I have known Mike Leotta on a personal and professional basis since 1994. I am currently a Correctional Officer with the Santa Clara County Department of Correction. I am a Jail Training Officer, as well as one of the departments weaponless defense instructors.
Mr. Leotta has been one of my instructors in defensive tactics since 1994. He is by far one of the most knowledgable and effective instructors that I have had the provilege training with. The instruction that Mr. Leotta has given me, saved my life on two different occasions when I was attacked. I have used what Mr. Leotta has taught me to instruct officers within the department as effective Self Defense techniques.
I also know Mr. Leotta on a personal basis. I consider Mr. Leotta to be a very honest and repsonsible person. He is someone who I know I can count on for help anytime.
– Urbano M. Jorge
My training with Sifu Mike has instilled in me a passion for Martial Arts that I will never lose. The functionality and practicality of Mike’s teachings is what sets him apart from so many other Martial Arts Instructors. His own passion for the arts and eagerness to help his students develop their skills make every class with him a positive learning experience in one’s growth into a better student.
The real strength in Mike’s style of teaching is the realization that not all students conform to a particular mold or style, and that everyone is unique with different strengths and weaknesses. This important aspect to his teaching style really allows students to have a customized training, based on who they are as individuals and to develop their own unique styles, befitting of their strengths.
Through the years of training with Mike, I’ve developed into a better Martial Artist not only because of the amazing physical training and attributes I’ve learned, but because of the combination of the physical, philosophical, and mental dynamics of combat which he has taught me. It is an absolute honor to train with him and I absolutely recommend him to anyone interested in Martial Arts.
– Matteo Panebianco
I was first introduced to “Sensei” Michael Leotta in 2000. I was interested in training in Martial Arts and was thrilled when I learned that Michael was a certified instructor in the Art of Jeet Kune Do Concepts. Jeet Kune Do is the art that Sigung Bruce Lee had developed in the 1970’s. Michael is also a certified instructor under the only person certified by Bruce Lee in the art of Jeet Kune Do, Guru Dan Inosanto.
I was immediately very impressed with Michael’s pedigree in many of the Martial Arts. He is very knowledgeable, skilled, and a master Martial Artists in many different forms. Michael’s teaching technique has obviously been mastered from countless years of teaching others. He is patient with his students, very thorough in explaining the technique, and hands on.
Along with Michael being an exceptional Martial Artist, he’s also an exceptional person. He has overcome and triumphed over adversity which many people would not succeed. When I first began my training, mentoring, and brotherhood with Michael, his school was called “Adapt For Life” Bruce Lee’s teaching and philosophies were around adaptation and so are Michael’s. I believe what makes Michael such a role model, leader, and Sensei is his strong moral, ideological, and social values. Our school creed was “Strength and Honor” Michael always instilled in everyone he taught that in life you behave and act with honor and have the strength to protect yourself and others with the skills learned from his teachings. Michael would always do what’s right for others according to his values and beliefs. If a student instilled similar values, beliefs, and lived life with Strength and Honor he would treat you accordingly. In life, sometimes there are financial hardships and if a student had a downfall, he would work with them to ensure they could continue to train. For some people, training in Martial Arts is more than a way to exercise; it’s a way of life and shapes your being… I was a person that was dealt a financial blow during the .COM bubble burst, thanks to him, I was able to continue to train in the Martial Arts way of life!!!
Michael has also devoted and volunteered his time. He visited an elementary school and taught our kids a “Stay Safe” workshop and several women safety and rape prevention workshops. I had the pleasure of assisting Michael with a few of the women workshops and the classes were fun, informative, and overall useful for all!
To conclude, I’ve been blessed to have Michael as an instructor; Sensei; friend; older brother… I look forward to the future and being able to continue my lifelong apprenticeship in the arts and life with SENSEI!!!!!!!
I included a definition from Wiki of the word “SENSEI” as it pertains to an elder Martial Artists
Japanese martial arts teacher. The martial arts have always been indebted to the sensei, who spent the greater part of his life immersed in the forms of bulutsu. He tested the techniques and strategies of the various styles in actual combat, experimented with its weapons, and devised new methods of coping with life-threatening situations. Above all, he taught his methods to others.
– Pete Salak