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Colonel Mikhail Ryabko

Colonel Mikhail Ryabko of the Special Operations Unit, Director and Chief Instructor of Systema Headquarters, Moscow, Russia.

Colonel Mikhail Ryabko entered the world of Systema at the age of five being trained by one of Joseph Stalin’s own bodyguards, progressing to combative Spetsnaz training at the age of fifteen.

Colonel Mikhail Ryabko’s faith of the Russian Orthodox Church and knowledge of the traumatic history of his homeland has bolstered his training and strengthened his sprit, through many of the military campaigns with the Russian Special Operations Units the Spetsnaz. Known by his men to be a fair commanding officer who’s far sightedness gave them the confidence to place their complete trust in his orders and decisions. Many accounts of Colonel Ryabkos military career and Spetsnaz training are legendary. Having been tactical commander of hostage-rescue squads, expert in counter-terrorist operations, and teams responsible for the neutralisation of armed criminals. These deeds are further borne out by the number of military and governmental awards and medals he has been presented with, and those presented by the Russian Orthodox Church.

Stories of his exploits are told  amongst Ryabko Systema students, how he single-handedly and whilst unarmed captured many outlaws; never purposely evading  ferocious enemy fire; leading Spetsnaz units silently through a range of mountain passes that were filled with a vast number of fully armed enemy soldiers, minefields, and snipers. The unit reaching their objective without a single gunshot, loss of life or anyone being wounded.

Vladimir Vasiliev


Director and Chief Instructor of Systema Headquarters, Toronto 

Born in Russia, Vladimir Vasiliev received intense combative training and profound Systema training from Mikhail Ryabko. Vladimir moved to Canada, and in 1993 founded the first school of Russian Martial Art outside Russia - Systema Headquarters. He has since personally trained and certified well over 600 qualified Russian Martial Art Systema instructors and schools in over 40 countries worldwide, and has produced an Award-Winning instructional film collection. Vladimir holds a number of government medals and awards including the Russian "Order of Duty and Honor" and the "Order of Loyalty". He offers regular training at his school in Toronto, at international seminars and camps and through Systema video program.