Joel E. Gelfand, Founder and Head Instructor

Joel began his journey in Martial Arts at the age of 8. Living in Chicago at the time, he attended Tae Kwon Do classes and after continuous training and successful competition, attained his Black Belt from the World Tae Kwon Do Federation at the age of 14. Setting out to diversify his training, Joel continued with in depth study of a variety of styles including Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Jeet Kune Do, and began to explore grappling styles, primarily studying Jiu Jitsu at the Chicago Carlson Gracie gym. Joel currently holds a Purple Belt designation in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Professor Omar Salvosa. Aside from traditional training, Joel's goal is to offer concrete and proven methods of dealing with the various forms of street altercations including multiple and armed attackers. He proceeded to study and attain certification as a CT 707 Krav Maga Instructor under Nir Maman in 2011. Joel also has extensive experience in security and law enforcement. From 2008 - 2012 he worked as a Mobile Patrol Supervisor and Use of Force Instructor with Condor Security. He holds certifications in Use of Force, ASP Baton, and Tactical Handcuffing.

Joel is an excellent instructor. He can not only teach his students to fight and defend themselves but more importantly to be good human beings. Anyone would be lucky to have him as their teacher. I would recommend his club to anyone. - Troy Wideman, Police Officer with Tactical Rescue Unit

 

Alex Wolfe, Assistant Instructor

A Computer Engineer by day, a Martial Artist by late evening. Alex Wolfe is a level II Krav Maga Instructor and holds a Blue Belt Designation Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He has been training under Joel for 15 years, and is a five-time jiu-jitsu tournament competitor. Alex assists in instructing a variety of classes, specifically the Sunday Youth Martial Arts class where he engages the young children and helps them develop their confidence and skill as budding martial artists. When not training, he is either coding, tutoring high-school math and science, or asleep.

Chaim Grafstein, Assistant Instructor

Chaim Grafstein began training with House of Combat in 2009. He started studying martial arts at the end of high-school to begin a healthier lifestyle. The focus of his training has been in Krav Maga, Mixed Martial Arts, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but he has also explored other styles including Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Qi Gong. Chaim is a Level I Krav Maga Instructor and holds a Blue Belt designation in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He has had a life changing experience through the study of martial arts, going from being overweight and out of shape to a committed martial artist and competitive BJJ athlete. Chaim seeks to help guide others on a path of improved confidence, physical health, and self-improvement through training. When not studying and teaching martial arts, he is conducting research for a Master's degree in the study of religion at McMaster University, and studying athletic performance in his spare time.