Gus Bottazzi is the Chief Instructor and owner of Israeli Krav Maga-CT
Over the past 20 years, Gus has trained across various martial art and combative sport disciplines, such as Goju Ryu, Judo and American boxing. In 2001 Gus attained his 3rd degree black belt in Japanese Kempo. Not long thereafter, Gus discovered Krav Maga. In 2004 he began an intensive training, learning from senior black belt instructors from the US and Israel. In 2010 Gus was honored to receive his Istructor certification in Israeli Krav Maga-Gidon System, directly from Grandmaster Haim Gidon. Grandmaster Gidon is Imi Lichtenfeld's hand-picked successor to further evolve the system he created decades ago. In 2013, Gus was also awarded his Instructor's certification for Israeli Special Forces Krav Maga from Nir Maman. Nir served in one of the elite units in the Israeli Special Forces, where he was responsible for developing and delivering specialized counter-Terror, Hostage Rescue and Krav Maga training to special forces units from various countries around the world.
Gus regularly attends seminars and cross trains with many leading Krav Maga authorities and MMA conditioning instructors each year. The philosophy at Israeli Krav Maga-CT is to introduce best practices and techniques to our classes to ensure our students are at the leading edge of both self defense and conditioning training.
Dan Kang has studied Krav Maga with Tom Bacha and Gus Bottazzi since early 2009. He has been a Krav Maga instructor since Summer 2011, and is certified under Phase C of Krav Maga Worldwide. Dan is certified as an Israeli Special Forces Krav Maga instructor under Nir Maman. Dan currently teaches at Krav New York and Columbia University in NYC, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to teach at Israeli Krav Maga-CT.
Beth Lopez has been in Martial Arts for over 16 years. She started her studies in Tae Kwon Do and later studied Choy Le' Fut, a Southern form of Kung Fu. In 2001 Beth moved to Connecticut where she attended her first Krav Maga class at a school in Naugatuck, CT. Krav Maga's simplicity in structure and focus on real street self defense compelled her to continue her studies and obtain her Krav Maga Instructor Certification. In August of 2002 Beth was one of two people invited to test for Instructor certification in Connecticut and one of only a handful of women selected to test in the USA. Currently she holds certifications to teach both adults and children. She has designed and developed Women's Self Defense courses for Connecticut Girl Scouts, colleges throughout Connecticut, and abduction prevention courses for kids. Her continued education has enabled her to study and train with the world's top athletes in Krav Maga and other Martial Arts systems including Darren Levine, Amir Peretz, Sam Sade', David Kahn, Bas Rutten, Nir Maman, and Alan Feldman.
Dannie Phillips has been training in Krav Maga for over three years. She received her instructor certification through the Israeli Krav Maga Academy, headed by Rick Blistein. Rick trained under and received his black belt directly from Imi Lichtenfeld himself. She teaches classes several times a week and when she’s not teaching she’s training! Dannie also received her MMA Fitness Trainer Certification from Coach Kevin Kearns.
Eric Feeney has been training in martial arts for over 15 years. His training and study have included Tae Kwon Do, Jeet Kuen Do, Kali, Muay Thai, Progressive Fighting Systems, and Wing Chun Kung Fu (in which he was an apprentice instructor). Eric was privately trained by his mentor, a retired Special Forces Operative & Instructor, in edged weapon combatives.
Several years ago, Eric found his new passion: Krav Maga. He began his training under Chief Instructor Gus Bottazzi in 2012. Eric furthers his training as often as he is able, participating in seminars and cross-training with other highly ranked Krav Maga instructors. Eric is a NASM certified personal trainer, and is certified as a MMA Fitness Trainer under the tutelage of coach Kevin Kearns.
Mike has been involved in martial arts for 8 years to include Boxing, Jiu Jitsu, and Muay Thai with Muay Thai being the main focus of his training. He has had the opportunity to train Muay Thai in Japan and all over the tri-state area with top trainers including Kru Viwat who was a top 25 fighter in Thailand and Eddie Martinez who is a current Professional World Champion. Mike has also been a U.S. Marine for 11 years and has completed 3 combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan as a Recon Marine. He has trained with and has been a part of “train the trainer” exercises with state, federal, and foreign agencies.
Mike will bring the practical aspects of Muay Thai striking as it applies to Krav Maga and the individual.
Bill has been involved in martial and combat arts since childhood. His experience includes Goju-ryu karate, boxing, wrestling, Bujinkan Ninjutsu and Krav Maga under the the leadership of Gus Bottazzi. Bill's underlying principle of teaching is "get home safely". Bill has been training at the school since 2011 and received his instructor's certification from Rick Blitstein in 2014.