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About Us


Systema (literally ‘The System’) is rooted in traditional Russian health practices as well as fighting arts. During the Soviet era it was incorporated into Russian military training, and is still used by certain special operations units in Russia. Informal and practical, Systema is based on key principles of posture, breathing, relaxation and movement. Our training consists of exercises that allow practitioners to explore these principles in physical and psychological conditioning, striking (punches, kicks), joint manipulation, stress control, ground fighting, falling & rolling, weapons defense, and Systema massage & breath work.

Despite its utilitarian nature, training is approached as a form of play, with goals aimed toward improving health and personal growth, and doing minimal harm to opponents. Combat-oriented exercises are balanced with breath and tension management to promote a calm, clear, aware mind and a relaxed, free and mobile body. The ultimate purpose of Systema is to cleanse the  body, psyche and spirit; and to strengthen the whole person for more effective functioning, compassionate relationships, and more meaningful living.

North Sound Systema is an approved Systema School by Vladimir Vasiliev of Systema HQ.


Doc Skidmore

Doc is senior Systema Instructor at North Sound Systema, certified by Vladimir Vasiliev. In addition to training directly with Vladimir at Systema HQ, Doc has also trained in many seminars with leading Systema Instructors including Emmanuel Manolakakis and Master Systema Instructor and Russian Combat Psychologist Konstantin Komarov. Previously he trained with local instructors Kwan Lee, Kaizen Taki & Brian King. Prior to training in Systema, Doc was a longtime student of Aikido and other martial arts. He has many years of experience in wilderness adventure and survival training, rock climbing and mountaineering, and white water kayaking, as well as motorcycling. Professionally Doc is a university Professor Emeritus of clinical psychology, and he also provides healthcare to help patients recover from severe injuries and chronic pain.

Robert Vyn
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Robert is a certified Systema Instructor under Vladimir Vasiliev, practicing various martial arts since 2002. He emphasizes the full range of training, from a strategic approach to combat capability to bodywork and healing, drawing on extensive study of health, survival and combat psychology. He also specializes in performance and fitness development with a holistic approach based on his experience in running (particularly gait development), swimming, body weight training, gymnastics, climbing and parkour. Rob is an avid motorcyclist & certified SCUBA diver. Currently he is serving in the U.S. Air Force.