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ABC Women's Self-Defense offers some of the finest self-defense instruction available. Made up of a team of martial artists, self-defense experts, lawyers, social workers, and law enforcement, ABC Women's Self-Defense is truly the most well-rounded program of its kind in the area. 


Our list of instructors is constantly growing and expanding into new areas! If you feel passionate about helping people, making a difference, and sharing our incredible program, and would like to join the ABC Team, CONTACT US TODAY!

CLICK HERE to see our list of International Affiliate Instructors---

John Borter

John Borter is the Director and Head Instructor of ABC Women's Self-Defense International and the owner of the Modern Self-Defense Academy. With more than 25 years in the martial arts and self-defense, Mr. Borter holds a 6th Degree Blackbelt as well as blackbelt ranks in numerous martial arts. He has extensive experience in many martial arts and self-defense systems and has trained with some of the greatest martial arts experts in the world. He was awarded the title of Professor (Teacher of Teachers) and was inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame for Outstanding Contributions to the Martial Arts. He also teaches civilians, martial artists, law enforcement, and security personnel his personal martial arts/self-defense system, Modern Self-Defense Concepts. Mr. Borter has been a featured self-defense expert on WAMC radio, WTEN News 10, and LookTV, as well as numerous TV, magazine, and newspaper stories and articles. He is a widely respected and highly sought self-defense instructor.

Trish Chiovari

Trish Chiovari is the Assistant Director of ABC Women's Self-Defense. With a Master's Degree in Social Work, Ms. Chiovari provides a critical perspective to the program - both as a woman and as a professional - on the psychology of self-defense and violence towards women, and the mindset of both the victim and the attacker. She offers valuable insights into the program as it continues to grow and develop into different areas of need and expertise. She currently trains and is an advanced student at the Modern Self-Defense Academy. 

Donald Johnston

Donald Johnston is a Senior Instructor and founding member of ABC Women's Self-Defense. With more than 20 years of experience in the martial arts and self-defense, he holds a high rank in Tae Kwon Do, as well as extensive experience as a security specialist and bouncer. This experience has given Mr. Johnston the the unique opportunity of seeing and dealing with "real-world" violence. This perspective has proven vital in designing and delivering ABC Women's Self-Defense. Mr. Johnston has been teaching self-defense classes for more than 20 years. 

Ben DeGonzague

Ben DeGonzague is an Assistant Instructor in ABC Women's Self-Defense. He has been training in and studying the martial arts for more than 20 years with a focus on self-defense and health. He holds a 4th Degree Blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do and a 2nd Degree Blackbelt in Combat Hapkido, and for the past four years has been training in Yang Style Taiji. He is the senior student at the Modern Self-Defense Academy. 

TJ Grim

TJ Grim is an Assistant Instructor in ABC Women's Self-Defense. He has spent several years studying a mix of Kenpo and Jujitsu. A husband and father of two, he is very passionate about working with and helping others. Making it a family affair, TJ's wife Bekki is also a student at the Modern Self-Defense Academy.

Rodney Waithe
Rodney Waithe is a self employed businessman and a law enforcement officer protecting our lcommuniry and ivelihood for the past 14 years. Rodney deals with victims first hand and understand the importance and need for women to protect themselves and not be a victim.  He is a former two time Golden Glove boxer and currently trains at the Modern Self Defense Academy. Rodney works directly with Mr Borter to teach and support ABC Women's Self-Defense here locally, and is also the lead instructor for ABC Women's Self Defense Barbados expanding our efforts to protect women across the world.
Stanley Tiska

Stanley is an Assistant Instructor for ABC Women's Self-Defense. He operates the Hai-ken Dojo in Hinsdale, MA, teaching Kokikai Aikido and personal protection. He has 28 years of experience in both the study and competition in the Martial Arts including Aikido, Judo, Jujitsu, Kendo,Tae Kwon Do. He also has experience as a Rape Crisis and Domestic Violence counselor, Certified by the State of Massachusetts active 1991 to 1996.

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