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 Operations.
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
exclusively 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.
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 Vasiliev.
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
Juan F. Fogal - Santa Rosa

Juan Fogal has been teaching in the North Bay since 1986. Juan has an excellent reputation for working with
children as well as adults.  Juan began his martial arts training at a very young age, beginning his formal training at
twelve. He began his professional instruction career at the age of 17 when his instructor asked him to become a
staff instructor shortly after becoming an advanced student. During his teaching career Juan has been deeply
honored to receive many awards and commendations for his work in our local community through martial arts.  Over
the years he has earned ranks and cross-trained in a variety of martial arts disciplines and he has also had
opportunities to train with some of the worlds elite in police protection.  This training included the honor of going to
Japan and testing in front of the Grandmaster of over nine schools of ancient and rare martial arts.
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.