The Russian Roots of the Systema Training Approach

Steven Cash Nickerson is a respected business leader and philanthropist who heads the engineering and IT staffing company PDS Tech, Inc., as president and chief financial officer. Passionate about martial arts, ranging from jiu jitsu to kickboxing, Steven Cash Nickerson is the president of Big D Systema, a Dallas-area martial arts training school that adheres to a style developed by Vladimir Vasiliev in Russia.

The roots of the Systema approach lie in Russia’s early history, when waves of fierce invaders were repelled on extreme terrain and in adverse weather. Warriors during this time created a natural and free style of combat that took advantage of individual strengths and was used to achieve victory against attackers often far greater in number. These traditions were largely suppressed when the Communists took power, although these lethally effective combat techniques lived on in a handful of special operations units. Today, Systema has gained new global adherents, particularly among professionals in law enforcement and the military and among bodyguards, where optimal physical strength and individualized combat strategies provide a distinct advantage.

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