Interview: Roy Elghanayan

Actress Jessica Chastain’s Krav Maga Trainer from the new movie, THE DEBT

Article by BJJ Legends
Published August 23, 2011

BJJ Legends talks with Israeli Army vetran and Krav Maga expert, Roy Elghanayan who trained actress Jessica Chastain for her role as a Mossad agent in the soon to be released film THE DEBT, starring Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington and Jessica Chastain (www.SeeTheDebt.com).  THE DEBT opens in theaters everywhere, Wednesday, August 31st.

Click HERE to view a clip of Jessica Chastain from the film and HERE to watch an interivew regarding her fight scenes.

BJJ Legends: We know how you got into martial arts but how did you wind up in LA working on movie sets?
Roy Elghanayan: I moved to LA about four years ago when I was honorably discharged from the Army of Israel. I use to be in the Israeli Special Forces and I still fly back and train with them at least once a year.

I always wanted to come to LA. My older brother lives here so it was a great opportunity to come to the West Coast. As far as the martial arts go, as a kid we looked up to Elvis Presley. Besides being Elvis he was a seventh or eighth degree in Kempo Karate. That kind of got me started.

It all started with Jessica Chastain. She found me. She found me on Craig’s List actually. I got into the movies from Craig’s List.

BJJ: If we don’t have any big name hookups how should we go about perusing a career as a movie action hero?
RE: If you’re really good at what you do and you can show that you know what you’re taking about and what you’re doing, I feel like they will come to you, they will find you. They will want to look like you do. They want the actors to perform and look authentic. It doesn’t matter if its Krav Maga or dancing. They want the best.

BJJ: Was what actress Jessica Chastain learned in just 16 weeks only for the movies or is she better prepared to defend herself?
RE: Jessica is amazing. When I trained, Jessica it was intense, every other day for at least one or two hours a day.  She came to me, she said, I want to do this for the movie and I want to know what I’m doing. When she started she knew nothing. She worked very hard to be able to improvise on set.

BJJ: Your resume includes Israeli Ju-Jitsu. What is Israeli Ju-Jitsu?
RE: It is a modern version of Japanese Ju Jitsu. Its everything, standup, take downs and ground. Me, my sinse and the other black belts of our school took what we knew and modified it and added to it and made it aggressive and deadlier that what it used to be. We also incorporated the Krav Maga strategy. That together I would say is one of the ultimate fighting styles for competition or self-defense.

BJJ: You are a young 27 years old, do you have any plans on MMA fighting?
RE: Actually I’m not 27 yet and no I’m not interested in competing in the UFC. I’d like to train people to compete.

BJJ: Should kids learn Krav Maga or is it too dangerous?
RE: Kids who start to learn Krav Maga around 11, 12 or 13 should be fine. Any younger than that and they should probably look towards Judo. That’s what I tell my students to do.

Thank you and thank you for taking the time to talk with BJJ Legends Magazine.

Roy Elghanayan (El•gan•yan) | www.kravmagala.com
Born 1985, Ht: 5’11, ILB: 165

Facebook Page Roy Elghanayan
Facebook Page Krav Maga LA

Roy is an Authentic Israeli Krav Maga master who is equally trained in Israeli Ju-Jitsu. Roy was born in Israel but spent his adolescence in New York City. At the age of nine he and his family returned to Ramat Gan in Israel where he began his training. After sixteen years Roy returned to the United States as a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Krav Maga.

During his service in Israel, Roy spent 3 years training Israeli military Special Forces, IDF bodyguards and commando units where he provided hand-to-hand combat training. While serving in the Israeli Army Roy was certified in Krav Maga. To this day he remains the only two time Israeli Krav Maga National Champion.

Roy opened his first studio in Santa Monica over a year ago. As a first generation Krav Maga instructor, Roy teaches his students an evolved form of martial arts that includes both Krav Maga and Israeli Ju-Jitsu.

Over this past year Roy has trained up-and-coming actress Jessica Chastain for the film The Debt and trained Twilight actress Christian Serratos for her Maxim Hot 100 shoot. He has even been seen in the opening credits of The CW’s Fly Girls and provided commentary on G4’s That’s Tough.

Recently Roy has been approached by multiple producers to train actors for upcoming action films as well as perform the duty as fight choreographer. Roy’s private clientele currently includes prominent actors and directors in the entertainment industry.

It is Roy’s long term goal to expand his brand of martial arts to all of those who are interested in learning it. He also hopes to continue to work behind the camera to train and choreograph fight scenes with a sense of realism and authenticity only he can provide.

Roy Demo Reel
http://www.kravmagala.com/gallery/videos/

Krav Maga Highlight
– 17 years of experience
– RANK-Black Belt DAN 3
– The only 2 time Israeli Krav Maga National Champion
– Krav Maga basic/ advanced training Instructors for ‘Krav Maga instruction’ and Certification for the IDF (Israeli Defense Force)

Israeli Army Highlights
– Staff Sergeant, 1st Class
– Israeli Special Forces top Krav Maga instructor for  Special Forces/Air Forces/ Israeli Marines Paratroopers
– Krav Maga Chief Instructor for IDF Commando Course
– High jack and hostage situations training certified
– Twice-IDF Chief of Staff Award for hand-to-hand combat.
– Updated Military Krav Maga and LOTAR (a complete Israeli combat concept, derived from real-life situations and personal experience)
– Certified by the Israeli Defense Forces

Upcoming
– Roy will appear via video clip on an upcoming episode of Degrassi
– Roy recently filmed a segment for the Brazilian sports show Band Sports