Instructor Bio

I’m going to write this instructor bio in first person. My name is John-Paul, or you can call me JP. Martial arts have resulted to play quite a huge role in my life. First beginning with Goju Karate at 8, then wrestling and ju-jitsu as a teenager, then MMA as a young-man. Eventually my path brought me to Systema, where I have been fascinated ever since…


The critical difference that I have experienced by training in Systema instead of other disciplines, is the ability to train and understand one’s movement and emotions on an instinctual level – not limited to memorized, cognitive, and repeated movements.

A photo of Vladimir (on right) and myself.

Please don’t misunderstand my respect of modern and ancient martial arts traditions. I am also a big fan of Aikido and QiGong, which may arguably hold some level of similarity to Systema. I would still disagree and say that Systema is a one-of-a-kind method, style, practice, System…


Have you ever met a Master in your life? That could be a great Musician, Athlete, Pilot, or whatever expertise you might be sensitive enough to sense and respect… When you meet a Master, your life is changed forever. I am merely among a vast crowd of humble students who have been greatly blessed by the Mastery of both Vladimir Vasiliev and Mikhail Ryabko. In our classes at Systema Waterloo, I will be doing my utmost to convey what I feel I have (and am) genuinely learned about training and life, based on the methods of these two Masters.

A photo of Mikhail (Left) and myself.


My experience includes a beginning 3 years at the Systema HQ Toronto by Vladimir Vasiliev from 2007 – 2010. Twice during this period I attended 1 month of training at the Moscow HQ by Mikhail Ryabko. Then my life took me to Vancouver BC, where I founded Systema Vancouver‘s beginning years from 2010 to 2013. Now I live, work, and train here in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. I stay connected to the Systema community by training at Systema HQ Toronto.


It’s my conviction to train real Vasiliev/Ryabko Systema. I won’t pretend for a moment that Breathing isn’t at the very core of everything we are doing on the mats… We are doing real Systema, real breathing, real contact, real emotions, and real learning. Above all, enjoying the work from our hearts! When something like training is important to you, it will be difficult. Our classes every week is a place to bring your heart-first attempt to be a better person – Let’s train with the best intentions to one another, and without a doubt a community of good people will form and grow.


Looking forward to seeing you there!