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Meet the Firearms Academy Staff

MARTY HAYES

The Firearms Academy of Seattle, Inc. is the brainchild of Director and President Marty Hayes. After spending years as a police officer, competitive shooter and police firearms instructor, he started sharing his knowledge of firearms and self-defense related issues on a professional basis, and in 1990 started the Firearms Academy of Seattle, Inc. For two decades he has been teaching firearms and self-defense to the Seattle/Portland area population, with thousands of satisfied students.

Director Marty Hayes' credentials to teach firearms, self-defense and use of force include certification through the Washington State Criminal Justice Commission as a police firearms instructor, certification through Monadnock PR-24 Training Council as a PR-24 and defensive tactics instructor, certification through National Law Enforcement Training Center as a weapons retention, knife/counter knife, pepper spray and handcuffing instructor, Taser instructor certification, along with multiple certifications from the Lethal Force Institute. He is a staff instructor for the Massad Ayoob Group, and formerly an adjunct instructor for Defense Training International.

He has presented and taught for The American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers, the Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association and the International Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association. He also occasionally works as an expert witness/consultant in firearms, deadly force and police use of force cases, and holds a law degree.

 

GILA HAYES

 

When you call us, it is probably Gila who will answer your questions. Her instructor credentials include the Lethal Force Institute,  National Law Enforcement Training Center, the Heckler and Koch International Training Division, Glock, Inc., Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission's Police Firearms Instructor certification, American Women's Self Defense Association, and the National Rifle Association. She has taught at the annual training conference of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers and has presented at the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors' regional training conference and the American Women's Self Defense Association. Gila served as training officer when she was a reserve police officer.


Over the years, she has studied with Massad Ayoob, John and Vicki Farnam, Clint Smith, Chuck Taylor, Gabe Suarez, Andy Stanford, Jim Jacobe, Ken Hackathorn, Evan Marshall, J. A. Keating, Jeff Cooper, Jim Cirillo, and Larry Smith.

 

As a free-lance writer, Gila authored two books, Personal Defense for Women and  Effective Defense, was field editor for Women and Guns Magazine, and has work published in Police Magazine, Handguns, NRA American Guardian and Woman's Outlook, American Handgunner, Gun Week, GUNS Magazine, Combat Handguns Annual, Glock Annual, Smith & Wesson Annual and others. She has competed in a variety of handgun, shotgun and rifle venues. She currently divides her time between Firearms Academy and operating the Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network, Inc.

 

LARRY BLACKLEDGE

 

We first met Larry as a student in 1999, and by 2001, he had began assisting as an instructor in F.A.S. classes. He is teaches in our handgun, rifle and shotgun programs.

Larry is a graduate of the Firearms Academy's entire curriculum, plus Massad Ayoob's LFI-1, StressFire Instructor, and Judicious Use of Deadly Force Instructor programs; Ken Hackathorn's handgun and rifle classes; Chuck Taylor's handgun and rifle classes; has trained with Jim Cirillo, Jim Jacobe, Clyde Caceres, and Gabe Suarez. He also holds NRA instructor certifications in Handgun, Shotgun,  and Home Defense.

 

Outside of F.A.S., Larry works in specialty product sales.

 




RICK BRESSLER

 

Rick has been a familiar face around Firearms Academy since he started taking classes in 1991. He began teaching for us in 1998. There are few F.A.S. classes Rick has not completed, and many of his credits include programs that have since been incorporated into other classes in Firearms Academy curriculum.

 

His outside study has included training with Clint Smith, Chuck Taylor, Massad Ayoob, Ken Hackathorn, Evan Marshall, Tom Givens, John Farnam, Dane Burns, Eric Remmen, Clyde Caceres, Marc MacYoung, Larry Smith, Gary Lum, William Burris, Jim Higginbotham, Jim Cirillo and Jeff Cooper.

 

Now retired, he includes hand loading ammunition among his hobbies.

 


 

FRANK P. DEYOUNG

 

We first met Frank as an F.A.S. student in 1998 and in 2011 brought him on to our staff, where he teaches his Emergency Treatment of Gunshot Wounds and Related Injuries class, as well as assisting in the presentation of other courses.

Frank holds F.A.S. Master's Certificates in handgun, rifle and shotgun, and has taken training from Massad Ayoob, Ken Hackathorn, Tom Givens, Chuck Taylor and Eric Remmen, as well. Outside of F.A.S., Frank's experience includes the U.S. Army Infantry, U.S. Army Psychological Operations Specialists/Instructor, U.S. Navy Tactical Craft Coxswain, International Fire Service Training Association as Fire Officer I and Instructor I. He holds a National Rifle Association Distinguished Expert Rifle rating, and is a life member of the N.R.A.

 

In his personal life, Frank notes that he is married to "an outstanding wife," with four children.

 

 

JEFF FJELSTUL

 

Jeff is the newest addition to the F.A.S. teaching cadre, and while he assisted in our rifle programs informally in 2011 you can expect to benefit from his knowledge and experience a lot more during 2012. He is a graduate of the Firearms Academy's advanced shotgun curriculum, tactical rifle and close quarters carbine programs, and our Precision Rifle I and II classes. His military training and experience include USMC 2nd Force Reconnaissance Co., graduate of USMC Scout Sniper Instructor School in Quantico, VA, and the USAR 12th Special Forces Group. In addition, he is a hunter safety instructor certified by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

 

Jeff is a physical therapist and certified athletic trainer. He's married and has a son, age 11, and a daughter, 14.

 

 

BRIAN HALLAQ

 

Brian came to F.A.S. in 2005 and rapidly completed the entire handgun curriculum. In 2006 he began serving as an instructor.

Additional training includes Lethal Force Institute's LFI I, LFI II, LFI III, as well as training with Chuck Taylor, Jim Cirillo, the Jacobe Group, John Farnam, Ken Hackathorn, Rob  Pincus, Clyde Caceres, Insights Training Center and Magpul Dynamics.

 

In addition to his work as an attorney, Brian operates the Norpoint Shooting Center in Arlington, WA and is an avid I.D.P.A. competitor.

 
 

 

KATHY JACKSON

 

Kathy Jackson attended her first handgun class in 1999, and began assisting in our instructional programs in 2003. She teaches in our handgun programs.

Her training credentials include the Rangemaster instructor certification, Massad Ayoob's Judicious Use of Deadly Force Instructor, and she has received training from ITI/WSI, Marc MacYoung, Rory Miller, Tony Blauer, Rob Pincus, Gabe Suarez, Ken Hackathorn and  Jim Cirillo. She is also an adjunct instructor for the Massad Ayoob Group, and president of the Cornered Cat LLC.

 

Kathy is author of Lessons from Armed America (co authored with Mark Walters) and The Cornered Cat: A Woman's Guide to Concealed Carry. She is also editor of Concealed Carry Magazine. Kathy and her husband Bob have five home-schooled children with three still at home.

 

 

JOTHAM LENTZ

 

Joe began taking F.A.S. classes in 2007 and has completed most of them, some several times. He began assisting as an instructor in our training curriculum in 2011. In addition, his training credentials include certification as a Combat Focus Shooting Instructor by Rob Pincus, Paul Castle's C.A.R. system, as well as training with the U.S.A.F.

 

Joe earns his living as  network security engineer, but his avocations include Jujitsu in which he has a black belt, coaching in the Personal Defense Readiness training program, and he is a Worden Defensive Systems instructor.

Away from self defense concerns, Joe is a helicopter pilot and blacksmith.
 


 

DON STAHLNECKER

 

Don began attending Firearms Academy classes in 2001, and began teaching classes in 2003. He is certified to teach in the handgun curriculum and our Handgun Retention class. He also holds instructor certification from Tom Givens/Rangemaster and is a Judicious Use of Deadly Force Instructor certified by Massad Ayoob.

 

Outside of his F.A.S. studies, Don has trained with Gabe Suarez, Rob Pincus,  Jim Cirillo, Ken Hackathorn, Tony Blauer, Rory Miller and Marc MacYoung.

He holds a Black Belt in Danzan Ryu Jujutsu and works as System Administrator for Delta Media LLC.
 

 

 

BILL VAN TUYL

 

We first met Bill at F.A.S. classes in 2000, and by 2005 he began teaching in our program. He is certified to teach in our handgun, rifle and shotgun programs, having completed the entire F.A.S. curriculum.

In addition, Bill is an LFI-certified Judicious Use of Deadly Force Instructor,  and has also taken many classes from Chuck Taylor/ASAA, multiple classes with Massad Ayoob, Ken Hackathorn's carbine and handgun classes, and has trained with Paul Gomez on AK47, Wayne Dobbs of Triple Canopy, Lone Star Medics and Medic 1. He holds NRA R.S.O. credentials.

 

Bill is a service manager in the RV industry, is a former race car driver, and an I.D.P.A. competitor.
 

 

 

JENNIE VAN TUYL

 

Jennie started into the F.A.S. handgun curriculum in 2005, rapidly completing it and moving on to our shotgun classes. For two years she has been assisting and this year earned our handgun instructor certification and serves as coordinator for our A Girl and A Gun chapter. She is also an NRA certified pistol instructor and has trained with  Jim Cirillo, Ken Hackathorn, Massad Ayoob and Chuck Taylor.

 

Jennie is an active I.D.P.A. and IPSC/USPSA competitor, and is a certified IDPA S.O. She is very active in her local gun club at club matches, classes and other events.

 

Even at work, Jennie is involved in the world of the armed citizen and guns, as she owns a gun shop in Kent, WA and does a variety of membership services for the Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network, Inc.

 

 

JAY VOSBURGH

 

Jay took his first Firearms Academy class in 1995 and has since completed all of the handgun, shotgun and handgun retention classes, as well as some of the rifle training. He started assisting as an instructor in 1999 going on to earn certification to teach in our handgun curriculum as well as credentials as a handgun retention instructor.

He has studied with Marc MacYoung, Clint Smith, Ken Hackathorn, John Farnam, Chuck Taylor, Clyde Caceres, as well as graduating from the Washington State Reserve Academy, and more than five years studying Arnis, a Filipino martial art.

 

Jay works as a software engineer. He is a former reserve police officer.
 




DIANE WALLS

 

Diane attended her first class at Firearms Academy in March of 2003. Since then she has completed all of our  handgun and shotgun classes, handgun retention training and some of the rifle program. She is a graduate of Massad Ayoob's LFI I, II and III and carbine classes, as well as Judicious Use of Deadly Force instructor class. She has trained with Ken Hackathorn, Jim Cirillo, Chuck Taylor, Marc MacYoung, Gabe Suarez, Clint Smith, Tony Blauer, Rory Miller, and ITI/WSI's women's handgun/driving program.

 

Diane is a freelance writer, focusing on handgun evaluation and training articles in the gun media. She taught Tae Kwon-Do for 13 years, is a 4th Dan Black Belt, Kaju Kenbo purpose sash and has taught hand-to-hand programs for womens' programs at F.A.S.

 

She has been married for 37 years and has a married son who lives in MA.

 

 

TOM WALLS

 

Tom's interest in guns began at an early age, when as a six-year old he received his first gun. He began his training at F.A.S. in March of 2003, going on to complete our entire handgun and shotgun curriculum, most of the rifle training and our handgun retention classes. He teaches in our handgun, rifle and handgun retention programs.

 

Tom is a 4th Dan Black Belt in Tae Kwon-Do, and taught that martial art for 13 years, and still giving the occasional seminar. He is also an advanced student in Judo, Kajukenbo and Hwrang Do, having studied with Wally Jay and Master Kim  Hong Sik. He has also received training from Marc MacYoung, Rory Miller, Massad Ayoob, Clint Smith, Ken Hackathorn, Chuck Taylor, and Jim Cirillo.

 

An active reserve police officer/training officer, Tom works as a clinical pharmacist. In his private time he loves to read history and ride his Harley. He has been married for 37 years and notes that while dating, he and his wife would go shooting together.

 

CLAY WHITEHEAD

 

Clay attended his first F.A.S. class in the spring of 1992 and has since completed all our handgun program, as well as classes in rifle, shotgun and handgun retention as well as a number of our special interest seminars. He has also graduated from Massad Ayoob's LFI-I, CQB, and urban carbine classes, John Farnam's carbine training, as well as programs with Jeff Cooper and Jim Cirillo.

 

Clay teaches our handgun classes, with a special focus on the introductory-to-intermediate level programs. He is a private pilot and is married.

Classes Starting On

Sat Sep 20, 2014
Advanced Defensive Shotgun
Sat Sep 27, 2014
Defensive Handgun
Sun Sep 28, 2014
A Girl and A Gun Target Time
Sat Oct 04, 2014
Handgun Safety Seminar
Sat Oct 04, 2014
Tactical Rifle
Sun Oct 05, 2014
Concealed Carry 101
Fri Oct 10, 2014
A Girl and A Gun—Girls Night Out
Sat Oct 11, 2014
IDPA Match
Sat Oct 18, 2014
Advanced Defensive Handgun
Sat Oct 18, 2014
Tactical Handgun

Selected Classes




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