Self-defense journey to becoming a protector?

My self-defense journey to become my family’s protector started when my kids were little. I wanted to do everything I could to protect them. I had always relied on others and situational awareness until my kids were born.

As they got older, my twin boys needed a physical outlet and tae kwon do met that need. My daughter loved it as well. They were one belt in when I started. We all tested for our black belts at the same time.

During my tae kwon do training, I did a Citizens Academy in my home town where I shot a handgun for the first time! I loved it (the second handgun I shot that day (a Sig), not the first one (a Glock)).

From there I bought my first gun and got my concealed carry permit. A few years after that, I started at the USCCA. I’ve become a Concealed Carry and Defensive Shooting instructor. I’ve taken a class with Massad Ayoob and with Andrew Branca. I’ve learned so much and continue to learn every day.

What has your journey been like?


It started decades ago. I recall it clearly, one hot July morning getting off a large passenger bus and suddenly being accosted by “cadre” yelling at me to get in line and stand at attention and telling/yelling me how my “arse” was their’s now…something about some guy named “Jodi” having my girl now and to forget about her and that it was highly unlikely it was that I was going to survive their program.

A super short haircut (buzz) and a pair of combat boots later (I swear it seemed like 8wks) and I was into self defense and being a protector and have been of that mindset since.

:grin: :grin: :rofl: :rofl:


I’ve always been a protector as far back as I can remember. I remember being 4-5 yrs old and trying to stand in front of my mom so he wouldn’t beat her anymore or my younger siblings. As I got older, my instincts grew. Her 2nd husband pulled a gun on her and it didn’t fire- before I knew it, I was bulldogging him out a glass sliding door breaking through the glass and the deck railing. So trying to protect my mom and siblings started my journey. My pack has grew over the years lol.



The memory that comes to my mind is carrying my dad’s 25 mm (I trained hard with that little mo-fo) and my friend bought me that Kel-Tec 9mm as a wedding gift && carrying that slowpoke in a Velcro holster :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:(Worst gun in life!!)

Man! The obstacles I’ve overcome!!


After working with an “Alphabet Agency” in the Middle-East in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s a traitorous bum by the name of Julian Assange made mine and several of my associates names public in 2006.
My self-defense started with self-preservation.


Now how do you follow up on that… :grinning:

After I saw the “Knockout Game” on YouTube, I decided I might win or lose, but will have tools. Got my CHL, took some classes, been carrying every day since.


As the oldest of 3 brothers and becoming the “man” of the house when my Dad was killed by a drunk driver, it became part of my being naturally.

In 2016 when my daughter was 18 she got into a relationship with an abusive loser. We obtained a DVRO, and he could care less. My wife then said we need to go get a gun. I owned firearms a Sig P228, Glock 22, Mossberg 500, and MAK90 from the 90’s on through to about ‘06, then got rid of them.

So we went all in, Glock .21sf .45, an AR, and a Mossberg 500 12Ga., training, surveillance cameras, CCW permits.

Last Saturday, my wife Leslie said he wants to train and drill more this year as she said at she wants improve and get to a new level and to focus on her new 9mm PCC AR I just put together and 12Ga shotgun.

I’ve finally converted my Glock 23 .40sw to a Glock 19 9mm, so our carry is a G26 and G23/19, and our home defense is a pair of G21s.


I took my Florida CWL class almost 4 years ago after I purchased my first handgun (a used Beretta PX4 Storm - nice gun). I cycled through a few carry weapons - first a Keltec PF-9, then a Stoeger Cougar, finally the Glock 43 I currently carry.

I learn best by reading, so I have accumulated magazine subscriptions, books, forum memberships (!), and email lists. I continually absorb how others think about and pursue all aspects of concealed carry. My closest friend acquired his WI concealed carry license before I obtained mine. He and I regularly talk about handguns, carrying, and the idea of whether we have become sheepdogs by carrying (I am pro, he is con).

I recently became part of our church’s Safety Team, but we’re “eyes and ears,” not security. Those of us who carry do it quietly, and I know of at least one pastor sho carries. Long before I became part of that team, I chose my seat in the sanctuary very carefully and keep my head on a swivel.

I know I have a long way to go before I reach the level of competence to which I aspire. I don’t yet have a clear plan with my wife about what to do and how to tell her, if and when the SHTF. I know that without that plan, she’ll balk at whatever I suggest to her that doesn’t fit her internal narrative at that moment. I also don’t have weapons staged in the house the way I want them to be staged. I sometimes neglect to take my firearm with me, if I will be unable to carry into a facility I need to visit (I teach, and so the building is off-limits). Sometimes it’s easier to think “it won’t happen…today.” At this point, it’s almost all a lack of equipment (car safe, furniture suitable for staging weapons, additional guns, etc.) than it is a mindset. Then again, there’s the conversation I need to have with my wife.

Like I said, in spite of my progress over the past four years, I have a long way to go.


Always been there, with a weapon or not. I had carried for quite a few years already, as that is legal out here in the hairy West… I had moved to CT for a time, so I got my first CCW about 1996 or so. Laws changed a lot after that time. I was doing competitions, but had not taken any formal defensive classes. I started taking classes in 2004?? and still do now and then. Here is a funny… I started with my carry gun being a 1911… made in 1911… It is a family piece, having been carried all over the planet for wars etc. It was my only pistol for a very long time.

What I would really like to see is some sort of ‘team’ class. While my partner and I both carry, and we have both had classes, we really truly are not integrated as a team. Not sure how that would look either. With my Ex… the mantra was pretty much get behind me or moving away etc… Now I have backup! We still need to work as a team though. At least she shoots 3gun with me, so can handle anything she can get her hands on!

BTW, I also really like the PX4… I also was far more concerned for my safety one week in Newark NJ (downtown) than I ever was in Afghanistan, Iraq, South Africa, etc…


The most dangerous time for a woman or partner is when he/she takes action to report and leave a violent partner of any gender. the murder of a woman in first 48 hours of so after taking action is predictable in far too many cases.
It started with my violent father. Fortunately in a small town and community that had no sympathy for him, putting him down hard in a fight was not viewed as a crime. Even then, the police and a protective order are generally useless to some trying to leave a violent ex and get on with their lives. This man did not expect the anger, energy, or a baseball bat from a kid. Something, that I never should have had to do.
I had someone that I loved raped and killed.
I have spent a lot of time teaching women to use weapons for self defense combined with practicing good situational/home security. It is unfortunate but several of those women have killed violent ex partners. A couple have been put in the hospital. By the use of cameras, they have returned their abusers to finish their time in jail. They truly had no choice. Again, the police/courts were useless for their physical safety. These women had to take the initiative.
It is one of the reasons that I believe that the only equalizer for women is training in self defense awareness and firearms. I want the ability to carry firearms concealed or not to continue as legal in all 50 states.
This includes activism to make shooting a violent ex with a restraining order presumptive self defense. No arrests until a full investigation has been done. Factually, they have already gone through enough without being cats paws for some Persecutor on a Law and Order kick.


thank you for sharing your story. I know there are others in the same place. I especially admire how well you know your wife & describe how she thinks. My husband & I have been married many years but are still working on communication approaches. I’m the one who usually initiates changes, and my manner tends to be blunt…he is the one who hates change so asking him to do a dry run of an escape, is hard on him. I think for us the main preps will have to be mental – mentally rehearsing what our agreed actions will be. Mental practice is better than none. :slight_smile:
Our church has intentions of having a Security Team and a Medical team, but have been hindered by lack of funds for the radios the pastor wants to use. I like your mention of a “safety team”, which is unarmed but alert & available; it’s kind of a cross between our church’s 2 present concepts and sounds quite useful.
i understand & agree about sitting where one can see certain things (like exits), and keeping alert. I’m still trying to train myself to keep my eyes open during prayers. A habit of a lifetime is not easy to break.
i read somewhere there is a place between sheepdog and sheep, it’s the “ram”, the boss sheep of the flock. Not sure which one I am, sheepdog or ram. Definitely not a sheep. :slight_smile:


@Kristina - thanks for sharing your own story. Feel free to message me directly if you have any questions or want to learn more about our church’s safety team.

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