Welcome to Systema Mid Wessex


Now in its 6th year, we are an established club bringing to Winchester and its environs, the opportunity to learn and experience the health and combative benefits associated with this age-old Russian martial art; its ancestry dating back over a thousand years to 948 A.D.

Systema focuses on breathing, relaxation, structure and fluidity of movement; its origin founded upon those essential survival skills of warriors both on & off the battlefield. However, Systema is more than just physiological, creative methods by which to fight and survive.

Health – Mind & Body

Self Defence

Systema has evolved centred around three fundamental values – Strength, Courage & Humility. These values represent the physical, moral & spiritual ideals that should be applied on one’s journey through life. Only by understanding one’s limitations can a person gain sufficient humility & clarity to be able to react and manage any given situation or event.

To ‘Know Thyself’ is a fundamental concept of Systema and is paramount to helping one cope with the demands of today’s society whilst enhancing both the psyche and health.


Rob’s Systema Breathing and Relaxation class attracted me because I wanted to improve my breathing, and I have found it very beneficial for my lung function and health. I went on to join the Self Defence classes with some trepidation as this was not something I had done before, but each week I have a really good time. Rob teaches us very patiently to move, balance, relax, breathe, and to take care of each other and ourselves during training. Regular attendance at class has improved my posture, mobility, balance, general fitness and outlook on life.


Alison Hull

I came across systema almost by accident. I say almost because I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason and we are here, meeting the people we are supposed to meet at any given time. So I should say, I was introduced to systema by a friend and very skilled instructor of the art, Glen Robertson. He gave me a ‘book in progress’ about it and I sat on my flight to the states last year and read it front to back and it left me wanting to know more. To say I was intrigued would be an understatement, so, on my return, I found a local class, run by Rob Hodgkinson. That was four months ago.

What can I say about it? Firstly, if you’ve never come across it, it would be hard to explain in terms that could do it justice. It is, unlike most martial arts, elegant, almost spiritual. It’s not about physical strength or ability, but learning; learning to breathe, to relax and most importantly, to know yourself.

It teaches us to understand our fears and conquer them, by showing us that the only barriers are the ones we place for ourselves. It teaches us to relax in spite of those fears, to overcome them whilst maintaining posture and form. It strengthens, not just physically but mentally and emotionally and can only be described as beautiful.

I am taught by a gentle giant of a man, Rob, whose quiet teaching approach instils confidence where you think you have none, encourages you to continue when all you want to do is quit and creates a feeling of accomplishment even in the smallest of achievements.

I attend each class, every week, excited and yet a little nervous because of my barriers and leave, both relaxed and invigorated but also astounded that, once more, I’ve taken another step to understanding myself better, whether that be what I can actually achieve when I remember to breathe or what exactly my barriers are. I have my instructor to thank for that.

Systema is truly about ‘knowing thy self’, about breathing, something we all think we do properly but when taught correctly, realise just how amazing true breaths can be and how amazing their affect on the body can be.

Anyone wishing to take on a martial art should try this and I cannot recommend it highly enough…..”

Sarah McCallum

I recently attended a breathing-based workshop taught by Rob, who was very encouraging and knowledgeable. I arrived feeling tired after a busy week, but had a great experience. By the end of the session I felt calm, centred and re-energised. Definitely recommend it!.

Tanya Weall

Many thanks, Rob, for a great workshop. New skills to take away and practice. Thanks too for taking us through the ‘four pillars’ in the park afterwards

Robert Streeter
Me & Michael ventured down to Winchester to the new Systema Club run by Rob Hodgkinson. Nice setup, good people. Club just starting up so if you know anyone who would benefit from training in Systema in the Winchester area they can get in early and grow with the club.
Julian Jaffe

Top Systema session last night with breathing, relaxation, fitness. Will be there next week – in fact, everyone should go to this.

Guy Cook, Your Content Goes Here