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Lightning Defense Academy

Don’t Be a Victim

OUR MISSION

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Equip people to protect themselves and others

BY PROVIDING

High Quality Training

We teach tested and proven methods for concealed carry, firearm fundamentals, and home defense. When your life is on the line, you'll have training you can rely on.

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Affordable Supplies

We strive to provide the best products at the best prices. Our goal is to equip as many people as possible with quality supplies they can depend on at the best prices possible.

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Community Support

Meet students and instructors that are willing to help you in your self-defense journey. Our classes encourage questions and learning no matter your current experience level.

HOW WE MEET OUR MISSION

We’re here to make our community a safer place. We do this by offering high quality training from certified instructors while remaining affordable and beginner friendly. Once trained, we help our students get the essential supplies they need for self-defense. This can include holsters, ammo, gun cleaning kits, emergency first-aid kits, pepper spray, and at-home training systems. We offer the best classes and products at the best prices to help you protect what matters most.

 

Whether you're a first time gun owner, never shot a firearm before, or have a lifetime of experience, you'll enjoy our classes and get value by attending. We’ve already trained hundreds of students with over 200 five-star reviews. Book your class today!

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Meet Your Instructors

John Hernandez

OWNER / INSTRUCTOR

Hello, I’m John. I originally grew up with my parents in communist Cuba. I later moved to the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago quickly becoming interested in martial arts around the age of 10. Falling in love with self-defense as a young man, I achieved the rank of black belt and competed in the United States Karate Association ranking top 10 for three consecutive years. Later in life I moved to South Florida to pursue my passion for martial arts and open multiple karate schools to train students competing nationally.

During adulthood, I gained a passion for firearms. After taking classes and undergoing training, I decided it was time to become a USCCA Certified Instructor so I could teach students about firearms and self-defense. I quickly outgrew the classroom in my home and in June of 2022, we opened our storefront in Crystal Lake, IL. 

Certified
USCCA
Instructor

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Concealed
Carry
Instructor

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Emergency
First Aid
Fundamentals

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Women's
Handgun
Fundamentals

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Range
Safety
Officer

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Countering
The Mass
Shooter

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Concealed
Carry
Counselor

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Ian Hernandez

INSTRUCTOR

Hey, I’m Ian, the other half of Lightning Defense Academy. I’m the 3rd oldest of 6 children. I was born in Miami Florida in 1998 and grew up in district 158 very active in karate, wrestling, and football. My three main interests are cars, motorcycles, and guns but not necessarily in that order. 

I’m a USCCA Certified Instructor and Range Safety Officer. While I may not teach as much in the classroom, I’m sure to never miss a range qualification! I enjoy teaching students and helping new shooters along their firearms journey. You’ll find me managing the retail side of Lightning Defense Academy on the day-to-day. Stop by our store and say hi!

Certified
USCCA
Instructor

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Concealed
Carry
Instructor

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Range
Safety
Officer

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Mili Hadzic

INSTRUCTOR

U.S. Navy Veteran/Maritime Security Specialist

With over 16 years of experience in Global Security and Crisis Management, Mili has extensive experience operating in hostile environments around the globe with a specialization in maritime security/anti-piracy operations.

Certified
USCCA
Instructor

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Concealed
Carry
Instructor

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Emergency
First Aid
Fundamentals

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Women's
Handgun
Fundamentals

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Range
Safety
Officer

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Countering
The Mass
Shooter

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Erin Rae

INSTRUCTOR

With a Bachelor of Arts in Education, Masters in Public Administration, Masters in Literacy, and a doctorate in Curriculum Leadership, Erin has been a lifelong career teacher and school leader for 25 years. When given the chance to teach one of her favorite hobbies and passions, Erin began a firearms training and safety business out of her home and rental spaces, specializing in providing confidence and competence to female students. She is excited to join the LDA team! Erin teaches firearms safety, basic handgun/pistol, CCW/CCL, situational awareness, and many female only courses.

 

“I look forward to the opportunity to share all that I have learned and experienced with couples, families and other ladies, in a family and female friendly environment. I enjoy the process of helping women overcome potential firearm related fears, to watch them gain confidence in their daily lives, and to be as safe as possible with children in the home.”

Certified
USCCA
Instructor

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Concealed
Carry
Instructor

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Women's
Handgun
Fundamentals

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Countering
The Mass
Shooter

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Children's Firearm Safety

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Fred Eiselstein

INSTRUCTOR

Fred Eiselstein recently retired from Law Enforcement Officer after over 20 years in the field. Fred is now a certified instructor through the USCCA teaching courses using curriculum that is recognized nationally and by the Illinois State. Fred brings a lifetime of experience to every class he teaches and has a passion for helping his students become safer armed citizens. 

Certified
USCCA
Instructor

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Concealed
Carry
Instructor

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Emergency
First Aid
Fundamentals

First Aid Badge.png

Countering
The Mass
Shooter

Mass Shooter Badge.png
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Our Story

Growing up, John had a love for martial arts and self-defense. While living in Florida, he developed a love for firearms to accompany his martial arts background. In recent years, John and his son Ian have gone on to become certified USCCA Instructors to teach others about the importance of self-defense and how to be prepared for a life threatening situation.

Lightning Defense Academy was born in the basement of a humble Woodstock home. Since then we’ve grown from holding classes for friends and family to a storefront classroom with a fully stocked store, We take pride in the fact that we make our neighborhood and town a safer place. We’ve expanded our class offering to now include Concealed Carry, Home Defense, Emergency First-aid, Countering the Mass Shooter Threat, and more. We’re here to empower our students with the knowledge and experience it takes to protect themselves, their families, their businesses, their churches, and their community.

OUR GOAL IS TO

Train Students That Never Become Victims

We don't get to choose the time or place we encounter a life-threatening situation. They are completely unexpected which is why we need to be prepared ahead of time. By teaching concealed carry, self-defense, and emergency first-aid, we equip students to legally protect themselves at home, at work, at church, and while on the go. Our goal is to make our community a safer place and train as many people as possible with life saving techniques and experience.

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PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS

Become a part of Lightning Defense Academy

Gain reliable training you can rely on when you need it the most. Get started on your way to being better prepared to assess, avoid, and defend yourself in dangerous situations. Whether you're looking for concealed carry, home defense, first-aid, or private lessons, you can get started with classes today. 

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