The Cortés Defense System (CDS) is a self-defense curriculum that prepares students to defend themselves against real-world attacks by developing their fighting skills, psychological readiness, and physical fitness. It mainly comprises empty-hand combat, judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, kali, physical conditioning, and soft skills.


CDS Curriculum

Students will learn multiple self-defense disciplines, how to integrate each with the other, and how to become independent of what was learned.  There are four multi-stage levels that can visually be tracked by using the traditional belt system when using a martial arts uniform, or a training t-shirt with a “level logo” when using a tactical uniform.

Level I 
Stages: white, yellow, orange
Character-building | movement coordination development & mobility | Core skills

Level II 
Stages: purple, green, blue
Sport & competition aspect of MA | agility & performance / advanced skills / soft skill concepts

Level III 
Stages: Brown, Black, 1st degree black
Self-defense & Protector mindset | full physical conditioning, including psychological elements | integration and real-world application 

Level IV 
Stages: 2nd degree black – 10th degree
Independence | exploration | mastery | Service

Training Format

The CDS training format has been designed to meet today’s “new normal”.  Our training incorporates online and in-person learning.  Students will review and study each lesson online at their own pace.  We’ll also stream a live class session once a week. The lessons learned will then be reviewed, perfected, and evaluated during in-person training.

Because our students may be located in different parts of the world, the in-person training schedule will vary per location, making sure that local regulations are adhered to.  During an in-person training session, it should be expected to see some students using traditional martial arts uniforms and others using a tactical uniforms. 

Each student is given a training card according to their rank. This card will help the student keep track of their training and achieved milestones. Once the card has been fully checked-off, verified, and signed by an instructor they would then be eligible to test for the next rank.

In order to ensure that all our students receive the same high-quality training, regardless of their location, and instructor, each in-person lesson will be based on a lesson plan that has been prepared in advance and carefully crafted by Sensei Cortés.

CDS Kids

A modified version of the CDS Core curriculum for children ages 6 to 12.  Since CDS is a self-defense/combat system, many of the techniques, offensive approach, and weapons used may be of and adult/mature nature.  The idea is to protect our kids from harming themselves or others by mistake with techniques and skills that require mature and advance decision-making actions to be taken. Sessions are slightly more relaxed than the main curriculum, filled with various activities that make the learning process fun and engaging. We incorporate Piaget’s teaching methods into the CDS Kids curriculum.