The KORA logo copyright Richard Killick
A few people have emailed me and asked what KORA stands for, well it stands for Killick Off Road Arts and is my blend of MMA, combatives and weapons training. The off road name came about in 1985, when I was working and training with some Royal Marines and one of them was relating clearing trench's in the Falklands war in 1982. He dropped into a trench only to kill one of the enemy and have his rifle jam. The second enemy soldier was dispatched with an entrenching tool, from what we would now call knee mount. A couple of us made comments and someone else said that's a pretty off road way to kill some poor soul. That phrase kind of stuck in my head, and later when I was teaching a mixture of Combatives, Judo, Muay Thai and Kali we needed a name for our little group...
The Original Group
The picture above is not the training group but it does show me when I was in Casino Training Platoon and the hanger like gymnasium where the group occasionally trained. The group started as an unofficial training group comprised of members of the military and even some civil servants.
The First Training Period 1982 to 1986
We trained for hand to hand combat and also to compete in boxing and Muay Thai back in the mid eighties. We mixed Combatives which is commonly called "jap slapping" or CQB in the army and blended it with Muay Thai and boxing. We added knife work and some firearms training.
A couple of the original guys were trained in Judo and had also studied the British Army version of aikido, which was mainly used to arrest people or pin or move them. Its fair to say that the art then was designed to create space, to get to your weapon or to restrain someone without using deadly force.
The advantage this first group had was that we were all young, fit and up for hard contact. We had access to a gym, in door and out door ranges and also firearms. There was also a lot of opportunity to road test our skills in real situations and get feedback.
Second Training Period 1987 to 2005
Later as a civilian I taught some LEO students and the group grow on a friend of friends basis. I added Kali and Silat to help with baton work and restraining techniques. We also introduced the concept of the fence which was pioneered by Geoff Thompson.
We then added Vale Tudo which turned in to MMA and blended it with the Combatives we had.
Originally if you wanted to join the group, a member had to vouch for you. We had two other quality control measures, firstly the training was hard or full contact and you were 100% guaranteed to get banged up on the first night and on a regular basis there after, the second control was the majority of the regular guys had to like you and think you had something to offer. Later when I was out of the military the only pre-rec was that you had to spar and fight to join the training group. Over the years the number of people trained by me is around the 500 mark from 1982 until present. The group was and is about a group of guys and girls getting together to push and enhance their skills.
In 2005 I retired from public teaching to carry on my research into other arts and I thought that was the end of our little group. However I forgot about the original group members who had continued to train others either officially or on a low profile basis.
It's amazing how a small idea and some will power can plant a seed that grows organically and takes on a life of its own.