Systema Russian Martial Art

Our purpose is to offer the public the opportunity to study Systema for self-defense, wellness and personal development

Systema Training Is Available In Rockville & Takoma Park, Maryland


Discover Systema, a unique martial art that empowers you to defend yourself effectively. Rooted in Russian military training, Systema emphasizes fluidity, adaptability, and natural movements, transcending traditional techniques. Unleash your body's innate potential, and experience a martial art that evolves with you, for unparalleled self-defense mastery.


Immerse yourself in Systema, a martial art that prioritizes health through stress reduction, breathing, and de-escalation. Build resilience and harmony by mastering breath control and natural movement. Systema's holistic approach fosters mental clarity and emotional balance, paving the way for a healthier, more centered life.


Experience Systema, a martial art that enhances mobility, balance, and coordination. Through adaptive movements and fluid techniques, Systema training optimizes your body's natural capabilities, resulting in seamless motion. Unlock a newfound freedom in movement, and explore the extraordinary potential of your physicality with Systema.


Systema, a Russian martial art with roots dating back to the 10th century, has evolved from a captivating blend of ancient combat techniques and modern adaptations. Originally, the art was practiced by the warrior class, known as the Bogatyr, who guarded the Russian borders from foreign invasions. These fearless warriors honed their skills through relentless training in rugged terrains & harsh weather conditions, giving rise to Systema’s unique emphasis on adaptability & resourcefulness.

In the 20th century, Systema was adopted by the Soviet Red Army and their elite special forces unit, the Spetsnaz. They further refined the art by incorporating principles of biomechanics, psychology, and unconventional tactics. Interestingly, during the Soviet era, Systema’s existence remained a closely guarded secret, hidden from the public eye.

Today, Systema has transcended its military origins and is now accessible to civilians worldwide. The martial art focuses on developing a holistic understanding of one’s body, breath control, and fluid movements, promoting self-awareness and self-defense skills. With Systema, the practitioner’s journey is a continuous exploration of the human body’s untapped potential and a pursuit of harmony between the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of life.

Learn to develop your intuition and sensory awareness: Systema training emphasizes the importance of heightened awareness in self-defense. You will be guided to refine your perception of your surroundings, as well as your ability to read the intentions and movements of others. This enhanced intuition can be invaluable in both everyday life and in potentially dangerous situations.

You will learn practical self-defense skills: While Systema is not solely focused on self-defense, it does provide students with practical and effective techniques for personal protection. You will learn to defend against a variety of attacks and threats, including strikes, grabs, and weapons, enabling you to feel more confident and secure in your ability to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Learn to breathe effectively under stress: Proper breathing is a cornerstone of Systema, as it helps to control stress and maintain calmness in high-pressure situations. You will be taught various breathing techniques that enable you to remain focused, relaxed, and efficient, even in the face of physical or emotional challenges.

Learn to move fluidly and naturally: Systema emphasizes the importance of efficient, unrestricted movement. As a student, you will be trained to understand and leverage your body’s natural movements, leading to improved balance, coordination, and agility in everyday life and in self-defense situations.


Jim Eglin, the Founder and Chief Instructor at Maryland Systema, promotes self-defense, wellness, and physical fitness through a wide range of group classes, workshops, and personalized private lessons. 

Jim began his Systema journey in 2013, earning his Full Systema Instructor Certification in 2019 under the mentorship of Vladimir Vasiliev, the Head Instructor at Systema HQ in Toronto, Canada. He successfully maintained his certification in 2022, adhering to the HQ Systema’s Instructor renewal requirements.

With over five years of experience in Krav Maga, Jim has trained with Krav Maga Worldwide, Krav Maga Global, and Krav OZ. To further refine his abilities, Jim has also pursued training in Judo, Knight Jiu-Jitsu®, and Boxing under the guidance of William Joppy, a renowned three-time WBA middleweight champion.

Jim Eglin Chief Instructor
Maquela Moore
Maquela Moore
Jim was a great instructor! He made the class feel comfortable and really got everyone engaged with each lesson. This was my first time & i really Enjoyed myself!
Darwin Beloat
Darwin Beloat
T Nasr
T Nasr
Systema sets itself apart from other martial arts in ways you will need to experience to understand. The tips, tricks, and techniques Jim will teach you are very valuable and apply to a very wide range of people.
colin chapman
colin chapman
As a professional who often works in hostile situations, the practical training in Systema with Jim from Maryland Systema has been invaluable. I have been practicing with him for over three years now, and it has been a very positive influence in my life. Jim's wide range of knowledge from his own personal background in martial arts, fitness, business, and overall awareness allows him to easily work with a variety of people of different backgrounds, ages, abilities, etc. Jim is always well-prepared and patient, and I've never seen him at a loss for information or situational adjustments. He always breaks down the drills into simple, manageable steps that are easy to understand and apply in real-life situations. Additionally, Jim is always flexible and willing to listen to our needs and concerns. One thing that sets Jim apart is his commitment to ensuring that everyone feels comfortable and safe during training. He creates a positive and inclusive environment that encourages learning and personal growth. Jim's positive attitude and support have helped me develop not only as a martial artist but also as a person. Moreover, Jim emphasizes the importance of mental and emotional strength, which is essential when dealing with stressful situations. He teaches us to approach challenges with a clear mind and focused attitude, which has been a valuable skill both in my personal and professional life. Jim's excellent communication and availability for any questions or changes in training have also been greatly appreciated. Overall, I couldn't recommend Jim and Maryland Systema enough. If you're looking to improve your physical, mental, and emotional strength while learning practical self-defense skills, I encourage you to give Systema a try with Jim. His teaching style, knowledge, and commitment to his students are truly exceptional.
Brian H
Brian H
I attended my first session with Jim and was very impressed. Systema really is a full-spectrum martial arts system. It goes beyond what traditional martial arts have to offer. Systema covers so much more. The class was very inclusive, fluid, and engaging. Anyone can participate.
Yocheved Rothschild
Yocheved Rothschild
This is a great class for someone looking to learn a new method of self-defense. I went with two friends and the whole group was super friendly and welcoming. The instructor Jim was really good at explaining the movements and building off of what we previously learned, and he was super friendly, enthusiastic, and eager to help us learn. The method of self-defense is not something I would have thought of before taking the class, but I think it would be really effective in a real-world situation. The class was also just low-stakes and overall fun! Highly recommend trying a class.
Stephanie James
Stephanie James
For two women who have never taken self-defense classes, we learned a lot in our first session with Jim. He was very friendly, informative and helpful in his demonstrations to make sure we got the most value from the one and a half hour course. We will definitely be back!

Maryland Systema Blog

Latest Articles

Systema Featured In Black Belt Magazine

Black Belt Magazine

“Systema is a style of combat and self-defense that has evolved over the course of 10 centuries. It adapts the simple and powerful battle skills of its ancient practitioners for use in modern-world conflicts. Systema was brought out of the Russian Special Operations Units by founders Mikhail Ryabko and Vladimir Vasiliev in 1993.”

World Class Systema Training

We welcome all fitness and skill levels, even if you have zero self-defense or martial arts experience PLUS your first lesson is FREE!


Jim Eglin- Maryland Systema

Class Locations

Dance Exchange – Takoma Park
7117 Maple Avenue – Studio 3
Takoma Park, Maryland 20912

King Farm Village Center
403 Redland Blvd
Rockville, MD 20850

Woodley Gardens Park
900 Nelson St.
Rockville, MD 20850


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