The Real Secret Behind Jessica Chastain’s Krav Maga Moves


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Published August 25, 2011

August 31st, 2011 marks the wide release of the long anticipated and highly rated movie “The Debt”, the new John Madden thriller retracing the story of retired Mossad secret agents Rachel (Helen Mirren) and Stefan (Tom Wilkinson) about their former colleague David (Ciarán Hinds). While the movie should win numerous accolades for its acting and directing, its visual appeal will have a lot to do with a relatively little-known, lethal Israeli self-defense system called Krav Maga.

Krav Maga is one the most deadly self defense disciplines in the world. It is the official fighting style of the Israeli Defense Forces. Its philosophy revolves around attacking your opponent explosively and putting him out of commission. Krav Maga improves your reflexes and timing and pushes you to levels of fitness you never before knew existed. The fighting style encompasses a variety of disciplines like judo, muay thai, wrestling, jiu jitsu and grappling. Krav Maga is the one discipline that will turn you into a lean, mean fighting machine, the type portrayed by Jessica Chastain in “The Debt.”

So what was the real secret behind Jessica Chastain’s moves in “The Debt”? The secret can be revealed in two words: ROY ELGHANAYAN.
While the studios are typically close-lipped on identifying their sources, word has it that Krav Maga expert Roy Elghanayan is the individual responsible for Ms. Chastain’s on-screen fighting prowess. Let’s listen to a quick excerpt of Ms. Chastain’s interview below. Notice how the actress pauses, almost reveals her trainer’s name, only to catch herself and credit her “Krav Maga coach” for her character’s fighting skills.

Actress Jessica Chastain on Krav Maga training for THE DEBT from Focus Features – Digital Pub onVimeo.

Now you may ask, who is this elusive individual, Roy Elghanayan? Simply put, Roy is probably the premier Krav Maga expert in the world. Take a quick look at his resume below. One might think he is slightly over-qualified for the task at hand…

Ten reasons why the movie studios turn to Roy Elghanayan when it comes to fight choreography:
1. Roy Elghanayan is the only person to have the honor of being crowned Israeli Krav Maga National champion twice.
2. Roy has received the Chief of Staff Award for hand-to-hand combat twice.
3. Roy is certified by the Israeli Defense Forces, a very big honor. These are the guys who fight terrorism activity daily.
4. Roy is the top Krav Maga instructor for the Israeli Special Forces, Israel Marines-Paratroopers and Air Forces. Are you kidding me? You mean this dude is the dude who trains the most lethal fighting forces in the world?
5. Roy was the one who updated the military Krav Maga style, which is focused on confronting real life situations with force and impact.
6. In the Israeli Special Forces Krav Maga tournament, Roy had achieved first place in both unit 1 and unit 2.
7. Roy also secured first place in the Israel Jiu-Jitsu National tournament, twice, in 1995 and 1997.
8. Roy is considered to be one of the premier fighters in the world in disciplines like wrestling (consisting of takedowns), jiu jitsu and striking.
9. Roy is certified for highjack and hostage situations.
10. Finally, last but not least… As you learned further above, Roy trained Jessica Chastain for four months straight in preparation for the movie ‘The Debt’. Almost all Jessica’s (young Rachel in the movie) moves in the film are Roy’s.

By now you probably know that Roy Elghanayan is not the type of dude you should be messing with. If you do, you need professional help that we are not qualified to provide in this column.


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