Meet the Crew

CSA Instructors

Our instructors have extensive and diverse backgrounds in teaching people how to protect and defend themselves. Drawing from years of training experience in civilian personal defense, law enforcement, military, competition shooting, and the private security industry, our instructors’ qualifications far exceed state requirements. We offer practical, accessible instruction based on proven techniques, tactics, and procedures. We are all passionate about helping students become more competent and confident with the defensive skills necessary to remain safe in today’s society.

Aqil Qadir

Aqil is the founder and lead instructor of CSA. His background as a firearms instructor started at age 12, teaching urban youth in his father’s gun club. He followed in his dad’s footsteps, becoming an NRA Certified Instructor at the age of 22. He has been training civilians for over 25 years and training law enforcement for over 20. His passion is teaching civilians how keep themselves and their families safe.

  • Rangemaster Pistol and Shotgun Instructor Certification
  • Yavapai Firearms Academy Instructor Certification
  • Defense Training International Pistol Instructor Certification
  • NRA Training Counselor
  • NRA Law Enforcement Pistol/Shotgun/Patrol Rifle Instructor
  • NRA Refuse to Be a Victim Instructor and Regional Counselor
  • SAFTD Regional Master Instructor
  • Federal Protective Service/DHS Approved Instructor
  • New York State Police/Armed Guard Instructor
  • Tennessee State Handgun/Armed Guard Instructor
  • North Carolina Concealed Handgun Instructor
  • IALEFI Master Instructor
  • Sabre Red Civilian and LE instructor

Tiffany Johnson

Tiffany is a “late bloomer” who underwent a 180-degree-conversion in the world of firearms. She grew up subscribing to common fears and misconceptions about guns and gun owners. After college, she reluctantly enrolled in a Rangemaster handgun safety course, and she was hooked. Her interests and training have expanded from handguns to shotguns and carbines. In addition to being mentored by Tom and Lynn Givens and other Rangemaster instructors, Tiffany has also trained under Jim Higginbotham, John Farnam, Craig Douglas, Massad Ayoob, Jeff Gonzales, Marshall Luton, and several respected veterans of the self-defense community. She is member of the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation, and she has earned instructor credentials from the State of Tennessee, the State of Mississippi, the National Rifle Association, Massad Ayoob Group, and Rangemaster (Advanced Instructor Certification).

  • NRA Training Counselor
  • NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
  • NRA Certified Personal Protection Inside the Home Instructor
  • NRA Certified Personal Protection Outside the Home Instructor
  • NRA Refuse to be a Victim Instructor and Regional Counselor
  • NRA Women on Target® Clinic Instructor
  • NRA Chief Range Safety Officer
  • Tennessee Certified Handgun Instructor
  • Mississippi Certified Handgun Instructor
  • Rangemaster Instructor Certification
  • Rangemaster Advanced Instructor Certification
  • Massad Ayoob Group Certified Deadly Force Instructor

Ryan McCann

Ryan first started shooting at eleven years old for his Hunter Safety certification. As best he can recall, this was the first activity for which any adult told him he had a natural talent. He’s been chasing that feeling and honing that talent ever since. Ryan has extensive experience in combat sports that involve rolling around with other sweaty dudes on the ground and punching and kicking things until his whole body hurts. He was an armed courier in the Middle Tennessee area for most of his twenties until he got tired of people telling him he couldn’t grow his hair out or have a beard. He’s a serial trainer, a shooting sports competitor, and a pistol coach who is trying his best to avoid having a regular grown-up job. Most of Ryan’s deepest and most meaningful relationships have come from the combat sports and defense training world, so sharing that world with new students is intensely fulfilling for him. He specializes in using the bumpy things on top of the gun to reliably make holes appear where you want them to on B8 targets.

  • NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
  • Certified Tennessee Carry Permit Instructor
  • Incredibly Average Amateur Boxer
  • Steel Challenge Competitor
  • Tied for first place in the preliminary round of the 2019 Rangemaster Polite Society Pistol Match (one of only four shooters out of 135 to achieve a perfect score)

Marvin Smartt

Marvin Smartt is a combat Iraq War veteran who served in Airborne Special Operations and was awarded the Bronze Star. He retired from an extensive career as a corrections officer working with emergency response teams. Marvin has been involved in the weapons and self-defense community for over 25 years. He is trained as an armed guard and holds concealed carry permits in several states. A longtime IDPA Pistol and F-Class long range shooting competitor, Marvin founded the Spokane Personal Defense Alliance, an IDPA-affiliated shooting club in Washington State.

  • NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
  • NRA Certified Personal Protection Inside the Home Instructor
  • NRA Certified Personal Protection Outside the Home Instructor
  • Rangemaster Certified Handgun Instructor
  • Tennessee Certified Handgun Instructor
  • NRA Certified Range Safety Officer
  • IDPA Certified Range Safety Officer
  • NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor
  • NRA Certified Refuse To Be A Victim Instructor

Jam Martin

Jam Martin is an assistant firearms instructor with Citizens Safety Academy who specializes in pistol marksmanship skills. With over two decades as a government security contractor and a degree in Criminal Justice, Jam brings a plethora of knowledge that not only includes firearms and law but also personal security and situational awareness.

  • NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
  • NRA Certified Personal Protection Inside the Home Instructor
  • NRA Certified Personal Protection Outside the Home Instructor
  • Rangemaster Certified Handgun Instructor
  • Tennessee Certified Handgun Instructor
  • NRA Certified Refuse To Be A Victim Instructor
  • NRA Certified Range Safety Officer