Former KGB agent comes to Suffolk

AN ex-member of the Russian secret service will be bringing his martial arts knowledge to the masses in a seminar in Felixstowe this weekend.Three-times KGB champion of combat sambo, Valeri Riazanov, 34, will be teaching people the basics of the Russian martial arts in the seminar at Deben High School on Sunday .

AN ex-member of the Russian secret service will be bringing his martial arts knowledge to the masses in a seminar in Felixstowe this weekend.

Three-times KGB champion of combat sambo, Valeri Riazanov, 34, will be teaching people the basics of the Russian martial arts in the seminar at Deben High School on Sunday .

Defence against knife attacks, mass attacks and groundwork will all be taught, along with a number of more advanced self-defence tactics.

Mr Riazanov was born in the former Soviet Union and started studying martial arts at a young age. He was a member of the KGB for several years.


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He moved to North London nine years ago and now travels around the country teaching his art.

Mr Riazanov specialises in systema, also known as 'The System', which was used to train Stalin's bodyguards and is still used by Russian special forces and government bodyguards.

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The Felixstowe seminar will explore the differences between the arts of systema – a more gentle approach to self defence, and sambo – a more combative approach.

The class will be separated in to two parts. Co-organiser David Kirillov explained: "The first part will focus on Sambo and the more confrontational spectacular aspects of the art, while the second half will teach The System's more gentle non-threatening techniques."

Mr Riazanov and Mr Kirillov were persuaded to come to Felixstowe by Mark Nixon, a martial arts teacher from Felixstowe who teaches Thai boxing and self-defence classes at Deben High school.

Mr Nixon said: "I've became interested in The System a few years ago. It teaches you how to deal with situations that other martial arts don't and I just wanted to bring something different to the town."

The classes are open to anybody with an interest in martial arts but are particularly targeted at those working in the security industry.

Mr Riazanov said: "You don't really have to be able to do 300 press ups to be able to get something from this class but you will need to know the basics.

"It's more about teaching people the capabilities of their own body and how to look after themselves. It helps to give people a bit of confidence."

For more information contact Mark Nixon on 07818052798.

Weblink: www.systema.co.uk

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