Systema Arizona Instructors

Mikhail Ryabko

Colonel of the Special Operations Unit with the Russian Military, Chief Instructor of tactical training for the Emergency Response Team, Advisor to the Minister of Justice of Russia of MVD.(Moscow, 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, his role is that of a tactical commander of hostage-rescue teams, counter-terrorist operations, and armed criminal neutralization. Mikhail resides in Moscow where he is Chief Instructor and host of our annual Russian Martial Arts Camp Program in Moscow. He is also the author of a textbook on Tactics of Spets Operations.

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Vladimir Vasiliev

Director and Chief Instructor of the Toronto School of Russian Martial Art (Toronto, Canada).
Born in Russia, Vladimir received intense training from the top Special Operations Units instructors and is the top student of Mikhail Ryabko. Vladimir’s work spans across 10 years of extensive military service with the Special Operations Unit, including regular high-risk covert assignments and missions. He also served as trainer for paratroopers, SWAT teams, and elite bodyguards. Vladimir moved to Canada, and in 1993 founded the first school of Russian Martial Art outside Russia. He has since personally trained and certified over 100 qualified Russian Martial Art instructors in 13 countries, and has provided an outstanding instructional film collection.

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Kwan Lee

Founder and Instructor of Russian Martial Art Arizona.

Kwan has studied extensively with Vladimir Vasiliev in Toronto and with Col. Mikhail Ryabko in Moscow. He has demonstrated Systema with Vladimir in numerous events in the States as well as on Moscow National Television. After years of in-depth study in Chinese Gung Fu, Indonesian Pencak Silat, and Philipino Martial Arts with Masters such as Guro Paul Marrero, Kwan now represents Systema exclusively and continues teaching the principles of the System as taught by Vladimir Vasiliev and Mikhail Ryabko. He became certified in Russia to teach the System and is the first ever certified Systema instructor in Arizona. His students comprise of law enforcement officers, military personnel, and civilians. In his off time, Kwan produces Systema instructional DVDs.

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Yuri Talalaev

Instructor of Russian Martial Art Systema of Tucson (Tucson, AZ).

Yuri was born in Russia, where he trained in traditional Martial Arts since 1980. After serving in the army, he continued to train and compete until finishing his competitive carrier in 1991 with winning Championship of Western Siberia in full-contact Karate. After moving to US in 1993, he continued his Martial Art training primarily in Aikido and Ken Jutsu. After meeting with Vladimir Vasiliev, Yuri became his student. He was certified as an Instructor of RMA and now trains and teaches Systema in Tucson, AZ.

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Niko Huffman

Instructor of Russian Martial Art Systema of Chandler Arizona
Niko is a lifetime student of the martial arts, and lives Bruce Lee’s philosophy of “Using no way as way, using no limitation as limitation – absorb what is useful, and reject what is useless for you”. He began studying Shorinji-Ryu Karate and Kobudo at the age of ten, achieving the rank of Shodan at the age of sixteen, and teaching as an assistant instructor for several years. After college, Niko traveled extensively for business, studying whatever arts were available wherever his travels took him. After settling in Arizona in 2001, Niko studied Aikido exclusively for several years, and in 2009 began studying Systema under Kwan Lee. Niko currently studies Aikido, Muay Thai, Kyusho Jitsu, and Systema. He holds the ranks of Shodan in Shorini Ryu Karate from the Zen Bei Butoku Kai, Shodan in Jim Corn’s Kyusho Jitsu, Nidan in Aikido under Gary Boaz of the Independent Aikido Alliance, and is a Certified Instructor in Systema under Vladimir Vasiliev.

Contact: Niko Huffman

Pietro Vitelli

Instructor of Russian Martial Art Systema of Scottsdale Arizona
Pietro is a continual learner and a seeker of the truth.  Starting his martial training under the direction of Sifu / jagabaya Paul Marrero in Arizona as a closed door student in 1996. Training and studying, Wu- Wei Gung Fu (Sifu Joe Purcell and Sifu Paul Marrero), Mande Muda Penjak Silat (Pendekar Herman Suwanda and Paul Marrero), and Inosanto Locaste system under Paul Marrero.  Bahala Na, Giron Arnis Escrima under Grand Master Emeritus Leo Giron, Grand Master Antonion Somera, Master Kirk McCune and Master Joel Juanitas and graduating in 2007. Pietro continues to study and train Bahala Na, Giron Arnis Escrima. Pietro was introduced to Systema back in 1999, under Sifu Paul, in 2006 he continued training under Senior Instructor Kwan Lee and pursued to become a Certified Instructor under Vladimir Vasiliev.

Contact: Pietro Vitelli