Defendo Alliance

Scandinavian Defendo - background and history

Scandinavian Defendo is effective, all-around self defence system, which combines decades of experience both western and eastern martial arts and combat sports. The system has been developed specially for those, who need self defence skills at work but it suits well also for those who are interested in self defence and education.

Jyrki Saario

The foundation of Scandinavian Defendo is Jyrki Saario’s near four decades experience of some of the world’s most effective self defence systems and martial arts. Mr Saario has led the development of Scandinavian Defendo and many of world’s foremost self defence instructors have participated in the evolution. Basis for the development was to create a self defence system that really works. Scandinavian Defendo is based on real life experience: analyzing real life confrontations, only the most effective techniques and solutions that work in engagements in reality, were selected to the system.

The founder of Scandinavian Defendo, Jyrki Saario, is one of the most experienced and valued self defence instructors. Scandinavian Defendo can be seen as his life’s work. Saario has been granted an instructor  certificate in a dozen worldwide martial art, self defence system or combat sport. He has been studying and training self defence and combat sports in various countries and continents, and is, among other things, one of Israeli Krav Maga pioneers in Europe, as well as highly valuated instructor. Jyrki Saario also holds fifth degree black belt in Kick-Boxing.

The development of Scandinavian Defendo has been long-term and purposive. It is interesting to see that a great number of techniques, that were included in Scandinavian Defendo, can be found from old hand-to-hand-combat manuals, like in Codex Wallerstein (year 1470), Defendu (1926) and Hand-to-Hand Combat (1943). From the beginning of 1980’s, and systematically from year 1995, Jyrki Saario has been collecting statistics of how the techniques have been working in real life situations. A great number of instructors in Scandinavian Defendo are employed in professions where facing violent behavior is very common, that’s why Scandinavian Defendo is a natural choice for many security professionals.

From year 2009 the Finnish International Development Team has been Antti Nurmi, Jussi Jokinen, Petteri Kantola, Hannu Koskinen and Mika Ojansivu. Antti Nurmi is also responsible for Defendo Blue - the use of force and self defence system for law enforcement and security instruction program. Mr Nurmi has been working in cooperation with Jyrki Saario from year 1998, and is the leader of Scandinavian Defendo’s International Division of Defendo Instructors. 

From the name “Defendo”

William Fairbairn used the name Defend-U, and published the book “Defendu” year 1926. Defend-U stands for “Defend You”.

Defendo is Latin, meaning “to defend” or “to protect”. Bill Underwood used name “Defendo”, and published a book named “Defendo, Police System of Self-Defense” year 1950.

Jyrki Saario started his development under the name of V.I.P, when he had a goal to develop an easy to learn, realistic and effective self-defence and use of force system. Later Saario changed the name of the method to Scandinavian Defendo.

Defendo Alliance is the international governing body of Scandinavian Defendo from year 2009.

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The three cornerstones of workable self defence:

1. The right technique

2. Adequate physics

3. Well balanced mind

All these cornerstones need to be present in training even-handed. This can be achieved by doing realistic exercises, physical enough, supporting each other. How you train is how you act in real life engagement.