Combative Firearms Instructors

Below is our current roster of certified Combative Firearms Instructors. Please contact the CFI closest to your location for information about courses and programs they may be offering. If you're interested in becoming a certified Combative Firearms Instructor then click here for more information.


Ron Condibwnoise175Patch Instructor 1Ron Danielowski Chief Instructor at Distributed Security, Inc. Prior to co-founding the company he spent 25 years as a multi-agency accredited instructor, organizing, developing, implementing, and overseeing training solutions for numerous federal agencies including the Department of Energy, Federal Air Marshals, and the Department of State.

He has worked extensively in both Afghanistan and Iraq in support of America's military and federal agencies. Ron started his instructing career in the Marine Corps, both as a coach and a Primary Marksmanship Instructor, first in the Fleet Marine Force and then at Weapons Training Battalion, San Diego, where he also shot competitively for the both the MCRD and the USMC Shooting Team.

Ron is a Distinguished Marksman, a member of the "President's Hundred," and winner of the Marine Infantry Team Trophy Match.


Tallen BaseballcardPatch Instructor 1Bill Tallen is a DSI co-founder, Executive VP for Tactics, and a Tier 1 CFI. Bill has 33 years of experience in firearms, self-defense, and martial arts training for both civilians and professionals, including a 20 year career with the Department of Energy, where he served as a Federal Agent, team leader, unit commander, training instructor, and manager in the agency which provides secure transportation of nuclear weapons and nuclear materials within CONUS.

Bill helped to found DOE's Special Response Force program, developing and teaching urban and close quarter battle techniques to Federal Agents charged with recovery of lost assets. He has served alongside top tier operators from a wide variety of U.S. military and law enforcement entities. He has designed and conducted a variety of wargaming efforts in support of vulnerability assessments, security system design, and leadership training, and has taught a variety of crisis decision making models.

An avid student of military history and the tactical art, Bill also holds the degree of Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College, where he learned the discipline of using individual and small unit skills and capabilities to shape engagements, battles, and campaigns – and to employ a hierarchy of mission-defined tasks as a basis for planning and training.

Sign-up for the NWWYO Defense Group using this link.
View Bill's course offerings here


  • LOCATION: Wisconsin

Rahzen BaseballcardPatch Instructor 1Mark Rahzen has spent the last several years as a Protection Security Specialist in the Middle East for both Blackwater and Triple Canopy. Additionally he has worked as designated defensive marksman, firearms instructor, and tactics instructor.

Mark has trained thousands of operators from multiple agencies during his career. Prior to his private security contracting career Mark served in the Marines in several specialties including Reconnaissance Marine, Infantryman, Scout/Sniper,and Military Policeman. Mark is a Tier 1 CFI at at DSI, has been with the company for 7 years. 


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RandyBRandy is DSI's Executive VP for Strategic Engagements, and a Tier 1 CFI. He has over 30 years military and paramilitary experience as a commissioned Infantry officer, non-commissioned officer, and contractor.  Through various companies, he provided leadership and management for site and convoy security, medical evacuation, personnel recovery, expatriate evacuation, vulnerability analysis and gap assessment, and business continuity in several countries. As part of the withdrawal of conventional forces from Iraq, he was part of a four man team that located, accounted for, and developed protective plans for Americans and foreign nationals in Iraq.He also developed a security program for an infrastructure renewal and development project valued at $1B USD in Libya.   

Randy also served as the lead contract instructor for DOE's Special Response Force program, developing and teaching urban and close quarter battle techniques to Federal Agents tasked with recovery of Weapons of Mass Destruction.  He also served as lead instructor for weapons, tactics, and leadership. He holds numerous instructor certifications from DOE, DOD, and is a Safeguards and Security Certified Instructor.

He served multiple combat tours in Iraq, one as senior adviser to a newly formed Iraqi Army unit.  That unit was the first Iraqi unit to assume full control of its assigned area from US forces.  He led one of its subordinate units in the only successful Iraqi Army hostage rescue of OIF II.

Randy also holds a Master of Arts in Diplomacy from Norwich University. 


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James Hopper “Jim” has deployed and instructed tactical firearms professionally for 34 years. Jim served in a US Army SOF unit as a Weapons Sergeant.

Throughout his career, Jim has been a certified multi-weapons firearms instructor for state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Jim was on continuous contract with Blackwater in Iraq for almost four years and held the positions of Designated Defensive Marksman, Senior DDM and Lead Firearms Instructor for the Department of State, Regional Security Office in Baghdad.

Jim has been a Special Agent for Department of Energy and Bureau of Indian Affairs and served on the agency’s Special Response Teams. He was selected to serve as an interim Federal Air Marshal immediately after 9/11.

Jim has real world tactical experience in physical facility protection operations, high-risk mobile security operations and high-risk executive protection operations.


Shane Flynn RapellCFI Cert 4 LogoShane Flynn is a Marine Corp vet having served with Fleet Antiterrorism Security Teams.

After his Marine Corp career, Shane became a Nebraska State patrolman where he worked patrol undercover narcotics including; narcotics investigator/Sergeant, undercover operations, unit supervision and operation control, clandestine drug lab operations, search warrants, buy/bust, sting operations, and mobile/static surveillance. 

His special weapons and tactics experience includes armed barricade, narcotics support, suspect apprehension, hostage rescue, event security support, social unrest tactics, clandestine drug lab takedown, surveillance operations, assault element, sniper/observer element, chemical weapons/less lethal munitions.

For the past 20 years he has been a defensive tactics instructor and provided contract protection services for high profile parties including Berkshire Hathaway and Microsoft Executives.

Sign-up for the INVICTUS Defense Group using this link.


HughCFI Cert 4 LogoHugh served 29 years as an U. S. Army officer on both active and reserve duty retiring in 1999 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  He initially was commissioned as an armor officer but later branch qualified as a Special Forces officer after completing Airborne and Special Forces training.   During his 29 years of service he had more than 21 years as commander of an armor platoon, armor company, Special Forces detachment commander and Basic Training Battalion commander. He was also a U. S. Army Command and General Staff instructor. 

He was recalled to active duty in 2006 after volunteering for recall after 9/11. In addition to his already extensive weapons training he completed extensive training to qualify as a Military Transition Team advisor assigned to advise the 2nd Iraqi Army Division in Mosul, Iraq during 2007- 2008. He provided advice and assistance to the 2nd Iraqi Army Division’s Commanding General, Deputy Commanding General, Chief of Staff, Personnel Officer, Intelligence Officer, Operations Officer, Logistics Officer, Legal Officer, Military Police Company Commander, Intelligence Surveillance and Recon Company Commander and Bomb Disposal Company Commander while conducting numerous combat operations in Mosul and throughout Ninewah Province.

Hugh is also a retired attorney who was licensed in Iowa, Illinois and the Federal Courts in both states before retiring in 2008.  During his career he tried over 400 jury trials as either a prosecutor or in civil defense cases.

Hugh has taught numerous legal courses and seminars in addition to currently teaching Iowa and Illinois concealed carry classes and NRA Basic courses.


  • LOCATION: Quad-Cities

CFI Cert 4 LogoJake PriesJake Pries has spent the last 17 years as a member of the Iowa Army National Guard with two combat deployments to Afghanistan (2004-05 and 2010-11) with an emphasis on small unit tactics and explosives.

During his time with the National Guard, he has been assigned as the State Marksmanship Instructor, various Unit Marksmanship Coordinators and was a part of the Iowa Small Arms Readiness Team responsible for helping units organize, develop and implement marksmanship training into their overall training. Jake was selected to the state of Iowa’s Winston P Wilson Championship team three years in a row. Jake was part of the team that took 4 th overall in 2007.

Jake is a 13 year veteran of the Davenport Police Department and is currently a night-shift patrol corporal.


  • LOCATION: Quad-Cities 

CFI Cert 4 LogoChris JagerChris Norris served as US Army Infantryman, Department of Defense (DoD) contractor and/or DoD Civilian employee. He has conducted operations in Southwest Asia (SWA) and Europe and trained numerous European land forces personnel on implementation and deployment of crew-serve and small arms weapon systems.

He is a certified small arms weapon instructor (Schessen Meister) by the German goverment. Currently studying Israeli Defense Force (IDF) combat hand to hand training (Krav Maga) as well as US Army level one combatives certified.

Chris has also conducted static security operations at numerous airports and special events in numerous locations to support the war fighter throughout SWA and Europe. He is a certified US Army depot level small arms repairer.


CFI Cert 4 LogoGleasonAs a 20-year U.S. Army veteran with a background in armor and infantry tactics, Kevin is a proven practitioner of maneuver warfare.

His military career included duty as a Drill Sergeant, instructor at the Armor School, and Observer/Controller at the Combat Maneuver Training Center.

As an M1A1 Master Gunner at the company and battalion level in Germany and Kosovo, he was responsible for developing, planning, implementing, and executing the tank gunnery and small arms training and qualification plans for his unit, encompassing everything from 9mm pistols to 120mm tank main guns and mortars. 

Kevin saw combat in Iraq as a tank gunner in the 3d Armored Division during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1991, as well as in 2004 as part of a 10-man advisor team to the 6th Battalion New Iraqi Army, where they stood up a 900-man light infantry battalion from scratch, putting them through basic training, and then conducting combat operations, terminating with the second battle of Fallujah. 


Barnhart BaseballcardCFI Cert 4 LogoJames Barnhart is a Veteran of the U.S. Navy, a former fugitive recovery agent, a contract bodyguard, and a multiple gunfight survivor.

James has been operational and/or an instructor for firms such as Vance International, Dyn-Corp and the former Blackwater USA.

He currently teaches armed self defense tactics and lectures on the psychological and physiological aspects of training for violent confrontation. Early in his career James contracted to various private security, investigative and labor duress service providers such as Vance International, Special Response Corp., Distribution Support Services Inc., and Carmean & Associates. Armed services included Executive, Family and Residential protective services; physical asset protection; physical security evaluation; crowd/riot control; emergency and secured logistics with straight truck/tractor trailer and tactical support management; employee training and evaluations.


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Chuck is DSI's Vice President-Tactical Medicine.  He is an interventional cardiologist in Toledo, Ohio and is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology and Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine. He served as a medical officer in the United States Navy. During most of his 25 year military career he served with the Fleet Marine Force. He held numerous positions including Battalion Surgeon, Marine Rear Area Operation Group Surgeon, Regimental Surgeon, and Advisor to The Medical Officer of the Marine Corps at HQMC. He also was the company commander of a Marine Corps Surgical Company. He was a graduate and an instructor in the Combat Causality Care Course (C4) as well as the advanced Combat Casualty Care Course. He was a graduate of the Naval War College and Joint Forces Staff College as well as numerous other classes and course.  He is a Physician EMS Instructor (PEMSI) for the state of Ohio, an American College of Surgeon ( B-CON instructor and also an National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) Instructor.

He published several papers and developed training doctrine and policies for medical care in military operations in urban terrain. Chuck was active in tactical medicine training of Marines and Corpsman who were deploying in support of numerous combat missions over the last twenty years.

He has been an avid shooter since he was a child. He is an NRA instructor and Range Safety Officer. He has been teaching NRA pistol classes and Ohio and Michigan concealed carry classes for the last five years. He is a strong believer in cross training. In addition to being a CFI, he is a PADI and SSI diving instructor and teaches recreational and technical diving. Chuck, AC8VS, is also a licensed amateur radio operator interested in low power, portable operations.


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Mark served nearly 14 years as an active duty United States Marine achieving the rank of Gunnery Sergeant. As a Signals Intelligence Collection Operator and Analyst, his area of expertise was the North Korean military. Outside of the continental U.S., he was stationed on the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), various other installations throughout the Korean Peninsula, and with the Fleet Marine Forces - Pacific in Hawaii. Mark also had a tour of duty at the National Security Agency in Ft. Meade, Maryland.

After ending active service, Mark became a U.S. Border Patrol Agent, posted to the Port Isabel, Texas Border Patrol Station. His duties included conducting overt and covert surveillance of the border region, enforcing Immigration and Customs laws, and intercepting and disrupting human and contraband smuggling operations.

Mark continued his law enforcement career with the Irving, Texas Police Department. In an urban department, serving a community of nearly 200,000 citizens in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, he was assigned as a Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer, and Urban Rifle Operator.
Immediately following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Mark accepted an appointment as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer within the U.S Department of Homeland Security, where he remains employed. Mark is a Firearms Instructor, Behavioral Recognition Instructor, and Legal and Investigative Techniques Instructor with his current Agency.


CFI Cert 4 LogoDustin Hopper has worked in northern and southern Afghanistan with Academi LLC and DynCorp Intl supporting government security contracts. He holds two military occupational specialty's and was discharged honorably as a sergeant after seven years of military service.

Dustin is sniper qualified and currently teaches tactical combat casualty care to police, fire, and EMS personnel in the Dallas Fort Worth area. He has extensive knowledge of emergency medicine and currently works at a trauma center in DFW .

Some of the instructor credentials he holds are from the National association of EMTs, American Heart Association, Surefire Institute, Glock Inc., Sig Sauer Academy, National Rifle Association, and Pulse O2DA. Dustin also competes in IDPA, USPSA, and IPSC shooting events.


CFI Cert 4 LogoMike has 20+ years experience as an NRA Certified Instructor in all civilian disciplines, and over 15 years as an NRA Training Counselor. In this role, he trains and certifies individuals as NRA Certified Instructors. He has organized and run well over 100 NRA and non-NRA pistol, carbine, shotgun, and personal defense/safety courses. Upon his retirement from the corporate world 7 years ago, he founded KS Firearms Training devoted to providing firearms and self protection training for civilians.

His classes span the spectrum from awareness training to the use of non-lethal defensive tools to active and aggressive firearms defense well beyond those represented in typical NRA courses. His curricula has continually developed to integrate the gun handling, tactics, and techniques of military and law enforcement with the real world circumstances, legal framework, and firearms/equipment carried and/or available to the civilian. 

Mike has competed successfully in virtually every shooting discipline, and continues to attend firearms and tactical training courses to further develop his personal skills while gathering additional instructional tools for his offered courses. He is a Certified Pepper Spray Instructor, Certified NRA Refuse to be a Victim Regional Counselor, NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer, KS Hunter Education Instructor, and KS CCH License Instructor. He also provides AR, AK, and Silencer build classes. 


  • alex Gbur CFI B W PhotoLOCATION: Ohio

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Alex Gbur has the honor of being DSI's first certified woman instructor. From an early age her parents instilled in her the importance of integrity and leadership. Her father’s military experience ensured mandatory firearm knowledge and safety. This upbringing paved the way for her to pursue many leadership positions throughout her career.

Finding leadership roles in athletics lead Alex to play and coach volleyball at the club, high school and collegiate level. Coaching at various levels has taught her the importance of being an intelligent, reliable instructor and mentor, especially to young women. She continued her education at the University of Toledo, where she received a BA in Psychology and a BS in Biology.

Alex is a member of the NRA and is a certified NRA instructor. She has taught basic hand gun skills and CCW classes since January of 2013. Alex recognized the need for practical, real world firearm training and became a CFI in October 2016. Her goal is to encourage and empower women to learn life-saving skills to defend themselves and their families.


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Chad has spent the majority of his working life involved in the firearms industry. Including manufacturing, competitive shooting and personal defense training.

Chad is an avid outdoorsman, hunter, shooter and aviator.

He is a certified trainer for the National Rifle Association, Glock and Pulse O2DA. He trains individuals and groups in everyday real life settings. Using the latest in defensive techniques.


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Carolyn Gbur is a practicing cardiologist in Toledo Ohio.  She is a wife and mother of five children.  Carolyn is an NRA member and NRA instructor and had been teaching people basic hand gun skills and CCW classes for many years. She became a CFI in 2016 after recognizing the need to provide firearm training, which has not been available in the Toledo area.

Her objective is to provide critical skills to people with a special interest in training women to be able to defend themselves from real threats that we all can face. Carolyn has taught her children these skills and believes that everyone should have the opportunity to have access to training that can save your life or more importantly the lives of your family.  As a physician she has seen many different disease processes affect people and limit their physical ability to defend themselves. It becomes increasingly more important for all people to maintain and protect their independence and safety. 

In addition to CFI training, Carolyn is also active instructing recreational scuba diving through both PADI and SSI agencies. She had been involved with teaching medical student, residents and cardiology fellows as well as patients for over 20 years.  
Carolyn is a NAEMT Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) instructor and an American College of Surgeons ( B-CON instructor.

Becoming a CFI has is a natural extension to allow her to continue her passion for teaching new valuable skills and knowledge to more people.


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Rich Sehlmeyer is a retired New York State Trooper having served 20 years. He attended Norwich University and found a natural fit with the Mountain and Cold Weather Company and Rescue Team. The MCW Company at Norwich was formed in 1948 and patterned after the original 10th Mountain Division as a way to train soldiers in mountain and cold weather warfare and tactics.

Rich was part of the MCW Rescue Team which trained members of various agencies and units in cold weather and mountain tactics as they prepared for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY. He obtained his EMT certifications in both NY and VT during this time and was an active member of several ambulance corps and the National Ski Patrol, spending a total of 15 years as an EMT. He was active with the Vermont Army National Guard while living in Vermont.

Rich Sehlmeyer is the current owner and operator of The Gun Shop at MacGregor's, LLC in Lake Luzerne. He and John Madarassy, another DSI CFI, operate Mountaintop Tactical Solutions in Lake Luzerne, a private training companyoffers DSI Firearms Training in the northern New York State area. More information is available hear:


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John Madarassy is a US Navy veteran having served in both Desert Storm and Desert Shield. After the military, John went to work in the explosives industry and has been a firearms instructor since 2008.

John also works with Rich Sehlmeyer at Mountaintop Tactical, a private training company which offers DSI Firearms Training in the northern New York State area.

Visit this website for more information:


Wayne Denn

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Wayne Denn is part of our growing upstate New York contingent headed by Rich Sehlmeyer and the boys at Mountaintop Tactical. Wayne is one of our growing number of civilian instructors who have dedicated the time and effort to master our comprehensive curriculum.

Wayne has been an avid outdoorsman and shooter since childhood. After retiring from 32 years in the Railroad Industry he realized the need for organizing and training individuals and community groups to survive in the event of disasters, natural or manmade, in the world we live in today. He is co-founder of his local Community Disaster Response Team and is Security and Engineering Team

Wayne has successfully completed many Firearms and Tactical Training courses and is a Certified NRA Range Safety Officer and Basic Pistol Instructor. He also teaches local Women’s Groups on Personal Safety and Situational Awareness. He works at Mountain Top Tactical Solutions with Rich Sehlmeyer and John Madarassy.

Visit this website for more information:


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David Chang has 20+ years of experience in the firearms training industry and currently is the owner and lead firearms instructor for Civilian Defense Concepts, LLC.

Dave has created educational programs for private security firms and for law enforcement and has provided training to private citizens, houses of worship, private security, law enforcement, and military personnel.

Dave is a Sig Sauer Academy certified Pistol Instructor, an NRA Training Counselor in Home Firearms Safety, Rifle, Pistol, and Shotgun, an NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer, an NRA Refuse to be a Victim Program instructor, a certified "Handle With Care" instructor, and a certified MOAB (Management of Aggressive Behaviors) Instructor Trainer.

David is also an ITER certified pepper spray, baton use, and handcuffing instructor and also conducts classes as a certified Civilian TASER instructor. e's an AHA certified CPR/First Aid/AED instructor, as well as an ASHI certified Instructor Trainer for CPR/First Aid/AED/Advanced Bleeding Control.

Visit this website for more information:


Academy Entrance


Tactical Simulations

TACTICAL DECISION GAME 13-06P: Hell in a Very Small Truck Stop

It is 5:00pm on a sunny day in June, on a rural interstate highway in the upper Midwest.

Your church group consists of 62 elementary and middle-school aged children with six adult chaperones split between two school buses, accompanied by four adults (including yourself) in two SUVs. All four of the latter, and one adult on each bus, are legally armed with concealed handguns (with which they are individually proficient), carry handheld GRS radios as well as cell phones. You have all trained together in the past in close quarter combat tactics in the context of an active shooter event at your church complex. You have meant to discuss and conduct training for mobile and off-site venues, but that has not happened yet.

You are en route to a summer camp, and have stopped at a small truck stop off the interstate for fuel, refreshments, and a restroom break. Many of the children, with adult escort, have gone inside, some have returned to their buses, some are moving across the parking lot in both directions, and from your vantage point near the parking lot entrance you have no clear picture of how many are inside or where they are between the store, restaurant/coffee bar, and restrooms. It is controlled chaos in a relatively benign environment.

There is a moderate amount of traffic in and out of the truck stop, including commercial trucks and private automobiles, both parked and fueling at their respective fuel islands.

You have noticed two crew-cab pickups and two SUVs parked in a cluster near the back corner of the lot. Several young males are visible around the vehicles, and there appear to be several more inside the vehicles. Your initial assessment was that these were local kids, loitering on a Friday afternoon in the liveliest spot their little community offered.

But then things become interesting.

Tactical Sim1

Your attention is drawn back to the cluster of vehicles by several loud POPs, followed by an eruption of yelling, running figures. One pickup and one SUV pull away rapidly and speed through the car parking area toward your position at the exit – and incidentally toward your school buses and the foot traffic in the lot. As pedestrians (including members of your group) scatter and dodge, another vehicle that had not previously drawn your attention pulls out of its parking place to block the oncoming vehicles, colliding with the first. More gunfire erupts between the vehicles. The second escaping vehicle seeks to evade the fight by going around the truck stop building, but the driver loses control and collides with a light post near the building corner. Five persons exit the vehicle and run toward the back side of the truck stop – which you cannot see. By this time, the remaining suspects from the back of the lot have shaken out into what looks like a skirmish line, and are advancing toward the truck stop from the south, with three long guns – Kalashnikov variants – and an assortment of handguns firing toward the rear of the truck stop.

Tactical Sim2

You are in charge. What do you do now? Briefly and concisely describe your immediate orders and communications and the actions you will personally take, and provide a short rationale for your actions.