First of all I wasn't sure should this go into General MA's, Religion or here but I guess this is mostly Systema specific so I put it into other styles... A couple of days back I noticed an older thread in the Religion sub-category Christian Based Martial Art In a nutshell this is what I was told Systema is when I was introduced to it by my Orthodox oriented ex Bujinkan Ninjutsu instructor, basically it is always depicted with Orthodox saints, etc. A little backstory into this: After training in Ninjutsu for 4 years my dojo suddenly disbanded as our head instructor returned from a trip and soon enough re-formed as a fitness and semi self-defense club, the later to my positive surprise as he seemed generally disappointed in martial arts and I thought he was going to go with advising us to cease training, my fellow members at the dojo weren't generally happy with how I thought there was some conspiracy behind this and I didn't discuss it as much as I wanted. I played along with this as the instructor is my good friend and I practically grew up with him, the fitness part of our dojo was always there but I wasn't happy with this for long and eventually found a dojo I could continue training and went on to bid farewell to my club but I instead got a reply urging me to choose a Systema dojo he found for me in which he personally checked out the classes. Since I wished to continue Ninjutsu I was disappointed and asked why, the reply was that if I was baptized the movements of Ninjutsu that all come from the Japanese spirituality were bad for the soul. This raised a big question as the implication was that if I wasn't baptized it was fine??, I was a Christian for sure but I always edged into salvation for everyone, I could hardly bear the thought that now just training a MA ruins your salvation(not like he was lying that every move is tied to some Japanese spiritual concept) and I was always a Japan weeb too. Ok Whatever, So I take a look at the linked club's site and find some referenced sites such as the official Serbian Systema site and find some articles on what it is(unfortunately the site's structure now changed and I'm not sure where the same articles would be) and it's roots etc, Idk was it just me or was there a lot more readily available info than on some more official sites like Vasiliev and Ryabkov. So, what makes Systema special? As my ex Ninjutsu trainer said It descends from what Christian monks used to defend themselves(contrary to the popular culture portrayed in the Vikings that the Christian monks were defenseless weirdos), wikipedia simply says "unverifiable" roots tho with no other explanation except reference links for what is written otherwise. It is a fact that some instructors like Ryabkov openly tie it with Orthodoxy and or Christianity generally So I go to the club, get practically beaten up, no regrets for 2 years and counting but one of the first things I learned was that Systema is an umbrella term where if you follow it's principles almost anything goes as Systema, of course the rather different styles all look like Systema either way because of the common ground. Bringing up the question of.. ok if anything through it's principles goes why was Ninjutsu bad if I could just use it within Systema Really interesting story of how I got into the club's Systema(and Aikido, somewhat ironically) It's practically safe to say that some wacko tripped my former trainer(he wants to join us at Systema tho) but not all of this is just nonsense, there's some reasoning in it... Thoughts? Experience?