by Gila Hayes
Greg Block and Julie Schupak affiliated their school, Self-Defense Firearms Training, with the Network early in our history. Greg operated a law enforcement firearms instructor listserve for police firearms instructors, so acquainted through that forum, Network President Marty Hayes naturally invited Greg to share the Network and its educational outreach with his students. He has shared thousands of our Educational Foundation’s complimentary booklet with his students.
Greg has been teaching firearms for 40 years. As a reserve law enforcement officer, he completed numerous instructor certifications from resources including the FBI, all the major manufacturers, as well as from the State of California.
Julie, also a use of force law enforcement trainer, holds numerous armorer certifications from major gun manufacturers, as well.
A lot has changed over Greg’s four decade teaching career. A big demographic shift brings more women and more minorities into classes now, and students’ concerns have changed from wanting to learn to shoot for recreation or competition into a serious concern about self defense. “Crime has gone through the roof,” Greg exclaims, and “people need training now more than ever.”
While Julie and Greg teach pistol, rifle, shotgun, tactics at the Burro Canyon Shooting Park, Azusa, California (26 miles northeast of Los Angeles), their weekly CCW courses are offered at an indoor range on the edge of LA and Orange Counties. They also offer the exceptional opportunity to participate in interactive training experiences in their PRISim immersive “shoot-back” firearms training simulator. Greg is the only civilian with an AIS PRISim system and offers training for law enforcement as well as students who have already completed his firearms courses.
If you’re in Southern California, you may already know Greg and Julie. Self-Defense Firearms Training has referred a lot of our members. If you have not yet met them, they’re a great resource about which you’ll want to take note. Learn more at http://www.firearmstraining.com or call 714-893-8676.
I observe with some amusement the interesting cross over between self defense instructors who become attorneys and attorneys who teach armed self defense. Twelve years ago, we first met attorney Robert Keating when he and his wife joined the Network as rank and file members. Later, he started his own firearms instruction enterprise and became an affiliated instructor, encouraging his students to join the Network. Rob went on to graduate from law school and hung out his shingle in Fort Worth, TX and naturally, he became a Network affiliated attorney, available to assist our members in that area who lawfully use force in self defense. Two years ago, Rob contributed an interview for this journal about how case law is created and its influence on trial verdicts. If you’re new to the Network or missed the interview in 2021, read it here and browse to Rob’s website at https://www.dfw.law/faq/self-defense/ to learn more from him.
For many years, our Network affiliated attorney Terrence Rudes and his family have taught gun safety and shooting skills courses at their local gun club, the Oak Harbor Conservation Club in Northern Ohio. Terry is an influencer, who in addition to introducing us to his students, and serving the legal needs of our members around the greater Toledo area, reached out to a professional association email list on which he participates and invited the criminal defense attorneys sharing information there to contact the Network to explore becoming affiliated attorneys themselves. He introduced us to attorneys who affiliated with the Network and are now available to assist our members in Michigan, Missouri, Texas and Ohio.
In closing, I must share sad news about the passing of our Network team member Art Joslin, J.D., D.M.A. who, from late 2021 through 2022 was training to become our Director of Legal Services. Art began his association with the Network as an affiliated instructor, telling students at Critical Defense Training in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area about the Armed Citizens’ Network’s assistance to members. Art had recently completed law school and it had been our wish to bring him on board as understudy to Network President Marty Hayes’ and shoulder some of Marty’s burden of assuring that Network members have our help after use of force in lawful self defense. Sadly, the illness that Art was battling has claimed him. We enjoyed our time with Art and we will miss him. See our Advisory Board member Massad Ayoob’s tribute at https://www.backwoodshome.com/blogs/MassadAyoob/a-great-friend-of-armed-citizens-has-passed/ .