INSTRUCTORS OF ELITE DEFENSE SYSTEMS
Certified Instructor: Mike Soper
To Contact: Mike@EliteJKD.com
Mr. Soper’s Martial Arts experience began when he was in High School at regional boxing tournaments and since has earned black belt and instructor ranks in Kosho Ryu Kenpo, Shaolin Kenpo, and Mo So Chi Kenpo styles of Karate, as well as Judo. Training at EDS since 2004, he currently is an assistant instructor and graduate student, as well as a member of the CATT Team. Competing in the Heavy Weight Division at the NAGA tournaments in 2008, he earned both silver and bronze medals. “Studying JKD, Filipino martial Arts and the intense street fighting self defense methods at EDS has opened up endless learning possibilities as I continue to evolve in my Martial Arts experience and my life”, he states.
Certified Instructor: Noah Ballard
To Contact: noah@EliteJKD.com
Noah Ballard was born and raised in Stafford, VA where he trained under a police officer, Jim Nida. Noah moved to the Chicago area a few years ago and began training with EDS which has taken his skill level and confidence to the next level.
Noah is currently enrolled in Olivet Nazarene University as a Sophamore and is studying Criminal Justice with a concentration in Law Enforcement, a minor in Military Affairs, and is currently Terrorism Prevention certified by the Department of Homeland Security.
Mr. Ballard hopes to have a career in Law Enforcement in specifically field operations.
Assistant Instructor: Tim Hill
To Contact: Tim@EliteJKD.com
Mr. Hill was introduced to JKD through Sifu Matt years ago. Over the years he has attended most seminars as well as many classes and has successfully worked his way up from a beginner. He enjoys learning the practical street aspects at Elite Defense Systems. The work outs not only relieve stress, but you learn while working out. EDS work-outs have kept Mr. Hill feeling incredibly young and energetic for his age.
Assistant: Levi Ballard
To Contact: Levi@EliteJKD.com
Levi Ballard is our youngest student on the instructor's track. He was born and raised in Stafford, VA till he was 12 years old when his family moved. In 2002 both Noah and Levi Ballard started studying in an art called Yoroi Kamisama where they were just under the level of black belt. Levi shows great potential in one day becoming an instructor.
Assistant Instructor: John "JT" Terranova
To Contact: JT@EliteJKD.com
Mr. Terranova began his martial arts training years ago in the field of boxing. However, in looking for a true street defense art he came upon Elite Defense Systems and through Sifu Matt Numrich was introduced to Jeet Kune Do.
As student at EDS for nearly 3 years, he is currently completing EDS’ Advanced level while also a member of the school’s C.A.T.T team. His journey in the Way of the Intercepting Fist has led to learning in life - “Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror”, is his favorite Bruce Lee quote.
Assistant Instructor: Glenn Suacillo
To Contact: glenn@EliteJKD.com
Dr. Suacillo has been training in martial arts since the age of twelve, really out of necessity/survival being that he was a not very athletic child and got picked on quite a bit. It truly helped him early on to gain confidence and physical improvement.
Dr. Suacillo started out training in a modified form of northern Chinese Shaolin Kung Fu. I then trained for eight years in Shorin Ryu style of Karate, earning a second degree black belt. At the same time that I was training in Shorin Ryu, he was involved with the Guardian Angels in Chicago for a short time, giving me much needed practical street fighting experience.
In 1995 he started my residency and also got married and started a family. He finished his residency in 2000, moved back to Chicago, found EDS and claims he is now receiving the best training he has ever received in his entire martial arts experience. Dr. Suacillo was the first student to reach the level of Graduate Student at Elite Defense Systems.
Assistant Instructor: Matt Gronlund
To Contact: MattG@EliteJKD.com
Matt began his martial arts studies as a teenager with classical martial arts such as Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido. After earning advanced belts in both he began instructing while continuing his own studies in a number of other arts. As his training evolved Matt looked for a more street-effective art and soon found his way to JKD and Elite Defense Systems where he has been training since 2002. Matt is a PFS Edged Weapons and LEO certified instructor.
Assistant Instructor: Tom Cervolo
To Contact: Tom@EliteJKD.com
“I remember from a young age watching Enter the Dragon, and being so intrigued by what I saw in the film. The way Bruce Lee moved was nothing I have ever seen before, he would defy any obstacle; be it physical or even mental and it left such a lasting impression on me”, states Tom. After that he had no idea the journey I was about to take. At the age of 7 Tom started taking Karate through the Elmwood Park Park District. From there my next art was Budo Tai-jutsu through the Mount Prospect Park District that is where he achieved my green belt. Tom enjoyed the arts very much, but found there wasn't much function to them. He was looking for something that had real life application. He then happen to stumble on Elite Defense System and was amazed in the curriculum that was taught, and how they trained. Immediately he said this is the school for me!
Instructor: Lee Bliss
To Contact: Lee@EliteJKD.com
JKD is Mr. Bliss' third martial art. He began with Judo at the age of 12, but got sidetracked by competitive swimming. In college, he worked as a swimming and lifesaving instructor certified by both the Red Cross and YMCA. He returned to the Martial Arts years later studying Hapkido where he achieved the rank of 3rd degree black belt.
Feeling the need to broaden his skills and fill in gaps left by the more traditional arts, Lee spent many days researching the other arts and finally decided to join Elite Defense Systems. Now an Advanced Student and member of the C.A.T.T. Team, he says "I thoroughly believe JKD was the right choice for me".
Instructor: Jeremy Miles
To Contact: Jeremy@EliteJKD.com
Jeremy has been training at EDS since 2008 and is a member of the CATT team. He works at a local security firm. When not at EDS he can usually be found at the gun range training with a variety of firearms.
Instructor: Luigi Mascioletti
To Contact: Jeremy@EliteJKD.com
Many people join health clubs and play sports or sign up for some kind of martial arts for a good workout and that's great. It starts by you taking care of yourself, Luigi found all that and more here at EDS. Not only did he get in better shape but most importantly it's bettered my way of thinking. The more Luigi go to class the more he saw how this philosophy (JKD) helps him in his life outside the class. Luigi never really had serious training until he came to EDS and like many didn't really know how deep it really goes, as time goes by the more he sees that JKD really does cover all he needs in real life scenarios and couldn't be happier that he chose this art, from weapons, to mass attack and all in between I really love all of it.
Assistant Instructor: Ruben Bautista
To Contact: MattG@EliteJKD.com
Ruben started martial arts at age 12 studying karate, as he always loved the Martial Arts.Â When he reached his 20's, I studied American Kenpo until he reached my second degree black belt, but JKD was something Ruben always wanted to do so he gave up Karate to find a good JKD school. Realizing that many martial arts schools turned into overnight “MMA” schools, he needed to find a real JKD school, that’s when he walked into EDS. “I love the training drills and the mass attack instruction, thanks Sifu”.