Heroes, Thugs and Assorted Riffraff

Kris Wilder

Is the head instructor at the West Seattle Karate Academy, an author, and much more.  We met at a Jon Bluming seminar many years ago.  It was my first time on a mat since knee surgery and two days after shooting someone in a tactical operation.  I was feeling very much like the realist in a group of hobbyists. Kris got me out of my shell and started a conversation that has never really ended.  An all around great man.


I spent over ten years with these guys. From the early years when we wore street hockey gear and were expected to be able to handle everything from hostage rescue to riots to cell extractions to today, when we have some of the cleanest entries and the best weapons skills in the region... we've made huge strides and have become a force to be reckoned with.

In good times and bad, the mission always came first. When the budget was slashed, when training was prohibited, the men and women worked hard on their own to be ready. So far, every time they have been called on, they have answered with a cool professionalism that leaves me in awe, and honored to be able to stand in the stack.

A good team makes it easy to be a good team leader.  To all members past, present and future: Thanks. You've always had my back and I've always been able to trust you absolutely. NPNBW!!

Loren Christensen

Is one of the Grand Old Men.  Karate champion, retired cop, former MP in Saigon during “interesting times.” He looks at me like I’m an upstart kid. If anyone has earned that right, it is him.  He’s also a blast- sarcastic, intelligent and largely shameless.

Dave Sumner

My jujutsu instructor, pound for pound Dave was the best fighter I have ever met and the best teacher it has ever been my privilege to know.  He is also a damn fine human being.  Dave retired shortly after promoting Bo and me to mokuroku.

Steve Barnes

Is on a quest to be better, stronger, smarter every day.  He is largely responsible for my ability to steer my own life instead of being constantly distracted by shiny objects.  We connect on a pretty deep level- I once mistook him for my own reflection, which is really funny if you know what we both look like.

Kevin Jackson

Deserves the highest compliment in martial arts: he once taught a knife seminar that wasn’t stupid.  He is a good man, a good fighter and even a good musician.  It’s an honor to know him.

Lawrence Kane

Is a nice guy.  Author, martial artist, old SCA fighter and he makes some very nice knives. He and I co-wrote Force Decisions and he's written a ton of books with Kris.

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Mauricio Machuca

Is a man I am honored to call a brother.  A shy smile, scarred up arms and a lot of history. A good man to train with if you find yourself in Montreal.

        My friends can beat up your friends.

The Sulay Team

Can’t go into much detail, but it was a fine group of men to serve with. Go Pariah Dogs!


The missions in the middle-east couldn’t happen without Language Assistants (LAs; interpreters; “terps”).  They obviously can’t be named or pictured here, but it was a privilege to work with them.  Some of the smartest, bravest, most dedicated and sometimes humorous men and women there are.  If any of my old maturjim read this: you are always in my heart.  I thank you all, my brothers and sisters.


Part bodyguard, part native guide, the Personal Security Detail were responsible for keeping us out of trouble.  They became friends, and a few became brothers. 

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Jeff Burger

Teaches martial arts in Salem, MA. Great instructor, perfect mix of training and experience. His depth and enthusiasm show in every thing he does. And he just did his first slick-production video.

Just some of Lawrence and Kris' books

Terry Trahan

Kasey Keckeisen

Kasey and Terry are two of the VioDy team. Kasey is a SWAT leeader, sniper, training coordinator and serious martial artist.


Terry is a former bad guy, bouncer and silat specialist. The thinking man's badass.