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GSD is not a gym. We are a 501c3 not for profit organization created by self defense experts and students focused on helping communities seeking self-defense training with quality experts, at an optimal location.
Created in 2019, we have helped launch programs in Brooklyn, New York City, Long Island and Fort Lauderdale. We have partnered with StandStrong to bring training to children and teens in south Florida, Chicago and summer camps.
​GSD's self-defense program provides free services to qualified groups that seek to remove all barriers to life-saving training to make it accessible, affordable and sustainable.

The Team

Who We Are

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Founder & CHAIRMAN

Joe is a National Director at AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. As a grandchild of Holocaust survivors and whose parents were born and raised in a Displaced Person refugee camp, Joe intimately understands the challenges the Jewish people face today and has a keen ability to motivate the next generation to be proactive - rather than reactive - against the growing threats to our people.

With nearly two decades of experience in the non-profit sector, Joe has co-founded several non-profits for the Jewish people ranging from the arts, education to self-defense.

Joe attended Syracuse University where he  competed as a Division 1 wrestler; only to later graduate with honors from NYU
. Joe has trained Krav Maga for 8 years building upon his mixed martial arts training and currently trains jiu jitsu at Serra BJJ. He has volunteered with the Guardian Angels, manages security at his synagogue and is certified in Traumatic Combat Casualty Care (TCCC).

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Chief operating officer & Board member

Shaked Landor is a born-and-raised New Yorker, with a background in Ethics and Environmental Studies from NYU. Currently, she is the Procurement Manager at Computech International, where she manages logistics and purchasing for foreign military-related projects.


Living in Queens and Brooklyn her whole life, she has witnessed the rise in antisemitic crimes throughout the five boroughs and has sought to give back to the Jewish community. In 2020, she connected with GSD’s founder Joe Richards, which gave her the opportunity to contribute her efforts in all-things operations as a founding member of GSD. Over the last few years, Shaked has continued to direct operations, manage marketing efforts, and lead the Crown Heights women’s GSD program.


Shaked currently holds an Orange Belt and has been certified as a Class-B Instructor with Traditional Krav Maga in Israel.

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operating partner

& Board member

Yosef is a native Brooklynite, has lived on opposite ends of Brooklyn and has explored everything in-between.  

Yosef has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, gained a number of years of experience in the telecom and software development sectors managing platform development and customer service.  Yosef graduated to the real estate industry to apply his skills of problem-solving, careful listening and the joy of helping others find their home.


Yosef has trained mixed martial arts and krav maga for over six years, obtaining his green belt and Class A instructor certification. Yosef is passionate about training and giving our community strength and confidence.

Yosef is a founding member of GSD.

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operating partner
& board member

Ben is a seasoned Entrepreneur & Fearless CEO of Success Sewer & Drain Cleaning in New York. Originally from the UK, Ben is an expert E-Commerce guru with a track record fueled by innovation and results. Ben has demonstrated his  leadership as CEO for, TechRabbit and LUXOMO as well as Director of Business Development for Windsor Distributors.


Ben came to the first class in Crown Heights with a background in mixed martial arts and rapidly excelled at Krav Maga.  Ben is a member of the distinguished Shomrim of Crown Heights (volunteer police force) and holds a green belt and is a certified Class-A Instructor with our partners, Traditional Krav Maga in Israel. Ben's motto, "Don't Stress, Seek Success" leads him to transform all challenges into victories. Dream Big, Hustle Hard!

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board member

Candice Richards currently serves as MidOcean’s Compliance/ESG Officer and has been recognized as a Private Equity leader in DEI by Mergers & Acquisitions.


Candice is responsible for day-to-day compliance and for developing and implementing ESG initiatives at MidOcean Partners and at its portfolio companies. She is a highly regarded champion for women and has launched initiatives to create awareness around career opportunities and promotion paths for women in the financial services space, including an industry-wide Women's Awareness Initiative ("WAI").


Candice has been admitted to the New York State and State of Connecticut Bar, and serves on the board of First Workings, an organization that helps NYC students acquire social capital through paid summer internships and one-on-one mentorships.

Candice’s interests outside of work include basketball, street art, and UFC.

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board member


Andrew is a founding member of GSD.

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