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Combat 56, Khridoli, R.O.S.S., & Systema

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Combat 56

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Founded by Major Arkadiusz Kups, Combat 56 is a Polish close-quarter combat, self-defense art similar to judo. It is named after an elite troop known as the 56th Company, a secretive unit thought to have operated behind enemy lines during a number of recent conflicts. Kups quickly recognized the need to equip his troops with a quick-to-learn, lethal range of close-quarter special forces combat techniques that could be employed effectively on operations, and, although little is officially known about the system, it is reasonable to conclude that it contains knife-fighting elements, breaks, chokes, throws, and striking movements to vulnerable pressure points of the body.


Khridoli is an ancient Georgian martial art that includes weapons training. Its central tenets are wisdom, truth, and strength. Georgian warriors have a long tradition of fighting—stretching back some 3,500 years—and expert believe that over 30 forms of wrestling and boxing were practicec in ancient Georgia. As the country found itself on near-constant military alert throughout the centuries, the highly respected art of the warriors was considered central to the civilization’s survival. The Russian occupation of Georgia in 1921 saw a decline in native martial arts, and sambo became the art of choice for many interested in learning the fighting arts.

R.O.S.S. Style

R.O.S.S. combines elements of Russian close-quarter combat and survival techniques, including Sambo, bayonet fencing, acrobatics, dance, stunt-stylecombat, holistic health, and street fighting techniques known as “Russian fisticuffs.”  Although it is extremely difficult to verify its origins, some practitioners assert that the art is an evolution of traditions dating back to the nomadic Steppe warriors. It is thought the system was passed on through families to the modern day and, in keeping with Cossack esoteric and philosophical traditions, a strong emphasis is placed on introspection and the exploration of human potential, the laws of nature, and ancient Slavic folklore and traditions.

The modern version of R.O.S.S. was developed by Commander Alexander Retuinskih and it is claimed that the system is taught to Spetsnaz Russian Special Forces instructors—the Alpha unit of Byelorussia frontier troops in Lithuania—as part of their training regime, as well as to units of the ministries of internal affairs, defense, and protection services.

Systema Style Martial Arts

Systema is a Russian martial art taught to military Special Forces that aims to give practitioners a framework of self-defense techniques that are easy to apply and remember. It has its roots in the numerous wars to have taken place in Russia and in the ancient fighting traditions of many Russia tribes. No uniforms are required for training and, although the art has close associations with the orthodox Russian Christian Church, being religious is not a prerequisite of training.

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Tom Says:

    Combat56 is very similar to jujutsu, it has some judo techniques but the purpose of C56 is not to compete but quickly eliminate opponent. C56 is based – or at least has borrowed – quite amount of techniques from another polish hand-to-hand style: BAS-3.

  2. thacker Says:

    Thanks Tom!
    I have to say I haven’t heard of BAS-3 and I have heard of a lot of styles! I will do some looking into BAS-3.

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