Our Instructors

Program Directors


headshotLEOSteve Sheridan .  – Fortress Fighting Systems Program Director, Law Enforcement Training Program Director, School Owner– Steve is a retired state of Florida law enforcement officer after over 14 years of service. He has over 25 years of teaching experience, 13 as a lead instructor for his former agency, and over 10 years as an instructor for Florida’s State Police Academy. He has supervised and trained the state’s Special Operations Group (SOG), an integral part of Florida’s Homeland Security initiative.  He continues his law enforcement career as a Leon County Deputy (part-time), maintaining his state certifications as a Defensive Tactics and Firearms instructor. In 2010 he was inducted into the Police Hall of Fame for Lifesaving.  He has been teaching self-defense for over 30 years, developing programs for students, families, agencies, and corporations nationwide. He is currently the state’s BOW Personal Safety Instructor (Becoming an Outdoor Woman Program). He is the founder of the Fortress Fighting System ® and holds Black Belts in Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido and Fortress Fighting.  Steve has a B.S. degree in Sociology with a minor in Criminology from FSU (1994), and he holds a Masters in Adult Education from University of Phoenix (2010).   He is also the founder and president of the Leadership and Training Research Institute here in Tallahassee, Florida and the Training Director for De-Escalate, a company specializing in teaching verbal de-escalation skills to law enforcement.



Vergy Sheridan – Women’s Program Director, School Owner-  Instructor Fortress Fighting Systems, Instructor Specialty Law Enforcement Classes (Sudden Assault Survival for Women in Law Enforcement), Women’s only self-defense classes.  Vergy is a former Florida State Trooper (class 91). Vergy is currently an instructor for the federally funded Becoming an Outdoor Woman Program (BOW).




B.J. Fletcher- Wrestling Program Director– BJ is a championship wrestler with involvement as a professional MMA fighter and 15 years coaching experience.  He is a bronze medal certified coach with USA wrestling. He also served as an executive director for one of USAWrestling’s Beat the Streets USA expansion programs.
 BJ was a master trainer for Crisis Assessment and Prevention Systems, where he taught trainers how to teach de-escalation technics. B.J. Fletcher, works as a Bail Bondsman at Aloi & Fletcher Bail Bonds, where he has been a part of their fugitive recovery team since 2011. He holds a B.S. in Human Performance & Sports Science (03), a M.S. in Special Education (06), M.S. from FSU’s Sport Management program.


Alan Swirsky – Kenpo Karate Program Director – 4th Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate, Assistant Instructor Specialty Law Enforcement Classes (Sudden Assault Survival for Women and smaller officers in Law Enforcement). Alan is currently an instructor for the federally funded Becoming an Outdoor Woman Program (BOW) and a Professor at Tallahassee Community College.




Kaitlyn Sisk –  Kids Program Director – 3rd Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate, Women’s Only Instructor. Kaitlyn is pursuing her degree in Special Education for Special Needs Adults and Children.




Sifu/Guro Victor Ferreros

The Tallahassee Kali – JKD Group / Combat Arnis de Mano – Sifu Ferreros has been teaching martial arts since 1983. Sifu/Guro Ferreros was a 5th Level Associate Instructor (Sifu) in Jeet Kune Do / Jun Fan Gung Fu and a 5th Level Guro in the Inosanto/Lacoste style of Filipino Martial Arts certified by the Inosanto International Martial Arts Instructors Association headed by the Legendary Dan Inosanto in Los Angeles, California. He also holds a Black Belt (or higher) ranking in other Filipino styles such as Sayoc Family Kali, Doce Pares Eskrima, and Arnis Jiu-Jitsu. He has also trained extensively in the Philippines in other FMA systems such as Lapunti Arnis de Abaniko, Nickelstick Balintiwak Eskrima, and Kali Ilustrisimo. His background also includes study in various traditional martial arts of Korean, Japanese, and Chinese Lineage including Tae Kwon Do, Moo Duk Kwon, Shito Ryu Karate, Judo, Aikido, Northern Shaolin, Hsing-I, Wing Chun, and various styles of Tai Chi. He was a boxing coach and fenced with the Treasure Coast Fencing Club. Assisting him will be his students, Guro John Sliger, Guro Hank Hawkins, and Guro Bo Jackson who have a combined 20+ years of experience under Sifu/Guro Ferreros.


Brandon Brann Kenpo Karate – 
Brandon is a 3rd degree black belt in kenpo and an instructor in Fortress Fighting (both our civilian program and law enforcement program) with over 15 years of martial arts experience. He has studied kobudo, sambo, white crane, and judo. Brandon also holds a brown belt in okinawan jujitsu. He toured with the Marine Corps judo and karate team out of Quantico, VA for a year.  Brandon is a former city Police Officer, Field Training Officer, and state of Florida certified Defensive Tactics Instructor.  Brandon is also a Special Agent with FDLE

DSC_0005Elizabeth Elmore – 2nd Degree American Karate, Assistant Instructor FOrtress Fighting, Instructor Specialty Law Enforcement Classes (Sudden Assault Survival for Women in Law Enforcement), Women’s only self-defense classes.  Elizabeth has been studying martial arts for over 18 years.  Her accomplishments in the Martial Arts are too many to list with world rankings in Karate.  http://www.elizabethsipes.com/





Brandon Alkire – Capoeira – 



Donald Trussell – Judo   Coach Don passed away on March 12, 2016…..
Coach Don held a 7th Degree in Judo and 4th Degree in Yoshikai Karate. Competed at state & National Level in Judo, Coaching Judo/Karate since 1968. Part of Development Team for the Sunshine State Games 1980 coordinator for the games 1983-90, Charter Member of Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports, Member of Tallahassee Sports Festival Team, Trained 3 Members of the USA Olympic Judo Team. USA Judo International Coach, Completed Level III Coaching Certification with Dr. Chris Dewey, Fitness Test Technician Certification from Cooper Institute in Dallas, TX.Coaching Certificate from Florida State University and a B.S. Degree from Florida State University.  Coach Trussell was also a Reserve Police officer with the state of Florida.   US Olympic Judo Team Competitors Coached  –  Jill Stokesberry (alternate,)  Brian Olson, Ato Hand
Coach Donald Trussell passed away on March 14, 2016 after more than 50 years of bringing Judo and the Martial Arts to Tallahassee.