Caliber 3 - Israeli "Commando Tourism"

Collection with 29 media items created by giulianocamarda

03 Nov 2013 04:00

The Caliber 3 Academy in the West Bank area of Gush Etzyon has become a renowned training center for both professionals and amateurs alike, where people come from around the world to be trained in counter-terrorism techniques. On any given training day, the trainers at Caliber 3 are instructing Israeli citizens and tourists, adults and children, in emergency response tactics and “Krav Maga,” a self-defense system developed for military in Israel and Hungary that consists of a wide combination of techniques sourced from boxing, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Judo, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and grappling, along with realistic fight training.

The company was founded by IDF Colonel Sharon Gat in 2002 Caliber 3 was founded by Sharon Gat, who is also the CEO. The academy is certified by Israel’s Ministry of Homeland Security, the Police Force, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and works closely with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) as well. Despite the fact that the shooting ranges are filled with photo targets of Arab men wearing keffiyahs on their heads, Gat stresses that the training is not how to attack or provoke terrorists, but only protection. “Even if the targets are Arabs and they don't like Jews, we don't shoot people that are not intended to make a terrorist act.”

American and Russian tourists are among some of the many tourists who come to the academy looking for a different type of tourism than usual. Caliber 3 advertises this new tourism as “Commando Tourism,” where people can come train alongside seasoned veterans with real-life counterterrorism experience. The bullets are true but the participants seem to be having a lot of fun. One woman, Margo, came from New York with her young son Harry to learn self-defenses, while Mary from Fishers, Indiana, came with her entire family just for a good time during their vacation in Israel.

"They are mostly American and Russian Jews who have relatives or friends in the colonies," says Gat, continuing, “they want to understand what it means to live in a climate of war where you must defend 24/7 from the Palestinians."

The academy includes three shooting ranges, a dining room, a Krav Maga gym and a tactical training center. Caliber 3 is dedicated to Capt. Hagai Hayim Lev, a 24-year-old Israeli soldier killed in 2002 during a military operation in southern Gaza Strip.

Photos by Giuliano Camarda

Photo Essay Photo Collec... West Bank Israel Tourism Gush Etzyon Terrorism Mena Counterterro... Idf Palestine Krav Maga Caliber 3 Featured Co...

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Caliber 3 - 1
Gush Etzyon, Israel
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Sign at the entrance of Caliber 3 Academy in West Bank area of Gush Etzyon. It was established in 2002 by Col. Sharon Gat. Caliber 3 works in close cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the field of counter-terrorism. The place is dedicated to Capt. Hagai Hayim Lev, a 24 years old Israeli soldier killed in 2002 during a military operation in southern Gaza Strip.

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Caliber 3 - 2
Gush Etzyon
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Sharon Gat, C.E.O and Founder of Caliber 3, explains to a group of tourists after a demonstration, "Even if the targets are Arabs and they don't like Jews, we don't shoot to people that are not intended to make a terrorist act."

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Caliber 3 - 3
Gush Etzyon
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

A group of Israeli trainees praying during a course for becoming security guards on the light train in Jerusalem

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Caliber 3 - 4
Gush Etzyon
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Professional team of Caliber 3 during a demonstration of a V.I.P. protection operation

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Caliber 3 - 5
Gush Etzyon, Israel
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Mary from Fishers, Indiana, during a shooting session with a hand gun. She came with all her family to have a unique experience in Israel. They came just for fun and they thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Caliber 3 - 6
Gush Etzyon, Israel
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Eitan Cohen, Combat and Krav Maga instructor, during a basic shooting training session with a group of American and Russian tourists.

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Caliber 3 - 7
Gush Etzyon, Israel
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

One of the three shooting rangea at Caliber 3 Academy, in the West Bank area of Gush Etzyon.

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Caliber 3 - 8
Gush Etzyon
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Eitan Cohen, Combat and Krav Maga instructor, during a basic shooting training session with a group of American and Russian tourists.

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Caliber 3 - 9
Gush Etzyon, Israel
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Professional team of Caliber 3 during a demonstration of a V.I.P. protection operation.

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Caliber 3 - 10
Gush Etzyon
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

A group of Israeli young men during a Krav Maga lesson. Krav Maga is a self-defense system developed for military in Israel and Hungary that consists of a wide combination of techniques sourced from boxing, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Judo, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and grappling, along with realistic fight training.

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Caliber 3 - 11
Gush Etzyon
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Professional team of Caliber 3 during a demonstration of a V.I.P. protection operation

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Caliber 3 - 12
Gush Etzyon
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Samuel from Fishers, Indiana, during a shooting session with a hand gun. He came with his family to make a unique experience in Israel. They came just for fun.

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Caliber 3 - 13
Gush Etzyon, West Bank
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Professional team of Caliber 3 during a demonstration of a V.I.P. protection operation.

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Caliber 3 - 14
Gush Etzyon
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Professional team of Caliber 3 during a demonstration of a V.I.P. protection operation.

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Caliber 3 - 15
Gush Etzyon, West Bank
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Alex Baramba, Combat and Krav Maga instructor, teaching a group of Russian tourists how to shoot with a hand gun.

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Caliber 3 - 16
Gush Etzyon, West Bank
By giulianocamarda
31 Dec 2012

One of the several target posters used in the Caliber 3 shooting range depicting an Arab man.

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Caliber 3 - 17
Gush Etzyon, West Bank
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Eitan Cohen is a Combat and Krav Maga instructor who has worked at Caliber 3 for two years. In the past, he took part in several special missions in Mexico, Nigeria and India as a contractor. He's also a Muay Thai athlete.

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Caliber 3 - 18
Gush Etzyon, West Bank
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Sharon Gat, C.E.O and Founder of Caliber 3, explains to a group of tourists after a demonstration, "Even if the targets are arabs and they don't like jews, we don't shoot people that are not intended to make a terrorist act."

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Caliber 3 - 19
Gush Etzyon, West Bank
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Margo with her young son Harry, from New York, checking the results of her first handgun shooting session.

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Caliber 3 - 20
Gush Etzyon, West Bank
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Steve Gar, combat instructor, shows a group of tourist the results of a professional demonstration. All the bullets hit the center of the target perfectly.

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Caliber 3 - 21
Gush Etzyon, West Bank
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Eitan Cohen, Combat and Krav Maga instructor, teaches a group of American tourists from New York how to hold a shotgun during a "Commando Tourism" training.

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Caliber 3 - 23
Gush Etzyon, West Bank
By giulianocamarda
03 Nov 2013

A group of American tourists from New York learn how to hold a shotgun during a "Commando Tourism" training lesson.

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Caliber 3 - 24
Gush Etzyon, West Bank
By giulianocamarda
03 Nov 2013

Yonah, from New York, during his first shooting session with a handgun.

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Caliber 3 - 25
Gush Etzyon, West Bank
By giulianocamarda
03 Nov 2013

Young Harry from New York enjoying shooting with a paintball shotgun.

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Caliber 3 - 26
Gush Etzyon, West Bank
By giulianocamarda
03 Nov 2013

Harry from New York enjoying shooting with a paintball shotgun.

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Caliber 3 - 27
Gush Etzyon, West Bank
By giulianocamarda
03 Nov 2013

Glen, 19, from the U.S. double checking the empty bullets. He works part-time at Caliber 3 to pay for his studies in a Yeshiva (religious) School.

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Caliber 3 - 28
Gush Etzyon, West Bank
By giulianocamarda
03 Nov 2013

Sharon Gat, the C.E.O and founder of Caliber 3, is a Colonel in the IDF Special Forces, with vast operational experience in guerrilla warfare and counter terrorism in the field. His experience includes commanding units in special operations in Lebanon, the West Bank and the Gaza strip. During an interview he says, "We have our enemies very motivated to do attacks on us in the cities, in settlements, wherever there are Jews. We're not waiting for a suicide bomber to come, but we want to be prepared."

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Caliber 3 - 29
Gush Etzyon, West Bank
By giulianocamarda
03 Nov 2013

Shai Ish Shalom, Senior Combat instructor and former colonel in the Israeli Forces, trains a group of Israeli young men for becoming security guards on the light train in Jerusalem.

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Caliber 3 - 30
Gush Etzyon, West Bank
By giulianocamarda
03 Nov 2013

A group of Israeli young men doing excercises before starting a training lesson.