2700 B E. Aurora Rd., Twinsburg, Ohio 44087

The Academy of Self-Defense’s Impressive List of Master Instructors

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When people decide that they want to begin taking martial art classes in Minna Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kung Fu, Aiki JujutsuAikidoKarate, or T’ai Chi Ch’uan, they generally look online to find nearby studios that specialize in martial arts program they’re looking for. Though this seems to be the most logical course of action, they risk enrolling in a school where classes are taught by junior level black belts with just a few years of experience, or franchise schools where the owners may not even be martial art experts themselves.  While their enthusiasm may be high, their knowledge and experience is not.  Educated consumers should research who the head instructors are to ensure they are entering a high quality and highly qualified school.  


Fortunately for those living in Northeast Ohio, there are the three schools of The Academy of Self-Defense. With an unbelievable number of Master-level senior martial arts instructors teaching full black belt courses of martial arts in Minna Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Aiki Jiu-Jitsu, Kung Fu, and T’ai Chi, The Academy of Self-Defense in Akron, OH; Twinsburg, OH; and Mayfield Heights, OH gives students the opportunity to train and earn their black belts with the very best of the best.


Master Steve Kovacs, 10th Dan Black Belt and Soke of Minna Jiu-Jitsu is the co-owner and operator of the Mayfield Heights school.  Soke Kovacs is the son of the late Grand Master Frank F. Kovacs.  At age 8, Soke Kovacs was almost killed by a criminal.  Soon after, he began training with his father in Judo and Minna Jiu-Jitsu.  Soke Kovacs also was an amateur boxer and trained in Shorin-Ryu karate.  Soke Kovacs was a police officer and supervisor for over 20 years.  He’s is SWAT trained by the FBI Hostage Rescue Team and LAPD.  He received the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation award for Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity.  Soke Kovacs authored the books Protect Yourself:  The Simple Keys Women Need to Protect Themselves and Kindle bestseller Protect Your Kids!  The Simple Keys to Children’s Safety and Survival.


Master Daniel Brailliar, 7th Dan Black Belt of Minna Jiu-Jitsu is co-owner and operator of the Mayfield Heights school.  In addition, Master Bralliar holds black belts in Kempo and Shotokan karate.  A long-time tournament competitor throughout the USA and Canada, Master Bralliar lends his expertise and 40+ years of training as the Head Instructor at the Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense.


Master Timothy Loomis, 8th Dan Black Belt, co-owner and operator of the Twinsburg school, has been involved with martial arts since the age of 8.  Master Loomis rose through the ranks earning his first black belt at age 12. At the age of 16 Master Loomis was promoted to senior division 2nd Dan black belt by Grand Master Frank F. Kovacs—skipping 1st Dan senior division rank in the process.  Master Loomis was the first person in the history of the system to skip a black belt rank.  For the next 27 years, Loomis continued to train and teach with Grand Master Kovacs.  Master Loomis earned his current 8th Dan rank in 2018 from Grand Master Robert E. Fields. In addition, Master Loomis holds a 2nd Dan Black Sash in Southern Shaolin Kung Fu from Grand Master Vincent Gentiluomo. With decades of experience in Minna Jiu-Jitsu, T’ai Chi and Kung Fu, Master Loomis created his own system of Kung Fu which he calls Yi Ran Dao, or Naturally Flowing Way.


Master Frank Charlillo, 7th Dan Black Belt, owner of the Akron Academy of Self-Defense, and co-owner of the Twinsburg and Mayfield Academies of Self-Defense.  Master “C” has over 40 years of training in multiple martial arts attaining his 7th Dan Black Belt directly from Grand Master Frank F. Kovacs before his death.


Master Vladimir Soroka, 8th Dan Black Belt, has been teaching adults and children for more than 40 years. Having started his martial arts journey in 1968 and focusing on Aiki-Jujutsu and Aikido since 1970, this Master martial arts instructor has earned recognition from some of the most respected organizations in the world.  Master Soroka is the only certified instructor in Ohio in the Filipino art of Lameco Escrima.  He’s earned the rank of 4th Dan Black Belt and Sensei in Daito Ryu Aikibudo, 1st Dan Black Belt in Shotokan Karate, 3rd Dan Black Belt in Minna Jujutsu, certification with the International Combat Jujitsu Union ICMUA and much, much more.  Master Soroka has a wealth of knowledge to share with students of the Akron and Twinsburg Academies of Self-Defense. This talented martial arts instructor is a member of the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame, making him an excellent teacher for those who are interested in Aiki-Jujutsu, Aikido, and Lameco Escrima. 


Grand Master Si Gung Vincent Gentiluomo, 10th Dan Black Sash (Si Gung - the masters master) began martial arts in 1968 with Grand Master Frank Kovacs, Minna Jujutsu 10th Dan. Beginning in 1972, Si Gung began learning Shaolin Kung Fu from the late Grand Master Feeman Ong. Si Gung has had many T’ai Chi and Paqua teachers and masters including Grand Master Ron Mohr, Master Nick Gracenin, and Grand Master John Custer.  Si Gung now teaches his own system of ChiKungFuTao, as well as Qigong.

Not only do The Academy of Self-Defense schools give Northeast Ohio natives the opportunity to learn Minna Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Kung Fu, Aiki Jujutsu, Aikido and T’ai Chi by working with knowledgeable and experienced master martial arts instructors, but students are given the opportunity to train with Master Instructors from around the world through seminars presented by The Academy of Self-Defense schools. 


The master martial arts instructors at The Academy of Self-Defense are clearly a step above the rest, giving their students the chance to earn black belts and participate in activities that can’t be found elsewhere. So, why enroll in classes at any other Northeast Ohio studio? The teachers at The Academy of Self-Defense demonstrate a depth of knowledge and talent that students will certainly appreciate as they make their way through the martial arts program of their choice. To learn more, visit https://theacademyofself-defense.com.  You can also take the trip to Akron, Twinsburg, or Mayfield Heights to meet with these extraordinary Master instructors in person.


The Academy of Self-Defense in Akron, ph: (330) 814-5058, em: tallmadgeselfdefense@gmail.com

Twinsburg Academy of Self-Defense, ph: (330) 237-9594, em: twbselfdefense@gmail.com

Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense, ph: (440) 409-6954, em:  mayfieldacademy067@gmail.com

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