Nick (Expert 1)
Jonathan (Graduate 4)
Will (Graduate 3)
Terry (Graduate 2)
Paul (Graduate 3)
Cassie (Graduate 1)
Omar (Practitioner 5)
Bouba (Practitioner 5)
James (Practitioner 5)
Andy (Graduate 1)

All of First Defense’s Assistant Instructors are certified through Krav Maga Global and have trained directly under Eyal Yanilov and the KMG Global Instructor Team.

Nick Masi

Lead Instructor, Herndon, VA

Nick Masi has been teaching Krav Maga in the Washington, DC area since 2004. He began his training in 2003 after completing graduate school in California. He was a natural and within a year, was an assistant instructor leading classes at a number of different locations.

In 2008, Nick traveled to Berkeley, CA for the IKMF US Instructor’s Course with Eyal Yanilov, a first of its kind event in the United States. Nick is one of the very few instructors in the DC metro area to complete his instructor training personally with Eyal (who is now head of Krav Maga Global – KMG, the highest ranked practitioner in the world, and the leading voice of modern Krav Maga).

Nick is currently ranked Expert 1 making him one of the highest ranked instructors in the United States (and the only Expert rank on the East Coast). He is also the North American Coordinator for Krav Maga Global, assisting with the development of instructors and schools throughout the United States and Canada.

Nick began his Shuai-chiao training and earned his 3rd degree black belt under Dr. Chi-hsiu Daniel Weng in Cupertino, CA. A strong competitor, Nick has medaled consistently and placed first in the 2005 & 2006 National Championships. He has also represented the United States in competitions in Brazil, Italy, China, and Taiwan. Nick started the Northern Virginia Shuai-chiao Club in 2007 to teach and spread the art.

Jonathan Levy

Lead Instructor, Chevy Chase, MD

Jonathan Levy successfully completed his Krav Maga Instructor course with Eyal Yanilov (assisted by Amnon Darsa) in 2001/2002. While living in Israel, he trained extensively with KM black belts at Gabi Noah's studio, and has traveled abroad to continue his KM education (Budapest, Melbourne). He currently holds the rank of Graduate 4, awarded by Eyal.

Terry H.

Senior Instructor, Herndon, VA


Paul Apostolescu

Instructor, Herndon, VA


Cassie Clifford

Instructor, Herndon, VA

Cassie completed the Krav Maga Global (KMG) General Instructors Course in 2013. In addition to teaching and assisting classes at the school, Cassie continues to train hard for her own personal advancement and help others enjoy the benefits of Krav Maga.

Cassie’s other passion as a human rights activist over the last 20 years, has led her to be a recognized leader in the field of both Human Trafficking/Modern-Day Slavery and Children’s Rights, and as Founder and Executive Director of Bridge to Freedom Foundation seeks to ensure victims of all forms of slavery have the tools and resources they need to thrive, including an established Violence Prevention program which provides Krav Maga training to victims of violence and provides training for self-defense Instructors to recognize triggers and safely train victims.

Cassie is a published writer and has written countless articles for International Think Tanks on violence, abuse, bullying, rape and other related issues.

Omar Jones

Assistant Instructor, Herndon, VA


James Lindsey

Assistant Instructor, Herndon, VA

Certified KMG Assistant Instructor having trained under Ran Laskov, Ilya Dunsky, and Eyal Yanilov.

Bouba Ballo

Assistant Instructor, Herndon, VA

Certified KMG Assistant Instructor having trained under Ran Laskov, Ilya Dunsky, and Eyal Yanilov.

William Allen

Senior/Guest Instructor, Herndon, VA

One of the first First Defense students to complete the KMG General Instructor Course, Will taught in our Herndon location for over a year before relocating to Texas. We look forward to Will's visits whenever he comes back to Northern VA.

Henoch Otero

Guest Instructor

Henoch Otero is a 21-year veteran of the New York City Police Department with Martial Arts and Self Defense training in Boxing, Jeet Kune Do, Filipino Martial Arts, Muay Thai Boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Krav Maga. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Henoch began boxing in 1979 at the age of 9. He then went on to study Jeet Kune Do at the age of 17. From there, he transitioned into many other areas of Martial Arts and Self Defense as he trained continually over the next three decades.

In the mid-1990's, looking to expand his training into an area that would apply self defense tactics to law enforcement strategies, Henoch began training in Krav Maga and earned the title of World Wide Krav Maga Lead Law Enforcement Instructor.

In order to increase the effectiveness of his teaching, Henoch began training with Eyal Yanilov of International Krav Maga Federation. He earned full instructor status in Krav Maga Global. After three and a half years of teaching self defense tactics to other officers, Henoch joined the NYPD's Emergency Services Unit. where he became a detective where he spent the remainder of his law enforcement career, until he retired in 2012 at the age of 42.