need to be retrained). My muscles feel great after class!

I want to do Systema as much as I can. In fact, I have more than a sneaking suspicion that Systema may be my best chance for actually salvaging, and healing, what’s left of my back. I never feel nearly as healthy as I do after I come down to train with you.


Seriously, there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by since the first time I came down to train with you that I haven’t given a great deal of thought to Systema, nor a day where what I’ve learned hasn’t effected how I move, breathe – live.

Being able to do the core exercises regularly was the main motivation driving my post-surgical recovery periods. I have sweat blood and tears to pick myself back up after becoming a limp noodle after each of my last surgeries, working back up to doing good fist pushups, situps, etc.

I have probably never expressed to you how much Systema has affected my life – it has been nothing but edifying for my faith life as well. I extol its virtues to anyone who gets to know me I heard from some students who met you at the last seminar that they found you engaging and playful, quite like Martin, and unlike some other instructors they’ve met at seminars.

Anyway, I didn’t want to get to mushy, but I really wanted to let you know that Systema means a lot more to me than I probably let you know.

Take care,

-Travis Cutbirth

“I wanted to take this opportunity to express how pleased I am with your instruction of the Russian Martial Art (Systema) for my daughters, Mariah and Ciera, and me. We have been students of yours for about seven months. Over this period, I have seen a tremendous improvement in their skill level, environmental awareness, coordination, strength, kinesthetic awareness and psychological/character development (self-confidence and self-esteem).

It gives me incredible pleasure to participate with my daughters in such an all- encompassing art that offers them so many opportunities for physical and psychological development. I am not aware of any other sport that provides so many advantages. In addition, my participation allows us an opportunity to grow closer and to have a common experience to discuss.


I have recommend you and Systema to my patients, friends and fellow martial artists. As you know, I have trained for a number of years in other martial arts. Systema is without question the most effective self-defense system I have ever seen. I recommend Systema without any reservations.


Again, thank you and I look forward to continue training with you.”

Warm regards,

-Michael Shell, DO


“The Russian system encompasses all aspects of physical and mental well-being. You learn in a relaxed environment and Brad is one of the best instructors you’ll find. This style allows everybody to train together regardless of abilities or experience while meeting everyone’s individual goals. This is by far the best hands-on training I’ve experienced.”

– Dale Goertz


“When I began training I was looking for the most effective and efficient style I could find. The Russian System met, and greatly exceeded my expectations.”

-Officer Mike Boespflug


“I have worked with a number of Vlad’s certified instructors. Brad is equal in teaching ability, knowledge, and skill as any, if not more. There is a sense of flow that accompanies a good Systema class, just as there is in Systema work. It is simultaneously organized and spontaneous.”

-Officer Alan Walker


“After the many years of training in HapKiDo and Judo and then having the chance to see a new art that so matches what a real life experience would be, makes me realize how far my other training so from reality. I am more energized now to continuing training in Systema and working with individuals like Mr. Scornavacco and others to continue my martial arts growth.


“As a professional educator, I really was amazed at Mr. Scornavacco’s ability to differentiate his instruction to meet the different experience levels. If I didn’t know better I would have thought he was an experienced (school) teacher as he worked the room giving guided practice to those of us that were new to this art, while giving more independent instruction to those of you that were more trained. His words of encouragement were taken as just that and not preceived as impatience. I’m looking forward to the next Systema seminar.”

-Joe Libby, Ed.D.

2nd Black Belt HapKiDo

Middle School Administator

10 Compelling Reasons Why You

“Owe It To Yourself” to

Check Out Systema First-Hand


…ESPECIALLY IF You’ve Only Seen

Videos On-Line


The Russian Martial Art, or Systema, is the most complete Martial Art you will ever find. Not only is it an incredibly effective method of self-defense, it will improve your HEALTH, FITNESS and ENERGY-levels.



#10: There are No Belts, Uniforms, or Hierarchy to Detract You From Your Training



You are treated equally in class and with the respect you are due as a person, not because of rank. Systema is an individualized art, therefore you aren’t prejudged based on a belt as often happens in other arts. This way everyone is included in class and you allowed to train to the best of your abilities.

Now don’t get me wrong, I teach the exact same way even if you decide to take my “traditional martial art class.” In fact, treating students as equals is what’s gotten me into trouble with other teachers…but, you know what, it’s not about me, it’s about you getting the best training possible. I’m talking about the “Hierarchy Horror Stories” YOU may have had at other schools.

Which brings us to the POINT.


#9: Learn to effectively defend yourself

in ANY situation


Systema is an ADAPTIVE martial art that teaches you to “thrive on chaos.” You will constantly be challenged with NEW and DIFFERENT situations in which to apply your skills:

  • Grabs,
  • locks,
  • chokes,
  • weapons,
  • ground,
  • multiple attackers,
  • close protection,
  • small unit tactics,
  • Law Enforcement specific work,
  • work when handicapped or bound,
  • in your car,
  • seated
  • and more…  

Be assured that, as you improve, so will the challenges to make you even more skilled. You will, without a doubt, BE READY FOR ANYTHING.


This is why…



#8: There are no Kata or Forms so you can

maximize your self-defense training time

While Kata may help some people initially, there are just far SUPERIOR ways to use that same training time to Increase your Proficiency much FASTER than working against the air.

All training in Systema is “hands-on,” because you need a Tactile Understanding of how to deal with an attacker. Not working with a partner is like trying to become a better swimmer by going through the motions without ever getting in the water.

There is a popular martial art saying, “you can’t think and fight.” You can’t waste time in a vain attempt to remember what to do while someone is in the process of punching you in the face.



#7: No Techniques to Memorize

Systema is based on NATURAL MOVEMENT and INSTINCTIVE RESPONSES instead of relying on “remembering the right move for that attack in time.” Your body will learn to protect itself without conscious thought.

An added benefit of nothing to memorize is that if you miss a class you will never have the feeling of “falling behind the rest of the class.” Just make the classes you can because every class is different.


#6: Addresses All Levels of Human Ability including the Physical, Psychological and the Psychic (Mental)


Human beings are physical, mental and emotional creatures and each component contributes to effective self-defense training. Most arts only focus on the physical-which kick or punch to use. However, what people do physically is determined by their thoughts and emotions. Taking all of these factors into account will open up whole new vistas in your training…




#5: A Strong Moral Foundation in the use of Self-Defense and Daily Living


Simply put, to get better at Systema you become a better person. A core belief in Systema is compassion for other people and the sanctity of human life which should be protected at all times. There is a saying, “10 wounded is better than 1 dead” that guides you to defend yourself with the least harm to others at the same time. This is why Systema students are humble and don’t have the “macho,” “I’m the toughest guy around” mentality so prevalent in martial arts today.

There’s much more to martial arts training than just self-defense, which is why Systema teaches you a:


#4: Complete, Lifelong System of Health & Fitness Including:

Proper Breathing, Relaxation, Joint-Mobility and Flexibility

Systema is an approach to life well beyond combat. You will gain a complete knowledge of body systems, body mechanics and how your body operates at its peak. The GOOD NEWS– all aspects of the training in Systema reinforce each other. The health exercises will improve your self-defense and your self-defense training will improve your health.

Strengthening your Tendons and Joints, Learning Proper Breathing and Deep Relaxation…


#3: Provides a Positive, Joy-Filled Experience That Leaves you CALM and ENERGIZED

There is no yelling, screaming or intimidating faces that are typical of many martial arts classes. Instead, in Systema you will learn to smile and even laugh while training–we call it the “Systema Smile.” Learning to access these positive emotions is what allows your body to remain free and do its job of defending itself.

In addition, all of the breathing work and physical conditioning drills are specifically designed to charge your body with energy, not drain it. You will be able to work out and continue with your day feeling better instead of being ready to collapse.


#2: Interact Physically with Teachers so Knowledge is “Directly Hard-Wired” Into Your Body

There will be no teacher barking orders out at you in class. Your teachers will work right along side of you. They will demonstrate physically with you so you can “feel” how the art works. This hands-on approach will immediately get your body to move correctly–FASTER.


#1: The most FUN you will ever have in a martial arts class–GUARANTEED!


Finally, Systema is the most fun you will ever have in a martial arts class! You will find helpful teachers and students who will answer all of your questions and give you all the help you need on your way to your self-defense and lifestyle goals.

Brad Scornavacco

Head of School

P.S. Systema is, at once, like every martial art you’ve ever seen and like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. Prepare to “go further” in your martial arts training than ever. As you’ve heard Steve say at the top of the page, Systema is SO COMPLETE A MARTIAL ART that it takes a good 8 weeks to get a “clear picture” of all you will learn….so go ahead and try it. Trust us, you’ll love it.



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