“You’re Good. We’ll Make You Better.”

Conflict Research Group International is the result of an alliance of individuals with very different viewpoints and experiences but a common commitment to expanding awareness, insight and options related to all aspects of interpersonal conflict and violence. Our goal is to make you better.

The goal of CRGI is to provide a diverse resource for people with an interest in learning more about all aspects of conflict management. The self-defense, martial arts, professional security, and anti-violence industry is rife with misinformation, self-serving agenda, tribal thinking, ideological wars,  and down right lousy information.  The CRGI will counter some of that by providing a comprehensive source for the fearless truth.

As a group of different people with varied backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs, we don’t always agree on everything. But, we do agree on the basic principles of self-improvement and evolving through training and exposure to new ideas and differing viewpoints.

The bottom line: The CRGI will filter the enormous amount of information available on conflict management so you can focus on the material most applicable to you.

CRGI Directors

Garry Smith  (Chief Executive Officer)

Garry is a 4th Dan Senior Instructor in Ju Jitsu, an Associate Instructor with the British Combat Association and a Sport England qualified senior coach. He runs the Academy of Self Defence in the UK.

Garry has extensive experience of teaching in secondary, further and higher education and has coached youngsters and adults self defence, sports and outdoor activities for many years. Along with being a former street thug and keen football hooligan, Garry has an honors degree in Sociology and Education from the University of Warwick and a Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Management from Sheffield Hallam University.      Garry’s Posts



Toby Cowern (Executive Manager)

Toby’s extensive and broad-ranging experience in the Reserve Armed Forces, leisure industry, outdoor activities and Health and Safety industry have equipped him with comprehensive skills and knowledge which he know channels as chief instructor into his very own company “Tread Lightly”.

Combining extensive military service and personal development with like minded international experts Toby’s office is now almost exclusively outdoors, where he spends his time tracking, hunting and researching, practicing and refining relevant survival techniques, further expanding and consolidating his 20 years of Arctic experience, and 25 years of survival training.        Toby’s website.     Toby’s Posts.


Erik Kondo (Executive Manager)

If you think self-defense is mainly about physical fighting or that only those with a long history of personal involvement in violence have an opinion that is worthwhile, feel free to skip my contributions.

While I do have multiple years of training background in a variety of martial arts, particularly Small Circle jujitsu, my focus in on helping the average person make sense of self-defense.

I see self-defense as an extension of personal safety which is an extension of how you live your life. My goal is to help people learn to minimize the negative consequences of aggression and obtain peace of mind through developing better understanding, critical thinking and judgement in times of interpersonal conflict.  Erik’s website.       Erik’s Posts.


 Jayne Wharf (Executive Manager)

Jayne is a 3rd Dan black belt in Ju Jitsu and a senior instructor at the Academy of Self Defence. Jayne teaches Ju Jitsu classes and Self Defence classes to juniors and seniors and is currently helping the Academy develop a range of online courses that will also be available through the digital dojo.



Marc MacYoung 

Growing up on the gang-infested streets of Los Angeles not only gave Marc MacYoung his street name “Animal,” but also extensive firsthand experience about what does and does not work for self-defense. What he teaches is based on experience and has proven reliability for surviving violence. If it didn’t work, he wouldn’t be alive to talk about it.

He is considered by many to be one of the most analytical thinkers on the subject of  surviving violence and personal safety today.  Marc has taught police, military, martial artists and civilians around the world.

Who is Marc “Animal” MacYoung?      Marc’s website.     Marc’s Posts




Rory Miller 

“Force is a form of communication. It is the most emphatic possible way of saying “no”. For years my job was to say no, sometimes very emphatically, to violent people.

I have been a Corrections Officer, a Sergeant, a Tactical Team member and a Tactical Team Leader; I have taught corrections and enforcement personnel skills from first aid to physical defense to crisis communication and mental health. I’ve done this from my west coast home to Baghdad. So far, my life has been a blast.
I’m a bit scarred up, but generally happy.”   Rory’s website.          Rory’s Posts




Clint Overland

If you are not afraid of Clint, you should be. Clint has an extensive experience as a Violence Professional. His record of multiple felony arrests and no convictions speaks volumes.

Clint has worked in many areas of professional security. He is currently works as a prison guard.

Clint may be a little rough around the edges, but he has a sharp mind and knows what he is talking about when it comes to the sharp end of conflict management.

Clint’s Posts




Terry Trahan 

For as long as I remember, I have been afflicted with a giant curiosity about the world and a wonderful sense of adventure, which in reality can be translated that I seem to have gotten into more than my fair share of trouble in my life, which is really a great motivator to stay involved in the arts, and led to a long term love and appreciation for the deeper aspects of training.

I started in the typical arts, boxing, wrestling, some karate and judo, with lots of direct application due to the aforementioned curiosity and adventure. Somewhere along the way I started picking up pieces of more effective arts. It turns out most of these arts I was loving were from Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines and Indonesia.

I currently live in Denver, Colorado and teach group classes in Aneh Palu Kali-Silat and Applied Self-defense.    Terry’s website.



Teja Van Wicklen

Teja Van Wickl”I see martial arts as a tool box for life. A way to care for my family, set and achieve goals, and live at the highest personal level possible. “ 

Teja is a 30-year veteran martial artist with edged weapon, survival, and firearms experience. She is also a personal trainer, volunteer Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and mother of a rambunctious 8 year old boy.

In 2009 Teja formulated the idea for a new style of self defense specifically for women and moms, while pregnant and on bed rest.  The idea evolved as she grew into motherhood and continued to ask herself questions that hadn’t been answered in her years of training, like how she would fend off an attacker with her infant in a sling. Teja had a vision of women’s self defense as a series of life tools that can be learned, practiced and played along with children, by way of audio, games, video and live and online workshops. The focus would be on helping women to protect themselves both physically and mentally and to set a powerful example so they could raise strong, productive children who would never be victims or criminals.

Teja has created a Devi DVD program for women and a Mommy & Me Self Defense CD program for busy moms called Baby Steps. Her 14 week Secrets of Women’s Self Defense online course is the only one of its kind on the internet. Teja is currently working on several books.      Teja’s website.



Varg Freeborn

More than simple certifications, when it comes to your self-defense education Varg’s experiences in life are far more valuable. Growing up in extremely violent environments, living through several lethal force incidents, gang violence, prison culture, violence culture, losing friends and family to murder, and defending himself in court after using lethal force in self-defense, he has a first-hand perspective on the topics of street fighting, predator patterns, criminal behavior, fight or flight situations, real-world court outcomes and developing the conflict oriented mindset out of pure necessity.

Varg’s website



Tammy Yard McCracken

Tammy is owner & Global Solutions Director of Personal Defense Industries, LLC and Chief Instructor at Kore Krav Maga (a subsidiary of PDI). She is a Certified Instructor with Krav Maga Global (KMG), is the KMG International Women’s Division Coordinator. She was the first female KMG instructor certified on the East Coast and is one 3 Women in the U.S. to hold an EXPERT rank with KMG.

Tammy’s website.



Randy King 

Randy is the owner of KPC Self-Defense

Natural Spirit International Regional Director: Edmonton, 2012
Worden Defense Systems: 4th Degree, 2014
Level 3 Full Instructor Natural Spirit International, 2014
Level 2 Jeet Kune Do Instructor through NSI, 2014
Progressive Krav Maga Full instructor, 2010

Randy’s website.


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