Two Russian Masters in Zagreb for Systema Croatia Martial Arts Seminar

Total Croatia News


One of the many activities you can partake in when in Zagreb is the Russian Martial Arts “Systema Croatia” club, and this week the club is seeing a significant milestone.

You might not have heard of Systema, as it is a Russian martial art, relatively unknown in the west. It is said to have initially probably been developed by Cossack armies for self-defense, and in the second half of the twentieth century it resurfaced when the techniques were described and systematised in detail (thus the name, Systema).

It involves aspects of traditional folklore, dances, everyday life, and the fighting practiced by Siberian Cossacks. Members of the KGB and some Russian army units were trained in it, but only after the iron curtain had fallen was the Western world introduced to it. Most people have seen their first glimpses of Systema in the hit series “The Americans,” in which the Russian spies and operatives often use it, as well as the recent BBC hit McMafia, which was coincidentally also partially filmed in Croatia.


Master Karimov in action

In Croatia, you can practice Systema at a club in Zagreb – RMA Systema Croatia. It was started back in 2015 by Ranko Čerić, who is a long-time Aikido instructor and an instructor certified by the Sibirsky Kazak Systema School. He learned Systema from several masters, including Andrey Karimov who started the Sibirsky Kazak School back in Novosibirsk, and has since moved to Slovakia.

This week, RMA Systema Croatia is hosting an instructor camp and a Systema seminar to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Sibirsky Kazak School. It is an exceptional event since there is not just one, but two master instructors present at the seminar! In addition to master Karimov, the RMA Systema Croatia has the pleasure of welcoming master Yuri Sheshukov, who arrived in Zagreb straight from Novosibirsk. This is only the second time he has ever participated in a seminar outside of Russia – and the first time was also in Zagreb, in April of this year!


Master Sheshukov in action – with the balalaika in his right hand

Around a dozen experienced Systema practitioners are participating in the instructor camp. On Saturday, about a dozen more participants will join the future instructors for the two-day seminar. The participants are international, from Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, etc., and the program will take place at a sports hall in Gornje Vrapče.

If you’re interested in Systema as a martial art and would like to practice it in Zagreb, check out RMA Systema Facebook page or visit


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