Perhaps the only thing as impressive as Roy Elghanayan’s reign as a two-time Israeli Krav Maga National Champion is the students with whom he’s shared his incredible skill. He first was hand-chosen to devise the Israeli Special Forces’ training program. In 2011, the Argentinean Marines enlisted him to teach the sport to their soldiers. He even trained actress Jessica Chastain for her role in the movie The Debt. Today, he continues to travel the world to teach Krav Maga and works out of his studio, Krav Maga L.A.
Krav maga is a more rigorous form of self-defense developed by the Israeli military when they realized that ancient martial arts would translate to modern battlefields. Roy and his staff helm classes for both adults and children as part of a six-day schedule that divides students by their skill level. Beginners’ classes corral 18 participants or less so that instructors can easily oversee technique while still having enough bodies to build a human pyramid if morale is low. With continued practice, the instructors at Krav Maga L.A. hope to imbue their students with the physical and mental skill to escape threatening situations should they ever arise.
Werdum Combat Team is a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Academy created and run by former Pride and current Strikeforce champion Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum and his life-long training partner Lucas Pires. With some of the most decorated and recognized Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners alive today, WCT has both the knowledge and
Founded in 1996, Seaside Shotokan gives students of all levels the opportunity to learn from the expert yoga and fitness instructors. Within a 1,500-square-foot studio with sprung hardwood floors, these trainers oversee a variety of fitness classes with sessions for power yoga, Zumba dance fitness, and stretching classes for martial artists and out-of-shape Koosh balls.
If you're teaching krav maga in America, there's a good chance that John Whitman has punched you. The fifth-degree black belt has played an integral role in spreading the self-defense system throughout the country, a fact that earned him a feature in Black Belt magazine for influencing modern martial arts. Today, he trains students and fellow instructors at his gym, Alliance Training Center, which doubles as the national headquarters for his organization, Krav Maga Alliance. There, he guides his pupils through the same instinct-based techniques that he has used to coach soldiers, law-enforcement officers, and celebrities, including Million Dollar Baby's Hilary Swank.
Krav maga's devastating maneuvers constitute the official self-defense system of the Israeli Defense Forces. However, John and his team educate students of all ages and fitness backgrounds, maintaining that the art's effectiveness relies on sound execution rather than strength, size, or an additional set of bodybuilder arms. The instructors also teach other classes for muscular and martial conditioning: CrossFit employs Olympic weightlifts, kettlebells, and gymnastics equipment to toughen physiques, and StrikeFit sessions pit fists against heavy bags and pads. Instructors also lead programs for children aged 6–12, which help cook discipline and confidence into their daily routines.
Kempo’s movement patterns may look beautiful—fluid, swooping kicks, graceful evasions, smooth takedowns—but underneath the beauty lies a tradition nearly 2,000 years old. Since 1968, the instructors at United Studios of Self Defense have armed students with these techniques, leading classes where participants of all ages and skill levels soak up fighting skill while galvanizing self-confidence.
But before they can share their tactics and Mortal Kombat cheat codes, the instructors themselves must be trained. Each instructor who cinches the black belt around their waist has graduated with honors from the Studio’s own rigorous training academy. The training doesn’t stop there; every week they meet with the founder himself, 10th-degree black belt Charles Mattera, who refines their strategies and instills them with advanced techniques.