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Systema is a Russian Martial art that is a bit different from the usual martial arts on offer.

It teaches effective self-defence, whilst at the same time promoting relaxation and calmness. It might seem that these things are at odds, because all the images we have of fighting are frantic and ultra-violent.

Effective self-defence needs to be calm to work. If the mind is hurtling around in panic, then the body will not respond in a cohesive manner and any chance of dealing with the attack will probably fail. Systema is not an offensive martial art as it focusses on defence of the individual and those around you.

Systema is simple in that it contains four basic principles, breathing, relaxation, structure and movement. There are no set techniques or kata/forms to learn; there are no grades or levels and there is no ceremony or need to learn the Russian way of life. The training is relaxed and informal and focus is on fun and learning how to use the body effectively.

The training is physical and also psychological and relaxed movement is taught all the time, with the correct structure and a focus on breathing. Systema is a complete martial art that starts off with the pushes, punches and kicks, but ends up with weapons and mass attacks.

Those people that practice Systema regularly find it helps them remain calm and relaxed in adversity, whilst at the same time building their personal confidence to deal with difficult situations. For children, whether 5 or 15, the effects can be profound.

Systema is now being taught in Liphook at the Methodist church London Road. Classes are as follows:

Adults / teens Thursday 8.00pm

Children (5-11) Saturdays 11.00am

Teens (12-16) Saturdays 12.00pm

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