"Michael Valenti is a very respectful and skilled instructor. I felt welcomed and comfortable from the moment I walked in the door. The 'progressive self defense' system is the real deal, too. This isn't a 1-hour 'kick 'em in the balls' seminar, this is a heavily tested and scrutinized system of fighting, drawing from high level BJJ, Kenpo, and other martial arts."
The School of Self Defense prides itself on providing the highest quality instruction in a fun and welcoming environment. The school was founded by Michael Valenti, a 20 plus year veteran of the martial arts world.
Looking at the various martial arts schools around the country, Michael saw many teachers who were experts in martial arts for sports and history, but noted that very few martial arts schools focused their curriculum toward real world self defense. Instead, these school’s self defense programs where side projects and short term classes that only covered a few of the countless self defense scenarios he felt people should know. He founded The School of Self Defense in order to educate the public on all aspects of self defense including stand fighting, ground fighting, situational awareness, conflict de-escalation, and local law. This school is perfect for someone who wants to take their self protection seriously, and does not want it to be a side project.
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-Founder of the Combative Defense System
-Certified Instructor of Jeet Kune Do Concepts
-Certified Associate Professor of Kenpo
-Certified Senior Instructor In Wing Chun Kung Fu
-Certified United States Martial Arts Association Instructor
-Certified Level 1 Instructor In DDP Yoga
-5th Degree Black Belt in Kenpo
-2nd Degree Black Belt in Freestyle Judo
-2020 Mu Lan International Kung Fu Gold Medalists
-Over 25 years of martial arts experience including Boxing, Kali, Judo and Gracie Jiu Jitsu
Michael Valenti started his martial arts journey in St. Louis Missouri when he was only 8 years old. Like so many children of his time, he was introduced to martial arts through watching Kung Fu movies and expressed to his father how much he would love to learn to fight like that. His father enrolled him in a Korean style of martial arts called Kuk Sool Won, which was a traditional system with a heavy focus on joint locks and takedowns. Around the age of 10 his parents moved to Mississippi, where he found another Kuk Sool Won school to continue his studies. Unfortunately, the instructor of this school was not very good at working with youth martial artists, and Michael eventually decided to leave.
As Michael moved into his adolescent years, he continued to practice what he had learned from Kuk Sool Won but also begun to explore other martial arts systems. It was around the age of 14 that he was first introduced to Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do via a book his father bought him. Even at such a young age, Michael could clearly see how practical and effective this method of fighting could be. In addition to Jeet Kune Do, he also began to study Judo, Kali, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
By the time he was in his late teenage years, Michael had began to partake in No Holds Barred competitions with local martial artists. He was a critical player in the foundation of The Armory, which was a weekly full contact and no holds barred martial arts competition in Mississippi that ran from 2002 - 2006. By 2006 he was competing every week at The Armory, and was sitting on top of a nearly four year winning streak. While it was nice to have that kind of success, it frustrated Michael because he was looking for a challenge to help him grow and by this point he had moved to the top rank amongst those who fought at The Armory.
In the Summer of 2006, Michael Valenti moved to Indiana for college and immediately began to search for both competition and a Jeet Kune Do based school to continue his studies. It was at a local Mixed Martial Arts school that he found the challenge he was looking for. He had a sparring session with one of the instructors at the school and was elated by the results. This instructor beat the tar out of him. Amazed at the effectiveness of this school’s techniques, Michael devoted himself to learning everything that school had to offer. For several years he attend every class the school offered, training 7 days a week, often for 5 hours each day. The school taught seval systems of martial arts including: Jeet Kune Do, Kenpo, Kali, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Boxing. By 2008 he had become a Black Belt in Kenpo and a Full Instructor in Jeet Kune Do Concepts. With his experience in grappling, the head instructor asked Michael to put together a ground fighting curriculum to incorporate into their Kenpo classes. It was this project that eventually lead to the foundation of C.D.S. or Combative Defense System.
Michael Valenti would latter establish his own martial arts school in Indianapolis teaching C.D.S. The first classes were taught out of the back of a local arcade, but the school would eventually grow. However, running his own school did not get in the way of his continued studies. As time went on he studied several martial arts systems, earning a Black Belt in Judo and the rank of Senior Instructor in Wing Chun Kung Fu. He won the Gold Medal at the 2020 Mu Lan International Kung Fu Competition. All the while continuing his constant devotion to Jeet Kune Do and Kali by training several times a year with Guru Dan Inosanto (head Jeet Kune Do Instructor certified by Bruce Lee).
Michael Valenti has been teaching many martial arts systems in Indianapolis since 2008 and has a deep devotion to self defense. He feels self defense is the ultimate form of martial arts, because if one can not protect one’s self, what is the point? His school offers many systems of martial arts, but all of them are taught with practicality and self protection in mind. The core system of his school ,C.D.S., is one of the only fully developed and well rounded martial arts classes that was built from the ground up for modern day self defense situations.