St. George business specializes in emergency treatment, tactical self-defense training

The Red Hills tactical team: L-R McKenna Barwick, assistant seamstress, P.J. Barwick, vice president of marketing, Guru Felix Valencia (middle), trainer, owners Erik Jones and Cyndi Jones, Red Hills Tactical storeroom, St. George, Utah, June 8, 2013 | Photo by Kevin Gilbert Mauer, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – On Saturday, Red Hills Tactical celebrated its grand opening of a new business location to accommodate its array of tactical self-defense products and classes.

Erik and Cyndi Jones, who started the company two years ago, said they saw a public need within the community for opportunities to learn about self-reliance techniques. People often lack knowledge or resources to fend for themselves and their families in crisis situations, Cyndi Jones said. “We want to help,” she said.

Self-defense classes are among the services offered on-location at Red Hills Self Defense Academy, under the direction of owner Erik Jones. Beginning one month ago, many of these classes have been taught by acclaimed martial artist Guru Felix Valencia, whom the couple met over a decade ago while living in Los Angeles. Valencia has been contracted to train personnel in several government and law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Marshals Service. An inductee into the Karate Martial Arts Hall of Fame, Valencia teaches techniques from both Jiu-Jitsu and a Filipino martial art known as Lameco Eskrima. His classes teach self-defense against a variety of weapons, and certain classes are offered to teach preparedness specifically to women and children.

To this effect, Red Hills Tactical regularly holds a three-hour session to train women in rape prevention. Cyndi Jones said that sexual assault is a particularly worrisome issue, even in St. George, where she noted her heightened concern due to reports of a recent attempted rape on the Dixie State University campus, where her daughter attends.

Other classes include CPR training for babysitters and medical training for Boy Scouts who are seeking to earn merit badges.

In addition to being the company’s co-owner, Cyndi Jones is also the head seamstress. The new location features a sewing room, in which she manufactures and embroiders emergency medical pouches and other gear — custom-made per order. Customers may buy the pouches either  independently or stocked with medical supplies as a kit, the most comprehensive of which is called a “Personal Medical Aid Kit,” called a PMAK, and may be purchased for $99.99.

Over the course of the grand opening event, company employees and family demonstrated some tactical sparring and self-defense techniques in the gymnasium. At one point, Erik Jones donned a fully-protective police training suit manufactured by Fist, Inc., and invited attendees of the event to assault him. He and Valencia later went over empty-hand self-defense tactics against weapons.

“As the owner of Red Hills Tactical,” Erik Jones said in a promotional flyer, “my family and I are extremely fortunate to train with (Valencia) and better prepare ourselves in our own personal defense.”

Contact information for Red Hills Tactical follows the photo gallery

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery. 


For information on Red Hill Tactical classes or supplies: 316 S 400 E, D-4, St. George / Telephone 702-580-2851

Red Hills Tactical website / Facebook

Ed. note – The concern of the owner heightened was an attempted rape, not a rape; clarification added 8:30 p.m. Names added to Red Hill Tactical team photo featured.

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Twitter: @KGilbertMauer

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

The Red Hills tactical team: Guru Felix Valencia (middle), Erik Jones, and Cyndi Jones, Red Hills Tactical storeroom, St. George, UT, June 8, 2013 | Photo by Kevin Gilbert Mauer, St. George News
The Red Hills tactical team: Guru Felix Valencia (middle), Erik Jones, and Cyndi Jones, Red Hills Tactical storeroom, St. George, UT, June 8, 2013 | Photo by Kevin Gilbert Mauer, St. George News

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  • David Harris June 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I was wondering if this is an advertorial or just an advertisement *cleverly* disguised as news. If it is the former, it violates your editorial policy, which states, “Advertorials must be clearly distinguished from editorial copy.” If it is the latter, it violates your editorial policy, which states, “St. George News does not allow advertising to influence editorial content and decisions.”

    I don’t mean to sound like a complainer. After all, you need to earn money to stay in business. But, is it not a problem to go against your editorial policy and disguise advertising as news? Don’t your readers have a higher expectation?

    • Joyce Kuzmanic June 10, 2013 at 6:28 pm

      Your question does not strike me as a complaint at all, David; in fact, the issue is vital to the credibility of our reports. Let me go through it with you.

      First, this story is not an advertorial. It is our report on the grand opening of a new business in St. George. Businesses are vital to our community, and we do independently report on them without the business having any say or control over the content of our report. We report on them as we find them.

      Secondly, Advertorials on St. George News are not veiled. They are indicated in the byline at the top of the story, also at the bottom of the story, and again in the “About the author” cell that accompanies every story at its end. We do put as much effort into developing them with care as we do other reports; but they are clearly identified as an advertorial.

      You are also correct in expecting that any advertiser with St. George News has no influence over any news that may arise concerning that advertiser. This is in our agreements with them. If news arises concerning one who advertises with us at anytime, the news will be reported without deference to them being or having been an advertiser even if it results in them declining to further advertise with us.

      I hope this answers your concerns, they are important and appreciated. Thank you for asking.

      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

    • Dr. Andrew White June 10, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      It is a very fair question. I have seen several posts which made me ask the same thing. I have seen a few posts clearly marked as advertorial. But several more lacked the tag. I’m glad Joyce took a moment to explain her position.

      Joyce, I want you to know that I faithfully read the blog every single day. I pull it up on my smart-phone and read the news before bed. As a chiropractor, I especially like Mori’s posts about the car wrecks. No kidding: on more than one occasion, I have read about a wreck, then a few days later, met the people involved when they came to my office for a post-crash-examination.

  • Chris Meier June 10, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    I hope this business finds its way to SE Idaho. Good job Red Hills Tactical.

  • San June 11, 2013 at 2:10 am

    This seems like a valuable business in our area. Thanks for reporting about it’s opening.

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