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 Systema Portland

“No rules, No belts, No non-sense. The System - a fighting art without all the needless baggage.”

Black Belt Magazine


Self Defense

Our training philosophy is not to be confused with any traditional fighting arts and/or combat sports fighting system. We are not in the business of taking years to instruct a student how to incapacitate or eliminate even the most basic fighter, but rather months, comparable to the time a special operations soldier has to prepare for a mission. There are just too many aspects of traditional fighting arts and sports-based fighting systems that are life-threateningly impractical and inefficient for the street and actual brutal violence.



Systema is a holistic martial art that aims to strengthen the whole person. In addition to physical training, Systema fitness also focuses on areas such as intuition, breathing capacity,  body/tension awareness, psychological calmness and more for complete development, not just on fighting or fitness alone. Fitness training regimen consists of body weight exercises, partner drills, use of breath to increase performance, freedom of movement, natural body position, generating power from a relaxed body, and much more. Systema is a study of principles and a direct experience, therefore we try as much as possible to structure the class in such a way that we don’t do repetitive drills.



Enhance your health and conditioning, remove stress and rejuvenate through unique Systema practices of static and dynamic breathwork exercises. No previous experience or fitness level is required, this IS how you get in shape physically and psychologically. Individual training process for every participant based on his/her abilities and goals. Ideal for athletes who wish to maximize performance, for professionals in high risk settings and for any person wishing to overcome irritability, fatigue and frustrations of everyday life and to gain energy, strength and happiness.

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About the School

The art of Systema is the ultimate survival system for the modern age. Subtle, brutal and uncompromising, Systema covers all aspects of combat training from hand-to-hand, grappling, multiple opponents, defense and use of weapons in any and all combat environments, and more. With no forms or kata to memorize, no techniques, no belts, no predetermined attitudes to conform to, just natural movement that can be practiced for a lifetime. Resulting in the development of a deep understanding of human nature. The work is taught in a very supportive community. Our training helps students rediscover the freedom and natural fluidity of their bodies, which is often lost after childhood. Systema is truly a unique and boundless art.

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The Instructors

Dean Foster is a “full instructor” certified by Vladimir Vasiliev of Systema HQ in Toronto to teach all aspects of Systema. In addition to Systema, Dean has trained in various martial arts since 1976 and holds black belt rankings in Tae Kwon Do, 2nd Degree in Mo Duk Pai/Kajukenbo, 6th Degree in Combat Sambo, and is a Sport Sambo Coach. 
Dean also has over 30 years law enforcement experience and was a lead use of force and firearms instructor. Dean also served over 12 years as a Special Weapons and Tactics sniper.

Michael Marleau is a Systema “Full Instructor,” certified by Vladimir Vasiliev. In addition to his experience in Systema, he is also a 1st Degree Black Belt in Tum Pai Kajukenbo.


Michael has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and is a manager of project management in the electric utility industry.


When he’s not training, he enjoys spending time in the outdoors, raising a family, and SCUBA diving in the Pacific Northwest.

Kellar Autumn is a Systema" Instructor-in-Training," certified by Vladimir Vasiliev, and has been practicing Systema since 2018. He also has a 2nd degree brown belt in Shorinji Kempo and training in weapons-based grappling from the Shivworks Collective.


Kellar is ranked Master by the US Practical Shooting Association, and has over 500 hours of firearms-related training. He is a biophysicist who loves hiking, skiing, and traveling with family and friends. 


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Opening Hours

On Tuesdays 7-9pm we are outside in the park just below the batting cage at Ida B. Wells-Barnett H.S 1151 SW Vermont

On Thursdays 7-9 pm we are at 728 N. Alberta, at North Portland Martial Arts and Movement

Oregon Coast Systema

1465 Grand Ave., Astoria, Or.

Mon / Wed / Fri  6:00 - 7:30

Saturday class:

Please send an email if interested in attending this class located on the beautiful Oregon Coast


Drop in fees are $20.00 per class



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                                        Classes now Mon/Wed/Fri                                 

                                            6:00 - 7:30p.m.

                              Location: St. Mary Start of the Sea

                                  1465 Grand Ave., Astoria, Or


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              Tuesday's we are outside, truly the best way to train

Thursday's class is at North Portland Martial Arts and Movement

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