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    30 June, 2022 


Master Alex Popeskou has a unique gift, that allows him to relate to each student, bringing out their full potential. I have observed the positive influence on myself and other students. We are all better people because  him.

R. P.  DOB 1957 R#301 

…Ever since I’ve started attending  SYSTEMA classes four months ago, I noticed a great shift and changes happening within myself, my way of thinking, perceiving people and life circumstances. Being aware of your breathing is one of the most important  principles and is so helpful if you apply it with consciousness. It relaxes your body and mind, gives you clarity of thought that will show you the way out of difficult situations you may encounter.

*The whole idea is to reroute us back to our instincts, tune us back into long forgotten childhood games: easy play, quick and simplest solution finding–so important, yet often lost in our adult behavior.

*I feel very fortunate having found this class, and I am forever grateful having you as my teacher/master. You combine tactical moves with boosting  our mental ability to overcome adversarial situations and still preserve our humanity and love for others, while keeping ourselves safe.

E.G. DOB  1972   R# 302

…I have been taking the class  for six months now and am more flexible than I have ever been in my life. I have learned how to stay relaxed in high stress situations 
and as a last resort defend myself in a multitude of situations. Alex constantly keeps the class interesting and is a great instructor. His ''Battle tested'' experience and real world knowledge that he brings to the class sets him apart from other instructors.

R.G. DOB 1957  R#303

…The composure, erudition  and ability to prognosticate the situation and act professionally in different high risky situations have always distinguished Mr. Popeskou.

He has practical experience of working with weapons of different modification and different situations. The greatest assets of  Mr. Popeskou are his loyalty, ability to assess people’s intentions on the basis of their behavior, and to detect indications for the existence of real threats. 

V. R. DOB 1960  R#304 

....Master Alex has a unique gift that allows him to relate to each student, bringing out their full potential. I have observed the positive influence on myself and other students, we are all better people because  him.

R. P.  DOB 1957 R#305 

...He has been my mentor in this arena for the past two years. He has proven  to be a knowledgeable and patient Instructor, he is able to find the greatest good in all his students and nurtures his findings until his students can recognize  their own greatest strengths.

V.T. DOB 1957   R#306 

…The training I have been fortunate enough to receive  at  Berkoot  IPA is without a doubt the finest available anywhere in the world. It is based on threats found in the real world. Berkoot Training  has improved my physical strength, coordination and confidence. Relaxation is one of the precepts taught, and this has been the most valuable for me. I am more efficient at work and more capable of protecting myself now.

 R.G. DOB 1957   R#307

...When I started training at the Berkoot Program I had severe limitations in the movement of my left hand and left leg due to accidents and surgeries. I am amazed at the accomplishment you have showed me one can achieve. At 40 years of age, I can truly say I am in the best physical shape of my life. I have learned to defend myself from knife, stick and gun confrontations, and to survive an attack while having my arms restrained with ropes.

R.T. DOB 1964  R#308

I belive that God walks with me, but it is my responsibility to do my work, finish my job. The spiritual connotations are deep and extensive yet uniquely understandable and applicable in Systema. Its history, like Russian history,  is rich in its spiritual foundations.

*I alone am responsible for my health, my protection, etc. Age is never an excuse. “No one except us”!

*The 4 principles of Systema; breathing, relaxation, form, and constant movement are integral to everything. One could write volumes on these 4 principles, enough to fill a dozen encyclopedias and still not explain their full meanings and applications. This is the beginning of understanding Systema  and its endless, ever evolving concepts. The principles apply as much in everyday life as in Systema it self. Systema, unlike other martial arts, adapts it self to me and my body type, limitations, etc.

*Always go “with” the direction of the attack. This confuses your opponent among other things and sets up a natural response from you. If you resist or block, you supply a leverage point for your attacker and this puts you in a weak position. 

B. L. DOB 1955 R#309

...Alex ‘s ability to teach, communicate and understand what each individual needs for his/her personal training is amazing. He has a unique style of teaching which teaches love and respect for others while  being competent in one’s movements. His outstanding character allows people to be comfortable in vulnerable situations so they can learn to minimize their  fear in order to control a situation from start to finish with the least amount  of damage to themselves or loved ones.

C. P. DOB 1963 R#310

…Overall, I think Alex brings out the confidence, self awareness, environmental awareness, love, honor, respect, self-discipline, belonging, pride in oneself, and many other attributes that make a person more capable to deal with society in general. All of these benefits can be attained by participating in Alex  Popeskou’s classes. As a Real Estate professional, I would highly recommend this type of personal protection system class to anyone who is placed in potentially dangerous situations in the courses of their daily life.

P.C. DOB 1963 R#311

...As a  Firearms Instructor I know the importance of having many tools in my  self-defense toolbox. The Russian martial art of Systema is just the type of tool. Studying  at  Berkoot  Courses  has  been just as demanding  as it is enjoyable. The Instructor knows just how far he can push you and your body in every class. I would recommend it to anyone of any age.              

 J. S. DOB 1958  R#312

...Russian Martial Art *Systema* teaches practical lessons for a dangerous world. I hold a brown belt in Wado-Kai Karate from Japan International Karate Center headquartered in Honolulu Hawaii, however, nothing I have learned in karate has prepared me for street confrontations like the training I am getting from Master Alex Popeskou. I am learning to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations; how to get out of different holds and to disarm at attacker; and finally to fight, if necessary, from any position. Master Popeskou is highly trained and patient Instructor who inspires trust and confidence in his students.

J. P. DOB 1950 R#313

...Mr.Popeskou is clearly a professional with a strong attitude and commitment to integrity. It has been my pleasure to engage Alex Popeskou to supervise and care for my personal physical training over the past eight months. During this time he has provided his personal attention and expertise to achieving my goals of physical fitness and weight loss. His sincere personal attention to my exercise and training program provided me with a great deal of trust and appreciation for his work outs. My welfare and safety being of utmost concern, Alex took extreme care not to exceed my limitations and cautioned me to not engage in more advanced exercises. I have the utmost respect and admiration for Alex’s talents and expertise and his integrity in dealing and caring for his students. I have no hesitation in recommending Mr.Popeskou.

F. H.  DOB 1938 R#314

...I was hoping to improve my fitness lever when I joined your Berkoot Classes. I can now say after just four short months that I continue to be amazed by the amount of progress I’ve made and by how very enjoyable I find the classes. Some of the ways I have benefited are in the areas of self confidence, posture, general fitness and muscle tone. It was somewhat of a surprise to see how quickly I noticed improvements in my health. ....... In addition to the physical benefits I am greatly impressed with how your instruction has given me a foundation for my personal self-defense system. a system that I look forward to improving and refining with continued practice, hopefully for a long time to come. At the age of 65 I think of you as a blessing in my life. I only wish I has found you 20 years ago. But maybe I wasn’t ready for you then. As the saying goes, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear”. Thank you.  

A. W. DOB 1939 R#315

...My Systema classes at Berkoot IPA have taught me relaxation, proper breathing, and how to defend myself in any situation. I’ve learned that no situation is hopeless and there is always a way to escape or fight back. I feel I have greater control of my environment with my ability to protect myself and my family. As a result of my training, I have a chance to save my life and escape being a victim. *Systema* has impresses upon me the importance of relaxation. I now know that if I am relaxed, I can better handle situations and conflicts. My training has also taught me how to better control my tempter as* Systema* emphasizes never to fight for selfish ends.

Berkoot Academy give me an excellent workout and a way to relieve stress. At Berkoot IPA I have not only learned self-defense, but I have gained a great amount of self confidence. This confidence has aided me in all aspects of my life. I have become more self-assured in my actions. I can more easily deal with people and express myself. 

P. R. DOB 1987 R#316

...When I first found you last year, I know you were exactly what I have been looking for! You have given me a new lease on life. I am no longer the scared, week and insecure woman that walked through your door many months ago. My back, as you remember, was such a concern of mine. I was so afraid of re-injuring it, but you took the time to work with me and reassured me, and now it isn’t even a thought. My back, not to mention every other part of me, is stronger then it has been in years. The difference in my attitude and self confidence has been witnessed by my family and friends. Your determination, character and morals will continue to carry you far in life. I tell everyone I know all about you and what you have to offer. Alex, you are truly a gift from God! Forever thankful,

L. M.  DOB 1967  R#317

..... Berkoot Training  has been valuable beyond my original purpose because it emphasizes a complete array of self defense skills, both mental and physical, such as observation skills, situational awareness. The observation skills of being aware of our opportunities beyond self defense. The psychological negotiation strategy avoids precipitating violence by avoiding confrontation, or inflaming emotions by conflict at a disadvantageous time.

W. R. DOB 1956 R#318

...Alex has always been a very positive and optimistic person with a gentle spirit and a good heart. I have had  opportunity to see Alex in many different situations, ..as a businessman, an Instructor, a father and a friend. Regardless the situation, difficulty, or challenge, Alex has never swayed from his strong, positive and caring character. He is well liked and respected in the community and by everyone he meets.

V. U. DOB 1967 R#319

…Your class teaches us to be unsurprised by almost any dangerous situation we are likely to encounter, as the constant training allows us to act almost instinctively. We can then “go to work” to extricate us from this situation by combining the various knife and gun disarming skills you teach us with  the ability to keep our body relaxed and  controlled while we continue to think rationally until we are out of danger.

I realize that until now, I had always relied on my large size as being a deterrent. If I were actually faced with dangers without my firearm, I would not have had the skills required to successfully defend my family. I truly enjoy the physical conditioning I gain from Systema as well as continuing to expand my abilities to better defend myself and my family from unexpected threats.

J. P.  DOB  1972 R#320

…I always thought if you were tense you would feel no pain. Then you taught me that being tense gave you more pain than if you’re relaxed. You also taught me that if I breathe I will feel less pain. I also like how we work with the guns if someone holds me hostage, I know how to escape with the gun. I like how you teach us to take control of a knife if someone is holding us hostage or coming at us with a knife. Punching is also what I like to do because you teach us about the momentum of a punch.

Overall I love your classes.

N. G.  DOB 1999  R#321

…Alex taught us that the floor, wall, ceiling, door, car interior, etc.,  are all allies to be used as tools in any confrontation.

*Always respect someone with a knife or gun. I also now have numerous methods for disarming an assailant with a gun, knife, chain, rifle, stick, to name a few.  Relative to this, Alex has taught the value of a soft, almost invisible approach, moving like water,  undetectable by your opponent, so that he feels nothing  from you and he is disarmed before he knows what has happened. Your own tension will give away your intention and this will give your opponent advance warning of what you are doing.

*Strikes are much more effective and elusive when a whip motion is utilized along with the wave energy. Again, I could write volumes on the wave principle but understanding how to strike and move with a wave, and as a wave, is the beginning of real physical freedom and power and has made me much more pliable and fluid in my own movements, even my thinking. The overall benefits are way too numerous to list.

B. L. DOB 1955  R#322

 ...I am continually impressed with your skill and professionalism particularly your ability to analyze  people and asses a situation for possible threats. I hope that because of your  training I will never need to use any of the combat skills that I am learning. Your program is teaching me  mostly how to be prepared by just being aware of my surroundings and circumstances and to stay  out of situations requiring force especially by watching and listening to people around myself, family and friends....Your Protection School inspires me to realize all of the positive things one can do to defend himself, loved ones and friends. Because of you I am better Person.

G. V.  DOB 1954 R#323





Truth, in the absolute sense of the word, can not be known. One can only know some aspect of what is true or not true. Truth is born of experience, and tested over time.