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Strategic Self-defense & Gunfighting Tactics

As a Defensive Tactics & Firearms Training System for Criminal Justice, Military Police and Security Officers, Strategic Self-defense & Gunfighting Tactics (SSGT) is dedicated to practical, effective and court defensible techniques and tactics. This system is a leader in addressing the most serious situations officers face in the line of duty. SSGT addresses these situations with the use of objectively reasonable force. SSGT offers tactically documented programs with organized methods of instruction, addressing both officer and subject safety.
Mission Statement
To provide criminal justice, military police and security officers with practical, effective, field proven and legally defensible defensive tactics and firearms training.
SSGT provides the following training:
Defensive Tactics – Vanguard Courses
Defensive Tactics – Edged Weapon Survival
Firearms Training – Precision Rifle, Patrol Rifle and Handgun
Women’s Self-defense – Equalizer Women’s Self-defense Program
The Vanguard Program is an updated version of our flagship program. This is a complete defensive tactics program, currently divided into two levels of instruction and certification addressing a wide variety of issues, scenarios and situations.
Vanguard Level One Instructor Course Training Time: 40 hours
Vanguard Level One Student Course Training Time: Up to 24 hours
Vanguard Level Two Instructor Course Training Time: 40 hours
Vanguard Level Two Student Course Training Time: Up to 24 hours

Vanguard LogoSSGT Vanguard Level One

Vanguard Level One 40-hour Instructor Course Categories

Prerequisite – Must be a Certified Law Enforcement, Corrections, Military Police or Security Officer to attend this course.
The SSGT Vanguard Level One Instructor and Student Courses are broken down into seven (7) categories:
  1. Common Grab Defense – against wrist grabs, throat grabs, hair grabs and lapel grabs in a standing position.
  2. Headlock Defense – against a rear headlock, front headlock and side head-locks both standing & on the ground.
  3. Bear-hug Defense – against front over and under the arms and rear over and under the arms.
  4. Tackle Defense – against double leg and single leg tackles.
  5. Striking & Knife Defense – against various strikes and cutting instruments.
  6. Escaping From The Bottom (ground) – escapes from the mounted position and side positions.
  7. Controlling A Grounded Subject From The Top – various controlling techniques designed to enable the officer to place the subject into a position for handcuffing.

Vanguard LogoSSGT Vanguard Level Two

Vanguard Level Two 40-hour Instructor Course Categories
Prerequisite – Must be a Criminal Justice Officer
The SSGT Vanguard Level Two Instructor and Student Courses are broken down into thirteen (13) categories:
  1. Strategic Subject Escort – escorting an unrestrained subject and taking the subject down to the ground upon resistance.
  2. Pressure Points – applying pressure points in an objectively reasonable manner for the purpose of subject control and compliance.
  3. Strategic Handcuffing & Transport – deploying and applying handcuffs to a subject in the standing, kneeling and prone positions. Also, the safe and proper transport procedure of a restrained subject.
  4. Strategic Frisk & Search – the safe and proper procedures for frisking and searching a subject.
  5. Strategic Striking – the use of personal weapon strikes to prevent or stop aggressive action in an objectively reasonable manner.
  6. Holstered Handgun Retention while Standing – against one- and two-handed attacks on the officers handgun from the front and rear.
  7. Holstered Handgun Retention while on the Ground- against one- and two-handed attacks on the officers handgun when the officer is on the ground.
  8. Drawn Handgun Retention while Standing – against one- and two-handed attacks on the officers handgun in standing situations.
  9. Drawn Handgun Retention while on the Ground – from the mounted position and side positions.
  10. Long Gun Retention – defending against attacks on an officer’s rifle, shotgun or sub-gun.
  11. Long Gun Disarming – front and rear attacks.
  12. Handgun Disarming – front and rear attacks.
  13. Strategic Baton – the use of a straight or expandable baton in an objectively reasonable manner for the purpose of subject control and compliance.



Your Agency Should Have A Knife Policy
In the aftermath of a deadly force encounter wherein an officer justifiably used a knife to defend him/herself, everyone involved will demand to see the agency’s policy. The lack of a policy regarding such a commonly carried weapon can be a significant liability for the officer and the agency.
The vast majority of law enforcement officers in America carry knives and their departments know this. At the same time, the majority of officers have no formal and documented training on the use of a knife as a deadly force weapon. This liability must be addressed in an organized, systematic and legally defensible manner. We can help!
SSGT Edged Weapon Survival Instructor Certification Course
·Reference Text: SSGT Edged Weapon Survival Manual (182 pages)
·Certification Course Length: 24 hours
·Length of Certification: Instructor Certification Valid for three years
·Recertification Course Length: 16 hours
·Exams: Written and Practical Exams Administered
The edged weapon section of this program is divided into nine categories as follows:
Category: 1- Knife Knowledge (26 pages of education about knives);
Category: 2- Knife Grips, Stance, Drawing the Knife and Footwork;
Category: 3- Blade Blocking and Piercing Actions;
Category: 4- Transitions (hands on; to knife; to handgun);
Category: 5- Headlock Escapes (using a knife);
Category: 6- Bear Hug Escapes (using a knife);
Category: 7- Ground Escapes (using a knife);
Category: 8- Defeating the Draw (using a knife);
Category: 9- Close Quarters Edged Weapon Defense.



Rely Only on Use-of-Force Experts
In any legitimate Defensive Tactics Program, it is imperative that the individuals at the helm are true experts in the field of Use-of-Force. These leaders must possess qualifications that are acknowledged and accepted by both State and Federal Courts. Their expertise should extend to not only instructing but also defending the system, techniques, and methodologies they teach. This ensures a level of credibility and proficiency crucial for the program’s legitimacy and effectiveness.
A Realistic Approach
Recognizing the inherent uncertainties in Defensive Tactics, we acknowledge that no technique is foolproof, and any method can be overcome. Our primary objective is to impart skills that, in real-world scenarios, prove effective for the majority against the majority, most of the time. Thorough testing validates the practicality, simplicity, and memorability of each taught technique. In law enforcement training, where officers face life-threatening situations, theoretical or condition-dependent methods have no place. Realism is the cornerstone of our approach to ensure officers are prepared for the unpredictability of the field.

This Is Not A Game!
Numerous programs in the martial arts community extend their offerings to law enforcement officers without a comprehensive understanding of law enforcement dynamics and the officers they serve. In a law enforcement context, an assailant isn’t vying for points or attempting to force the officer to submit. Moreover, in such encounters, there is invariably at least one firearm present—the officer’s. The fundamental principle guiding law enforcement is the assumption that if one threat is identified, there may be others lurking.

Given these critical distinctions, law enforcement officers cannot undergo training akin to martial arts competitors. Their goals and objectives significantly differ, necessitating tailored training approaches. Furthermore, law enforcement trainers acknowledge that officers vary in their enthusiasm for training, physical fitness levels, and coordination abilities. Coupled with constrained training time, this underscores the imperative for simplicity and effectiveness in defensive tactics training. Sport martial arts techniques, especially those reliant on scenarios without firearms and facing only one threat prove impractical for law enforcement contexts.

Is Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) The Answer?
While there are undoubtedly valuable lessons to be gleaned from Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), it’s crucial to recognize that MMA is fundamentally a sport governed by rules. This rule framework prohibits actions like biting, eye gouging, hair pulling, fish-hooking, and groin strikes. Many strategies and techniques employed by MMA competitors are crafted with these rules in mind.

Law enforcement officers, although bound by their own set of rules, face a distinct reality where assailants are unlikely to adhere to any rules during a physical altercation. Techniques reliant on the assumption that the subject will “obey the rules” for success may prove ineffective for an officer in the heat of an attack. In law enforcement, when an officer is confronted, it’s a serious matter devoid of the rules observed in sporting contexts. Success in such situations demands a different approach than what sport-oriented training might instill.

Repetition Is King

In our philosophy, effective preparation for a physical confrontation hinges on two critical components. Firstly, participants must receive high-quality instruction in proven self-defense techniques. Once armed with this knowledge, the second crucial step involves relentless repetition, as we firmly believe that, in the realm of self-defense, “Repetition is King.” While dynamic simulations have their merit, they are most beneficial after participants have achieved a thorough mastery of the techniques, enabling them to execute them without hesitation.

The principle of “Repetition is King” has been a cornerstone of our SSGT program for over twenty-five years. Its efficacy is evidenced by the tangible impact it has had on officers’ lives, serving as a lifeline that has saved many from serious injury in the line of duty.

SSGT Firearms Division LogoSSGT FIREARMS

SSGT has set the standard for excellence in law enforcement training. After numerous requests from the law enforcement community, we are now offering a wide variety of firearms training courses. These courses have been put together by world class warriors with law enforcement officers and the public they serve in mind.
Our trainers are former Special Forces (Green Beret) Operators who have severed as instructors and Program Managers at the JFK Special Warfare Center’s Special Forces Hostage Rescue and Sniper School. These operators have years of real world application in diverse combat environments conducting and refining the principles and skills taught in our courses. The collective lessons learned during these experiences were used by our trainers to rewrite training doctrine and Programs of Instruction for Special Operations Forces. Our trainers have trained and successfully led thousands of U.S. and indigenous forces in countless counter terrorism operations during the Global War on Terrorism.


The Equalizer Women’s Self-defense Program (EWSP) is a division of SSGT Defensive Tactics for law enforcement. This program educates women about how to recognize and reduce their risk of being  victimized by violent crime and property crime and how to defend against, survive and escape a physical attack. Many of the self-defense techniques of the EWSP are derived from our highly successful law enforcement self-defense program. The techniques of SSGT are currently being taught to thousands of officers in various states and have been responsible for saving officers from severe injury and death in the line of duty. Our techniques have been proven to work when it counts.

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