Our Team

by Krav Maga Experts

Krav Maga Experts Team

The most certified Krav Maga team in New York City!

TSAHI SHEMESH, founder and chief instructor, began his Krav Maga journey in Israel, 1988, where he trained under Imi Lichtenfeld’s (the founder of Krav Maga) very first students. During his three-years in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), Tsahi served in the paratrooper’s brigade, trained in dignitary protection at the School of Counterterrorism, completed the commander’s course, VIP protection program and civilians instructor’s training. He served in the West Bank and holds a Sergeant First Class rank. In 2007, Tsahi obtained his Krav Maga Instructor certification at the Wingate Institute – Israel’s National Center for Education and Sports. He also completed the Krav Maga Instructors course certified by the International Krav Maga Federation and held the positions of USA Director and Instructor Course Trainer in Gabi Noah’s Top-Team.

In 2010, Tsahi established the first Krav Maga Experts (KME) flagship location in New York City.  He certified dozens of instructors and trained thousands of students from all over the world – both domestically and overseas. Besides KME’s full-time program, Tsahi and his team also lead various initiatives including the Columbia University Club, Pace University, NYU, EMTs, NYPD’s police officers and contributory workshops at domestic violence organizations. Tsahi’s national television appearances as a self defense and personal safety expert have featured his signature Rape Prevention Series and Counter Terror workshops.

CARLOS GUTIERREZ is a G-5 Level Krav Maga Instructor, Carlos began his martial arts training at age 5 at the National Shotokan Karate where he achieved his brown belt. Carlos began his vigorous Krav Maga training in 2008 and by 2011 became Krav Maga Experts’ Lead Instructor after completing with honors both levels G1 & G2 under the instruction of Tsahi Shemesh and Gabi Noah (Master II). Carlos is the Youth Program Director at KME, where he utilizes his vast experience and passion for teaching kids of all ages.  In addition to his Krav Maga experience, Carlos has obtained a Level 1 CPT certification from the Personal Training Institute (2006) and in 2011 he earned his certification as a TRX Air Suspension group instructor. He also holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

RAZ CHEN is an Expert Level II instructor, Raz was born and raised in Israel. He joined Krav Maga Experts after several years of being a Senior Krav Maga instructor for top Israeli Special Forces, including the Lotar Counter Terrorism unit and Oketz, a special K9 unit. As head of the Krav Maga division of the Kfir Brigade, he taught over 10,000 soldiers, including US Marines and special Israeli police unites. He was a Special Operations Infantry Combatant along the West Bank and holds a Sergeant First Class rank in the IDF reserves. Starting in 2003, Raz trained under Master Gabi Noah in Netanya and with his extensive training, he completed the Civilian Krav Maga instructor course at the Wingate Institute. Raz won first place in the IDF Krav Maga championship in 2010. Additionally, he is a certified Fitness Instructor with multiple certifications from Wingate Institute and Israel’s National Center for Education & Sport.

MARKUS ANDERSON started his journey in 1994, training Martial Arts in a variety of different styles, such as Tae Kwon Do, Thai- and Kickboxing, Wing Tsun, Boxing, and MMA. His Krav Maga journey began in 2004, becoming an instructor in 2006 with the instructor’s course highest grades. In 2017 Markus was awarded a Krav Maga Expert level 5.

Among his accomplishments, Markus established one of Denmark’s first Krav Maga schools and was instrumental in managing the growth of Krav Maga in Denmark and help maintain the high level of the instructors in Denmark. Markus has also trained military and security personnel and held numerous courses and seminars for different civilian audiences. Markus is a welcome addition to Krav Maga Experts.

ALON DAGAN was born and raised in Israel. He started his journey with martial arts in 1995 while training in Kyokushin Karate and today he is holding a 2nd dan black belt. Alon joined the IDF to teach Krav Maga to Israeli soldiers. He was nominated to be the chief instructor at Wingate, the official IDF Krav Maga school and certified thousands of instructors during his service. Alon he holds a Sergeant First Class rank in the IDF reserves. In 2011 Alon was certified as a lead instructor for the Israeli Police. He joined Krav Maga Experts after five years Alon was teaching professionals in the Israeli Counter Terrorism school. In 2015 Alon was competing in the world championship in full contact fighting and achieved / finished in the top division.

BEN RONNE is an enthusiastic instructor that brings contagious energy and 12 years of self defense and martial arts experience to every class. Previously, he was an instructor for two years at a Krav Maga school in Los Angeles. After moving to New York, he trained in various disciplines including MMA, boxing, and Muy Thai before joining the KME family. Ben is also a firearms enthusiast and regularly participates in tactical training exercises here and in California.

TIM CARPENTER began training in Connecticut in 2009. After years of intensive training he founded and instructed a Self-defense and Fitness class at St. Lawrence University in upstate New York and also began cross-training in Muay Thai. After continuing his training in Connecticut, Tim moved to New York City and completed the KME Instructor’s Course in the spring of 2016. In addition to teaching, he continues to consistently train to further improve his skills; believing that a Krav Maga fighter should be as dynamic as the as the discipline they practice. Tim is always searching for ways to push his boundaries both physically and mentally and encourages his students to do the same in class.

MIGUEL BANTIGUE is from the Philippines, Miguel grew up learning Judo and Muay Thai, the latter which he carried over having moved to the United States in 2008. In search of a system most applicable to street scenarios where there are no rules with a possibility of facing multiple opponents and situations, Miguel joined Krav Maga Experts. After two years of intensive training, and having completed the Instructor’s Course, Miguel teaches class and continues to train to further hone his skills. Miguel is passionate about the values of KME – beyond a great workout and self defense is a foundation for mental/physical durability, an attitude to keep learning, and never giving up.

IGOR PELVAKO was born and raised in Kharkiv, Ukraine. A child fitness phenom, Igor has trained in boxing, gymnastics, wrestling, and swimming. His prolific boxing career started when he was only twelve years old. Among his achievements are the following:

  • A 2-times NY Golden Gloves Winner.
  • EUBC European Boxing Champion.
  • AIBA World Youth Boxing Bronze Medalist.
  • Ukraine National Champion, ranked number 8 in the World by the AIBA.
  • A recipient of the Sugar Ray Robinson Award for Most Outstanding Boxer.

Igor specializes in punching and striking technics, endurance, strength training and body condition. He is a welcomed addition to the world-class caliber instructors team at Krav Maga Experts.


Mark Herbert, began training in Maryland in 2011.  After rigorous student testing and fight training, he became the GM of a facility of Krav Maga Maryland. Over the years, Mark has trained in boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and wrestling. As a supplement to his training, Mark is an active weightlifter and has a passion to become a better athlete. Mark understands that to become a stronger, faster, more intelligent fighter…one must put it in the hours and work to become a better version of themselves every day.

Zavier Barnhart began his martial arts training in California over a decade ago. Having trained extensively in Taekwondo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts, Barnhart brings eclectic experience and an integrative approach to every class he teaches. He won several tournaments, holds a black belt in TKD and is currently a 3rd-degree black belt through Ernie Reyes’ WCWMA. Zavier recently received his certification at KME after completing the intensive Krav Maga Instructors course led by Founder and Chief Instructor Tsahi Shemesh, demonstrating utter excellence and a profound passion for our mission to help empower anyone and everyone to learn self defense.

Rachel Switlick was born and raised in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania where she spent her childhood in a classical ballet studio. She originally started studying Krav Maga with Krav Maga Experts as a new movement practice but found a passion for fighting and self defense. Years later, she was excited to complete Krav Maga Experts’ Instructor Certification Course under the guidance of Founder and Chief Instructor, Tsahi Shemesh. She cross-trains with Muay Thai, currently holding an undefeated amateur fight record. Her BFA from The Ohio State University covered human movement science, somatic practices, and kinesiology. Rachel is also a NASM certified personal trainer with a corrective exercise specialization. As a Krav Maga instructor, Rachel strives to show students how to use Krav Maga training to empower themselves in their daily lives.