July 14

Systema: How It Beat Pro Boxers in a Scientific Power Study!



Systema Striking

Systema is a Russian Martial Arts system I admit I have had little time for because I thought it lacked  any real power.  In this article,you will read in one evening how I was wrong about Systema and how a room of pro  boxers were blown away by the striking of Systema!

Let me explain why:

systema punching

For those that don’t know my main qualifications (I hate that term but people do ask)  are that I was a boxer for a long time I even worked as a Pro Boxing Official for a short time (I actually worked  at a few world title fights) I was the guy that signed off on people gloves to ensure they were  correctly on/ no horse shoes in them!

In addition to this I hold a Judo black belt and I was a cop for 17 years so  this in my book is reasonable proof  that  I  have seen a lot of heavy hitters in my time and I have had my fair share of real incidents. I am not easily impressed by anything.

Now like many I have seen Systema  videos on the web and to be honest I  was not very impressed. To me it always seemed too ‘soft’ for me to give it any real investigation. I  have had many forum debates about this on line as well as leading UK Systema expert Rob Poyton of Cutting Edge Systema can attest.  I admit video’s  I  had seen on the web had generally turned me off. That  is until I saw this guy in action:

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfHfua9ku4s”]

This actually lead to a total re think about Systema and I ended up writing an article about how Systema might actually be one of the best forms of self Defence.

Now I have seen countless martial artists ridicule Systema videos on the web but the Systema guys and girls just seem to  take it  into their strides and don’t  even bother to get involved in this debate. It is like water off a ducks back which again impressed me.

Now before I continue I probably need to tell people who may be unfamiliar with Systema what it is so I asked Rob Poyton  (Systema Instructor) for description.

[su_heading]What is Systema The Russian Martial Art?[/su_heading]

Rob Said- “Systema is a Russian method of training based on traditional health and martial practices, developed for modern use by experts within Russian Special Forces. Systema has no grading system and no formalised patterns. It incorporates many areas of training and was developed from a European perspective. Classes are informal and based on the individual more than the group. Training is designed so that basic principles can be picked up very quickly. Systema teaches freedom of movement and the skills of controlling emotions / psyche and the body in a variety of situations”

Now that we have that out of the way lets continue and  explain what blew me away about Systema and totally changed my mind:

What the UFC Has in Common With Systema

One of my martial arts friends is Mikey Wright,  he is  a Defence Lab instructor but is a also a teacher of Systema. Now those that know Mikey will agree he is a great martial artist an all round cool guy. However he is also involved with an amazing strike training company. The company is  based in the UK and they can test the striking power of any combat athlete. The technology has been seen and used by Connor Mcgregor of UFC fame.

Check out the equipment below:

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whCcF7ASyXw”]

So Mikey asked me if I knew of any pro boxers that might want to take a test  on the equipment to measure their strikes and I called some of my contacts and hooked Mikey’s team up with a pro boxing gym I know.

So this is where it gets interesting- the boxers all clearly hit really hard and the measurements showed this. But at the end of the evening  Mikey had a go himself.

Now he used a different strike to the ones  use by the boxers, it was a clothes line type of strike and a back hand. Boom the back hand was more powerful than the boxers hardest strikes and then the clothesline style well that was double the power of any boxers strike!!!

So lets say this again- It was double the power of any strike that the pro boxers could throw.

Now I  asked Mikey about this strike and he stated that the power generation he used was from Systema and let me say this- when the pro boxers saw the scientific results they were impressed!

This is science!! showing that by using a different method of power generation  we can see double the results.

Systema Review

If you watch the video below you will see the technique that Mikey used to generate the power I witnessed:

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjU0Voty2gk”]

Now already I am starting to see how Systema could  add value to  Judo when you consider the use of Body mechanics. Take  a look at the next video that shows Go Tsunoda ( a Judo coach) using body mechanics in a similar way:

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2uIAGOiFQQ”]

I am especially liking the way that Systema seem to use the shoulders and hips and I have to say I am super excited to learn more.

Now you can take my opinion with a pinch of salt if you wish but I dont teach systema, I dont sell systema products (although Im going to buy some now) AND I dont actually do Systema. My loyalty is to bringing my readers (10,000 each month) quality articles that  encourage personal martial arts and self defence growth.

The facts are simple- using scientific  equipment the Systema strike was more powerful  than the pro boxers. Now I have no idea how the strike  compares with another art say Systema v Krav Maga or anything else for that matter, but in this case I was  impressed.

I am hoping that we can get some of the footage released to  show the power difference but we have a lot of legal stuff to go through to do this. However for now, my opinion of Systema is completely changed and I look forward to learning more about it.

To finish off I have included a really good Systema mini documentary which I  think you will enjoy- its only 15 minutes long but well worth it.

What  are your thoughts about Systema? Comment below  and let me know

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqVeYQYvPYk”]

Until next time

Andrew Holland





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    1. Thanks Roy for your comment. I have taken a lot of flack about that article but it was all truth. Mikey Wright, the guy with the Systema background hits like a train and the ‘clothesline technique’ he used would have ended any fight, there and then. The pro boxers jaws hit the floor. And thanks for the free class if I am that way I will certainly take you up on the offer.

  1. Put a video of what you test with a Pro Boxer! I practise Systema, but never see a real high skill Systema with a Pro Boxer…. and a real test… not a slow motion and other posture static… I know with a static position can bring a big punch… but in movement I need to see it 😉



    1. It’s an interesting view Alejandro. My personal view is simple. Systema is no replacement for boxing. There are lots are reasons why boxing strikes the way it does and it is hard to beat, however, I do think Systema has a very powerful engine behind its striking system and it requires some study.

  2. Excellent information given. I just need to see it in real live action. Whether a true street fight or limited/no rules Vale Tudor match. I train a variety of things and teach a variety of things with my company Blue Line Combatives. I enjoy my friend who teach and train Systema and other arts. But I am most impressed with things I can do and visually see done in real life or close to real life sport. I for sure think it all comes down to intelligent movement and body mechanics etc. So far a well blended movement of kickboxing, submissions and wrestling with all the other aspects of war and Combatives is where I stand. I like the Systema principles and fluid movements. I just want to see that actual look and movement in a real fight or combat sport setting. Thanks for your insight!

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