Salem Assli was born in Lille, France, and discovered martial arts through Bruce Lee movies in the 1970s. He was a competitive gymnast and soccer player as a child, but began studying Jeet Kune Do alongside his other interests.
At the age of 23, Salem traveled to the United States to train under Sifu Dan Inosanto. Salem was the first Frenchman to graduate and be certified as a Full Instructor in both Jun Fan Gung Fu Jeet Kune Do and the Filipino martial arts by Guro Inosanto. Salem also studied Muay Thai under Ajarn Chai Sirisute and earned his instructorship from the Thai Boxing Association of America. He then became the first Muay Thai instructor of the Inosanto International Instructors Association.
Guro Dan Inosanto encouraged Salem to study the art of his motherland, Savate, so that he could teach it to the students of the Inosanto Academy. Salem studied Savate, starting with an old book that Guro Inosanto lent him, and traveled back to France where he earned his 1st degree Silver Glove from France’s National Technical Director, Bob Alix. Salem finished first in his class of 50 students, acquiring the highest grading, all without previously having an instructor. One year later in Los Angeles, Salem earned the prestigious diploma of Professeur of Boxe Francaise Savate and his 2nd degree Silver Glove with members of the French Elite Team such as Richard Sylla and Robert Paturel.
Professor Salem is currently one of the first and few professors of Savate in the United States. He is recognized as a leading authority in teaching techniques and historical background of the traditional French martial arts, bringing Savate and French Boxing to the United States, and also introducing these arts to Japan.
Professor Salem is also a published writer and has been featured in countless martial arts publications such as Black Belt Magazine, Inside Kung Fu, and Budo International. Outside of martial arts, Salem is a collector of swords, enjoys horseback riding, archery and guitar, and has a passion for archeology and cultural history.