I’ve seen quite a bit of what they do and I gotta say, pretty badass. I’ve been in my share of scuffles and in my share of situations that only luckily ended well. In all of those I’ve never thought that I had “enough” fighting skills during the fight. I always want to be a lot better right about then. No sane man ever decides that he’s so badass he can officially take on all comers without worry of injury much less defeat with no more skill and knowledge than he has right then.
A while back, during some travels, I met up with a gentleman that runs a combat training school in another country and we’d spoken a few times about getting him to bring his training to American shores. The system he teaches is called Kalah and is based heavily in Israeli self defense techniques from Krav Maga as well as some military derived material. It would be inaccurate to call it a self-defense class. It’s not and they make that point themselves very clearly. To quote:
“The Kalah System is not a sports fighting system, nor is it what would be commonly labeled as a self-defense program. It’s a combat system. This means that it deals with real world violence, in a real way.”
Boy oh boy are they not kidding. This kind of fighting isn’t about some argument you have in a sports bar. It’s not about a tiff with someone in line at the Wal-Mart. It’s about being the one that walks away; even if a bit bloodied, from an encounter where someone is trying to kill you or yours or do someone under your protection great bodily harm. Loudmouths at ballparks notwithstanding, this isn’t fighting. It’s combat.
Combat means someone is may just die before it’s all over and that fact is simply not a factor in the decision process to engage because you’ve been committed already. Either you committed yourself by your own actions or someone else committed you to it without your permission. Either way, you’re in. If you’re skipping over the possibility nee probability that someone’s going to come out either on a gurney or a slab then the situation has very much passed up simple fighting. In a fight I might blacken your eye or bust a rib or maybe knock you out cold. In combat, on the other hand, I’m going to try my hardest to kill you.
It’s a critical mindset difference. When you have a simple fight you’re looking to settle an issue completely separate to the fight through the vehicle of a fight. When you’re in combat you’re looking to settle the fact that someone’s about to kill or seriously injure you and whatever issue started it is no longer a matter for consideration.
Once you have this kind of skill set, you then become responsible for making decisions (mindset) on when and how to use the skills. Certainly some techniques are likely to bring the ballpark loudmouth fight to a much more rapid conclusion than the traditional squaring off and trading of blows would. It’s also pretty sure that many of the techniques will inflict substantial physical injury requiring professional treatment to your opponent so it can’t be used flippantly lest you open yourself up to potential civil and criminal sanction. There is, after all, such a thing as a use of force continuum which can be escalated through but you’re not supposed to skip over whole sections.
When James Yeager says, “Mindset, tactics, skill, gear. In that order.” it’s not a joke. He’s saying something very important. Mindset and tactics set Kalah apart from others that pay lip service to mindset and tactics but in reality focus on skills and gear.
Taking this kind of class, expect that you’re going to take a swat or two now and then. I mean they try to not punch you in the face but if you’re ever going to need to deal with getting punched in the face, it probably helps to have dealt with it before when your life wasn’t on the line. This training includes not only hand to hand but also hand to gun and hand to knife and other mixtures of those things. The training assumes that when you get to using it, you’ll be in a real life and death scenario. Also assume that whatever clothes you bring are going to be pretty tore up from the floor up when you’re done. They won’t just be dirty.
For more information, take a peek at http://www.echocharlie.co.za/kalah-combat-training/ .
So what do you think? Are you ready for Kalah? I’m thinking about working out a class in California, another somewhere mid-west-y like Tennessee/Kentucky/Missouri and somewhere east coast-y, perhaps near to North Carolia and somewhere in New England.
If you’re interested in a class, email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me about it or comment below. We’ll keep updates coming on the progress. If there’s enough interest I’ll pop dates and details on the training page under Products and you can register there.