ABOUT US

My name is DIO SANTIAGO and I have been professionally involved in Martial Arts, Self-Defense and the fitness industry for over 30 years as a personal trainer, self-defense, fitness and martial arts instructor.

Dio Santiago - Owner Tao San Fit-Boxing & Self-Defense, Santa Cruz

As a MARTIAL ARTS & SELF-DEFENSE INSTRUCTOR: In addition to tactical training and a law enforcement background, I have trained extensively in KenpoWing ChungHung GaSil-Lum Kung FuBhagwat Gung FuTaekwandoMuay Thai, Japanese KarateJujitsu, and Aikido, as well as earning my Golden Gloves in boxing. I received full professorship in Lima Lama Arts of Self-Defence. I hold a 10th degree black belt and am the founder and creator of DEPENSA KALYE, a comprehensive system that integrates elements of martial arts, self-defense, western boxing and fitness conditioning.

As a FITNESS TRAINER, INSTRUCTOR AND EDUCATOR, my approach to fitness revolves around functional strength training, aerobic conditioning and core stability. I work with a wide variety of clients, ranging from those who are new to exercise, to people coping with injuries or medical conditions, to highly trained, seasoned athletes. My training methods are a result of years of education and experience and I tailor my programs around the unique needs of my clients. My philosophy is to motivate others to realize their fitness potential, regardless of their age, fitness level, experience or physical limitations.


My name is SALVETORIA (SALLY) LARTER. My introduction into the world of martial arts and self-defense started with a fitness kickboxing class at a martial arts studio. Initially, I was only interested in fitness benefits of bag work and cardio kickboxing.

Salvetoria (Sally) Larter - Co-owner Tao San Fit-Boxing & Self-Defense, Santa Cruz

After being threatened, downtown with my (then) 6 month old daughter, I realized I needed more than just fitness classes. I needed to learn how to protect myself and my children. I was tired of feeling vulnerable in my own town, and relying on others for my safety.

I started studying different types of martial arts, looking for an art that focused on effective skills for street self-defense rather than competition fighting, and an instructor who had actual experience on the streets. Depensa Kalye gave me the skills and knowledge I was looking for. I currently hold a second degree black belt and am working towards my third.

I feel very fortunate to be a part of the creation and development of Tao San and the continued evolution of Depensa Kalye. My philosophy is that fitness conditioning and strength training are an integral part of any self-defense/ martial arts program and I am passionate about providing our community with a safe place to learn self-defense as well as improve strength and overall fitness.