Services We Offer

 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.


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.


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 Kung Fu, 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 “Instructor in Training,” 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.


Opening Hours

Southwest PDX

Mon. & Wed.  7:00 - 9:pm






Southwest Portland Martial Arts

1509 SW Sunset Blvd

Portland, OR 97239

(Facing SW Cheltenham St)


Monday & Wednesday

7 - 9 pm


What’s Up Next

Stay in the Know


Early Announcement for:

Practical Pistol 1



                                          THIS EVENT IS FULL

Date:               May 2 & 3, 2020

Time:              Starting early morning and shooting in the dark

Cost:               $200.00 (most meals provided)

Location:        Oregon Coast Range


Come enjoy an intensive weekend of studying practical pistol.  This is not just standing on the range

and engaging targets, this course will require you to think, and apply your skills in a variety of scenarios. Quick overview of some of the topics that will be covered are: Safety, fundamentals of marksmanship, making any pistol "work", multiple  targets, moving targets, shooting on the move, ground work, shooting in the dark, multiple target engagements, targets at distance, unusual shooting positions, and much more

Registration is now open.  You must send an email requesting a registration packet.  Once the completed packet has been received and reviewed you will be contacted for payment.  When payment is received your placed in the class will be reserved.   

This class is limited to the first ten paid registrants 

Required Equipment:

Pistol and minimum of four double stack magazines (8 magazines if single stack)

Quality outside the waistband holster and magazine pouch

1500 rounds of ammunition

Eye protection

Electronic ear protection

Flashlight / hand held or weapon mounted

Baseball style hat

Attire suitable for the weather

Camping equipment (sheltered areas will be available)

Personal needs items

Space will be limited and is already filling up

If class fills and there is enough interest, a second class will be offered prior to Practical Pistol 2

Oregon Coast Systema Seminar

Astoria Full Fitness Center

3975 Abbey Ln., Astoria, Or. 97103

March 1, 2020   11-2  (or maybe a bit later)

Explore relaxation in movement and how develop freedom and power.

$30 at the door (includes guest gym fee)


Southwest Portland Martial Arts

1249 SW Cheltenham

Portland, OR 97239


Monday & Wednesday


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