Diana Lee Inosanto was born in Torrance, California, and raised in Carson. Her father is the Filipino-American martial arts expert Dan Inosanto, who was a close friend of Bruce Lee. The two were such close friends that Dan Inosanto named his daughter, Diana Lee, after him. Bruce Lee was also Diana’s first godfather. Dan Inosanto trained and studied martial arts with Bruce Lee and was one of only a few qualified Jeet Kune Do instructors.
When Bruce Lee died in 1973, the Inosanto family moved to Harbor City, California, where she attended Narbonne High School. Her father opened his first martial arts school, the Filipino Kali Academy, in Harbor City with Diana’s second godfather, Richard Bustillo. This is when Diana started to learn a number of different martial arts styles, including Jeet Kune Do, Kali, Eskrima, Silat, boxing, kickboxing and Wing Chun. In 2009, Diana was named Woman of the Year by Black Belt magazine.