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Detroit Urban Survival Training: Our viral, funny self-defense videos aren't fake

Chanel Stitt, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Business News

Starting the business in Detroit

Brown has lived in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti in Michigan and in Germany. His mother was a doctor and captain in the Army, and his father was a history teacher in Ann Arbor. He joined the U.S. Army and was a paratrooper and private investigator. He served for three years. He then decided to get bodyguard training and take martial arts classes.

Brown launched the Detroit Threat Management Center in 1994, but a deadly incident took place in Detroit that changed his outlook on his business plan. In 1995, a woman was being attacked and dragged on the Belle Isle bridge, and, in what is believed to be an effort to escape, she jumped or was forced off the bridge into the water and died, according to news reports.

“That was what made me change,” Brown said. “From there, my first change was — I no longer cared about the business. I cared that we needed to make sure that that never happens again.”

Brown went on to provide security for the apartments he was living in, and was asked to bring security guards to several buildings in Detroit. He found volunteers to assist in lowering crimes in neighborhoods.

 

In 26 years, Brown’s company has trained several people to assist in both armed and unarmed situations. And since 1998, the company has had a contract to prevent cigarette truck hijackings. He tells everyone to always call the police first, and if someone from the threat management center is present, they will be there to help.

There are plans to expand the business in Detroit next year.

“Our goal is to get these schools in every city, state and country,” Brown said. “And our goal here is to have these small centers, so you have a place in your neighborhood to go train to learn psychology, law and skill for survival, and for police, too.”

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