Mark G. Childers

Defend 13®

Mark G. Childers is the Managing Principal for Defend 13®, LLC., which provides protective operations consulting and training to law enforcement agencies and private corporations. Mark is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement. He currently holds the position of Associate Vice President for the Department of Public Safety at Baylor University. Mark has direct executive leadership and management responsibilities for all law enforcement and crisis management groups at Baylor.

In 2014, he retired as a Supervisory Special Agent after serving 18 years in the United States Secret Service. Prior to joining the U.S. Secret Service, Mark held the position of Deputy United States Marshal for eight years serving in the Miami, Dallas, and Houston Field Offices. His extensive law enforcement experience includes conducting and leading fugitive investigations, white-collar crime investigations, protective intelligence investigations, and tactical and protective operations for the President of the United States. Mark earned his Master of Criminal Justice degree from Boston University.

Steven Poplawski

STEP Training, Inc.

STEP Training, Inc. Steven Poplawski

Having worked in the law enforcement field for over two decades, I found a personal passion for training and education. I have always resisted the notion of "awareness training," looking to create skill-based learning programs that lead to high level performance and professional knowledge. The foundation of my professional work is based on the promotion of practice and dedication to excellence.

"The true purpose of a trainer is not to train, but rather, to instill a need in students to self-develop and commit to learning."

Starting in martial arts and working in the private security industry as manager and trainer, I moved into law enforcement, working as a Police Officer in Ontario, Canada. Although I worked in many departments within the police service, I found my true passion when I became a certified Use of Force Instructor. Throughout my years in this role, I always looked to advance my personal skills, and I took every available opportunity to stay current with present-day employees, auxiliary officers, police cadets, and civilians.

In response to a need for on-going professional training outside my specific police service, STEP Training, Inc. was developed. Dedicated to providing training and education to both law enforcement agencies and private industry, programs were designed and highly motivated trainers brought in. This idea has grown and now includes many international partnerships with law enforcement agencies around the world.

Throughout the years, I've been actively involved in public speaking, teaching at the university level, publishing in journals and presenting skill-based learning practices. STEP Training, Inc. has been working with the Ontario Government, conducting applied research into police best practices and Use of Force decision-making.

Kyle Pate

Rogue Jiu-Jistu Studio Kyle Pate

Kyle began training Jiu-Jitsu in 2007 and quickly fell in love. He has trained under many high-level Jiu-Jitsu practitioners during his journey and earned his Black Belt in 2016 under Professor Alan Shebaro. He has competed in several submission grappling tournaments but found his true passion in teaching. Kyle’s passion for teaching the art is undeniable and he takes a great deal of personal interest in, and responsibility for the well-being and evolution of all his students, both on and off the mats. Kyle is always excited to learn and pass on knowledge to the next generation of marital artists as he continues with his own progression.