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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, combatives and survivor based.

Edgardo "Eddie" Perez
Master Instructor/Coach

Edgardo Pérez is married with two children. He is a military veteran (USAF/Security Police) and a retired police officer with over 30 years of police service. He is a former undercover narcotics officer working with the FBI Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, Inspector with the Illinois State Police North Central Narcotics Task Force and DEA Undercover operative & consultant. As a police commander, Perez retired in 2016 then in 2019, took a position with the Kane County Sheriff's Office where he now serves as a Deputy in the Tactical Operations Division as the Defensive Tactics Coordinator as well as a Combatives and Gracie Survival Tactics Instructor.

In 1979 Perez began his formal martial arts training in Aurora, Illinois, and later continued his training in South Korea under the tutelage of Grandmaster Yu Chong Su in the martial art of Hapkido. He is an 8th Degree Master in Hapkido, founder of both Junsakwon Hapkido and Guazabara, a full Instructor in Filipino Kali (Largo Mano Style) and a student of Carlson Gracie  Jiu-Jitsu.

Perez is the Chief Instructor at the Defense Training Institute. During the past forty years Perez has been inducted into various martial art Halls of Fame, and founded The Martial Arts Gang Intervention Club (MAGIC), Warrior Hapkido International and the Federacion Mundial de Guazabara (World Guazabara Federation). 


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

Perez recently completed a book for martial artist of all styles discussing the Way of  the Warrior, the value of the martial arts 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." -Eddie Pérez

An excerpt from Martial Thoughts

"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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