The History of Krav Maga in the Philippines
Krav Maga first arrived in Philippine shores when Krav Maga Philippines was founded in 2004, as the brainchild of Kenneth Asuncion, who discovered Krav Maga during a nine-month stint in the United States. A search for an efficient and reliable self-defense method that he could properly learn in a realistic and reasonable amount of time led him to the unique Israeli system created by Imi Sde-Or, whose legacy, in the form of the International Krav Maga Federation, was being headed at that time by Eyal Yanilov.
With the support of Eyal Yanilov, who became a mentor and friend, Kenneth founded Krav Maga Philippines, the first local affiliate of a major international Krav Maga organization in the country. To help launch this effort, Eyal, with the full support of the international organization, flew in to conduct a series of demonstrations for various law enforcement military groups, and civilian groups, introducing Krav Maga to the Philippines.
Since there were no local instructors available, Krav Maga Philippines’ dedication to maintaining the integrity of the craft led them to bring in foreign instructors to help properly introduce Krav Maga to the Filipino public. The first order of business was to train homegrown talent, so in 2006, the first Instructor’s Course was held in the Philippines lead by Eyal, attracting local enthusiasts as well as foreign candidates from Singapore and Australia.
By the end of the course, the Filipino participants, financed by Krav Maga Philippines, were declared qualified to be assistant instructors—a step closer to the dream of having a self-sustaining Philippine Krav Maga group. Training continued until finally, in 2009, four candidates would become the pioneer instructors of Krav Maga here in the Philippines: Kenneth Asuncion, Fredrick Nogales, Edmundo Ongsiako, Jr., and Dindo De Jesus.
2010. Eyal Yanilov announced that he was setting up his own organization, Krav Maga Global. Having benefited greatly from Eyal’s guidance and contributions, KMP chose to become an official affiliate of Krav Maga Global—a departure understood by those who remained with the IKMF organization.
2011. With a fresh batch of internationally certified local instructors, Krav Maga Philippines set out to offer a wider variety of training courses and more specialized training, partnering with law enforcement agencies to train PSPO, the PSG Police Unit, barangay tanods, bodyguards, and other security personnel.
2012. Krav Maga Philippines expanded its horizons by offering regular instructor training programs and special weapons training, in order to empower its clients to take charge of their own self-protection based on their need.
2013 to the present day. Krav Maga Philippines continues its growth with the addition of 3 new instructors: Jericho Viejo, Tuesday Alipon and Joebert Uygongco. In addition to the San Juan gym, KMP is now maintaining satellites in Alabang, Makati and Quezon City in Manila as well as the first Krav Maga satellite in the Visayas in Iloillo.
Fueled by a passion for equipping the Filipino public in self-defense, Krav Maga Philippines continues to grow and improve, strengthening as a movement and as an organization. Krav Maga Philipines is steadily advancing in its goal of enabling the everyday Filipino to take charge of their personal security.