Grand Junction’s Defenders USA teaches defensive and firearms training |

Grand Junction’s Defenders USA teaches defensive and firearms training

Brittany Markert
A group poses near targets after a Defender USA class, taught by Adam Winch (crouching, center).
Submitted photo |


WHAT: Defenders USA free Colorado Concealed Carry Weapons course

WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 6, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: Grand Junction, exact location to be determined via email

COST: Free (donation of $45 is welcomed)


Adam Winch, a Grand Junction resident, has seen first hand folks who have received inadequate or little training when it comes to defending themselves.

This past spring, he decided to start teaching civilians about self-defense, how to handle firearms, and what to do in dangerous situations at home through his company — Defenders USA.

“When it comes down to it, it’s deciding not to be a victim,” Winch said. “And to do that best or most efficiently, it takes training. That’s usually done when someone else puts you through the situation.”

According to his website, Winch has a background serving as a military police officer (U.S. Army, Army Reserve and Colorado National Guard) along with serving with the Grand Junction Police Department for more than 10 years. His duties at GJPD included working as a patrol officer, street crimes unit, SWAT and police patrol mountain-bike instructor.

Winch is Defender USA’s sole full-time employee, but he receives help from a group of volunteers including five current law enforcement officers and a soldier.

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“It’s cool to see people have success and deal with natural fear,” Winch said. “It’s not a bad thing to have fear, but I can help alleviate some of it.”

His classes help give confidence to the “everyday civilian,” he added.


Winch offers classes through Defenders USA including the defenders series, a concealed carry permit course, and a ladies unarmed self-defense class. He offers private instruction as well.

The defenders series costs $300 and covers 20 hours of training over a three-day period. It includes the basic concealed carry permit course, the defensive handgun training course, and the advanced handgun training course. The series is held sporadically throughout the year.

“It puts students into simulated, real-life situations,” Winch said. “It also prepares them for the aftermath.”

JaCee Apple, a Fruita resident and owner of Fashion Firearms Handbags, came into contact with Winch a year ago through professional references. She and her husband eventually took the defenders series.

“I was incredibly impressed not only with the teaching style, but also how much I improved,” Apple said. “Being a gun person already, I still learned a lot.”


According to Winch, his concealed carry permit course covers basic requirements for a Colorado Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permit.

“Our CCW addresses firearm safety, Colorado laws pertaining to firearms and concealed carry, use of force in the defense of yourself and others, the legalities involved, and how to carry concealed, plus more,” Defender USA’s website stated.

The concealed carry class is free, but donations are accepted, Winch noted. The class typically costs $75 per person.

The next CCW courses are set for Saturday, Dec. 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 20, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Location of the classes will be announced closer to event dates.

Winch also offers a ladies unarmed self-defense class, which has been “wildly popular,” he said. It covers how to be prepared if attacked in close quarters, how to react quickly, and how to pay attention to surroundings.

“Ladies don’t think to carry a weapon with them,” Winch said. “This teaches them how to defend with their hands, stun and get away if necessary.”

Apple also participated in the ladies self-defense class.

“Parents should put their daughters in the class ,and every female should take this class,” she said. “The skills are basic, but could be crucial to saving your life.”

Defenders USA will host the ladies self-defense class on Sunday, Dec. 21, from 2-5 p.m. The class costs $40. Location will be announced soon, too.

Other classes offered by Defenders USA include a long-range rifle/sniper course, an urban defense rifle course, and a defensive handgun course.

To register for classes or find out more about Defenders USA, visit

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