Professional Self Defense Training


Welcome to LEO Defense Systems, the premiere integrative combatives and control systems for military, first responders, and top level private sector personnel. LEO Defense Systems creates agency/company specific curriculum from top to bottom based on the needs of the mission or duties of the job.

One of the reasons for the name LEO came from our position as the premier self defense system for private security/wellness companies looking to offer their employees a better skill set. Whether it is teaching SWAT operators combat Jiu Jitsu, teaching private security detention and control techniques, or private sector employees wellness and self defense, LEO Defense Systems is the place to look.

We consider our program the KING of self defense systems!


Who we are?

The Mission

To provide first responders and security professionals with the most up to date and functional tactics and techniques that are street tested under stressful conditions and can be taught and modified through multiple modalities.

To create a national and international certification where departments can become self sufficient and ultimately teach their own employees the system which will help create a safer, more tactically sound defensive tactics system for every agency around the world at a minimal cost.

Community Self Defense Classes
Hand to Hand Combat
Military Training


Jerel Hallert

The original founder of LEO Defense Systems with over a decade of experience in Law Enforcement and Private Security. Jerel is a graduate of the University of Nevada Reno where he earned a degree in Human Ecology. After college he took a job as a teacher in

San Jose, CA for two years before moving back home to Reno for family reasons. When he moved back he became involved in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and several years later entered the police academy.

Jerel had a unique overview during defensive tactics training at the police academy based on his previous training in bjj. Jerel noticed techniques that worked better during altercations and immediately became an instructor for his department upon graduation from the academy. Jerel maintains his position at his department as a lead instructor for the defensive tactics cadre. During his time as a lead instructor, Jerel sat down with other police officers and high level practitioners in other combat sports to create LEO

Defense Systems as a supplement to the current system. Jerel has spent time in multiple functions at his department to include patrol, bike team, plain clothes operations, and is currently a detective.

Jerel earned his black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu in early 2013 from legendary instructor,

Master Charles Gracie. He is also an avid competitor has won and medaled in both gi and no gi competitions including IBJJF, Grapplers Quest, and NAGA.

Ricky Lundell

Expert /Vegas Regional Lead Instructor is one of the most recognizable faces in the grappling and MMA world. Ricky is a UFC coach to multiple champions and former champions. Ricky earned his black belt at the age of 19 from Master Pedro Sauer and was the youngest American to ever receive the rank. Ricky also competed as a D-1 wrestler at Iowa State. Ricky’s International wrestling record is 78-0 and his record as a black belt is 152-5 before he left the competition scene.

Ricky’s L.E. experience came when he was selected by the DEA in Utah to write their defensive tactics system known as Rules of Engagement which has been completely implemented by the DEA since 2012.

Byron Cragg

The first student of the program, Byron began the program in 2008. Byron has over a decade of law enforcement experience ranging from patrol level functions to plain clothes/under cover tactics. Byron is also an instructor for his department in defensive tactics and is currently a detective.

As a former professional athlete, Byron has a unique ability to train/coach students in all aspects of combatives and this athleticism also allowed him to progress quickly in Brazilian jiu jitsu and MMA. Byron has won or medaled in multiple gi and no gi tournaments to include IBJJF and NAGA, and also is currently undefeated as a mixed martial artist with a record of 4-0 and is the WFC 185lb title holder.

Byron earned his brown belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu in early 2014.

Ryan Drexler

Ryan joined the LEO team after attending a seminar in Las Vegas, NV in 2014. Ryan’s love for grappling arts, his background in martial arts and fitness, and his business background led to him joining the team. Ryan has a strong sense of helping first responders around the United States become proficient in the LEO System. Ryan has over 20 years of experience in various martial arts forms to include 8 years in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu where he is an avid competitor and the 2014 SJJIF World Champion at purple belt.

Ryan graduated from Northeastern University where he earned a BA in political science. Ryan is currently the CEO of Consac LLC a privately held firm that invests in the securities of publicly traded and venture stage companies using proprietary capital. Ryan previously served as president of Country Life Vitamins. In addition to developing strategic objectives and overseeing acquisitions for Country Life, Ryan also created new brands including BioChem sport and nutrition products.

Currently, Ryan is serving as the Executive Chairman of MusclePharm sports nutrition company.


LEO Program

Where it all started, this is for law enforcement/correctional officers. This program was designed by Detective Jerel Hallert (Charles Gracie Black Belt), Detective Eric Marconato (Charles Gracie Black Belt) Charles Gracie Instructor and Black Belt, Matt Tonkin and Detective Byron Cragg (Atos Brown Belt) . This group has taken elements of combat sports such as Jiu-Jitsu, Grappling, Wrestling, Muay Thai, and Boxing and created a system that can compliment any traditional defensive tactics system. The problem with most DT systems for law enforcement is that they teach to not go to the ground in a fight or to just get up and create distance, but never teach you the how to do it. Most proactive department teach anywhere from 8-10 hours of ground defense a year, which is better than nothing but it is still not enough.

Getting off the ground or not going to the ground is not as easy as it sounds and since a large majority (65-90%) of violent encounters end up with both officer and subject on the ground, ground defense is a must. This system is not meant to make LEO’s ground fighters as we suggest that you do not go to the ground unless necessary, but since there is a high likelihood that the LEO will one day end up in this position, it is better to be well prepared and the basic 20 hour or advanced 40 hour LEO course can increase the odds in the officer’s favor. The system consists of sweeps, escapes, control holds, distance management, takedown defense/takedowns, usage of clothing; basic ground/clinch strikes as well as clinch offense and defense.

The most important thing to remember is that this is not a “complete system” in Law Enforcement. We call our system an integrative combatives system. Every agency in the country spends thousands of dollars training their officers how to do handcuffing, light touch, searching, weapons retention etc. Our system is meant to be added to your agencies current system of techniques and not to replace them. Whether it is 1 or all of the techniques in the system that you choose to integrate, rest assure these techniques are street proven for law enforcement.

MVP Security Training

This stands for Mental, Verbal, and Physical and is for individuals and companies in the private security sector. Since detention from a citizen often times can cause liability issue, The MVP program is a great choice. This system is developed specifically for security officers to use basic light touch controls and handcuffing/detention techniques to control detainees. This system also teaches the use of verbal commands/rapport building techniques to de-escalate situations either before a physical detention is conducted or after a control hold is applied to gain compliance and get a situation under control.


This stands for Personal Self Defense. This system is based more off of combat sport type fundamentals with very little emphasis placed on offensive maneuvers. This system is perfect for companies who have employees that make public contacts or for companies who want to see the health/wellness of their employees increase. The system is designed to create opportunities to escape situations safely and effectively and to eliminate those opportunities where a person may attack you.

Satellite/Affiliate Program

LEO Defense Systems understand that both large and small departments can have problems with scheduling in service training from an outside source because of a lack of funds or because of a lack of officers on the street. Because of this, LEO Defense Systems offers an instructional satellite program. This program is designed to train anywhere from one person to an entire cadre of instructors for a department. The instructors from LEO DS will train the individual or group to a minimum Level 3 requirement which will certify the person(s) as a Training Instructor. After certification, the Training Instructor(s) will be granted the ability to train officers within their department only. This is not a train the trainer certification and will only allow the instructor to teach the techniques to his/her department. Below is a list of requirements for Satellite Program Instructor Certifications.

  • Individuals must be a current instructor for their department
  • Advanced Training Instructor: 160 hours of instruction unless hours are waived by LEO DS board member in writing based on prior training/experience. (This is for the 40 hour full LEO Program).
  • Basic Training Instructor: 60 hours of instruction unless hours are waived by LEO DS board member in writing based on prior training/experience. (This is for the 20 hour basic program). An instructor can become a basic instructor if they attend the 20 hour basic seminar and the instructor development seminar (offered as a 3 day seminar.)
  • If individuals are not a current instructor, they will be required to take the LEO DS Adult Learning Class (4 hours).
  • Candidates must pass the practical testing at their appropriate level which is graded by an Expert or Founding Instructor.

Once the candidate completes the program and is granted a Training Instructor Certificate, they are allowed to instruct the LEO DS Lesson Plan to their department. The Training Instructor can teach the basic or complete lesson plan to officers depending on their certification. However, the testing/evaluation process for the Training Instructors students must be conducted in the presence of a Field Instructor or higher for official certification from LEO DS, although POST credit in most states can still be earned without LEO DS completing the actual evaluation.

LEO DS will supply Training Instructors with a copy of a POST certified lesson plan, teacher Packet which includes a narrative on all techniques, and a phone number to contact a Field Instructor or higher if needed.

Departments who have highly skilled instructors, who can certify at a Field or Expert Instructor level, can use that instructor for train the trainer courses as specified in the instructor certification list. There is a minimal cost for this service which is based on department size. This is a great opportunity for departments to be able to teach their own people and become self sufficient. The goal for LEO DS is to keep costs down for departments and allow them to create their own cadre that only needs small amounts of additional training to keep certifications.

Discounts are available for departments who choose to participate in the Satellite Program and sign up to be a Supporting Department (use of agency name in media publications and website).

Costs for the satellite program range from $2500 to $50,000 depending on agency size, need, current cadre level and many other factors. This one-time cost gives the agency the ability to train the program and train it within their agency as long as they have a certified instructor. This one-time cost does not include travel expenses or seminar fees if LEO DS staff is requested to conduct a seminar outside of the yearly seminar.

If a seminar is requested or specific training for a small cadre of instructors is requested, the costs will be $350 per student for basic certification, or $750 for advanced certification. There is a minimum of 4 officers for basic certification or 4 officers for advanced certification travel requests. These costs are based on agencies in Nevada, California, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, and Idaho and do not include travel expenses.

Non L.E. Affiliations:

Gym owners who would like to be certified to teach the program in their area can contact a board member at leodefensesystems@gmail.com to schedule an interview. A background will be done on all applicants and a yearly affiliation fee is required. There is also a limit to Non LE affiliations per region/state/city. Gym owners are allowed to run weekly classes in their own gym for profit and can conduct seminars.


Instructor Levels

Below is a list of available instructor certificates that are offered through LEO DS.

Training Instructor:

This individual has completed either the advanced or basic instructor level. Advanced instructors are required to complete 120 (Level 3) hours of LEO DS course material or have the equivalent prior experience in ground defense (i.e. BJJ Blue Belt) plus 40 hours training in LEO DS course material. Basic instructors are required to complete 60 hours (Level 3 Basic) of the LEO DS Basic course material or have prior training in ground defense (i.e. BJJ Blue Belt) plus 20 hours in Basic LEO DS Material. Training Instructors are granted the ability to teach within their department or outside of their department with a Master/Expert/Founding Instructor. Training Instructors cannot complete the evaluation/testing process for their students without a higher instructor present. POST credit in most states can still be earned by their students, however an actual LEO DS

Certificate will not be issued. Training Instructors must take a 4 hour Adult Learning Class or be a current Instructor within their department to be eligible.

Training Instructors must teach 40 hours a year or take 6 hours a year of instruction from a Field Instructor or higher to keep their certification. A training instructor can also earn credit towards becoming a Field Instructor if they teach a full cycle (40 hours) with an Expert Instructor or Founding Instructor.

Completion of the 20 hour Basic Seminar and Instructor Course can earn an officer the Basic Training Instructor Certificate depending on experience.


Field Instructor:

This individual has completed either 160 (Level 4) hours of LEO DS course material or has the equivalent prior experience in ground defense (i.e. BJJ Purple Belt) plus 40 hours of training in LEO DS Course Material. For the Basic Field Instructor, a minimum of 80 hours of training in LEO DS Course Material is required or has prior experience (i.e. BJJ Purple Belt) plus 20 hours of Basic LEO DS material. Field Instructors are granted the ability to teach their department and complete evaluation/testing by themselves. Field Instructors can teach at a department outside of their department with written approval from a Founding Instructor. Field Instructors must take a 4 hour Adult Learning Class or be a current Instructor within their department or previously earned certification as a Training Instructor. Field Instructors are not granted the ability to certify Training Instructors, unless authorized by the owner(s) of LEO Defense Systems.

Field Instructors must teach 40 hours a year or take 6 hours a year of instruction from a Expert Instructor or higher to keep their certification. A field instructor can also earn credit towards becoming an Expert Instructor if they teach a full cycle (40 hours) with a Founding Instructor.


Expert Instructor:

This individual has completed either 200 (Level 5) hours of LEO DS course material or has the equivalent prior experience in ground defense (i.e. BJJ Brown or Black Belt) plus 40 hours of training in LEO DS course material. Expert Instructors are granted the ability to teach their department and complete evaluation/testing by themselves. Expert Instructors can also certify Training Instructors and Field Instructors with written approval from a board member. Expert Instructors must take a 4 hour Adult Learning Class or be a current Instructor within their department or previously earned  certification as a Field Instructor. Expert Instructors cannot certify other Expert Instructors unless given approval by a board member in writing.

Expert Instructors are not required to complete additional training to maintain certification. There is no Basic Certification at Expert Level unless approved by a board member.


Founding Instructors:

This certification is for the original developers of the LEO DS program. Only a founding Instructor or board member can certify an Expert Instructor.