I am the sum of my experiences,

once I came to understand this, I was able to become the man I wanted to be.

Jerime Cortés

Jerime Cortés is the founder of the Cortés Defense System.  From the first karate lesson, his focus on martial arts has been self-defense.  As a child, he was bullied in school.  He lived in a neighborhood where fathers walking with their family to and from school were randomly attacked without provocation by teenagers who thought it was amusing, as a crowd of young students watched and cheered with excitement.  A neighborhood where a beautiful young girl had her life turned around and changed forever as she was walking back home at night after buying pizza for a family gathering and was ambushed, attacked, bitten, and left on the ground by a group of females.  In a neighborhood, where a man would run into a church asking for help any given night because he had just been stabbed in the throat at the bar next door.  These and other similar experiences fuel his hard work, persistence, and tireless pursuit of mastering the art of self-defense.

Though he has managed not to get directly involved with drugs and crime, he’s had a front-row seat through close family members and friends.  As a result, he is no stranger to violence and understands the impact and scars that it leaves behind.

He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, into a Christian, near-poor class family and was raised mainly by his mother, who remarried on multiple occasions.  His relationship with his step-fathers was amicable, but without the lack of tension and animosity at times. 

His family moved around often.  As a result, by the age of 16, he had relocated residencies over 12 times.  He has lived in Puerto Rico, United States, for a short while in Australia, and currently lives in Japan.  Having moved around so often, he’s been exposed to different ways of living, cultures, sub-cultures, and walks of life.


  • B.A. Information Technology
  • Credits in Secondary Education
  • Currently majoring in a second B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice.
  • Certified Information Security Manager
  • Certified S.A.F.E. Instructor
  • NASM Certified Personal Trainer
  • 3rd Degree Black Belt – American Kenpo Karate
  • 1st Degree Black Belt – International Jujitsu-Karate Academy

Professional Bio

Visit www.cortesdefense.com for more information.

Teaching Experience

  • American Kenpo Karate, 1997 – 2009
  • International Jujitsu-Karate Academy, 2010 – 2018
  • Cortés Defense System, 2021 – Present

Jerime has practiced martial arts for over 36 years and has been teaching it to students of all ages for the last 25 years. He’s had the opportunity to train with other martial artists worldwide, exposing him to different combat arts that have influenced his style.

  • IT Support, 2005-2010
  • Software Development, 2010 – 2017
  • Cybersecurity, 2017 – Present