Jyrki Saario, the creator of Jyrki Saario Defendo and founder of Saario Academy, has been dedicating his life to learning and teaching about close combat systems. For 40 years he has been training kickboxing, muay thai, grappling, judo, box, bjj, krav&maga, kapap, various styles of karate, wing chun, kyusho and others.

          At the beginning of the 80's he co-founded the Swedish Kickboxing Federation. Since 1983 he has trained several generations of kickboxing instructors. At the beginning of the 2000 he received the 5th dan black belt within WAKO (the largest kickboxing organization in  the world).

          In the early 80's Jyrki founded one of the first fight clubs in Sweden (first in Goteborg) where he taught kickboxing, muay thai and self-defense for security and uniformed services members. He also organized in Sweden the first competition combining judo with grappling which was called KickBoxing. In the 90's he brought Shootfighting (one of the first MMA-like styles) to Finland.




Jyrki Saario &
Jon Bluming

  Jyrki Saario &
Dan Inosanto
  Jyrki Saario &
Imi Lichtenfield


          In 1994 Jyrki met Imi Lichtenfeld - the creator of Krav Maga. In 1996 Jyrki introduced Krav Maga to the Scandinavian countries and was one of the first Krav Maga instructors in Europe. Additionally, he was one of the few instructors from outside, who received their certificate from Imi Lichtenfeld himself. For 10 years he was the chief instructor for the entire Scandinavian region.

          Since the beginning of the year 2000 Jyrki trained security workers according to his "Very Intensive Program" (VIP). In 2005 he founded Scandinavian Defendo and Defendo Alliance.