What we're about
Urban Systema is a system of body rules that increase your ability to protect yourself and those you care about. Our methods focus on structure and movement, so size, physical strength, and speed are not as critical as staying calm, maintaining precision, and follow the principles.
We welcome people that want something that works, but have found traditional systems of self-defense uninviting, to come join us for a practice or two to see if it's a good fit. Our practices are structured so that you will regularly be matched with people from 140 - 250 pounds and 5' 7" - 6' 5" tall to practice both striking and manipulation/grappling. You will know, very quickly, whether what you are doing is effective and we provide feedback to each other to aid in becoming more capable. You will strike and be struck, learning to use both to your advantage, as well as manipulate/grapple in standing, mid-range, and prone conditions so that you can learn how to deal with all situations. For women, the ability to test in close-to-real world-conditions is especially important since there are fewer traditional options for safely testing defense skills against much larger and generally stronger opponents. It should be noted here that we do not practice endless series of rote movements and that people in class do not "flop" (what we call helping or allowing something that should not work to work to save people's feelings or status in the group). We figure that anyone coming to classes wants to know how well their movements work and prefer to find out and correct problems in class than in a dangerous real-world situation.
The point of Urban Systema is making you capable of defending you and yours effectively. To do that you need to safely practice your skills under as close to real conditions as reasonably possible. That's what we do in every class. Getting out of locks, holds, and chokes, as well as getting struck or attacked with weapons; we work to give you as close to a real-life experience to practice in as safely possible.
All that said, we have found that the best fits to our group have been those who are fairly intellectually curious, patient, and who "get" that this is mostly an exercise in people learning to control themselves. We only select people that will be able to work slowly and safely with everyone else in class. No one has ever had a significant injury in class (though you can expect bruises and scrapes as we work on concrete) and we would like to keep it that way. Oh, you'll also find that our practices are work so expect to get a lot stronger and sweat a lot.
Mondays and Wednesdays
Gazebo in park at the corner of Red Line & Saratoga at the Alameda Point (old Naval Air Station - Alameda)
Guests, please send an email at least 24 hours in advance to confirm that you will be attending.
$13.75/hr of class after the first two visits.