​​​Columbia Self Defense has been providing quality instruction in the art of BJJ since March 2005 operating out of its downtown Vista location.  Due to size limitations and the instructor's desire to add kid's classes to the curriculum, the training space was  moved to a new location in Irmo.

The studio is conveniently located on Broad River Road and I-26.  It  boasts a state of the art seamless mat covering over 850 square feet. 

Small class size, relaxed atmosphere and plenty of individualized attention help build self confidence, discipline, endurance, flexibility and core strength.

Instructor Bio

Jack Walker was introduced to the martial arts in the late 80's with the study of Shotokan Karate and later Tae-Kwon-Do. 

After witnessing the spectacular display of technique by Royce Gracie in the UFC, however, he immediately became interested in the ground based martial art.  His training in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu began in 1997 under Professor Pedro Valente who had recently emigrated from Brazil to Miami, Florida where Jack was born and raised.

For three generations the Valente family has learned Jiu-Jitsu directly from the legendary Grandmaster Helio Gracie with Pedro being one of only a handful of people to receive a professor diploma directly from him.  The Grandmaster would visit Miami quite often to provide Pedro with supervision and oversight, helping him to develop a general class curriculum which included many self defense techniques previously taught only in private.

Jack was one of Pedro's first students training at a small warehouse in South Miami.  Today, Valente Brothers Jiu-Jitsu is one of the largest schools in the country with enviable mat space and private lesson rooms located in North Miami Beach. 


Jack is a certified instructor level black belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu who proudly continues his training with Prof. Pedro Valente.