Chris Galas

I am originally from Massachusetts and relocated to South Florida in 2007. I currently work in Marketing and live with my wife and step daughter in Coral Springs.

I became interested in fitness in my mid-twenties and since then I have always been physically active. I started getting tired of the same old gym routine and wanted a new challenge. I did a search for self defense schools and I found Progressive Self Defense Systems. Since I had no prior self defense experience, walking through the door that first night was intimidating but after meeting John and Leigh I decided I would give it a shot. Since then, the school has become my second home. I have been with the school for about five years and it has been an amazing experience. I consider John and Leigh to be great instructors and the school has all the equipment and tools needed to learn and succeed.

John and Leigh have put forth a lot of time and effort into creating a good learning environment where both men and women at different skill levels can feel comfortable training in. I am proud to be part of this school and I look forward to many more years of training hard and studying under John and Leigh.

Training & Certifications

  • PSDS Assistant Instructor / Belt Red – December 2017
  • PSDS Jeet Kune Do Student – Level 1
  • Simunition Safety Officer
  • Trainer Instructor, Sabre Law Enforcement Aerosol Projectors
  • Stop the Bleed / Bleeding Control Basic 1.0 – Rescue Operations International
  • CPR / AED – First Aid Certified under American Heart Association

Fernando Cardenas

Born in San Diego, CA and moved to Fort Lauderdale, FL in 2001. Enlisted as an Infantry Rifleman in the United States Marine Corps in 2008. Deployed to Marjah, Afghanistan in February 2010, and served as a rifleman and IED Dog Handler. 2nd Deployment to Marjah, Afghanistan in June 2011, and served as an Infantry Team Leader. Graduated from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) with a double major in International Business and Trade, and Finance. Currently, works as a financial advisor with his wealth management team at Merrill Lynch in Delray Beach, Florida.

While in the Marine Corps, he became interested in close quarter combative in both room clearing and hand to hand combat. When he got out of the Marine Corps in 2012, it was already decided that he would to continue in at least one form of martial arts training. His first choice was Krav Maga, since it is quick, aggressive and to the point, which is how he met John Riddle. While training at PSDS he began training in Jeet Kune Do as well, which became part of his regular training. Martial Arts is a lifestyle and a part of who he is now.

Training & Certifications

  • PSDS Assistant Instructor / Belt Red – December 2017
  • Marine Corps:
    • School of Infantry East
    • Combat Lifesaver Course
    • IED Dog Handler Course
    • Basic Trauma Course
    • Team Small Unit Leaders Course
    • Green Belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.
  • PSDS Jeet Kune Do 2012-present
  • PSDS Krav Maga 2012-present
  • Action Strength – Level 1 JKDAA Instructor
  • NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructor
  • PSDS Expandable Baton and OC Spray Basic Level Instructor
  • Simunition Certified Safety Officer 2018
  • Trainer Instructor, Sabre Law Enforcement Aerosol Projectors
  • Stop the Bleed / Bleeding Control Basic 1.0 – Rescue Operations International
  • CPR / AED – First Aid Certified under American Heart Association

Amos Eyal

Originally from Israel, lived in a few other countries, and finally relocated with the family to South Florida in 2002. Graduated a flight academy with a Bachelor’s degree in Aviation Management and Aeronautical Science in 2007, and earned an MBA in International business from Lynn University in 2009. Currently working in the real estate redevelopment industry.

Having lived a number of years in Israel, I had been brought up understanding the importance of awareness and the need to have contingency plans and means for self defense. However, not until making a temporary return to Israel between late 2013 and mid 2014, had it occurred to me that I don’t really possess many of the skills that I would need in order to protect myself and my loved ones should an unfortunate situation present itself. And so, after researching option in my area, I decided to join Progressive Self Defense Systems. I was intimidated by the environment at first, mostly because I had never done anything of the sort before. However, I came in with a goal and I knew that I had to follow through with it.

In addition to studying and training in Krav Maga and Combatives under John, I also take strength and fitness training classes with Leigh. The combination of the two has made me feel much more confident and stronger, both physically and mentally. I enjoy every moment I spend training with John, Leigh, and the rest of the team—PSDS has become my second family.

Training & Certifications

  • PSDS Assistant Instructor / Belt Red – November 2017
  • Stop the Bleed / Bleeding Control Basic 1.0 – Rescue Operations International
  • CPR / AED – First Aid Certified under American Heart Association

Joe McIver

Originally from Virginia Beach, VA.  My wife Holly and I relocated to Boca Raton from Pennsylvania in 2013. I have a Master’s Degree in Strategic Leadership and currently work in telecommunications as a business strategist.

I’ve always been interested in martial arts, but didn’t get the opportunity to study until my first year of college. After the first class, I found that it was a sport and discipline that I truly enjoyed. My studies throughout college, working diligently to earn both my Bachelor’s  Degree and my Black Belt. After college, life happened, priorities changed, and my martial arts studies ground to a halt. I studied a few styles intermittently in the 20 or so years since (more off than on). Until, my wife gave me some classes at a different Krav Maga school when we moved to Florida.  The spark was reignited.

I got introduced to Progressive Self Systems in late 2015, by taking a group Force on Force Simunition class. I was impressed with the instruction, team, facility, and the broad spectrum of offerings. A few weeks later I joined PSDS as a Krav Maga student. In the time since, I’ve dedicated myself to the study of combatives (armed and unarmed) with John and to upping my fitness and strength levels with Leigh (it seemed much easier in my 20’s!).

John and Leigh have created a great family at PSDS where you can learn, grow, and meet your goals. I’m proud to be part of the team and I truly enjoy supporting and helping others. I’m honored to help people in our community learn these important skills to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Training & Certifications

  • Combat Krav Maga – Assistant Instructor – 2017
  • Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan – Black Belt
  • Karazenpo Go Shinjutsu – Purple Belt
  • AED / CPR Certified – 2017
  • Stop the Bleed / First Aid & Gun Shot Wound Care – 2017
  • NRA Certified Range Safety Officer
  • NRA Certified Instructor: Pistol, Rifle & Shotgun
  • Simunition Certified Safety Officer – 2018

Joseph Castellano

Born and raised in New York, Joseph (Joe) relocated to South Florida in 1983.

Joe is currently a security specialist and private investigator. He is the owner / operator of Protection and Investigative Solutions of Broward. Joe is also a security trainer for American Security Consultants.

With Over 30 years as a Martial Artist, and a practitioner of Krav Maga since 1983, Joe has achieved numerous high ranking goals:

– Black Belt, Taekwondo

– Black Belt, Kempo

Training & Certifications

  • Assistant Instructor, Combat Krav Maga under Grand Master John Riddle of Progressive Self Defense Systems
  • Combatives Training, under Kelly McCann of Kembativz Brand
  • Handgun Initiative Level 1, under Tony Sentmanat of Real World Tactical
  • Military / Law Enforcement Edged Weapon, under Hank Hayes of NLB
  • NRA Law Enforcement Handgun Instructor, under East Coast Firearms Training
  • Pistol Course, under Frank Garcia of Universal Shooting Academy
  • Simunition Certified Safety Officer – 2018
  • Simunition: Force on Force / Room Clearing & Combat, under John Riddle of Progressive Self Defense Systems
  • Stop the Bleed, under Rob Soto of Rescue Operations International