SUE GARSTKI

OWNER • CERTIFIED KRAV MAGA INSTRUCTOR • KRAV MAGA KIDS INSTRUCTOR • CERTIFIED ROCK STEADY BOXING COACH

Owner/Instructor Sue Garstki

Sue Garstki is a certified Expert Level Kravmaga Worldwide Instructor.  She traveled to the Kravmaga Worldwide National Headquarters in Los Angeles, and was certified as an instructor by the best Krav Maga instructors in the world. She is presently the highest level female Krav Maga Instructor in the midwest. Enjoying and believing so much in the simplicity and ferocity of the Israeli Reality Self Defense systems, she traveled to Florida to train under Mike Kanarek and was certified as a Haganah/F.I.G.H.T. instructor. Sue most recently worked with Moni Aizik at an instructor certification here in Illinois and has become one of only two female Commando Krav Maga instructors in the Midwest. She is also a Level 4 instructor in the Raven Method Close Quarter Defensive Tactics System, having had the honor of working with the Chicago Guardian Angels.  This year, Sue was nominated Female Reality Self Defense Instructor of the Year by the Global Network of Reality Based Self Defense Systems. In 2012 she was nominated Civilian Close Quarter Combat Instructor of the Year.  Sue works with the Chicago Police Department as well as schools and other organizations spreading awareness in Self Defense, Women’s Self Defense and Domestic Violence issues.  In June 2013 Sue was inducted into the U.S.A. Martial Arts Hall of Fame, and again in 2015, where she was named Krav Maga Expert of the Year.  Most recently Sue had the honor to work with Kristy Follmar (World Champion Professional Boxer) and the Rock Steady Boxing crew, and was certified as a ROCK STEADY BOXING COACH.  (Rock Steady boxing is for persons with Parkinson’s and will be introduced to the Krav Maga Illinois curriculum in mid-2019)

Sue Garstki

Sue has over 35 years of teaching experience and is a 2nd degree black belt in Shorei Goju Karate. She was also certified under NDEITA to be a personal trainer and was one of the first instructors to be certified to teach the National Associations of Professional Martial Artists (NAPMA) Kardio Karate program. She is the founder of the Women’s Martial Arts Alliance, member of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation, and the American Women’s Self-Defense Association.

Sue has consistently trained in many different arts including Jiu Jitsu, Boxing, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Taekwondo, Arnis, Jeet Kun Do, Pressure Point Fighting (member of The Dragon Society) Israeli Tactical Knife, Aikido, Capoeira and weapons defenses to name a few. She is also a personal trainer specializing in, self defense, stamina, strength training, endurance, and fight preparation.
Contact Sue

JESSE O’CONNOR

PROGRAM MANAGER CERTIFIED KRAV MAGA 2nd DEGREE BLACK BELT INSTRUCTOR • CERTIFIED BAS RUTTEN SYSTEMS FIGHT CLUB AND BAS RUTTEN SYSTEMS MMA INSTRUCTOR • CERTIFIED CIVILIAN LAW ENFORCEMENT INSTRUCTOR

2nd Dan Krav Maga Instructor Jesse O'Connor

2nd Dan Krav Maga Instructor Jesse O’Connor

Jesse O’Connor is a certified Krav Maga Worldwide 2ND DEGREE BLACK BELT INSTRUCTOR, having spent many years training and much time in Los Angeles at the Krav Maga Worldwide Training center.  Jesse has trained with the best from Darren Levine to Amir Perets, to Bas Rutten and many other talented, knowledgeable instructors.

He is also an advanced Krav Maga Worldwide Civilian Law Enforcement instructor. Jesse trained under Bas Rutten in the Bas Rutten Systems Fight program and was certified to teach the Bas Rutten Systems Fight and MMA programs.

Jesse has many years of experience in martial arts, getting his start in Tae Kwon Do.  He went on to cross train in many different martial arts including Jiu -Jitsu where he continues to excel, having won his division at NAGA.  We continue to congratulate Jesse on his accomplishments
Contact Jesse

LARRY GARSTKI

HEAD BOXING COACH • OFFICIAL USA BOXING COACH • CERTIFIED ROCK STEADY BOXING COACH

KMI Boxing Coach Larry Garstki

KMI Boxing Coach
Larry Garstki

Larry Garstki by day is a Middle School Principal, by night a boxer and trainer. He is a certified USA Boxing coach, as well as, a licensed Pro MMA coach.  Larry is an official USA amateur boxer and has trained alongside many champions, while being trained himself by a protégé of the world famous Bufano’s Boxing Gym in New Jersey.

Larry has trained champions in boxing, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts. He holds a first degree blackbelt in karate and has cross-trained in many martial arts including Muay-Thai, and Jiu-Jitsu.  Larry truly believes that boxing is the sweet science.  His ring strategy, footwork and teaching style is second to none.  Larry heads our group boxing classes as well as private lessons, while also sharing his knowledge with our KMI Kids.  Larry took Krav Maga Illinois to the Chicago Golden Gloves and has produced champions many years in a row.  KMI’s Golden Gloves team continues to grow each year.  Larry, most recently, spent time with World Champion Boxing Kristy Follmar and the Rock Steady Boxing crew.  He was certified as an Official Coach in the Rock Steady Boxing program.  Rock Steady is a boxing program specifically for persons with Parkinson’s Disease.
Contact Larry

ROBERT TROTTER

CERTIFIED KRAV MAGA INSTRUCTOR • CERTIFIED KRAV MAGA FORCE TRAINING INSTRUCTOR • CHICAGO POLICE OFFICER

Officer Bob Trotter is an Officially Certified Krav Maga Worldwide Civilian Instructor and Force Training Instructor.  We are honored to have him here with us!  Bob is a Chicago Police Officer with over 12 years on the job, and is assigned to the Organized Crime Division Gang Investigations Unit.  He has many awards and commendations including the Superintendent’s Award of Valor, LifeSaving Award, and the F.O.P Distinguished Service award. 
Bob has over 30 years of Martial arts experience with several certifications and ranks….
  • 1st Degree Black belt in Tae Kwon Do (WTF)
  • Instructor Wing Chun Gung Fu
  • Krav Maga Force Training Instructor
  • Krav Maga Worldwide Instructor
  • Certified Woman’s Self Defense Instructor
  • Certified Mixed Martial Arts Conditioning Coach
He also has additional training in JKD, Kali and Shidokan Kick Boxing.

contact Bob

 ZACH CLINKMAN

CERTIFIED KRAV MAGA INSTRUCTOR 

INSTRUCTOR ZACH

INSTRUCTOR ZACH

Zach is an officially certified Krav Maga Instructor, with over a decade of martial arts and fitness experience.  He began his training in hapkido and taekwondo, where he received his black belt as a teenager.  Since then, he has continued to train extensively in multiple martial arts, such as sanshou, muay thai, western-style boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and of course, Krav Maga. With Krav Maga’s explosiveness and no-nonsense approach to self-defense, Zach quickly fell in love with the Israeli combat system and is now a Krav Maga Illinois Instructor, joining our team of Official Krav Maga Worldwide Instructors. He is also an ACSM certified personal trainer and has his master’s degree in education.

contact Zach

 ROLAND RUIVIVAR

CERTIFIED KRAV MAGA INSTRUCTOR • KRAV MAGA HEAVY BAG FITNESS INSTRUCTOR KMI BOXING INSTRUCTOR

Instructor Roland Ruivivar

Instructor Roland Ruivivar

Roland is an officially certified Krav Maga Worldwide Instructor, and Registered Nurse.  He has an extensive background in martial arts, including MMA, Boxing, Jeet Kune Do, and Karate.  A Krav Maga student for over 15 years, he has been teaching for Krav Maga Illinois for over 3 years.  Roland brings his passion and technical style to each class.  He believes in Krav Maga due to its battle tested techniques, and emphasis on reality and the mental side of self defense training.  Along with teaching our Krav Maga curriculum, Roland is also our newest KMI Boxing Coach, assisting Head Coach Larry Garstki with our exclusive Boxing program. We are pleased to have Roland on our team.

contact Roland

KACPER PIECH

CERTIFIED KRAV MAGA INSTRUCTOR

Instructor Kacper Piech

Instructor Kacper Piech

Kacper Piech is an Officially Certified Krav Maga Worldwide Instructor and Design Engineer.  He has been training in Krav Maga for many years and feels it has been a positive influence on his life.   Due to his passion for helping people, and making a difference, he has worked extremely hard to fulfill his dream of being a Krav Maga Instructor.  Through sharing his experience and contribution to the community, his goal is to make people feel more confident and safer. Kacper teaches in Highland Park on Thursday, Saturday and Sundays.
Contact Kacper

BIANCA ARAUJO

CERTIFIED KRAV MAGA INSTRUCTOR • KMI KIDS INSTRUCTOR

Instructor Bianca Araujo

Instructor Bianca Araujo

Bianca is an officially certified Krav Maga Worldwide Instructor and Krav Maga Kids Instructor.  Bianca is an elementary school teacher and came to us as a participant in one of our 6 week challenges.  After losing an incredible amount of weight due to her Krav Maga lifestyle, she decided to share her knowledge and experience with others.  She is a homegrown Krav Maga Illinois Instructor with a passion for helping others.  We are very proud to have her on our team. Bianca teaches on Sundays in Highland Park and subs for Instructors in Chicago and Highland Park. 

Contact Bianca

JOHN MILLER

CERTIFIED KRAV MAGA INSTRUCTOR

Instructor John Miller

Instructor John Miller

Instructor John is an officially certified Krav Maga Worldwide Instructor.  He has an extensive martial arts career, attaining Black Belts in Taekwondo, Karate and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  John is a High School Physics teacher who brings his martial arts and teaching experience to the table with each class that he teaches.  He so believes in Krav Maga’s realistic training principals, that he pursued his goal of joining our Krav Maga Illinois Instructor team. We are proud to have him on board.

Contact John

 BASITO

KRAV MAGA ILLINOIS MASCOT

Basito, with an ear up for trouble

Basito, (named for Bas Rutten) is our Krav Maga Illinois Mascot. Although small and unassuming, he is extremely fierce while at the same time, fiercely loyal to our instructors. Basito has been around for many years now, and has become quite the celebrity among the students. Basito has a black belt in Keeping it Real! When Basito is not busy running in circles around all the bags, you can find him watchfully guarding the office from the sub-basement of his high tech dog bed.