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USSD Dana Point

Proudly serving Orange County, California, for 30 years

USSD Original Logo

Since its founding in 1968, United Studios of Self Defense has been established as the premier Martial Arts and self-defense organization throughout North America. Our unique system of Kempo-style Martial Arts is steeped in tradition and incorporates Shaolin Kung Fu, Japanese Karate, and take down/grappling arts of Jiujitsu.


The core of the USSD logo is the Bonsai tree, symbolizing wisdom, adaptability, strength, character, truth, and longevity - attributes we at USSD feel are the key characteristics to help our students lead happy, healthy, and successful lives.

Sensei Mike Giannicchi and his kids
Sensei Mike Giannicchi

Mike Giannicchi

Owner and Chief Instructor

4th Degree Black Belt

Sensei Mike Giannicchi currently holds the rank of 4th degree Black Belt with over 32 years of experience training, and 28 years of experience teaching Martial Arts.


Raised in Orange County, California, Sensei Mike started training at the age of eight. He began training with United Studios of Self Defense under Sensei Todd Aimer at the Huntington Beach location at the age of 17, earning his 1st degree Black Belt in 1998. Sensei Mike has two children and resides in Huntington Beach. In addition to Martial Arts, he is an avid skateboarder.

USSD Dana Point Dojo

After teaching for several years all over Orange County, Sensei Mike took ownership of the United Studios of Self Defense Dana Point location in 2017. 


His experience, attention to detail, positive energy, and patience draw students in from all over Orange County.

USSD Dana Point entrance

USSD Dana Point welcomes men, women, and children of all ages and professions to participate in private and group training programs.

Like the well-nurtured Bonsai, the roots of the United Studios family run deep – built on a foundation of traditional values with a modern-day approach to self-defense and personal development.

We look forward to seeing you in the dojo!

Our Team

Evan, Assistant Instructor at USSD Dana Point

Evan Heckler

Assistant Instructor

Sensei Evan has been training under Sensei Mike for 10 years, earning his 1st degree Black Belt in 2023.


While teaching our younger students, Sensei Evan's calm and patient demeanor helps them progress and become confident in themselves and their Martial Art abilities.

Outside of the Dojo, Evan has achieved Eagle Scout status, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America program, and is studying Marketing at Saddleback College.

Mel, Assistant Instructor at USSD Dana Point

Melanie Etemadi

Assistant Instructor

While growing up in England, Sensei Mel earned her 1st degree black belt in Shotokan Karate. After moving to California in 2007, she began learning Kempo Karate under Sensei Mike and has been teaching since 2023.

Our younger students enjoy Sensei Mels fun but challenging teaching style and attention to detail.

Mel is a web and graphic designer and she homeschools her two children, who are also students at USSD Dana Point.

USSD Dana Point Karate Studio in the Ocean Ranch Shopping Center, Dana Point

Want to See if Karate is Right for You?

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