Keynote Speakers and Panelists

Craig Douglas Shivworks

Craig Douglas, Shivworks

Craig Douglas is a renowned self-defense expert, law enforcement veteran, and founder of Shivworks, a leading training organization dedicated to interdisciplinary problem-solving for self-defense. With over two decades of experience in law enforcement, including narcotics and SWAT, Douglas has trained thousands of individuals in various aspects of self-defense.READ MORE

Craig is known for his extensive work in scenario-based training, where individuals are prepared to face real-world violent encounters using physical techniques and mental preparation. His flagship program, ECQC (Extreme Close Quarters Concepts), is a highly regarded and intensive course focusing on close-quarters combat and self-defense.

Craig has taught globally, conducting coursework on entangled shooting skills and unarmed combatives in nearly 40 states and nine foreign countries. In addition, he has trained federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and all branches of the U.S. military. He currently leads and teaches over 40 open-enrollment courses annually.

In addition to his training work, Craig has authored numerous articles on self-defense. He has been featured in various publications, including Black Belt and SWAT Magazine. With his extensive experience and dedication to preparing individuals for real-world violent encounters,

Craig Douglas is a respected authority in criminal assault behavior and self-defense.

Matt Larsen Modern Army Combatives

Matt Larsen, USMA Director of Combatives

Matt Larsen is the Director of Combatives at the United States Military Academy (USMA). Matt is a former US Marine, Army Ranger, and Evolutionary Psychologist specializing in Combat Psychology. He is known as "The Father of Modern Combatives" for creating the US Army's modern combatives doctrine and establishing the US Army Combatives School.READ MORE

Matt trained in various martial arts while serving in the Marines, including judo, Shotokan karate, and traditional boxing. He continued his training in Okinawa and taught Sayoc Kali in the Philippines. During this time, Larsen fought in various competitions, including the Japan Karate Association's All Japan Karate Championships and Muay Thai bouts in Thailand.

Upon his discharge from the Marine Corps, Larsen enlisted in the US Army and joined the 75th Ranger Regiment, where he remained for 14 years. He utilized his martial arts training and became the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge of combatives and Close Quarters Battle (CQB) training for the Battalion. He merged different disciplines into an effective fighting style and established himself as the Army's subject matter expert on combatives.

Larsen transferred to the Ranger Training Brigade to develop the Army's combatives doctrine and refine his training methods. Next, he moved to the 11th Infantry Regiment to design a combatives instructor training course and established the "United States Army Combatives School." In 2002, the Army published his training manual as Field Manual 3–25.150 (Combatives).

In 2005, Larsen was inducted into the Order of Saint Maurice at the Centurion level. Currently, he is the Director of Combatives at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Cecil Burch Immediate Action Combatives

Cecil Burch, Immediate Action Combatives

Cecil's training methodology emphasizes simplicity, efficiency, and effectiveness. He provides practical training in pugilism, weapons-based grappling, knife fighting, firearms training, and entangled fighting. In addition, he designs courses that prepare individuals for real-world violent encounters, equipping them with the necessary tools and tactics to survive and prevail.READ MORE

Cecil Burch is a renowned self-defense expert and Immediate Action Combatives founder.

With over 30 years of experience in various martial arts, Cecil is recognized for his expertise in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, where he holds a black belt under the legendary Wellington "Megaton" Dias.

After studying Shotokan, Kenpo, and Tae Kwon Do, Cecil moved to Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Martial Arts under Dan Inosanto and Paul Vunak, where he specialized in stick and knife combative use and empty-hand training. He has also been an instructor in various Pentjak Silat systems, such as Tongkat, Mustika Kwitang, and Bukti Negara.

Cecil has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers, and civilians and holds annual training courses throughout the United States and internationally. He has also been a featured presenter and keynote speaker at professional training conferences such as the Pat Rogers Memorial Revolver Round Up and the Rangemaster Tactical Conference.

Additionally, Cecil is a regular online contributor to the Personal Defense Network and has authored numerous articles on self-defense and combatives.

Cecil Burch is highly regarded in the self-defense community for his extensive knowledge and expertise. He continues to impact the lives of those he trains significantly.

Cole Miller UFC Sole Force Combatives

Cole Miller, Sole Force Combatives

Sole Force Combatives founder Cole "Magrinho" Miller is a former American mixed martial artist. He began his professional MMA career in 2005 after a successful amateur start, with a record of 6 wins and one loss. Cole fought in several regional promotions before signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2007. He competed in the featherweight and lightweight divisions, with over 20 victories as a professional fighter.READ MORE

Cole made his official UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale, defeating Andy Wang via technical knockout in the first round earning the "Knockout of the Night" award. Cole is known for his submission skills, being a 4-time recipient of "Submission of the Night" in the UFC. He has notable wins over fighters like Jorge, Gurgel, Ross Pearson, Sam Sicilia, and Bart Palaszewski.

Miller, who has been inactive in MMA since 2017, has focused on coaching and training his students in martial arts and Combatives, which he began in 2010. Miller trained at  American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida, regarded as the best MMA team in the world.

Cole is a Third Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Marcos "Parrumpinha" Da Matta. Additionally, Cole is a certified  Instructor in Special Operations Combatives Program and Master Instructor in the Air Force Combatives Program. Cole currently co-owns and operates Miller Martial Arts in Bonaire, Georgia.

Cliff Byerly Hill Country Combatives

Cliff Byerly, Hill Country Combatives

Hill Country Combatives Owner, Cliff Byerly is a former Marine with over 20 years of service, 12 of which were on active duty, where he served as a reconnaissance team leader. He has deployed to various locations, including Somalia and Iraq, and finished his active duty as a drill instructor in San Diego.


After leaving the Marines in 1996, Byerly joined the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and worked in patrol, gangs, and narcotics. He took a break from police work to deploy to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) 1 in 2003, where he served as a team leader with the 4th Force Reconnaissance.

An active practitioner of martial arts disciplines such as Tang Soo Do, Kung Fu, San Soo, wrestling, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), Cliff has trained innumerable service members and officers in combatives, firearms use, high-risk control tactics, and vehicle extraction techniques.

He holds several certifications, including a BJJ Black Belt under Rodrigo Pinheiro, LAPD Arrest & Control Instructor, Tactical Ground Combatives Instructor, Certified Range Safety Officer, and Certified Level 1 CrossFit Trainer.

Cliff is certified in various combat and weapons defense systems, such as Combat Focus.

Shooting Instructor, Krav Maga Force Training, Division Police Instructor, Military Combat Instructor, Military Marksmanship Instructor, and Red Zone Weapons Defense/Adaptive Striking Instructor.

Additionally, Cliff maintains current certifications in Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC).

Redbeard Combatives Ben Aubin

Ben Aubin, Redbeard Combatives

Ben has provided combatives courses to diverse audiences for over two decades, including members of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, Joint Special Operations Command personnel, various law enforcement agencies, and Personal Security Detail (PSD) members assigned to Central Command.READ MORE

Ben is a seasoned security professional. His extensive experience spans over 14 years in U.S. Government and Private Security sectors, and he has over 20 years of experience in civil and structural engineering design. Additionally, Ben is the primary self-defense and hand-to-hand combat instructor for Tactical Intelligence International, a military defense contractor in Orlando, Florida.

His expertise lies in physical security, vulnerability assessments, and combatives training. He has been deployed several times to austere locations in the Middle East and South America. Additionally, he has conducted numerous at-sea deployments, providing training in vessel security aboard commercial ships transiting high-risk waters.

As Assistant Team Leader on a U.S. Department of State contract, Ben conducted site security surveys and PSD operations in areas of civil unrest in Bolivia and Peru. He also performed physical security and personnel escort duties while attached to Task Force 3-10 in Afghanistan.

Ben is a tactical advisor with Naval Special Warfare Advance Training Command – SEAL Combatives. He is instrumental in enhancing and modernizing combatives tactics and competency for operational team members.

Ben founded Redbeard Combatives (RBC) and is the developer/inventor of the RBC Force on Force Helmet used worldwide. He is a 3rd-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with numerous competitive victories. Ben is a certified protection specialist, weapons instructor, and guest writer for multiple security publications. Additionally, Ben has a degree in Intelligence Studies from American Military University, with advanced certifications in Counterintelligence.

JohnValentine1 Deeds Of Arms Combatives

John Valentine, Deeds of Arms

John Valentine is a distinguished expert in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Modern Army Combatives, and firearms training. He holds a coveted black belt under the tutelage of the "Father of Modern Combatives," Matt Larsen. Additionally, he has completed the Rangemaster Instructor Development Master Course graduating with "Top Gun" honors.READ MORE

With a degree in Criminal Justice, John combines his extensive training and experience to deliver exceptional instruction on self-defense and firearms use.

With years of experience as an assistant instructor to Matt Larsen, John has also served as a primary and associate instructor for premier private training companies. Companies such as Green Ops, Hill Country Combatives, and Sheepdog Response. John is also the lead instructor for the Lift, Shoot, Fight Camp put on by Starting Strength.

John is dedicated to sharing his knowledge with others. He has attended thousands of hours of formal training in fitness, firearms, and Combatives John is approaching two decades of active military service, including multiple deployments to the middle east. John currently teaches under the Deeds of Arms brand.

Aaron Jannetti Knife Control Concepts

Aaron Jannetti, Knife Control Concepts

Aaron Jannetti is a multifaceted individual who has dedicated his life to pursuing knowledge and improving himself and those around him. As a husband and father, he places a high value on family. He uses his experiences to inform his teaching and business practices.READ MORE

As co-owner of Endeavor Defense and Fitness, Aaron has developed cutting-edge training programs to equip individuals with practical self-defense skills. His innovative programs, including Active Shooter Response and Knife Control Concepts, have gained widespread recognition for their effectiveness and practicality.

An accomplished author, Aaron penned the widely acclaimed How to Survive an Active Killer, a comprehensive guide to understanding and preparing for active shooter situations. His book has been lauded for its clear and actionable advice, making it an invaluable resource for those seeking to stay safe in today's world.

With over a decade of experience in various forms of martial arts and defensive tactics, Aaron has ranked and trained in Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, Boxing, Kickboxing, Firearms, and more. He has taught in over thirty states and three countries, sharing his expertise and passion with students of all backgrounds and skill levels.

Despite his impressive accomplishments, Aaron remains committed to continuous learning and growth. He sees himself as a lifelong student, always seeking to improve his leadership, teaching, and personal practice.

Through his work and dedication, Aaron Jannetti inspires those around him, showing that anyone can achieve their goals and positively impact the world with hard work and determination.

nick delgadillo starting strength combatives

Nick Delgadillo, Starting Strength

Nick Delgadillo is a highly skilled self-defense, firearms, and strength coach and educator with over 20 years of experience. Throughout his adult life, he has dedicated himself to refining his skills and expertise, focusing on coach development and mentorship.READ MORE

As a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt, Nick is a self-defense expert. He is the owner and head coach at Iowa Park Jiu-Jitsu Club in North Texas. In addition, he has helped launch multiple successful self-defense and fitness businesses.

In addition to his martial arts expertise, Nick is a Starting Strength Coach specializing in performance improvement through barbell training. He has been a coach since 2011 and is recognized as a leading expert in the field.

Nick's extensive private security background and years of experience teaching and coaching self-defense make him a highly sought-after presenter and educator. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise with others. Nick is committed to helping his students become stronger, more confident, and better equipped to defend themselves.

Nick is a featured presenter at the Combatives Association Summit, where he will be teaching Stronger is Better. His commitment to excellence and passion for teaching make him a valuable asset to anyone looking to improve their self-defense skills.

FletchFuller Ready Up tactical

Fletch Fuller, Ready Up Tactical

Fletch Fuller is a highly experienced military veteran and active duty law enforcement officer with over twenty years of service in a prominent South Florida agency. He is a full-time training supervisor specializing in hand-to-hand (H2H), ground tactics, edged weapons, force-on-force (FoF), and firearms training.READ MORE

Fletch is a certified Force Science Analyst and has earned various instructor qualifications from reputable organizations such as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), the NRA Law Enforcement Division, and Rangemaster.

Fletch's background in martial arts and combatives is extensive, holding a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and extensive training in other systems, including MMA. He is the former VP and Director of Law Enforcement Training for ISR Matrix International and the current owner and lead instructor of Ready Up Tactical.

Fletch regularly presents at the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers

Association (ILEETA) and the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (IALEFI), sharing personal safety and survival information with police officers and responsibly armed citizens.

Fletch's philosophy on self-defense and tactical training is grounded in the belief that firearms and combatives training must be taught seamlessly and reflect the reality of situations officers and civilians may face.

Chet Palumbo The Combative Lawyer

Chet Palumbo Esq., The Combative Lawyer

Chet Palumbo is an accomplished attorney who graduated from the Appalachian School of Law in 2010, achieving a top 10% rank in his class. At school, he also served as captain of the mock trial team. In addition, he demonstrated his legal proficiency by passing the Bar exam with flying colors, ranking in the top 5% of all test takers.


Throughout his career, Palumbo has practiced criminal law in four states and has extensive experience as a Defense Attorney and Prosecutor. He has led over 40 jury trials, ranging from simple misdemeanor assault cases to severe felonies punishable by life imprisonment.

Apart from his legal expertise, Palumbo is a highly skilled martial artist. He holds a Purple Belt in BJJ and a Green Belt in Combatives, with over 100 hours of training in weapons-based grappling and 200 hours of firearms training. Additionally, he has cross-trained in kickboxing and MMA. Palumbo is a Certified NRA Pistol Instructor, emphasizing his proficiency in firearms.

Palumbo is also known for his work on his YouTube channel, "The Combative Lawyer," where he offers insightful commentary on topics related to self-defense law. His exceptional legal and martial arts background has positioned him as a leading authority in the field.

sam ferguson galo combatives

Sam Ferguson, Galo Combatives

Sam Ferguson is a highly experienced Police officer with six years of service in Lexington, KY. He has been a combat sports enthusiast throughout his life, having trained in MMA, boxing, and Thai boxing.


While well-rounded in striking, he has made a name for himself as a skilled grappler. His journey began at 8 when he started wrestling, which he continues to coach at a high school level.

In addition to wrestling, Sam has also earned a blue belt in judo and a 1st-degree black belt in BJJ. Additionally, he has proven himself a top competitor, having medaled at No Gi Worlds as a purple, brown, and black belt.

As Sam shifted his focus to his career in law enforcement, his attention moved towards combatives and arrest tactics. As a patrol officer on the third shift, he earned a black belt in combatives.

He trained with renowned experts such as Paul Sharpe, Larry Lindeman, Craig Douglas, and Aaron Janetti. Thanks to his extensive combat sports background, he has been able to translate his knowledge and skills into practical and effective combatives training for his work as a police officer.

Jerry Wetzel, Red Zone Threat Management

Jerry Wetzel, Red Zone Threat Management

Jerry Wetzel, the founder of Red Zone Threat Management, is a highly experienced combat training professional dedicated to reality-based combat. Jerry has devoted himself exclusively to this training field for almost two decades.


In 1999, he established Centerline Gym with a singular focus on researching the realities of violence and developing practical tools and tactics for managing them.

Various publications have recognized Jerry's expertise. He is a featured subject matter expert in numerous instructional videos. His approach aims to understand the biological, psychological, emotional, and behavioral factors that come into play during combat situations. He then applies this knowledge to the practical realm by testing it against a resisting opponent under realistic conditions.

Jerry's unyielding commitment to his craft has made him a trusted figure in combat training. He continues to work tirelessly to improve his methods and help others become better prepared to manage violent situations.