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Sep 16, 2021 by Joanne V. Morton

Shawn was very accommodating and willing to travel to the south shore to teach my daughters and I a self defense class. His communication was extraordinary setting up the class through email. His attention to detail was shown right away giving us the ability to preview an outline of the class and our requests prior to holding our class. Shawn has a great gift. Taking some scary skills and breaking them down to small steps as well as keeping a lightness to the instruction. His experience as well as personable nature set an atmosphere of comfort for something so vital and so important to learn for a life skill.

Secuirty Manager

Sep 10, 2019 by Brad Sargent

September 6th, 2019
LRH Security Team:

Thank you all for attending the CopKido training session last night. I assure that I spent some considerable time vetting our instructor, Shawn Marando, I needed to ensure that his defensive tactics techniques and delivery of the said techniques were, in fact, exactly what I was looking for in this discipline. I cannot think of a more professional instructor or manner of effective and efficient delivery for hands on control of the “bad guy” without using brute strength, strikes, kicks, or punches. Shaw’s techniques are field proven, unique, and effective. The defensive techniques will reduce injury to yourself or others and decrease our liability exposure. I can attest this as; a student, participant, and administrator. Ultimately, the reason that will only use Shawn and Copkido for our defensive training is TRUST. I mean trust in every sense of the word, (I don’t use that word lightly) that he has the proven skills, expertise, humility and proper instructor acumen.

Lt. Bradford F. Sargent (Ret. Hanover NH Police)
Security Manager, Littleton Regional Healthcare

Copkido: The Solution to Excessive force , USA 5.0 5.0 2 2 Shawn was very accommodating and willing to travel to the south shore to teach my daughters and I a self defense class. His communication was extraordinary setting up the class th

Recently, the Oxford Fire Department hosted an EMS Defensive Tactics course taught by Shawn Marando, self-defense expert and inventor of Copkido. Over the years we have struggled with how to best provide real, safe, and meaningful ways to help EMTs protect themselves when patients and scenes become violent. Shawn and this course were absolutely amazing. Shawn and his instructors provided professional, hands-on, and practical advice on how to handle violent patients while keeping oneself, the crew and the patient as safe as possible. I highly recommend this class to anyone in the EMS service.

—Captain Roger Lambert, Paramedic/FF

Working at one of busiest community hospital emergency departments in the country puts our security team in the middle of some extremely dangerous and dynamic situations. With that said, our officers have always been certified in a number of verbal de-escalation, self- defense and restraint programs. Still, like most hospitals, our volumes of violent incidents are continuing to rise. So I began looking for a training program that could bring us to the next level, while also mitigating the risks involved with patient interventions. Copkido was the answer, and Shawn and his team really delivered! They provided our officers with outstanding instruction and individualized attention. Copkido teaches situational awareness and techniques designed to end attack encounters with the least amount of force necessary. It is a fantastic alternative to some of those strike-based defensive tactics systems that are out there. The skills learned will allow our officers to take conclusive control of assaultive and self-injurious behaviors in a manner that keeps patient safety as the priority. And we’ve never had so much fun during training!!! Thanks to Shawn and his Copkido team, I feel our officers and the patients we assist are safer than ever!

—Brendan Riley

Manager of Security at Lowell General Hospital

Copkido was a truly amazing class! The program was outstanding. The energy and enthusiasm that the instructors had was unmatched by any other program that I have taken in my 30 year career in EMS. As a past police officer and currently a Registered Nurse and Paramedic I have personally taken and also instructed many of the other current programs out there for aggressive behavior. Copkido is far better than all of them for RN’s and First Responders because it stresses basic techniques that are extremely effective and only uses the smallest amount of force needed to protect the patient and provider from harm. The situational awareness piece was great and second to none because it is being taught by personnel with a tremendous amount or street experience. I will be adding Copkido for First Responders to all of my EMT training programs in the future.

—Peter Laitinen, RN, BSN, CEN


Shawn es un experto en artes maciales que ha creado su propio sistema llamado Copkido, que como filosofia, se fundamenta en la no agresion, este sitema, nos sirve a los policias para tomar el control de situaciones sin lesionar a las personas, lo recomiendo porque ademas de ser altamente efectivo, no se necesita conocer previamente algun tipo de defensa personal y sirve para todas las edades

—Alexis Bethancourt

Vice Ministro de Seguridad, Panama

I have had the pleasure of getting to know Shawn over the past few years and hear of Copkido. Shawn recently held an introductory Copkido class for our Special Officers at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. The training that Shawn and his instructors provided was top notch! Our officers were actively engaged in the training from the beginning to the end! The skills and techniques practiced in the class are invaluable in our environment as they will help keep our officers, patients, and hospital staff safe! At the end of the day, we learned outstanding techniques and brought our corps of Special Officers closer together. We are looking forward to having additional Copkido classes in the near future!! I would recommend Shawn and Progressive Defense Systems to any department in similar environments!

—Craig De Old

Security Account Manager (Former) - Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Securitas

I recently took Shawn’s Copkido course and was quite impressed with the combination of his extrodinary skill set; professionalism, superior knowledge and superlative work in teaching the skills needed to a variety of professionals. The attendees had extensive self defense background themselves and all felt their time and money was well spent. Shawn and his team demonstrated a high degree of expertise and the material covered was clear and immediately actionable. His style is open and inviting to questions. Shawn is extremely enthusiastic about his work, which is infectious! I would certainly recommend this training.

—Rebecca Coburn

Security Manager at Massachusetts General Hospital

This past weekend I had the opportunity to be a student in Shawn’s Copkido program. Shawn and his instructors provided superb information and demonstrated simple techniques we may need to use to protect patients and ourselves from harm. This is the best class I have taken in my career both as an EMT and as an RN. This class should be mandatory for all first responders. Keep up the good work.

—M. Thomas (Tom) Quail, MS Ed, RN, LNC, NREMT-A

Registered Nurse at Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Through the Upper Merrimack Valley Medical Reserve Corps, I had the opportunity to attend a Copkido class recently with Shawn Marando and JJ DiBlasi. I was very nervous attending the class because I never had any training in self defense. Shawn and JJ’s personalities relaxed me almost immediately. They made me feel like a friend and an equal, helping me put aside my feelings of inferiority. This allowed me to relax and really enjoy the class. As a Dental Hygienist, I have wondered how I would handle a situation if a patient got violent. Copkido has given me skills to react in a non-violent way to de-escalate a situation should it arise. It has also given me some skills in non-violent self defense. I left the class feeling so empowered and I have more confidence at work knowing these skills. I recommend Copkido to every medical professional and any person training to be a medical professional. I wish I had this training in college. I look forward to working with Shawn and JJ again in the future.

—LauraLee Estabrook, RDH, BS

Registered Dental Hygienist

Posee una gran experiencia y sabe transmitirla a sus alumnos con ejemplos prácticos de gran utilidad. Su método de trabajo ha permitido que nuestro personal realice una labor muy eficiente en el control de personas agresivas sin causarles daño físico y evitando de este modo costosas reclamaciones.

—Jorge Montiel

Director de Juego en Royal Casino at the Marriott

During the month of May 2013 Shawn Marando conducted two 1 day self defense training courses for my security personnel in our 2 Casinos in Panama.  My staff and I were pleased to see how the techniques used Shawn fits perfectly into a Casino environment and also how the techniques are taught and understood by the students in one single day of training.  I can therefore highly recommend the training program conducted by Progressive Defense Systems for anyone who are looking to develop their security staff’s ability to manage difficult situacions and maintain a secure environment without ieopardizing the customer service aspect which is so crucial for the entertainment industry.

—Frank Stroembo

Director of Security and Surveillance - Royal Casino, Panama City & Royal Casino, Santiago, Panama

“Thank you so much for bringing your top-notch Copkido training to our MRC members and response partners last Saturday.  We were truly impressed by the caliber of professionalism evident in your instructors.  It’s a testimony to your leadership-and the value of your program- that all ten of you were willing to donate your expertise on a weekend to pass along these valuable skills. Although our MRC would never knowingly put our volunteers in harm’s way,  It is always helpful to have ‘de-escalation skills’ ready in case of surprises. A retired nurse who attended remarked, “Everyone should have this training!”  Whether the students work in a hospital, staff an ambulance, volunteer at an emergency shelter, or find themselves at a gathering that gets out of hand, anyone could be confronted unexpectedly with a person who becomes irrational. The class benefited from learning how to assume a posture that could avoid contact entirely.  After exhausting similar de-escalation techniques, students applied ways in which to break safety as needed. Your instructors were not only dedicated and experienced, they were also immensely approachable.  Our attendees benefited from the best possible ratio of instructors to students.  There was just the right amount of balance between watching demonstrations and applying the skills through practice.  We heard only enthusiastic comments afterwards regarding the class. We truly appreciate the generous contribution of your Copkido team’s time and skills in raising each student’s ability to respond effectively in a wider range of situations.”

—Sandy Collins, RN

Upper Merrimack Valley Medical Reserve Corps Director