Russianspetsnaz Systema Starova Vadimstarov
Russian Martial Art Hand to Hand Combat


Many people know something about the Russian hand to hand combatby hearsay, but very few know what it is in reality.

Martial art of Russian warriors obtained world-wide recognition in ancient times. Russian hand to hand combat inspired enemies' fear already at that time. Russian ancestors were very strong at close fight and gained victory even when all the canons of the military science showed that it was impossible. Should it end in a hand to hand combat , invaders left the battle field in panic.  Not numerous prince's armed forces were very successful at struggling with huge nomad troops. Alexander Nevsky routed 50000 of Swedish invaders with the help of his armed forces of 50 warriors and a small home guard. Suvorov's wonder-soldiers took the unassailable fortress of Ismail and its superior forces by storm within two days. Battalions of plastoon Cossacks showed their exceptional art in hand-to-hand fights during the first years of World War I.

   Traditions of the Russian combat were preserved in the army by Cossacks, were handed down from generation to generation (for example, Kadochnikov's grandfather, the holder of three St. George's  orders, passed his skill to his son and it rescued him many times at the time of World War II. When Odessa was attacked he managed to beat off five hostile soldiers all alone).



This upsurge lasted not for a long time; it was interrupted by the October overturn of 1917. The revolution destroyed not only Russia an its army, but its centuries-old traditions, including martial arts ( it became known in the West partially due to Russian officers-emigrants. Russian style became the basis of mariners' training in the USA).
    It was decided to create a new type of single combat on the basis of folk single combats and minor influence of the best developments of foreign self-defence  systems: judo, ju-jitsu, savate, and boxing - sambo (unarmed self-defence). Sambo (unarmed self-defence) was worked out by V.Spiridonov, V.Oshepkov, A. Kharlampiev, N.Oznobshin, I.Solonevitch, V.Volkov.

    Fighting sambo was created in the beginning of the XX century as a Russian type of single combat. The young state that was surrounded with enemies was to be able to defend itself both at outer borders and within its own borders. It was necessary to arm folk militia and security officers with new and the most effective methods of attack and defence. Specialists faced the problem of creating such a martial art which united the best developments of foreign single combats and the main principles of which were aimed at destroying the enemy in a hand to hand combat.
     Battle and special applied manuals and methods of sambo psychological training were classified as secret for a long time. Only soldiers of special sub-units were trained this way. Fights of well trained spetsnaz soldiers and prisoners sentenced to death (the so-called "dolls", "meat", "gladiators") were applied rather often. This helped to test and polish methods of conducting a fight in real conditions, without paying attention to ethic norms. Not only technical and tactical grounding was tested and investigated, but soldiers'  battle reflexes and psychological stability in stress situations was analyzed as a result of such fights. It was necessary on the stage of preparation to accomplishing battle and special tasks and for testing new fighting methods. A new powerful universal martial system was created and perfected this way.

     Spridonov managed to masterly combine elements of Russian fisticuffs with pick-ups of the Georgian martial art tchidaoba and throws of the Moldavian tyntra. After the first demonstration performances it was decided to make sambo a compulsory discipline for special sub-units.  The new single combat appeared to be such an effective and threatening weapon that at a certain stage its "emasculation" started. Sambo technique was very rapidly divided into two types: sambo as a sport wrestling and sambo as a battle fighting for special sub-units (including security officers and officers of the military intelligence service).

     N.Oznobshin, 1930: "We don't deny that these systems (boxing, savate, ju-jitsu) practiced for sport aims only are an excellent means of developing staying-power, rapidity, dexterity, fighting efficiency and other physical and psychological qualities. They prepare a fighter indirectly, but we repeat once again that they don't provide real, direct training for a serious conflict".



The Great Patriotic War (World War I) stimulated the revival of the Russian combat. Applying "Russian combat " Soviet soldiers became winners in situations which seemed to be hopeless. Here is such a little known fact. In 1945 ten paratroopers under the command of captain V.Leonov captivated a formation of the quantoon army which included 60000 people. But this and many other similar facts had been passed over in silence for a long time. The reason is that after our victory Russian martial artwas hidden under the signature stamp "top secret" within the walls of specials institutions where saboteurs were trained. ( Alexey  Kadochnikov was taught in one of such military schools were  the training was conducted by real masters who had survived after the cruel war crucible). This was what led to the total loss of this national treasure.

    Russian hand to hand Combat became accessible for studying as the result of reorganization of the USSR military forces in 1962. This reform was connected with the appearance of new types of arms, new approaches and views on the organization of military training ( mass dismissal of old, experienced instructors). All this led to the situation when even in special sub-units hand-to-hand fighting was restricted to working out complexes RB-1,RB-2,RB-3 and demonstrative lessons where the wide stores of fighting methods are reduced to minimum and ,to crown it all, have no practical aim and do not correspond to reality.

   We would have lost Russian martial arts if there had been no person who gave it the second life. He systematized all the knowledge, created a universal system of survival based on exact sciences including physics, biomechanics, physiology, anatomy, mathematics, chemistry, medicine, geography etc, made this system the system of life, a world outlook. The name of this person is Vadim Starov.

Here is what Vadim Starov says about the Russian hand to hand combat : "It causes great shame and pain to see that the modern officer does not know hand to hand combat of his own country, this unique form of warrior's training. It existed and I was trained this way myself.

It hurts to see that not a single militiaman can "break hands off" the way it should be done. Even special sub-units lack professionals who could solve some problem in the street without leading it to blood...

Our main aim is to make a unarmed person armed without weapons. Our methods are totally different from the rest that exist; they are simple and intelligible to all people. Our system is based on the rich experience of our country, mathematical modelling, and knowledge of the laws of mechanics"

A war zone or a respectable district, multimillion big city or a quiet patriarchal town. USA or highly explosive Afghanistan. Each hour thousands of accidents occur in the world where a particular person's security or sometimes even life depends on his or her ability to struggle for own or folks' life rather than on the professional skills of the forces of law and order. There is only one person in the world who can either pull you down to the bottom or pull you up to the surface; and it's no-one but you! The System of personal security, the System of extreme survival is a whole complex of knowledge and skills which - at a certain moment - can secure you and save your life by applying an extraordinary effective martial art: Russian Combat. Those who have mastered the System - even if they are weak or wounded, children, old men or disabled - can defeat their enemies by using the energy and force of the attackers against them all, and by spending the minimum of his or her own energy and force. In the course of the training you will become able to benefit from the enemy's force with the help of your slight move, and survive in different extreme situations.

It's not our mission to borrow a spirit culture from other peoples or copy them. Our mission is to create our own things in our own ways, Russian and like Russians. (Ivan Ilyin, a Russian philosopher 100 years ago).

Considering our personal security, we mostly rely on some technical means such as a gas gun, gas spray or electric shocker. But just few of us ever think that we can be armed with a weapon which is much more sophisticated and effective. And such weapon is our own body.

The Russian Martial Art is an invisible weapon which can't be detected until it's used and can't be taken away until the man is alive. Basically, what is this invisible weapon of the Russian hand to hand combat? It reminds something patriarchal. From ancient ages the martial art of Russian warriors deserved worldwide recognition. Even then the Russian close fight inspired fear in the enemies. Ancient Russians were strong in the close fight and won even when all military rules said they could not win. Russian Plastoon Cossacks showed their exclusive art of close fight in the First World War.

After the revolution in Russia, emigrating Russian officers brought the Russian martial art to the West. It was the Russian Combat that was the basis for training the US sea-soldiers. In Russia the martial art perfected for ages was hidden into secret special schools for training diversionists. The Russian Combat is a part of the combat sambo (Russian self-defence without weapon) generated by Spiridonov. However, the today's Russian hand to hand combat standard was created by Aleksey Kadochnikov (who trained at a diversion school) and Vadim Starov (who systemised and generalised the knowledge). As a result they created a universal survival system based on the historical battle experience and up-to-date developments in technologies and sciences such as mechanics, physics, medicine, geography, psychology, pathology, etc. Eventually, the System became the life system and world outlook of Slavonic people.

Russian Martial Art: Systema Spetsnaz Hand to Hand Combat



Russia. A new millennium eve. A wild outburst of organised criminals, terrorism, separatism, third powers' aggression in disguise of mercenaries, hot spot wars. This is the reality of our days. It's grieving to confess that - in some battles against bandit units - up to ninety percent of Russian soldiers died from wounds made with cold steel. The analysis of the military actions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Defence Ministry special teams showed that the close fight role constantly grows in both bandit unit aggression repulse and criminal group suppression. The close fight techniques serve a single aim: saving lives in the extreme conditions of a true fight.

However, it's insufficient just to master the close fight art. It is also necessary - no matter how grandiloquently it may sound - to possess a strong spirit and be ready to give your life in the name of Faith and Fatherland. The genuine close combat is effective even when he or she has to act rightly, in an unpredictable situation, when there is no time to spot and think, and no mistake is permissible.

Discipline, call of responsibility, ability to instantly estimate the complex situation of a battle, to make the only right decision with a lightning speed, and to govern own body masterly. It is these features of the genuine close fighter that were emphasised by Aleksey Kadochnikov and Vadim Starov, the authors of the unique Russian Combat, which - in their turn - form a part of the Slavonic world outlook famous under the name of the Russian Hand to Hand Combat.

The first lessons of the close fight science Aleksey Kadochnikov received from his father, a military pilot. The latter, in his turn, was taught the basics of the close fight by his father (Alexey's grandfather) who was awarded a Saint George Order, took part in The First World War and The Civil War in Russia. After graduation from the legendary Kharkov aviation training school Kadochnikov the Junior served in the army where he revealed the secrets and mastered the skills in Russian officers' all-round competition. Later he studied at Krasnodar Polytechnic Institute, and then he was busy with R&D in the famous Krasnodar higher military school named after Shtemenko, General of the Army. His graduates from that school serve in all army branches. Many of them are currently colonels or generals, but they recollect their teacher with a great respect. A full member of The Academy of Natural Sciences of the Russian Federation, Aleksey Kadochnikov spent over forty years of his life on teaching. He trained and brought up thousands of patriotic warriors of Russia. Vadim Starov, Russian Style Centre President, honourably continues the deal started by Aleksey Kadochnikov. "To know to foresee, to foresee to prevent, and to act to survive" - that's the martial arts' philosophy which prefers defence, and prises rather conflict prevention than blows or blocks in the conflict.

What is the Russian Combat? What is it's secret hidden in? The secrets of the style should be looked for in regular physics, mechanics, biology, anatomy and psychology manuals rather than in any mystic ciphered treatises. Aleksey Kadochnikov & Vadim Starov begins presenting the principles of his style with applying mechanical laws to the close fight events.


Hand to Hand Combat - Single Fight

The enemy's attacks are received softly, in the same plane, by turning the arm or weapon. You should use the enemy's inertia, add your acceleration, shift his centre of gravity - and the enemy can't withstand it. By the way -never use your force to oppose the attacking force. Do always feel the distance. Keeping the contact at the point of touch as a weapon/enemy rotation axis centre allows you to control the enemy by using a system of levers rather than a brute force. Do it easily, spending just a quarter of your physical strength. Having his reserve strength, the close fighter can see and evaluate the whole situation. The close fighter is effective in any age, in any state of health. And - which is important - he can use anything he can reach: a submachine gun, knife, digging tool, even pen or pencil. Moreover, his arms are his weapons too.

The close fighter MUST:

  • reconnoitre without being detected
  • investigate his enemy perfectly to predict his actions
  • arrange approaching to his enemy to start a close fight without casualties.

You must remember:the most dangerous moment is approaching, when the enemy can start fire. The following is the matter of skills. That's why the legendary Russian military leader Suvorov used to say: "Bullet's foolish, bayonet's fine!" Russians always won in the close fight! The close fighter must be sure of his strength. He must know that he can neutralise his enemy as he is skilled in the close fight and psychologically stable in extreme situations. That's why the Russian Combat pays special attention to the principles of survival.

Sergey Kondakov, Tver Special Direct Action (Spetsnaz) Detachment Commander, about Kadochnikov. Over seventy percent of the Tver Special Direct Action Detachment staff has a real combat experience. Many times they worked in the hot spots of Russia. Many its soldiers experienced a special training based on the Russian Hand to Hand combat System. Sergey Kondakov: What are the advantages of the style. The Russian Combat techniques helps the soldiers of this special purpose detachment to conduct operations to stop illegal drug and arms trade, to fight against customs crimes, and to provide personal security for customs officers and their relatives, or even to rescue hostages.

This fight style was tested in so-called hot spots and showed its military efficiency, saving the lives of those who mastered it. The close fight, as well as each phenomenon in our lives, is governed by certain laws. The same is true for the close fight psychology.

Russian Martial Art - Spetsnaz principles:

-        a man is afraid of the unknown
-        two rivals are never the same in their fight, one of them must get afraid
-        no-one wants to die.

Eventually, you should remember that there is only one man in the whole world who can pull you down to the bottom or pull you up to the surface - that's you. A Federal Security Service Spetsnaz soldier: Why is the Russian combat good? It helps to survive in extreme conditions.

The Russian Hand to Hand Combat is called The Systema Spetsnaz. Systema is the interconnection of its elements. When you know how to fight when you are wounded or ill, you are set free, you do not fear your injury or wound. And if you know the human body, you can defeat your enemy or help your brother-in-arms to recover. The Systema means that it gives a new quality that did not exist in its separate elements and that appears because the elements interact and enrich each other. The Systema - because everything is together, like fingers in the fist, like soldiers in a battle. However, the close fight is just a part of The Systema, and not its main one. The main in The Systema is to survive. To hold out against the enemy, overcome hunger or illnesses, survive in uninhabited places, find the way, get back to friendly troops, bring back a wounded soldier alive. Shortly, struggle and survive. Mr. Starov advises: "Be always ready to save your life because you must be alive to go on defeating your enemy - by your fire, bayonet, butt, improvised means or with bare hands". The Starov survival school teaches not to expose yourself, not to put your breast forward against machine guns or tanks, but to do everything to survive. For that, it's not a shame to crawl on your belly or measure off the ground with your shoulder-blades, crawl on all fours or run your toes. Which is the way to win? Any way, - affirms Starov. There are no particular patterns or combinations against particular enemy's actions. It is only a specialised approach and training techniques that allow an integral use of the physical, spiritual and intellectual stability of skills on a subconscious level. There is no such an instruction which can foresee all cases and situations, that's why everyone should reveal his or her competence, being trained to justify his or her mission. The Russian Hand to Hand Combat System is a weapon. And possessing such weapon makes you morally responsible for its use. That's why the training itself is unbreakably connected with a moral upbringing of the man.

No matter how we treat weapons, the latter existed, exists and will exist. It will be improved and developed because improvement and development are always connected with struggle. And struggle is as perpetual as life itself.

That day the cruel war-dogs tastedHow boldly Russians fought against them,Our Russian close fight. From BORODINO by Mikhail LERMONTOV.

c.12-13.What are the main merits of this systema, advantages of this style over sambo-wrestling, judo and east single combats that are so popular now? To start with, this style is very easy to master even for those who are physically not prepared (women, old people, children, disabled people). It is possible to master the effective system of self-defense without using special sport constructions and clothing in a short period of time. The degree of traumatism is very low because the style is based on physics and mechanics which are well-known to everyone. One of the positive sides is that there is no need to learn complicated manuals for along time as in other types of single combats. This style gives an opportunity for a person to determine the order of carrying out different manuals himself, judging on the opponent's position, his physical and psychological state and condition of ground, weather, presence of vegetation, limitation of space and other factors. This style enables a person to keep force which is very important for those who act secretly on the opponent's territory; beside, it lets the injured and those who are tired of conducting a hand-to-hand fight using all improvised weapons win. The main principle of this system- not to answer force of the opponent with force, but to strive to give it the right direction to make the opponent put him out of action himself. Skill to work rationally is one of the main rules of the Russian style. This is not sport but a fight on defeat. The result of competent actions is mutilation or death of the opponent. This is not cruelty, this is a vital necessity. You should remember that it is impossible to feel sorry of the opponent in fight. Accustom yourself to it beforehand. This is the survival law at war: you or your opponent!

Russian Martial Art - Spetsnaz System is defined by three components:

-   by being personality oriented;
-   by the degree of conscious control over internal mental processes;
-   by technical manuals.

This style is different from others in methods of teaching, peculiarities of application and ways of retiring one's activity; it can be changed with the change of conditions nonetheless maintaining its structure. Kadochnikov's style teaches to turn everything that happens to be in your hands into weapon. There is no difference between working with your hands, legs, weapons or improvised means in this style. If you happen to see training sessions conducted by followers of this style pay attention at the fact that manuals are not repeated as their efficiency is the result of knowing the principles, not the manuals themselves. This style excludes dogmas, everyone decides in the succession of his actions himself. Use of levers is the basis of hand-to-hand fighting; using them a person can defeat the opponent who has physical advantage.




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