Training in:
Charlotte, NC
Mathews, NC
Rock Hill, SC 
Monroe, NC
Contact Roy Hatcher
Mathews/Mint Hill, NC
Contact Patrick McLean
Rock Hill, SC
Contact Stacy Lewis
Monroe, NC
Contact Tim Grismer
Class Schedule:
Contact each instructor
About Systema
School Info
Links and Video


Congratulations on finding the home to the most complete martial art and self awareness program in Charlotte, Mathews and Rock Hill.  

  • Learn to control your anger
  • Release tension and stress
  • Move efficiently with minimal effort and maximum effect
  • Manage your fear and expand your potential
Systema is Russian Martial Art and Self Defense System that teaches students how to be relaxed or find relaxation in any situation. Being relaxed allows one to see the world more accurately and when we see the world more accurately we will see numerous options and possibilities to achieve our goals. Stress and tension narrow our vision, thereby limiting the options we perceive.
Systema is a unique martial art as it focuses on the this very aspect of self awareness. The training will often challenge the student physically and/or emotionally but provide the tools to find relaxation and remove stress. 
Training at 4 different locations, North Charlotte, Mathews/Mint Hill, Fort Mill and Rock Hill. Contact the instructors list on the left of this page for schedules.  
Charlotte Systema is a martial arts and self defense school dedicated to learning and practicing the Russian martial art of Systema (The System) as taught by Mikhail Ryabko and Vladimir Vasiliev. Learn more here.
You can check out some videos about our training on the Links & Video page found HERE.
Contact: See side bar for closest location and instructor
Check out our Facebook page at Carolina Systema.

As a veteran of the U.S. military, I began my endeavor into Systema in May of 2013. Upon separating from the Army a month prior, I was entering the civilian world with a few uncertainties. After 9 years in the military, and all of them spent within the special operations community I was nervous about the challenges of transferring to civilian life. The past decade of service had subjected my body to shoulder pain, back pain and severe tension headaches. I had also acquired a bad temper after multiple deployments overseas. I walked into my first Systema class with virtually no understanding and a lot of tension. After 6 months however, I can say that Systema is one of the smartest decisions I have made. As a martial art, I believe Systema to be far more effective than anything I encountered in the Special Operations Community. As a health practice, my body has felt the best it has in a long time thanks to the breathing and relaxation work. Systema burst-breathing has also helped me work through a recent PTSD incident that happened as I was walking in my neighborhood.


Systema has helped me through the physical and psychological problems that I had as I separated from the Military. If you are a veteran of military, police or any other organization and can resonate with any of these problems as well, then maybe Russian Martial Art is for you too.

SSG Taylor C.
Former U.S. Army Combat Veteran 
Systema is the most fun I've ever had doing martial arts. (some of the most fun I've had, period.)  The lack of rank, the camaraderie, the total martial-creative freedom, it's all wonderful. But for me the biggest benefit of Systema training is health. 

As a result of my training, I am healthier physically, psychologically and spiritually. I'm more patient. I get along with people better. Systema helps me be a better husband, a better father and a better friend. 

Don't get me wrong, there are many people who apply the very practical aspects of Systema to their dangerous work -- it's great for that -- but for me, being a better person for all the people who depend on me -- that makes it worth it for me.

Learning to hit really hard is just gravy. 
Patrick McLean

PTSD and Systema


My name is Carl Gersch and I served in the Marine Corp from 2002 to 2006. During my time in the Marines I served two tours overseas and I thought the hard was over when I came home. I, like most veterans, had a hard time going out into crowds and unfamiliar areas and this made living a normal life very difficulty.


I enrolled with the Veteran’s Hospital to receive help and they gave my counseling and some medicines. The counseling helped me a great deal and the medicines helped but I found myself still unable to go out in the most common areas. The side affects of the medicine also made going to school and focusing difficult. I would tell myself that I am fine but when I would take my son to the mall to see Santa I had a panic attack. My son had to help me get out of there and that year we didn't have pictures of him with Santa.


I looked everywhere for a way to be normal and talking to a Marine buddy I was told about Russian Systema. I looked into it and thought that this would be easy for a Marine. Once there I quickly realized that this isn’t just a fighting style but a life style.


During class I would find myself becoming tense and unable to calm down but after some time and instruction I was able to carve out the tools needed to calm myself down. Without even knowing it I began to apply those tools that I acquired during class to my everyday life. I found out that the breathing and calming techniques allowed me to go out into public and prevent myself from getting to work up. I found that the breathing techniques allowed me to wean myself off of the PTSD medicines and lead a normal life for my son and family. I have told my psychologist about Systema and he began looking into for other veterans to maybe use as a tool for PSTD. I also was able to get another Marine buddy from school into Systema and he is making leaps and bounds towards winging himself off of his medicines and be able to lead a normal life style. I would high recommend Systema for any veteran looking for a group of guys who will care so much about you while they are hitting you. Systema can give you the tools to overcome PTSD and feel comfortable in any crowd.
Carl Gersch
Former U.S. Marine

Systema has forever changed my life.  Through Systema I actually learned what relaxation feels like.  This was big for me.  Systema has given me more self-confidence, awareness, and control of myself.  Systema has become a part of my everyday life.  I start every day with a Systema breath exhale as I get out of bed.  Systema is something I practice daily, not just in the gym, be it sitting in car, opening a door, or standing in a line at the grocery store.  Systema is more than a means of self-defense, it is also a way to learn more about yourself.

One of the great benefits of Systema is the people I have met along the way.  Mark Jakabcsin is a top-notch instructor who has trained me to do things I would have never thought possible before I met him some years ago.  Through Systema I have met people from all over the world who are willing to share their knowledge.  I look forward to going to seminars and seeing familiar smiling faces.
Stacy Lewis



Palmetto Systema - Fort Mill, SC - Mark Jakabcsin, Certified Systema Instructor

Home - About Systema - School Info - Training - Events - Links and Video - Blog

Designed by Jason Douglas