Our Story


  “Society has changed and as a result, there has been a dramatic increase in drug overdoses, violent crimes and assaults on First Responders in our communities. There is a gap in survival tactics training and a missing survival gear element in the First Responder Community and we are going to fill it.” 

 Survival Tactic

Law Enforcement Officers are taught the basic fundamentals of defensive tactics/ground fighting training in the police academy to include less lethal options such as Asp Baton, Pepper Spray, and a Conducted Electrical Weapon (Taser). While these tools are useful and do have their purpose, they are not always the most efficient or effective against a bigger and stronger person, someone under the influence of drugs/alcohol or someone with an extreme mental disorder.  After graduating from the police academy, it is up to individual Officers to continue training. Most agencies only require Officers to go through defensive tactics update training four hours every 2 years. Without continued or deliberate training, these skills are perishable. When Officers with minimal training face a stressful situation with a violent combative person and rapidly evolving circumstances, they will generally experience a FEAR BASED RESPONSE. This means that Officers may immediately revert to a weapon or deadly force when not warranted. This also means that Officers may choose the wrong force option or hesitate and become a victim of a violent crime. 

We have talked to a lot of Officers whom encountered violent resisting subjects that were bigger and stronger, under the influence of drugs/alcohol , or suffered from extreme medical disorders. These Officers shared that striking had no affect and less lethal weapons had no affect in subduing the suspect which caused the Officers to use less sanctioned force resulting in suspect and Officer injuries and excessive force lawsuits. Is it fair that bad guys have no rules our boundaries but Police Officers have very specific rules and options based on Case Law that requires someone with a degree to interpret? No. But this will always be the case so why not equip Officers with the most effective and efficient tools and training that not only comply with Case Law and agency policy but also keep the Officer AND the suspect safe.    

Officers can seek a martial art program on their own, but unfortunately not all training centers harvest the most police friendly atmosphere which could result in unnecessary injury and fear to train.  An upward cost of $150-$200 a month membership can deter already underpaid officers from continuing to train.  


Military Police Officers receive combatives training but this seems to be standard for all soldiers which means Military Cops are dealing with other soldiers who know the same tactics and counters as they do. Think about playing checkers with someone who knows how to take away your opportunity to use that corner so that you can't beat them in two spots. You never win the game. 

 For those reasons, the HSDF sponsors free quarterly survival tactics workshops for certified civilian/military Police Officers and First Responders. We also sponsor certified Civilian and Military Police Officers to attend the 5 day Gracie Survival Tactics Level 1 or Level 2 courses. These training courses are held throughout the United States but the authority comes from the Gracie Academy (Gracie University) in California. The GST training is a branch of the Gracie Combatives Jiu Jitsu program which incorporating handcuffing, weapon retention, choke defenses, knife defenses and vehicle extractions. GST training is so effective that law enforcement agencies all over the world have adopted the program as its defensive tactics training. The non-violent techniques focus on leverage and timing while conserving energy against a bigger and stronger opponent, making it universal for everyone to learn. 

We recommend LEOs in the Delaware check out their local Jiu Jitsu training centers for continued training. Officers in the Kent County can check out the Delaware Bushido Academy in Smyrna for Gracie Combatives Jiu Jitsu training. Gracie Combatives is an amazing structured curriculum which focuses on Self Defense. Separate from the HSDF, the DBA is a Gracie Jiu Jitsu Certified Training Center headed by Gracie Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, Howard Steele. The DBA harvests a welcoming atmosphere where First Responders can train Gracie Combatives without fear and have their questions answered. 

Law Enforcement Canines

Unfortunately, a lot of police canines units are considered non-essential by their agency and  are not always supplied with the equipment they need. Approximately 90% off all K-9 units rely on donations to purchase necessary equipment, toys and essentials. Canines are called upon to apprehend the most violent criminals in the most dangerous situations, but they are not always afforded the same protection as human Officers. This results in many of our four legged heroes engaging these dangerous conditions with no body protection. We are also finding that a large number of canines are provided with expired vests which have been handed down from canine to canine. We recognize this deficiency and work with Law Enforcement agencies to determine the need for canine ballistic/knife protection vests. We work with a reputable company that provides custom made vests at a discount of $1,800 each so we rely heavily on sponsors to help with these purchases. 

Much like human Police Officers, K-9 Officers are also sometimes injured in the line of duty while apprehending suspects. The HSDF has partnered with Tanners Endless Love and Concord Pet to send care packages to injured police canines throughout the country. 

The HSDF is Veteran run by volunteers ensuring that 100% donations received go towards the mission. You will be able to see how your contribution is helping. You may see your local First Responder or Canine equipped with it or use it save a life.  


Please visit our website at www.HeroesSelfDefense.Org and stay up to date on our Facebook page @HeroesSelfDefenseFoundation


From all of us here at the Heroes Self Defense Foundation, 

Thank you for listening to our story and we appreciate your support!


The Heroes Self Defense Foundation Team