Private Investigations and Personal Security/"Systema" as a Self-Defense system
How do you rate Russian "Systema" as a self-defense system?
Actually it is just like anything else... it depends on the teacher.
I've met a few guys who were flat out awesome in what they did.
And then I also have met some guys who can't fight their way out of a wet paper bag who claimed that they were experts in the stuff.
While I have never met Vasiley personally I know some folks who study with him who are very, very impressed with him. Their points are that much of what he teaches is along the same lines of what I teach (i.e. destroy his structure as you move). So from what I hear and have seen, his stuff has some good techincal value to it.
The thing you always have to watch for whether it is the system, savate, silat, kali or karate is something I started out saying a long time ago "People get into the martial arts to learn self-defense, they stay there for other reasons"
Those other reasons are what should make you say "Wait a minute." It is a fine line between a cult and a fighting system because people who get involved are usually motivated by other things than just physical prowess...and even that desire should be carefully considered in a "what's going on inside that head of yours" context.
From a technical standpoint, check it out, see if you can get useful information. But like any other supposed "fighting" system be careful about getting sucked into "True beleiver land." There are all kinds of people out there in the martial arts, reality-reality based selfdefense, CQC world who are less about teaching people effective selfdefense and more about making money off true beleivers.
Again, it depends on the teacher and it also depends on what you are looking for. Before you go anywhere, figure out your motivations for going there.