Good on those guys for keeping an open mind while working with the Systema guy, even without sparring. I can't claim to have any great insight into Systema. I had a few practice sessions with some relatively beginner seminar students who were working to start a club in Dayton some years back. I've also watched a bunch of videos. I've done some on-and-off experimentation over the years on my own based on what I've seen. My impressions from what I've seen are as follows: They have some interesting body mechanics which could be useful in a variety of situations. In particular, they have some good relaxed power generation. They seem to have a lot of practice devoted to just internalizing that relaxed movement and using it in an instinctive fashion, rather than drilling specific techniques. I suspect sometimes some practitioners may get so caught up in those movement drills that they start confusing them with actual application. (Or a teacher who may know better may demonstrate techniques this way in order to impress students. I'm thinking in particular of Vladimir Vasiliev. He's clearly very skilled, but I've seen lots of footage of him demonstrating knife defenses which will absolutely get you killed if you try them.) Systema has a distinctive flavor to the movement, but the concepts are not unique to the art. I've occasionally seen some similar demos in certain CMAs. I've seen a couple of MMA fighters mix in certain elements of the movement in their fights. (Don't think they got it from Systema, but you never know.) The technique the guy showed in the video of hitting with the shoulder off of a clinch is one I learned from a JKD/BJJ instructor 20 years ago and by coincidence my own coach used it on me during sparring last night. For a one-on-one fight at range, I don't think Systema punching is overall as good as boxing punching. However it does offer some interesting options for working in the clinch. I played around with some Systema-style punching during sparring last night and was able to land some sneaky shots from close range.