Johnny Lee Smith

• 1990-1991 — University of North Alabama
• 1989-1990 — Wallace State College
• 1987-1988 — University of North Alabama

• 2020 – Retained by Nationwide Law Firm as an expert consultant on the use of force
• 2016 – Johnny Lee Smith developed the SSGT OnGuard Program for The Home Depot’s Corporate Security Division. Approximately 200 Home Depot Corporate Security Officers receive SSGT OnGuard training annually.
• 2015 – Served as an expert witness in two use-of-force trials in United States District Court Northern District of Alabama
• January, 2014 – all police academies in the State of Alabama are required to teach 24 hours of SSGT Vanguard Level One and 24 hours of SSGT Vanguard Level Two.
• 2014 – Certified Police Instructor by the Alaska Police Standards Council
• 2013 – Adjunct Instructor at the Regional Counterdrug Training Academy in Meridian, MS
• 2010 – Certified Defensive Tactics Instructor by the Mississippi Peace Officers’ Standards and Training Commission
• 2008 – Completed Firearms Instructor Course at TLETA in Nashville
• 2007 – SSGT was the first defensive tactics program ever offered at Action Target’s Law Enforcement Training Camp (LETC) held in Provo, UT
• 2005 – In the State of Georgia, the successful completion of SSGT Vanguard One & Two Instructor Courses, along with showing proof of OC training, qualifies an officer as a Defensive Tactics Instructor Trainer.
• 2005 – present — Founded the “Equalizer” Women’s Self Defense Program. Johnny has certified criminal justice officers as instructors in the Equalizer Women’s Self-defense Program in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
• 2003 – SSGT became a mandated portion of the basic curriculum for all State and Regional Law Enforcement Academies in the State of Alabama-mandated by the Alabama Peace Officers’ Standards In Training Commission.
• 2003 – Certified Specialized Instructor by the Alabama Peace Officers’ Standards and Training Commission
• 1998 – present — Founded the “Strategic Self-defense and Grappling Tactics” (SSGT) Program for criminal justice officers.

2023 – The John Edgar Hoover Memorial Gold Medal for Distinguished Public Service Award

• 2014 – 5th Degree Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Black Belt under Carlos Machado
• 2011 – 4th Degree Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Black Belt under Carlos Machado
• 2008 – 3rd Degree Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Black Belt under Carlos Machado
• 2005 – 2nd Degree Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Black Belt under Carlos Machado
• 2002 – 1st Degree Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Black Belt under Carlos Machado
• 1997-present – Studied Gracie Jiu-jitsu directly under Carlos Machado
• 1996 – Founder and President of Triad Martial Arts, Inc
• 1994-present — Studied Gracie Jiu-jitsu directly under Rickson Gracie
• 1993-present — Began Gracie/Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
• 1987-2004 — Kobayashi Shorin Ryu 4th Degree Black Belt
• 1979-1993 — Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan 3rd Degree Black Belt
• Johnny Lee Smith was the first person in the State of Alabama to achieve Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
• Johnny Lee Smith was the first person from the State of Alabama to achieve 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. He is the highest ranking BJJ Black Belt in Alabama and among the highest ranked Americans in the United States.
• His Triad Martial Arts Academy has the largest number BJJ Black Belts in the State of Alabama.
• He is the only person in the state that has trained extensively with Rickson Gracie.
• He has been Instructor for numerous Pan American, Kakuto, NAGA and NASKA champions.

SSGT certifies hundreds of instructors each year who in turn train thousands of officers annually. A very short list of agencies that have or have had SSGT Vanguard Instructors on staff:

Alabama – Alabama Law Enforcement Agency – Troopers, Marine Police & State Bureau of Investigation; Alabama Department of Conservation; Alabama Department of Corrections; Montgomery Police Department & Academy; Birmingham Police Department & Academy; Tuscaloosa Police Department, AL; APOST Academy in Tuscaloosa, AL; Northeast Alabama Law Enforcement Academy; Huntsville Police Department & Academy; Jefferson County Sheriff’s Academy, AL; Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office & Academy; Mobile Police Department & Academy

Arkansas – Springdale Police Department, AR; Fayetteville Police Department, AR; Univ. of Arkansas PD; Benton County Sheriff’s Office, AR; Hot Springs Police Department, AR; Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Center in Springdale; Rogers Police Department, AR

Florida – Bradenton Police Department, FL; Florida Highway Patrol; Hillsboro County Sheriff’s Office, FL; Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, FL; Palmetto Police Department, FL

Georgia – Athens-Clarke County Police Department, GA; Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, GA; DeKalb County Police Department, GA; Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, GA; Gainsville Police Department, GA; Georgia Department of Natural Resources; Georgia Bureau of Investigation; Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office, GA; University of Georgia Police Department; Walton County Sheriff’s Office, GA

Louisiana – The Louisiana State Police & Academy; Baton Rouge Police Department & Academy, LA; Shreveport Police Department, LA; West Monroe Police Department, LA; Monroe Police Department, LA; Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office & Academy, LA

Mississippi – Tupelo Police Department & The NMLETC, MS; Mississippi Delta Academy; Hattiesburg Police Academy, MS; Oxford Police Department, MS; Ocean Springs Police Department, MS; Pascagoula Police Department, MS; Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, MS

Tennessee – Metro Nashville Police Department, TN; Knox County Sheriff’s Office & Academy, TN; Murfreesboro Police Department & Academy, TN; Franklin Police Department, TN; Brentwood Police Department, TN; Pigeon Forge Police Department, TN; Gatlinburg Police Department, TN; Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency; Tennessee L.E. Training Academy

Detailed lists of agencies to which Johnny Lee Smith has provided training can be found under the link Agencies We Serve on this website. Just click on the appropriate state to see a complete listing.

• 1996 – Appeared on the “Crook and Chase” TV Show to discuss martial arts for children and demonstrate self-defense techniques
• 1996 – Worked on “Batman & Robin” Warner Brothers Productions as assistant to Fight Choreographer Pat Johnson. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell, Uma Thurman and Alicia Silverstone.
• 1995-1996 – Starred in “WMAC MASTERS” 4 KIDS Productions – I Played Johnny Lee Smith “Tiger Claw” on the show. Our show was carried on FOX affiliates nationwide. The stars of the show, myself included, had our own action figures made by Bandai Toy Company which were sold in Walmart and Target stores.
• 1994 – Appeared as a bouncer in “Xs & Os “ CBS Productions. Starring Jim Varney, David Keith and Nia Peeples.
• 1992 – Appeared (speaking role) in “Body Snatchers” Warner Brothers Productions where I also choreographed military fight scenes. Starring Forest Whitaker, R. Lee Ermy, Meg Tilly and Billy Wirth.

• 1994 – Winner of the “Battle of Atlanta”, the “Bluegrass Nationals”, and the “Texas Challenge”
National Martial Arts Tournaments
• 1994 – Member of “United Professionals” National Martial Arts Team
• 1990-1994 — Alabama State Karate Champion
• 1985 – Winner of the “Battle of Atlanta” and the “Bluegrass Nationals”, National Martial Arts Tournaments
• 1983-1987 — Alabama State Karate Champion

• 2012-present — Co-inventor and developer of the Gun Lasso gun stabilizing device

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