A lot of people live in very real fear for their personal safety.
That fear disrupts their happiness and productivity in dramatic ways. For many years now, Brett Lechtenberg has been improving that reality for a lot of people.
We were delighted when Brett decided to expand the reach of his training programs by making them available online. Because he's making a real difference in the world, we're proud to name Brett Lechtenberg as our first Academy Champion.
1. How did you get started with self-defense?
Ever since I saw my first martial arts movie as a kid I wanted to learn self defense. Growing up I experienced bullying first hand on several occasions and I wanted to make it stop. I also knew that I did not want others to go through bullying as I had.
2. You talk about family safety. Can you help us understand what that includes?
Family safety is encompasses a large number of things that can negatively effect your physical, mental and emotional safety.
Things like anti-bullying, anti-cyberbullying,-home invasion, road rage incidents, fire arm safety, even proper nutrition and proper exercise etc. all fall under the category of family safety.
3. What are some of the most common threats to personal and family safety that lead people to seek the training you offer?
Most of the time people come to me from one of several sources:
- Kids are being bullied at school or in their neighborhoods/social groups. Also they see martial arts on TV and want to learn “All the cool moves”
- Women come to us who are the victims of some type of traumatic event or self defense situation or they want to do an activity with their children.
- Men typically want to learn protect their families, themselves or they want to do an activity as a family
- After 911 more people came to us because they were concerned about terrorism and other “major events” that could put them or their family at risk.
4. Can you tell us about someone you’ve worked with that’s been able to change their personal circumstances as a result of your training?
We have had several people come to us for a variety of reasons that have had major positive impacts on their lives.
I have one man who was severely overweight and on 12 separate medications for for diabetes, high blood pressure and more. At one point he actually died on his doctors table. After coming to us he has lost over 110 pounds and is off almost all of his medication. Eventually both of his daughters joined our program and they all 3 have their black belts now.
I have one woman who works in a high risk profession who has dramatically improved her fitness level, self defense skills and general confidence and she no longer dreads going to work.
5. Can you tell us about some of the recent statewide and national attention your training has received?
My first book “The anti-bully Program” became an Amazon #1 Best Seller in three categories this year.
Recently I have been featured in several Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS affiliates for our anti-bully training. I was also featured in 2 separate USA today photo essay pieces on anti-bullying. Additionally, I have contributed to a couple of CNN iReport stories.
We are about to be featured nationally for our women’s self defense program that we did for mothers day and next month it looks like we will be getting some national media exposure for a Realtor safety program we are doing.
Finally, I have done radio interviews and TV interview over the last twelve months on anti-bullying, women’s safety, travel safety and more.
6. How do you want that attention to affect the way people see self defense?
I want people to understand that self defense is not just about someone who tries to kick or punch you but also involves things like, physical fitness, confidence, anti-home invasion, road rage incidents, fire arm safety, anti-bullying, anti-cyberbullying, career specific safety like realtors, nurses, teachers and much more.
7. What are some common misperceptions people have about personal and family safety?
People tend to take one of two positions.
“It won’t happen to me” believing somehow they are different than everyone else in the world.
“I can handle it” They believe that whatever comes up they will somehow just know how to deal with the situation.
Both mindsets are absolutely false.
The reality is that although you may want to rise to your level of expectation you will actually fall to your level of training. If you are not trained for something how can you expect to be able to take care of yourself or your family.
8. You’ve recently begun offering online courses through Niche Academy, how does an online course work for something like personal safety that generally involves a lot of physical activity and interaction.
I will offer several course through Niche Academy. Some are physical but many are not. Many of my courses will be awareness and education based and will give the student the tools necessary be proactive with their personal and family safety. By simply following the training and the plans outlined in the courses, people will be able to dramatically reduce the likelihood that a safety issue will negatively affect them or their family.
The physical courses are very clear step by step video and audio explanations and give the student the opportunity to understand the self defense concepts quickly and easily.
9. What led you to want to do an online course?
I believe I have a very unique set of skills that can benefit many people. In my brick and mortar business I will only ever be able to help a relatively small number of people. With online courses I can reach many more people and families and help them be safer and more empowered in their lives.
10. How do you anticipate that your work and your training will evolve over the next few years?
I see myself finding newer and better ways to disseminate information through video and audio courses and getting my message out in an even bigger way. I believe this will also lead to training bigger and bigger groups in my brick and mortar school.
We would like to thank Brett for being a part of our Academy Champions Q&A.
While Brett was our first, we look forward to bringing you more champions in the future!