Kahm-nah, pronounced “kum-nah”, roughly translates to the art of seizing, grasping and locking. Called chin-nah in Mandarin, this is the art of applying joint locking and joint dislocating techniques for self-defense.
Kahm-nah is not its own “style”, but is an integral part of most traditional Chinese martial arts systems. Historically, it is thought by many to be the grandfather of many of today’s popular joint locking based systems such as jiu jitsu, hapkido, and aikido. Joint locking represents one of the four main skills of fighting that make arts like Choy Li Fut Kung-Fu such a complete and versatile system of self-defense.
Kahm-nah skills are an invaluable component in the serious martial artist’s arsenal, because the techniques are extremely practical. Since not every violent encounter will require lethal force, kahm-nah arms an individual with options to restrain and subdue an assailant rather than seriously injure the person. And, for those situations where it’s your life or his, joint locking can easily become joint “breaking” by applying the techniques with more explosive force and energy, causing damage that can quickly debilitate an attacker.
Kahm-nah techniques are especially useful in weapon disarming situations, as well as situations in which you are trying to prevent an attacker from gaining control of your weapon. Kahm-nah techniques are especially useful in weapon defense situations, because they can be used to quickly and effectively disarm an opponent. If you work in security or law enforcement, kahm-nah is great for retaining control of any weapons an assailant might try to take away from you.
Another component of kahm-nah that is little known is “saw-hau” or “bai-hei”, which means “locking the throat” and “sealing the breath”. These are the choking techniques of the art. Again, these kinds of techniques are extremely practical, because if there’s no blood and oxygen going to your opponent’s brain, he can’t hurt you. In fact, he won’t be able to do much of anything at all, because he’ll be unconscious! It takes less than ten seconds to render even the largest person unconscious with a well-executed choke hold.
I had the great privilege of acquiring my kahm-nah education from my Sifu, Master Nathan Fisher, the Founder of Combat Kung-Fu, as well as from his teachers, Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong and Great Grandmasters Hu-Yuen Chou and Wong Gong, all high level masters in the Choy Li Fut Kung-Fu system. Students can learn the direct application of these kahm-nah skills integrated with striking, kicking, and throwing within the self-defense techniques taught on the Combat Kung-Fu training site, one of the best online resources for online self-defense.