Saario Academy training programs and events

What makes Saario Academy courses so ?

1. Professional instructors

All our instructors have a strong martial arts background with several years of experience. We select our instructors very carefully to provide the best training programs and events in the world


2. Trainings around the world

Saario Academy is an international community with instructors and team members in more than 15 countries and we’ve been teaching worldwide since 1983.

Safe Kid Obstacles

3. Learn in your own language

All our instructors have a strong martial arts background with several years of experience. We select our instructors very carefully to provide the best training programs and events in the world

Classic Krav Maga Be Prepared for Fight

4. Good vibes - Join a family

When you join Saario Academy, you’ll feel an amazing sense of belonging to an exceptional community. Our participators also claim that they’ve never before taken part on such courses, where theory, practice and real life experience were so compact.

Safe Kid Jump

We believe that we have the best self-defense training programs in the world...

...and our students agree

  • Tomi LazarTomi Lazar

    If you haven't been to a Saario Academy seminar or training you are missing a great opportunity. The training is high quality with great friendship and open minded climate. The instructors are professional and you get great training as well.

    Saario Academy poses a lot of knowledge and can give you a variety of training for your purpose.

  • Istvan NagyIstvan Nagy

    When I met Jyrki Saario, I was already recognised as experienced selfdefense instructor. Despite this my imagination about the fighting arts has revolutionary changed.

    After more than 2000 hours of courses, seminars, camps and private lessons with Jyrki, according to his assessment, from “totally worthless” I reached the “not totally worthless” level. I count this fact as one of the greatest successes of my professional carrier 🙂

    For me Jyrki Saario is more then a unique fighting artist and mentor. He is a fair and loyal business partner and first of all a very good friend. This is exactly what Saario Academy is about.

    Istvan Nagy

    Professional self-defence teacher.
    Classic Krav Maga 4th Degree Black Belt
    Defendo 4th Degree Black Belt

  • Ingemar JönssonIngemar Jönsson

    I learned Krav Maga and Defendo from master Jyrki Saario, I have known mr Saario since 1983 and begin training with him since 1999. I will strongly recommend his seminars and courses.

    If someone or my friends ask me where they can learn good selfdefence I will tell them go to a Defendo or Krav Maga seminar with master Jyrki Saario where they will learn the best selfdefence. Master Saario is the best teacher and instructor I've ever had.

  • Rainer HeinonenRainer Heinonen

    I have practiced martial arts since 1984, it’s been shotokan karate, wingtsun, ashiara. 1989 I started kickboxing with Ironman club and I have been practicing that since. I like the good feeling and great fellowship that we have at Saario Academy. In 2011 I went to a Defendo seminar in Gothenburg and got stuck to that also because I feel that it’s a very effective type of self defense. I’m now a father of four and grandpa and still active.

    When I attend a seminar I know I’ll get realistic self defense training, where I can choose the level of force that’s required for the situation that is at hand. for example I don’t necessarily need to hurt the person in front of me to get out of a threatening situation.
    The seminars held by Jyrki Saario is instructive, he shows techniques on a very educational way. I really can recommend Saario Academy Defendo to anyone that’s seeking for an effective self defense training that really will work when needed and Jyrki who brings out the best of you who wants to learn to defend yourself.
    If I were to tell you about Defendo I would point at the fact that it’s a effective system that is based on our natural reflexes, simple and effective.
    I have known Jyrki and practiced with him for over 30 years.
    I am Kickboxing 4th Degree Black Belt and Defendo 1st Degree Black Belt.

  • Hegedűs EndreHegedűs Endre

    I am attending trainings at the Budapest branch of Saario Academy on a regular basis. Martial arts and self defense systems, like Krav Maga, Defendo, Kick Box, grappling etc. can be learnt here from the ground up from well trained teachers, using quality sport equipment.
    SA is not only a great martial arts and fitness school for adults but also for children from the age of 3-4 years as well. The Safe Kid program of SA is well developed by instructors who are fathers themselves and have real experiences in the field of teaching kids. It is good to see how children learn to protect themselves, having discipline in a respectful, helpful and playful 🙂 environment. I like and respect their instructors who work with full dedication to make a difference in their own and their students' lives.
    I have seen many martial arts schools but this one is definitely recommended.

  • Horváth JánosHorváth János

    If you want to learn a reality based self-defense or you are interested of fighting sports, you are in the right place.

    The founder of the Academy, master Jyrki Saario is a teacher, who has one of the richest experience, theoretical and practical knowledge of our times! I claim this with the responsibility of my 40 years experience in martial arts and fighting sports.

  • Mikael Pedin

    Saario Academy is where I found my second family, my warrior family. Very proffesional, very pedagogical way of teaching and great knowledge of self defence and combatives as well as a great system in Defendo.

  • Jan BjelkeJan Bjelke

    My Martial Art and Self Defense journey started 1978. I have been looking for a system that is easy and with few techniques from day one. I found it in Saario Academy Defendo. Great people - Humble Instructors - No Ego. One big family. If you looking for great training and self defense I strongly recommend a seminar with Jyrki Saario.

  • Tapio ErholzTapio Erholz

    Minä olen Tapio Erholtz, itsepuolustus- ja kamppailuvalmentaja Helsingistä.
    Hapkido Master, Defendo musta vyö sekä Helsinki Martial Art Center (HMAC) pääkouluttaja.

    Itsepuolustus- ja kamppailulajeja olen harjoitellut intohimoisesti 80-luvulta alkaen.
    Jyrkin tapasin ensimmäisen kerran vuosituhannen vaihteessa Turussa kamppailulajien suurleirillä.
    Jyrki opetti jo tuolloin hyvin ammattimaisin ottein ja teki minuun vaikutuksen opettajana.

    Kun kuulin vuonna 2006 että Defendo toimintaa aloiteltiin Suomessa otin Jyrkiin yhteyttä ja teimme yhteistyösopimuksen. Vuonna 2007 tammikuussa olinkin jo mukana ensimmäisessä Jyrkin ohjaajakoulutuksessa. Näin vuosienkin jälkeen täytyy sanoa että juuri tuo Jyrkin ohjaama ensimmäinen ohjaajakoulutus teki minuun syvän vaikutuksen ja sai minut jatkamaan harjoittelua. Ehdottomasti yksi parhaista koulutuksista ja kouluttajista mitä minulla on uran aikana ollut. Yhteistyömme sai siis jatkoa ja on jatkunut intensiivisesti näihin päiviin saakka.

    Jyrki on suoraselkäinen henkilö jonka kanssa on ollut helppoa harjoitella ja asioida. Kaikki sovitut asiat ovat pitäneet eikä yllätyksiä ole matkan varrella tullut. Voisin kuvailla että Jyrkistä löytyy vielä sitä harvinaista "old school" henkeä, henkeä jossa itsepuolustusta ja kamppailua harjoitellaan intohimoisesti sekä sovituista asioista pidetään kiinni.
    Mikäli olet kiinnostunut harjoittelemaan realistista itsepuolustusta pätevän ammattiopettajan johdolla voin lämpimästi suositella Jyrkin koulutuksia ja Jyrki Saarion Defendoa ja sen kouluttajia ympäri maailman.

    Tapio Erholtz
    Helsinki, 2019

  • Sabina HeinonenSabina Heinonen

    My name is Sabina and I am a 48-year-old mother-of-four and a grandmother. I've been training martial arts in Ironman since 1998, Kickboxing, Thaiboxing and Defendo. Today I have a Black Belt both in Defendo and in Kickboxing. Training gives me joy, friends, exercise, self-defense etc. I can undoubtedly recommend both Defendo and Jyrki's trainings for everyone. Defendo is something anyone can learn, the techniques go hand in hand between the different levels. Jyrki is a calm and pedagogical instructor who gives you the opportunity to train according to your own ability.

    Sabina Heinonen
    Gothenburg, Sweden.

  • Christian StorsjöChristian Storsjö

    My name is Christian Storsjö, Defendo Instructor in Sweden.

    I started my martial arts career in Helsinki,Finland, in 1991. I tried many different styles but the ones worth mentioning are - Hokuto ryu JuJutsu, Brown Belt, IKMF Krav Maga Instructor 2002, Jyrki Saario Defendo Instructor & Defendo 2nd Degree Black Belt 2018.
    I work as a physiotherapist. I sometimes meet verbaly aggressive and desperate people and so far Jyrki´s Defendo has helped me to stay calm and clear and de-escalate the situations.
    The main purpose for my Martial Arts training has always been selfdefense and a verstile physical training. The more I trained the more I started to doubt the functionality of the technics in stressful situations. I found that Defendo didn´t include any non-functional fancy stuff. It is quite easy to learn and has a consistent thought throughout the system. I also thought that if I want to teach people selfdefence it should be something that really can be used if they have to instead of just a false sence of security.
    Every training and course with the top instructors in Defendo is an eyeopener. It can be the most basic skill you have trained a 1000 times and you still get something new, a detail or something that makes you understand why, when, where and how it should be executed. The more I learn the more I realize how much I don´t know.
    I strongly recommend everyone to take part in trainings with Jyrki. Every one who is interested in selfdefense training will get really much new knowledge from him. Even if you are an instructor or student in some other selfdefense system you will get tons of good information and useful stuff to use in your own training.
    Jyrki is a very good teacher/coach. He makes the training environment relaxed. He always has a good explanation to why something is done the way it is done and he always has a handful of real life stories to back up his explanation.
    I would recommend everyone who is interested in selfdefense to take part in defendo courses/seminars/ trainings. It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or if you have long background in martial arts you will definitely benefit from the training.
    Jyrki Saario Defendo is a functional selfdefense system for everybody. There is a consistent logical thought through the whole system that makes it functional and quite easy to learn. I addition it´s a lot of fun and you meet good people. Even if the system is not as well known yet as many others are it is spreading around the world and is also a part of the police and military education in many countries.

  • Ilari SaukkonenIlari Saukkonen

    My name is Ilari Saukkonen, Saario Academy Classic Krav Maga National Instructor.

    I started Martial arts in 2002, training Muay Thai, MMA, Kickboxing, Krav Maga and Defendo. I started Krav Maga in 2009 and Defendo in 2011.

    I have been working in the private security industry since 2008, working as a bouncer and in public transportation for example. Nowadays I work as an instructor in vocational upper secondary qualification in Safety and Security, teaching use of force, self-defense and other subjects to new and old security personnel. I have a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Security Management.

    I met Jyrki in 2010 and did my first instructor course with him in 2011. First things I remember in training with him, is the focus on simple and effective stuff – stuff that worked in real life situations that I faced in my job.

    Saario Academy is on the sharp edge of self-defense education for professionals and civilians. Not only because of Jyrki but because of the community. Saario Academy consists of experts in self-defense, real life experts of security and education. The community also makes sure that the instructors are top notch. Instructors need to complete instructor training and keep their skills honed with further instructor training – this makes sure that they know what they are doing.

    I have learned a lot being a member of Saario Academy, and now I have the chance to pass my knowledge on – creating an even stronger community of martial artists.

  • Niko TarvainenNiko Tarvainen

    Olen 41-vuotias kamppailulajien valmentaja Tampereelta.
    Olen päälajeina harjoitellut ja ohjannut krav magan ja defendon lisäksi myös thainyrkkeilyä, nyrkkeilyä ja karatea.
    Tämän lisäksi olen tututustunut myös moneen muuhun kamppailusysteemin kuten mm. painiin, jolla olen aloittanut harjoitteluni 1980- luvulla.
    Työskentelen kamppailulajien parissa opettaen ja pyörittäen vuonna 2008 perustamaani seuraa K4 Center Tampereella.
    Saario Academyn kurssit ja ohjaajakoulutukset ovat hieno mahdollisuus laajentaa omaa näkemystäni kamppailulajeista ja itsepuolustuksesta ja pyrin koulutusten kautta kehittämään omaa osaamistani.
    Olen saanut paljon tietotaitoa Saario Academyn kursseilta ja huippuohjaajilta vuosien varrella.
    Jyrki Saario on maailman johtavia kouluttajia kamppailulajien saralla ja suosittelen lämpimästi hänen koulutuksiaan ja seminaarejaan kaikille, jotka haluavat kehittää omaa osaamistaan ja ohjaajataitojaan pidemmälle.
    Jyrki on kouluttanut paljon huippuohjaajia ja suosittelen lämpimästi myös muiden kouluttajien koulutuksia ja seminaareja Saario Academyssä.
    Kamppailu- ja itsepuolustuslajeja ei ole koskaan liian vanha aloittamaan, tervetuloa mukaan näihin hienoihin lajeihin.

  • Kimmo NurkseKimmo Nurkse

    Nimeni on Kimmo Nurkse ja olen 43 vuotta vanha. Olen aloittanut kamppailuharrastukset 8 vuotiaana ja aktiivisen ohjaamisen 16 vuotiaana. Hokutoryu Ju-jutsussa minulla on neljännen asteen musta vyö ja Jyrki Saario Defendossa 2 asteen musta vyö. Taustalla on myös vankka kokemus vapaaottelusta ja olenkin vapaaottelun veteraani.

    Työurallani on vankka kokemus turvallisuusalalta kentällä ja koulutuksissa. Työkseni olen koko ikäni tehnyt turvallisuusalan töitä laidasta laitaan. Aina henkilösuojelusta perus vartijan ja järjestyksenvalvojan työhön. Tämän lisäksi olen kouluttanut turvallisuusalan ammattilaisia työkseni noin 20 vuotta. Olen myös ammatiltani hoitaja suuntautuneena päihde-, kriisi- ja mielenterveystyöhön.

    Suosittelen Defendo kursseja, koska Defendo on helposti omaksuttava ja todistetusti toimiva itsepuolustuslaji. Defendokouluttajat ovat keränneet ja keräävät jatkuvasti realistista tietoa itsepuolustustilanteistaja miten ihminen reagoi erilaisissa paine tilanteissa. Defendon vahvana puolena onkin myös realististen paineharjoitteiden harjoitteleminen, josta johtuen ihminen tietää jo valmiiksi oman reaktionsa erilaisissa äkillisissä tilanteissa ja ne eivät tule tosi tilanteessa yllätyksenä.

    Suosittelen myös osallistumaan Jyrki Saarion seminaareille. Hänen opetuksensa perustuu tieteellisiin ja opittuihin faktoihin ja hänen opetustapansa on erittäin hyvin omaksuttava ja erittäin antoisaa. Hänen erittäin vahva ja vankka kamppailu ja elämänkokemus tausta näkyy vahvasti opetustilanteessa. Itse olen ollut pitkään kamppailulajeissa mukana josta erittäin vahvana Hokutoryu Ju-jutsu. Sen ohella olen tutustunut useisiin lajeihin ja oman vankan turvallisuusalan kenttäkokemuksen myötä arvioinut hyötyjä omaan työhöni ja mahdollisiin itsepuolustilanteisiin ja olen todennut että ei ole kannattanut mitään toista lajia lähteä harrastamaan, koska harjoitusaika on kumminkin jokaisella rajallinen, ennen kuin tutustuin Jyrki Saarion kautta Defendoon joka sytytti heti sen realistisuuden, toimivuuden ja helpon omaksuttavuuden vuoksi sekä Jyrkin erittäin hyvän opetustavan ja vankan kokemuksen vuoksi. Siitä hetkestä lähtien kun olin ensimmäisessä Jyrkin seminaarissa olen harrastanut myös Defendoa joka on erittäin paljon antanut lisää turvallisuusalan työhöni ja helpottanut sitä monelta osalta.

Want to know more about our programs and events?

You can see our upcoming courses and events by clicking on the button below and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to send us a message using the form or the messaging links at the bottom of this page.

Defendo Knife Attackers Arm Controll

Send us a message

Use the form below to get in touch with us and we'll let you know how to get started

Scroll to Top