About Heloderm

Heloderm LLC is a small, veteran owned training organization based in Tucson, Arizona.  We provide responsible citizens, law enforcement officers, and military personnel with skills and realistic, scenario basedexperience fragments” they can draw upon in times of crisis.

We train a variety of lifesaving subjects.  Classes are are custom tailored to meet the needs and schedules of the customer.  Although we usually serve people in Southern Arizona, we have taught in California, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, and Kuwait, and may be able to assist you wherever you are.  Although we occasionally schedule specific courses, most of our classes are by appointment, at the customer’s request.

“Heloderm”?  Is that a skin disease?

Heloderma suspectum, the Gila Monster, is a native of the American Southwest.  As lizards go, the Gila is relatively stubby and slow.  An ancient creature, its beaded armor skin is believed to be a remnant of the dinosaur era.  Gilas prefer to lay around in the sun, or the shade, depending on the temperature.  They are rarely seen, but if you spot one on the trail, it will usually move out of your way and into cover.  Gilas generally avoid confrontation and mind their own business.

HOWEVER, the Gila has a venomous bite.  Once they latch on, they never let go.  It’s not advisable to step on one.

NRA courses

Our lead instructor is an NRA trained Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, and Law Enforcement Submachine Gun instructor.  Several of our adjunct instructors are NRA certified as well.  If you request an NRA specific course, such as a Women on Target instructional shooting clinic, we will make it happen for you.  When we teach an NRA course, we do our best to include additional material relevant to the customers’ needs.  It should be noted that unless the letters NRA appear before a Heloderm course listing, it is not an NRA-approved course.  Most of our offerings are a blend of material from various authorities and subject matter experts, and are the products of our own experiences on the street, on foreign soil, and on countless training ranges.

Our policies

Two Student Rule

Although our courses are individualized, our policy is not to teach individuals.  We prefer at least two students per class, so that you will have a training partner to work with, and sometimes against, in role-playing, scenario based exercises.  Our instructors often participate with students in controlled demonstrations, but for practicing skills, it is best to have another student as a training partner, so the instructor(s) can monitor the drills for safety and proper technique.

That said, we will be modifying or eliminating some of our two-person drills to maintain more social distance, for the duration of the Coronavirus outbreak.  Exceptions will be made for domestic partners and families who share the same air anyway.  You will have the option of teleconference type instruction for in-home sessions, for the duration of the COVID-19 sequestration.

Equal opportunity

Heloderm LLC has proudly taught, worked with, and learned from responsible people of all walks of life, and several nationalities.  We gauge our students’ abilities and adjust the level of intensity, so we can challenge students without exceeding any known physical limitations they may have.  We continue to offer important, life saving training without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, gender, sexuality, or any other demographic by which the evil try to divide us.  We are particularly proud of empowering women to master traditionally “masculine” tools.

A daughter drew this for her dad. He got the hint and took her shooting…then to a Gunsite course…then to a Glock match…Her warrior path is the journey of a lifetime.

HOWEVER, many of the lifesaving skills we teach are potentially lethal.  They are not for fools.  If we even begin to suspect that you are a white supremacist, black separatist, religious extremist, anarchist, narco-trafficker, gang banger, drug abuser, criminal, or even mentally unstable, your training will be cancelled (or terminated) and you may or may not receive any refund.  Our lead instructor was a career cop and is a fairly good judge of character.  He had specialized training for, and years of experience in, identifying just such people.  If any of the aforementioned categories apply to you, do not even attempt to arrange training with us.


If he was alive today, General Custer might tell you that information is really, really important. Fortunately for the Arapaho, Lakota, and Northern Cheyenne encamped along the Little Bighorn, Custer didn’t have complete information.  Your personal information, such as where you live, or if there are guns in your house, is probably the most important asset for you to safeguard.  If a burglar doesn’t know you have something worth stealing, he’ll probably rob somebody else.  As one of George’s field training officers told him when he first started in law enforcement, “It doesn’t pay to advertise.”

Heloderm LLC will take all reasonable measures to safeguard your personal information.  For example, we blanked out the nametag of the student practicing support hand only revolver loads above.  The fourth person (by the head of the manikin) in the next photo did not want her picture on the internet, so we cropped her out.  We use first names, sometimes with a last initial, instead of full names in Annotated Training Outlines, Training Summaries, and other after action type reports.

Training Summaries and Annotated Training Outlines are provided at no extra charge to our students.  They give feedback on performance, explain concepts, and provided details of how to safely replicate the drills we did when you practice on your own.  When we post an ATO, TS or AAR in the “Alumni Only” section of our website, we password protect it, so those students and their instructors control who gets to see it.

We need to collect your contact information for training records, but we will never give out your personal information to advertisers, and we will not “blast” your phone or email continuously with promotions.  We may notify former students if we hear of opportunities for advanced training (not only Heloderm offerings) we think they might be interested in.

We may, at your request, give information about your training to third parties.  For example, sometimes a student who took a class for professional certification (say, as a teacher) wishes to volunteer as a coach for a youth sports league.  The league may require their coaches to provide documentation of, say, first aid training.  If you want us to do that in an email, we will copy you on the email unless you request otherwise.  If we do, the recipient(s) will get your email, and we will have no control over what happens to it after that.

About Names

In this era of the anti-hero, it is sometimes hard to even find the names of those who fought back, while the names of bad guys and their manifestoes are broadcast far and wide.

We honor our dead heroes by proclaiming their full names. We deny mass murderers and other criminals the notoriety they crave by avoiding any mention of their names (we mention their heinous deeds only so we may train to prevent or ameliorate similar malfeasance).

The dead have no privacy to protect. Famous authors, national figures, and prominent trainers the same. While privacy protection is a losing battle in this TMI age, we still list the names of lesser known working professionals with first name and last initial, or first initial and last name, depending on the context.

Official Endorsement Disclaimer

Our instructors have spent decades training tens of thousands of military and law enforcement personnel advanced skills for surviving in toxic environments, and many of the photos on this website are from George’s previous classes, or classes he participated in with other agencies.  He continues to teach law enforcement, EMS, fire, and Military personnel. Photos of military or LE personnel appearing on this website in no way indicate endorsement of Heloderm LLC by the Departments of Defense, Justice, or Homeland Security, nor by any state or local law enforcement agencies represented.

Personal Opinion Disclaimer

George also wrote the vast majority of the material on this website. George spent most of his life from 1980 till 2017 working for various government agencies. It would be impossible for George to divorce the military and law enforcement aspects of his life from his other life experiences. Our personalities, and such wisdom as we have gleaned along the way, are all, after all, products of our life experiences.

Nor would it be desirable for him to try.

Although George paid for much of his own advanced training, your tax dollars paid for George to acquire many of the skills and experiences he shares with the tax payers (which includes LE, military, EMS, and fire–they pay taxes, too). When teaching you how to survive violent assault, or to be secure from harm, or to treat injuries, you WANT George to share what he learned about that while working for government agencies.

Not surprisingly, George formed some healthy opinions about how to do those things along the way. He did not get his outlook from some talking head on TV. Although he constantly researches the latest trends in crime prevention, active killer events, etc, George strives to avoid confirmation bias by not listening too much to the so-called “news,” or from talk-radio commentators geared toward either a conservative or a liberal / progressive agenda.

George’s brother, a former journalist, says

“Before, the news tried to tell you the truth, and you decided how you think or feel about it. Now, they tell you what to think, and you try to decide whether or not it’s true.”

George’s opinions are strong, but they are his own.

Although those opinions are based in large part upon his government experiences, it is important to note that

any opinions expressed on (or inferred by you from) this website are strictly those of the author (or you), and are in no way an attempt to indicate endorsement of any given view, political or otherwise, by any government agency, or by the law enforcement, EMS, or military communities as a whole.

Heloderm:  Because there is no safety in ignorance.