Kaelum Kalista is an American martial artist who has lived in Punta Cana for several years. A practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kaelum recently won gold at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Pan Am Championship, and is now ranked the Number One Brown Belt in the world.
Originally from Sweetwater, Tennessee, Kaelum moved to the Dominican Republic several years ago. Since 2010, he has been teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Punta Cana.
Kaelum wanted to give back to the community and to share his enthusiasm for the sport with children in the hope that it will keep kids off the streets. He points out that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is quite a difficult martial art to master, but that “if anyone can conquer something as difficult as this, they can conquer anything!”
Kaelum’s students pay what they can – his classes are free for those kids who can’t afford them.
And he teaches women and girls for free. Effective self-defense is an important foundation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Kaelum wants to empower women and girls to be able to evade, neutralize and overcome an attacker if necessary.
Kaelum receives support for his training program through donations, sponsors, and sales of uniforms to tourists who come to Punta Cana to train with him. All donations are welcome.
About Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using proper technique, leverage, and most notably, taking the fight to the ground. Physical strength can be offset or enhanced by an experienced grappler who knows how to maximize force using mechanical advantage instead of pure physical strength.
For more information on Kaelum’s classes, call (809) 474-7175 or visit him on Facebook: kaelum.kalista