DFND Inks Brand Partnership with Martial Arts Legend Apolo Ladra

DFND Inks Brand Partnership with Martial Arts Legend Apolo Ladra


Los Angeles, CA.  Compression specialists and human performance advocates DFND have signed an exclusive agreement with World Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductee and Filipino Martial Are legend, Apolo Ladra. Under the terms of this unique deal, DFND will produce the Official Training Uniform for Ladra’s affiliated schools around the world, making custom Kontra branded high performance compression and training products available to all students across the globe. 

Tuhon (Master) Apolo Ladra has trained the martial arts for over 40 years, reaching the rank of 7th Degree in several TaeKwonDo Associations. Achieving the Rank of Master under the direct Heir of Pekti Tirsia Kali, Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje Jr., Tuhon Apolo has been honored with the Black Belt Magazine’s Hall of Fame as “Weapons Instructor of the Year” for his technical knowledge and spread of the Combat Arts. "Tuhon" Apolo created the KONTRA (which means "to Counter") line as an alternative training equipment brand to not only provide superior safety gear for training, but also a line of performance and lifestyle products to supplement recovery.

“After 40 years of hard training, my body acquired some injuries which restricted my movement and recovery. This essential training gear now allows me to perform at peak level as I train, but also allows me to stay ahead of my instructors and the students that I lead daily. I love these products.” Explains Apolo Ladra. “As a Martial Artist and teacher, safety and injury prevention are always top of mind. Wearing Kontra by DFND products while training helps enhance mobilization and balance while encouraging proper mechanics and posture, keeping the athlete safer and healthier. After being in the Martial Arts for over four decades, I know first hand how important it is to train hard but train safe, and the Kontra Line will help us ALL do that, regardless of age, experience, or ability.”

Most known for his work teaching and pioneering efforts in promoting the Filipino Martial Art of Kali, he has instructed thousands of students of all ages through his schools around the country, and certified over 5,000 black belts.  “The DFND team is thrilled to announce this partnership with a true legend like Apolo Ladra. We admire the legacy that he is building and could not think of a better partner to work with.” Says Steve Burnett, DFND President. “The athleticism and power that martial arts training takes is the highest level, and injuries and fatigue can slow any athlete down. We know that DFND’s performance compression and recovery products will help his students with reduced injuries, lessened fatigue and soreness, and improved recovery. We are honored to be joining this team.”

DFND Compression products are produced with the highest quality, 360 degree circular knit fabric for maximum muscle containment and support during intense activity. Every product in the DFND line is entirely made in the United States, supporting domestic growth and supporting the manufacturing industry. The complete KONTRA Powered by DFND Compression store will be open at DFNDUSA.com.



Started in 2015, DFND (pronounced “de-fend”) is the brainchild of two industry veterans whose aim was to bring quality performance apparel to the people who needed it most; our US Military and First Responders. Proudly specializing in developing products that maximize human performance, DFND currently offers a Graduated Compression for Injury Prevention, Training, and Recovery, a complete line of Training Gear and a specialized Fire Resistant (FR) line. Every item that DFND offers is entirely Made in the USA and 100% Berry Compliant, and is uniquely crafted to support the needs of athletes training at any level. 

Since it’s initial launch, DFND has been adopted by the NBA, NFL, and over 100 D1 collegiate teams. In addition, individual Olympic athletes, as well as NHL, NFL, MMA, and other elite athletes around the world chose to train and recover in DFND products every day. After five years focusing on specialty markets, we are proud to open our catalogue to the public and offer the complete DFND line to all athletes. We believe that everyone deserves access to apparel that supports training, improves readiness, reactivates the body, encourages faster recovery and, most importantly, enhances overall health.  

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