Training Tips
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Mikhail Ryabko - Colonel of the Special Operations Units with the Russian Military, Chief Instructor of
tactical training for the Emergency Response Team of MVD, Advisor to the Minister of Justice of Russia. Trained
since the age of five by one of Stalin's personal bodyguards, Mikhail was enlisted to the ranks of Spetsnaz at
the age of 15.

Currently he is a tactical commander of hostage-rescue teams, counter-terrorist operations & armed criminal
neutralization. He continues teach all aspects of Systema through regular classes in Moscow & seminars
around the world. Mikhail is author of several publications as well as a textbook on Tactics of Special
Vladimir Vasiliev - Director & Chief Instructor of the Toronto School of Russian Martial Art.

Born in
Soviet Union, Vladimir received intense training from the top Special Operations Units instructors & is the top student of Mikhail
Ryabko. Vladimir's work spans across 10 years of extensive military service with the Special Operations Unit of SPETSNAZ, including regular
high-risk covert assignments & missions. He also served as trainer for paratroopers, SWAT teams & elite bodyguards.
Vladimir moved to Canada & in 1993 founded the first school of Russian Martial Art outside Russia.
He has since personally trained
& certified over 50 qualified Russian Martial Art instructors in 7 countries & has provided an outstanding
film collection.
Sergey Makarenko - Sacramento

Born in
Soviet Union, Sergey Makarenko has been practicing various martial arts since 1978.
Master of Sport, USSR in Sambo & Judo; 4th Degree Black belt Kodokan Judo. Mechanical engineer; moved to
California at 1992 where has been teaching Judo & combat Sambo since. Aside from professional career
specialized in youth judo & trained numerous state & national champions. Finished personal competitive
carrier winning World Masters Judo Championship.
After meeting Vladimir Vasiliev became his student.
Currently teaches e
xclusively Russian Martial Art.
Edward Whalen - Alameda

Ed Whalen began studying the Russian System under one of the Vladimir Vasiliev students and later formed his own Systema study group.
After several years of training, numerous trips to Toronto to study with Vladimir Vasiliev, after attending most of Vladimir's seminars in the US
and after two trips to Russia to study with Mikhail Ryabko, Ed  was certified as an Instructor by Vladimir Vasiliev in May of 2004.
Ed continues to travel to train with many Systema instructors to continue to learn and for the joy of it.
Jeffrey Castiglione - Monterey

Student of martial arts for 10 years;  started with study Muay Baron (ancient Muay Thai) and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Active Duty Marine (Combat Engineer) and black belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.
Started training in Systema under Vladimir Vasiliev, Martin Wheeler, Sergey Makarenko, & other instructors
since 2010.
Certified to teach by Vladimir Vasiliev in December 2012."
Jerry Coghlan - Belmont/San Mateo

Jerry Coghlan began studying combat martial arts in 1966. He has studied numerous internal and external systems since then. He began
studying Systema in 2008 under Ed Whalen and trained with the Alameda Group. He attended the Systema Intensive Camp in 2009. He has
attended additional seminars and workshops under Vladimir Vasiliev at Toronto HQ and Martin Wheeler and Sergey Makarenko at the
Alameda Group. He was authorized to form a Study Group by Vladimir Vasiliev in 2009 and was certified to teach in 2013.
Nick Nickolson - Santa Rosa

41 years martial arts experience. Training in Systema since 2004.
Certified Instructor by Vladimir Vasiliev in May 2013. Black belt in Shotokan, Shorin Ryu and Mutobu-Ti.   
Brown belt Judo. Competitive athlete in Judo & Kick boxing.
Nick has travelled to Russia to train with Michael Ryabko & travels annually to Canada to train with Vladimir
Patrick McKee - San Francisco
Patrick McKee has trained in martial arts and combatives for thirty years, including Systema since 2005. Patrick rose to the rank of Judan
under the instruction of Masaaki Hatsumi- sensei and senior instructors in the Japanese art of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.  Certified as a Modern
Army Combatives Instructor, Patrick has also been privileged to train with top instructors in martial arts such as Kali, Aikido, Krav Maga and
Western Martial Arts.  Mr. McKee has worked as a private investigator and executive protection agent for 20 years as president of his own
licensed investigative and security corporation.  He is the graduate of three executive protection “bodyguard” programs, attended a police
academy, a reserve officer program, a certified EMT program and many continuing education programs.  For over six years, Patrick continues
to serve in the California State Military Reserve, currently at the rank of E-6/Staff Sergeant, on the Small Arms Training Team (SATT) training
National Guard soldiers in firearms and tactics.