About CRGI

You’re good. We’ll make you better though experienced and insightful education and training.

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.

Questions? You can reach us via info@ConflictResearchGroupIntl.com


CRGI Board Members

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Toby Cowern

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 Arctic experience, and 25 years of survival training.        Toby’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




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Erik Kondo

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

I see conflict management 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.     




Marc MacYoung

The gang-infested streets of Los Angeles not only gave Marc MacYoung his street name “Animal,” but also firsthand experience about what does and does not work for self-defense. What he teaches is based on experience and 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.  He has taught police, military, martial artists and civilians around the world. His message is always the same: Hand-to-hand combat is a last ditch effort when other, more effective, preventive measures have  failed.   Marc’s website.    




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.       





Clint Overland

Clint has worked in many areas of professional security. He has worked as a bouncer in some of the toughest bars in Texas. In his own words, he is “an underpaid overworked conflict resolution specialist that is part priest, therapist, social anthropologist, and violence professional”.

“Clint is powerful, smart and experienced. He’s been with the upper end of the spectrum of violent criminals. He spent many years dealing with bad men. Clint knows that world very well. He can teach it, and I always learn. More important and personally, he’s one of the few who ever went that deep who walked away.” – Rory Miller                  Clint’s website




Garry Smith

Garry is a 3rd Dan Senior Instructor in Ju Jitsu, an Associate Instructor with the British Combat Association and a Sport England qualified senior coach.

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, Garry has an honors degree in Sociology and Education from the University of Warwickand a Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Management from Sheffield Hallam University.  Garry’s website.         




Terry Trahan

Terry has gotten into more than his fair share of trouble in his life.  His experience dealing with the subcultures of street life taught him the practical aspects of violence, deescalation, escape and evasion.  His specialties include both empty handed and armed defense, particularly all aspects of bladed weapons.

“Skill, experience and insight. Terry’s been down in the criminal world, at one point was the most sought-after bouncer in the mountain states and has inherited a few systems of martial arts, some of which haven’t kicked him out yet.” – Rory Miller

Terry’s website.




Teja Van Wicklen

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.

I am a 30-year veteran martial artist, personal trainer, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and mother. I began mulling over the idea of reinventing self defense while pregnant.  I found myself wondering why modern self defense didn’t address babies in slings, injuries and so many other real life issues.

My focus is on a view of self defense as a tool to help women stay out of trouble, get out of trouble and master strong decision making skills, while raising assertive, productive children with eyes in the backs of their heads.    Teja’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.




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