Making An Impact : Robert Staton Selected For The Cobra-Defense Top Gun Instructor Award.

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A Cobra Instructor, Fitness Professional, Former Pastor and Head Of An International Foundation, Robert Staton Stays Busy Making A Difference.

December 2014 :

Being featured on the cover of Self-Defense Professional (SDP) means that you have taken your skills and training to another level, accomplishing something special or unique. In the Cobra-Defense Instructor mission statement, our focus is to empower those we teach and provide the skills to survive in today's' world.

Our "Top Gun Instructor" awards go to instructors who have come out of their corners swinging for a "knock out." As professional self-defense instructors, they are motivated to reach and teach as many people as possible. Since 2002, Cobra instructors have made major news headlines all over the nation and have been very accomplished as instructors.

Our Industry Magazine was created to communicate valuable training information, business strategies and to highlight accomplished instructors in the Cobra organization.

Self- Defense Professional (SDP) interviewed Top Gun Instructor, Robert Staton, about his story, his foundation and his goals.     From the United States to Cambodia, Our Top Gun Award Winner Has Made an Impact

  1. Please tell us how you got involved in your overseas training and what that entails?
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Staton conducting arrest techniques and training with the Cambodia Police Department.

I served as a pastor for over twenty years, primarily working within high-risk communities and as a volunteer chaplain in various prison systems all in an effort to help people break free from self-destructive lifestyles and behaviors.  Within that context, I too was engaged in helping women escape from the world of forced prostitution and men break free from sexual addictions.

In 2008, I graduated from the Special Operations Forces Academy (SOF/a Seal Training Adventures, Class 15), which provided the foundational platform for a new phase of work and ministry for me.  In 2009 I left the full-time ministry as a pastor, started a specialized fitness business and, in 2010, started developing ideas, plans, and strategies for how to better combat child sex trafficking and develop initiatives to physically rescue children being sexually abused, exploited, and trafficked.  Needing more specialized training in tactical operations, I received advanced training and certifications from Trojan Securities International in Advanced Kidnap/Hostage Rescue, PSD in High-Risk Environments, Surveillance/Counter Surveillance and Tactical Defensive Instructor certification from Enhanced Security Professionals (ESP)---all in an effort to better combat and rescue children.

I've been engaged in Cambodia since 2012 and presently assist an organization in Phnom Penh, Cambodia named RAWimpact (, which is on the front lines combating child sex trafficking through a variety of projects with an overall emphasis to SustainEducate, and Protect those who are vulnerable.  My role with RAWimpact is to serve as one of the Tactical Operations Training Senior Instructors assisting them in the tactical training of the Cambodian National Police Anti-Trafficking and CID departments providing them with basic police defensive tactical skills to better help the police combat trafficking and rescue children from trafficking.  Some of the police we have trained are now performing raids with success!

Cambodian Anti-Trafficking Unit conducting Firearm anchors and extraction training led by Cobra Instructor Robert Staton.

Cambodian Anti-Trafficking Unit conducting Firearm anchors and extraction training led by Cobra Instructor Robert Staton.



The training of the CNP (Cambodian National Police) entails Self-Defense, Arrest and Control, Handcuffing, Baton, Proper Searching, Armed/Unarmed Combatives, Ground Survival Tactics, Tactical Combat Casualty Care,---a full spectrum of Police Defensive Tactics training.




2.How has Cobra added value to your training/business?

Staton runs a full time fitness and self-defense training business in Winston Salem North Carolina.

Staton runs a full time fitness and self-defense training center in Winston Salem NC.

One of the main reasons I became a COBRA Instructor and facility owner was due to the flexibility and adaptability of the COBRA program’s ability to fit into a Police/Tactical Operator Defensive Tactics Training Program.  By using the COBRA program as a template I am able to adapt the techniques, drills, and scenarios into a dynamic format specific for training police officers and tactical operators.  This kind of cross-functionality provides tremendous value to my business as a self-defense professional for I am not limited in providing one kind of training; rather, I provide multiple training programs without having to develop a new system for each one.


3.What does your foundation do for adults and children?                     

In 2010 I started researching and developing ideas and strategies for how I could do something to help liberate children from the pain and hopelessness of sexual abuse, exploitation, and children being forced to perform within the sex trade underworld.  After two years of intensive research, specialized training, and working in the trenches helping men, women, and children break free from trafficking, I launched my organization in 2012.

The name of my organization is Freedom4Her and our primary mission is (1) To raise awareness about child sex trafficking and what others can do to better prevent it and how to engage in activities to help those who are being trafficked on a local, national, and international level (2) Engage with men through our Freedom4Him Project which focuses on helping men break free from pornography (3) Assist organizations who need specialized skill sets to develop and perform direct-action initiates for rescuing children from trafficking.

Roberts foundation, Freedom4Her, is making an impact in countries like Cambodia.

Roberts foundation, Freedom4Her, is making an impact in countries like Cambodia.





4.What are your training/business goals for the next 3 years?

As I travel nationally and internationally, I have been exposed to the realities that many of those on the frontlines combating trafficking have huge hearts but are often lacking training in self-defense survival skills.  Also, many families within high-risk communities in our city cannot afford self-defense training.  These are two areas I am focusing on using specifically the COBRA Program. We are currently in the process of acquiring a large facility that will be the hub for all of our Freedom4Her initiatives as well as our Tactical Operations Training Facility to provide all of our COBRA programs.

Within the next two to three years I see us moving toward providing COBRA Mobile Training--going to those who need our training, especially on the international level.  This is an ambitious goal and undertaking, but it falls within our overall mission and objectives.

5.What do you enjoy most about being a Self-Defense Instructor?

Watching people grow into self-confidence and empowerment; providing men, women, and children lifesaving skills; working with men and women seeking self-defense training that have been abused, both physically and sexually who viewed themselves as a life-long victim overcome their crippled mindset and witness them transform into a confident, empowered warrior.


6.If you only had 5 minutes to train someone what would be the most valuable survival skill you would teach them?

So often self-defense training is viewed as acquiring techniques for every "what if" scenario.  The fact is, techniques do not always work and a complete self-defense program is not solely technique driven--it too, focuses on how to prevent an attack, minimize potential risk, and how to avoid and escape potential dangerous encounters before they happen.

In 5 minutes I would address:

(1) Prevention is the Best Self Defense Be aware of your surroundings at all times and know that the attacker/criminal chooses the TPM (Time, Place, and Method) of attack and is looking for an easy, unsuspecting, vulnerable, distracted target.  By being more aware of your surroundings, carrying yourself with command presence, being visually engaged with your environment and moving with self-confidence increases you being seen more as a "hard target" rather than a "soft target," increasing your chances of being avoided by a suspecting attacker.

(2) If Attacked, "SAE IT":  Scream, Attack, Escape

If you find yourself in a situation that could not be defused, you could not immediately withdraw or escape from a person or situation that alarmed you, and or you are suddenly attacked---(S) Scream! Make as much noise and commotion as possible!  The attacker does not want attention--he wants to be unnoticed.  By screaming, making as much commotion and noise as possible, drawing attention to you being attacked may be enough to cause the attacker to flee.  While screaming (A) Attack!  Fight back with all your might, hitting, kicking, scratching, biting, gouging, use whatever is available within your environment such as rocks, bottles, sticks, glass, sand all in an effort to survive and don't stop fighting back until you can (E) Escape!  Create distance between you and the attacker and get away as quickly as possible, continuing to scream-yell for help all the whiling running to the nearest safe location where other people are then call 911.

Recap for a 3-Step 5-minute Survival Plan

Step 1:  Be a Hard Target!  Everywhere you go, carry yourself with confidence, command presence, and remain visually engaged with your environment.  The attacker/criminal chooses the TMP (Time, Place, and Method) of attack and is looking for a "Soft Target," someone who is vulnerable, unsuspecting, distracted, and easy prey.

Step 2:  "AAA" Be Aware of your surroundings and environment at all times and if you are Alarmed, be ready to Act immediately!

Step 3: If you are attacked, SAE IT:  Scream IT: Get backleave me alone, help! Attack IT: Attack back with all your might, hitting, kicking, biting, gouging, and using whatever is available such as a purse, book bag, pen, keys, rocks, sticks, bottles---whatever is at your disposal, use it so that you can end the attack and or create enough space/distance between you and the attacker as quickly as possible so that you can Escape IT:  Get away, running and yelling for help to the nearest, safe location and immediately call 911.


Self-Defense Professional / Cobra-Defense would like to thank Mr. Robert Staton for his time and congratulate him on his Top Gun award.