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Defense Training Institute

The Defense Training Institute was founded in 1998 in Aurora, Illinois. After a few years it was moved to the city of Batavia and would remain at that location for seventeen years until it was relocated in 2017 to its current location back to Aurora. 

The focus of our facility has always been the tactics, mindset and training of self-defense. We teach a wide variety of counter reactive techniques such as joint locks, striking, grappling and the use of weapons. If the fight goes to the ground, the student trains to gain positional control and, if possible,  return to a standing position to allow for possible escape or reengagement. Not bound by traditional methods or sport rules, the goal has always been self-defense and survivor based.


Chief Instructor
Edgardo "Eddie" Perez

Edgardo Pérez is married with two children. He is a military veteran (USAF/Security Police) and a retired police commander with over 30 years of police service and over 40 years of study in the martial arts. He is an 8th Degree Master in Hapkido, founder of Junsakwon, founder of Guazabara Caribbean Knife & Stick Fighting, a Police Combatives & Gracie Survival Tactics Instructor, a full Instructor in Filipino Eskrima (Largo Mano Style) and a student of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.


In 1979 Master Perez began his formal Hapkido training in Aurora, Il. under the tutelage of the Fowler Brothers. He later continued his training in South Korea under Grandmaster Yu Chong Su.


For the past 40 years he has continued to train in the martial arts  while teaching local, county and state police personnel in police combatives. In 1998 he founded the Martial Arts Gang Intervention Club (MAGIC) and the Defense Training Institute. 


Perez has been inducted into various martial art Halls of Fame. He currently serves as a sworn deputy with the  Kane County Sheriff’s Office in the Tactical Operations Division as the Defensive Tactics Coordinator.

U.S Hapkido Lineage 

Kwang Seek Hyun (Hapkido-Chicago, Il.)  >> Fowler Brothers (Hapkido-Aurora, Il.)  >>  Edgardo Perez


South Korea Hapkido Lineage 

Takeda Sokaku (Aiki-Jūjutsu-Japan)  >>  Choi Yong Sool (Jūjutsu/Yu Sul-Korea)  >>

Yu Chong Su (Hapkido & Kumdo - Korea)  >>  Edgardo Perez


I recently completed a book for martial artist of all styles discussing the Way of  the Warrior and what it means to follow the warriors path of both violence and peace. The martial arts is so much more then fighting, it's a platform to build a better human being. My hope is that "Martial Thoughts" will inspire the reader to find the warrior that is buried deep within all of us. -Edgardo

"On the day you depart from this world, will others say that it is a better place now than when you arrived? What do you think? I pose this question to my students and I ask you the same. Utilize the martial arts or any specialty that you're passionate about as a platform for doing good and helping others. Everyone is looking for a hero, this could be your opportunity. 

I have spent my life training others to defend themselves, but life is more than just about fighting, we must also train to live the best lives that we can. I can train you to survive, but I would rather train you to win. To survive is not the same as winning and losing without learning is the only true loss. Life is the great challenge, compete and win as if you were in the dojo every day". 


For your convenience, the book can be purchased by clicking the book retailers listed below.

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