My name is Nik Farooqui and I am the CEO and Director of Training Operations for S2 Strategic Defense, and also own a martial arts academy in the Chicago, IL suburbs. I have been involved with the martial arts and training since I was a youngster, and in my early 20's I had a life changing experience! I met a world famous instructor who took me under his wing to teach me the realities of combat, and when I say reality...this instructor was one of the only instructors globally who was working hand in hand with military special operations groups and developing programs/curriculum for them.
As a student under this instructor I quickly realized that almost everything that the typical martial arts taught me was great for a sport or competition setting, but left me clueless if I had to truly fight for my life, or the life of a loved one. As our relationship grew I was blessed with the opportunity to represent him as a trusted instructor in several arenas that included martial arts academies, law enforcement agencies and even for military special operations personnel. This honor was beyond anything I imagined (especially at the age of 22), and it became the platform for the rest of my career.
Since then I have delved deeper into the realities of violent encounters and have developed training platforms in the civilian, corporate, law enforcement, and security sectors. My work has taken me to over 16 states, 4 countries, over 100 law enforcement agencies, 200+ seminars, and owning multiple academies in the Chicagoland area. All of these amazing experiences have led to over a dozen magazine features, interviews, consulting opportunities, public speaking and reaching thousands of eager-to-learn people around the globe.
With a heavy demand on my time as I travel the globe, I found myself being constantly contacted by people who want to learn from my experience and my mistakes but unable to always provide for them. In mid 2015 I began to plan an online academy that had many of the popular courses that anyone in the globe can have access to. I didn't want to teach martial arts, but wanted to help provide a solution to specific problems, and the only way to do that was to have a direct, no BS approach in teaching.
During the planning stage, I researched many of the other programs on the market and was disappointed by the fact that world-class instructors were producing content that entertained an audience, but never educated them. The articles, books, and videos that were circulating were a compilation of high speed tactics and unrealistic scenarios with ZERO emphasis on actually teaching their client on how to develop a skill set. For me, that alone was reason enough to step up and develop a training platform that the end user could utilize for a real world education. I wanted my clients to feel like they are on the mats with me, and have the resources to actually learn.
The S2 Online Academy is the product of 30 years in training, 20 years of teaching, and thousands of hours testing everything from technique to tactic, teaching styles, training progressions, curriculum changes, and life experience. As we move forward, the S2 Online Academy will be the host of dozens of online training courses filled with real world experience.
IN THE CIVILIAN AND CORPORATE SECTOR:
The civilian and corporate sector is most diverse setting in clientele. We have developed training platforms on topics ranging from Anti-Bullying and Campus Safety for academic institutions, to Workplace Safety and Active Shooter Response Programs for Fortune 500 companies, Women's Self Defense Programs (Fighting Chance) for over a dozen domestic violence shelters. Each of these has a very unique need and we spend hundreds of hours researching their needs before providing a training platform.
IN THE LAW ENFORCEMENT and SECURITY SECTOR:
With over 100 agencies served across the globe, the law enforcement and security sector is one of the most challenging arenas in today's society. There are many hurdles to jump over, and policy places a very heavy limitation on what active agents can or cannot do in the line of duty. Our focuses with these clients have ranged from Arrest and Control Methods to Defensive Firearms to Edged Weapons Disarms and Baton/ASP tactics. The lifestyle in law enforcement and security is completely different than any other career because the potential for life threatening violence is always present and only a moment away. Our programs have helped in providing officers/agents added skill sets which may help save their lives or the lives of the community they serve.
INSTRUCTOR IN MARTIAL ARTS vs INSTRUCTOR IN SELF DEFENSE
There is no question that my entire life has been impacted by martial arts. The values and lessons I have learned thru the arts apply to every single aspect of my life on or off the mats. When I teach martial arts, it is my goal to preserve the art and teach my students the same valuable lessons and skills I have learned. When I teach self defense or firearms or a specialty subject, I don't teach a martial art; I teach real world solutions to real world problems. Certainly there is a cross-over of some information, and martial arts training provided me a platform to experiment with a variety of tactics, but the client is asking me to give them an "answer" to their "question."
Whether I am teaching martial arts or something specific, one of the key ingredients for me is always to provide value by giving my client a progression in their training. Never will you find me giving high speed tactics or only the "fun" material that may be great on video but skips right over the skill development aspect. My goal is to break down information in small consumable portions and educate the end user.