Well-versed in several forms of martial arts, Eduard Kalika has transformed self-defense to a whole new level of personal. Focusing on coaching martial arts as a way to grow healthier and more confident, he designs practice based on the individual's preferences and capabilities. Many different people all over the Northwest suburbs are reclaiming their control through Kalika's Kodkokan School of MMA, relearning what it means to be fit, focused, and happy.
Where are you from originally?
The Soviet Union.
When did you come here?
What forms of martial arts do you practice?
Sambo, Combat Hapkido, Judo, Combat Sambo and Mixed Martial Arts.
How were you introduced to martial arts?
When I was a kid, I ended up in a fight with multiple kids and I was wrestling them without kicking or punching. Someone was watching me and grew impressed; he eventually became my mentor. Then, by age 18, I had to go to the army.
What did you do while in the army?
I was wrestling for the army club. I was eventually transferred to be a part of the Spetsnaz unit and was introduced to one of the most unique forms of martial arts, Spetsnaz hand-to-hand-contact, which was based on Sambo, Jiu Jitsu, and Karate.
Can you expand on what those forms of martial arts entail?
Sambo is primarily Soviet (Russian) style of Hand-To-Hand Combat and sport; it is practiced in more than 100 countries and on 5 continents. Judo is completely Japanese; it is based on Jiu Jitsu and Karate, but without the punching or kicking.
You’ve coached Judo in China and Ukraine. How did you manage to do that?
I was on the Ukrainian National Team and then had the opportunity to work in China. I signed the contract in ’91 and coached the women’s Olympic team there for a year.
Then you came to the U.S?
Yes, I coached judo from 1993-94 at the YMCA, and then at Palace of Sports in Buffalo Grove. While I was coaching I was, and am still, competing in national competitions placing as a World Champion in Sambo Among Masters twice, a Champion in Global Hapkido twice, World Champion Among Masters in Judo twice, a Pan-American Champion in Sambo, the U.S Judo Champion five times and U.S Sambo Champion three times. So as you can tell, I am always trying to stay active.
How does your coaching differ from other martial arts coaches?
It’s a mixture of everything I know and focuses around my students’ bodies and abilities. My goal is to improve their health, self-esteem, strength, and knowledge on self-defense. Because I am well-versed in many types of martial arts, my concentration is on the student rather than the style. I want to teach them what fits them best.
Also, as far as children go, I believe that they should learn how to fall and control their bodies first before they learn how to kick or punch.
What are you currently doing?
Now I’m a doctor, but I still coach Sambo, Combat Hapkido, Judo, Combat Sambo, Self-defense and Mixed Martial Arts at my club, the Kodkokan school of MMA in Buffalo Grove. It’s open for men, women, and children of all ages, shapes, and sizes. We also teach Kickboxing and May Tay at our school.