They say that once you’re a cop, it’s in your blood and always will be.
As a former police officer, international security consultant and self defense instructor, I know how important it is to develop – and maintain – your combat mindset; whether in business or in life.
During my 12-year law enforcement career as a narcotics investigator, tactical operator and police chief; I definitely realized that my true calling was helping – and protecting – others. But it wasn’t until I opened a security firm with headquarters in Dubai UAE, that I would gain the knowledge, experience, training and resources to do just that.
I’ve seen first hand what happens when bad things happen to good people. I’ve also seen what happens when good things happen to bad people. Neither is a good day. – Michael Saad
As a Bounty Hunter
At the ripe age of 18 – I started picking up skips for bonding companies in Alabama and Mississippi. After leaving the WWF, former wrestler “Dr. D” David Schultz (yea, the guy that slapped the crap out of John Stossel) became a bounty hunter up north and then opened a bail bond company in my home town, where he gave me one of my first jobs, becoming a mentor to me in this business.
It was a different time, in 1993, than it is today.
I wasn't old enough to carry a handgun yet, so I bought what was called back then – a Pnu-Gun – which was a precursor for the bean-bag guns used by law enforcement around the world today. I also made it work by sometimes gift-wrapping a shipping box with one end open – and placing a sawed-off shotgun inside… then I would walk up to the door with it in hand.
From there, I started doing other types of investigations on a local basis – from adultery to child custody.
As a Police Officer
During my time in law enforcement, I accomplished everything I set out to do.
I went to the police academy in 1998 and was the honor graduate, ranking at the top of my class, from the Montgomery Police Academy – which was considered one of the most difficult and had, at the time, an attrition rate that was comparable to LAPD's Academy. It's been a minute, and my memory is a bit rusty, but I think we started with maybe 75, and graduated like 16.
Most quit, but some were kicked out. The night before we graduated, one of the cadre told me that it was their mission to make as many people quit the first week as they could, by doing whatever they had to do.
We had 3 quit before lunch on that first day.
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a cop. To me, being a police officer was better than being stuck in an office somewhere working 9-5 where no one even knew your name.
Riding in a black and white, and hopping calls from one domestic to another – wasn't anywhere in my aspirations… plain clothes, informants, drug buys and kicking down doors was surely my calling.
Growing up with Starsky & Hutch, and all of the crime-time police shows of the 80s, I knew I wanted to be a part of the profession that came with cool cars and all the perks of a rockstar…
Nothing could have been further from the truth.
In reality, being a police officer – specifically, a narcotics cop – meant a lot of sleepless nights, fourth-hand cars, past due bills, missed birthdays, missed school events, forgotten anniversaries, one failed marriage and quite a few failed relationships.
While that part of my life is over, Im proud of everything I did while I was doing it.
Would I change my career path, if I had to do it all over again? Nope.
Would I change the way some things were done?
You better believe I would.
As an International Man of Mystery
Fast forward to 2010, and I was already a ‘world-traveler', despite being scared to death to fly.
Passing through Dubai from time to time – working my way back and forth between the USA and Afghanistan (where I was working bomb dogs at the time), I met several members of families in that region. These Royal groups made no judgement on the fact that I was not muslim, like I had experienced so many times in the other muslim countries I had visited, and treated me like a person – rather than just another stupid infidel.
It was because of the unexpected hospitality of these people, that I got lined up to open my first office in Dubai, and then followed up with another in Atlanta.
But, in reality, it was just to escape the homesickness
At one point, I had staff all over the world: Manila, Dubai, North America and South America… I even started the process of opening another office in Manila, but the Philippine regulations – egregious license fees (i.e. payoffs) and red-tape – proved to be too much for my patience.
My company worked in everyplace under the sun – from Guadalajara Mexico, to Bahrain, to the USA, and even through Basilan Philippines – where we ran protection details, specifically tasked to counter the threat of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in the southern part of the country.
My staff handled most of the work that didn't require the firm's namesake to be there.
Aside from my company, I still maintained a ‘day job' – working high-threat details and was charged with the personal protection of corporate leaders, program managers, military commanders, U.S. Department of Defense and Department of State officials, as well as other State dignitaries.
Plain Talk: I helped prevent bad things from happening to important people in developing countries and other hostile environments.
This allowed me to save money and make the contacts that would give me what I needed to finally open up something I had been wanting ever since I first walked into a Muay Thai fight camp.
However – globe-trotting, dealing with the necessary evil of third-world-country payoffs and having to heavily screen contracts for some American clients that wanted our services – as more of an accessory, than a necessity – took its toll, so I sold my interest in the company in 2013 as I began to look for other ways that would also allow me to return stateside, permanently.
The end result – is what you see on this site.
Welcome to my world.
There’s a feeling that all true tactical operators have – some call it on point and others call it in the zone.
Most people will never experience it, walking through life just another statistic waiting to happen.
No matter what you call it, it’s that 10-foot tall and bulletproof feeling of confidence that, when paired with focus and knowledge (and a little bit of optimism) it allows you to reach your highest potential in life.
As a police officer, I met countless victims that never saw it coming.
Hell, in Afghanistan, I knew – with very little doubt, that 95% of the people I came in contact with – either directly wanted to kill me, or wouldn’t lose any sleep over my brutal death, if it should happen.
I know what it’s like to go through my day with an elevated Combat Mindset. I know what it’s like to want to defend myself, my loved ones and the people around me. And, if you’re still reading, there’s a good chance you’re the same way.
I certainly know what its like to be unable to protect someone – 50 feet away from me.
Granted, there’s a better-than-average chance that you haven’t been green lit by some greedy bastards and most people won’t ever have to witness half their team brutally murdered.
While that’s a story in itself – best left for another day – your mileage will vary with your particular experiences, life choices and current location.
After years of working and training with some of the best fighters, operators and officers in the world, I have come to understand that the most important function anyone can have, is helping people build their confidence, improve their outlook and show them a better, safer life.Real Success Follows Action Click To Tweet
What I say is more than speculation. It’s about action. Ideas are great, but nothing changes until you do something with them. I want to help you take the action you need to develop your combat mindset, improve your current situation, work through a problem you have or get past an experience you’ve had and be safe in an unsafe time.
Which is why I offer my exclusive training programs, workshops and development solutions that have been held all over the world in my self defense studio, as well as various other locations.
While majority of what I offer is directly intended for regular people – most of my content can be used by even the most tactically sound operators, officers and pipe hitters to better themselves.
My greatest achievement is: Being a father. While I haven’t been there a lot, while I try to make a better life for them, I am very proud of how they both continue to grow into young women.
My favorite book: American Sniper, by Chris Kyle
My favorite TV show: Entourage
My favorite movie: Scarface
My favorite childhood memory: I have a lot of good memories but two of my better ones, is the weekly treks to Peanut Skate Center in my hometown and the yearly beach vacation we would take to ‘penthouse #31’ at Pinnacle Port in Panama City Beach Florida.
The person I most admire: I was fortunate enough to have plenty of role models in and around my life.
Three words people use to describe me:
1) Focused. 2) Reserved. 3) Unorthodox.
The worst job I had as a teenager: I was raised to believe that no job is bad.
The food I like best: I’ve been known to chow down on Sushi, but I’d also take a steak (medium rare) and baked potato any day.
My favorite adult beverage: I don’t really drink, but on the rare occasion I do – I prefer beer (Corona) for casual, and tequila for parties.
My favorite candy: I’m a Skittles kinda guy.
My favorite hobby: Muay Thai, baby!
My favorite workout: Pretty much anything that makes me sweat, gets my heart rate up and leaves me gasping for breath.
My goals for the year: To be better at what I do today than I was yesterday… continually pursuing excellence.
My favorite music group: This could be a long and mixed list, but to keep it short and simple: Throwback? John Cafferty, Blondie, Tupac, Styx – Now? Blake Shelton, Kid Rock.
My pet: Because I travel so much now, I don’t have any pets. But my favorite is a toss-up between my patrol partner, Bear, and my old narcotics partner, Ismar. And, I will never forget my old bomb dog, Nancy.
My favorite vacation place: huh… that’s a hard one, because I don’t really take ‘vacations’. I could say Thailand for training, that’s a given, but I also like the Philippines for relaxing.
My worst fear: I would say snakes. I’m definitely, and deathly, afraid of snakes. Doesn’t matter: alive snakes, dead snakes and sticks that look like snakes.
In tactical terms, a mission is a specific assignment that consists of a set of objectives you have to meet in order to successfully complete the mission. And just like Genghis Khan, my mission is pretty massive in scope.
My mission is to provide the knowledge and hands-on interaction that enables my audience to confidently build a solid Combat Mindset to keep themselves, and their loved ones, safe in a violent and unpredictable world or empower them to move on from a traumatic life experience through effective, aggressive and real-world solutions.