Common Sense Self Defense Systems
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      "Mark and Robin are patient, supportive and motivating. Their classes have taught me practical self defense strategies that leave me feeling more confident and safe in my day to day life. Sign up and you'll never look back!"
                                   - Anna, 28

Robin Schermerhorn, Head Instructor
Memphis Kali Group-Founder; Dog Brothers Martial Arts-Group Leader

   Growing up a military dependent, Robin was exposed to a variety of arts such as Kenpo Karate, Judo, Kajukenbo, and Western Boxing. Robin's discipline in learning and desire to excel earned him a four year academic scholarship as well as two bachelor degrees. At the same time he participated in college sports and earned Little All American honors in football.
    In 1992, Robin was introduced to the local legend Sifu/Guru Steven Fristoe training in Kali-Silat, JKD concepts and Shootfighting. These styles bridged to further training with other living legends like Guru Dan Inosanto, Eric Paulson, Guru Marc 'Crafty Dog' Denny and Guru Maul Morne.
    As a competitor Robin was the Escrima Classic Lightweight Single Stick Champion and the Lightweight Double Stick runner-up.
    Robin, considered a modern progressive martial artist, believes that students learn reality self-defense techniques and weapons defenses most effectively and efficiently by pairing them with real time applications.

Mark Akin, Instructor
Common S.E.N.S.E. Self Defense Systems-Creator

   Growing up smaller than most of his peers, Mark was a frequent target of bullies in childhood and adolescence. Tired of living with the fear that being picked on produced, he began studying Shotokan Karate in 1988 under Jeff Mullen, currently the longest tenured judge in the UFC. Mark later trained with Jeff in Western Kickboxing and Muay Thai and became a nationally ranked fighter. In 1997, he met and began training under Robin Shermerhorn, studying Kali-Escrima and JKD.
   Mark's interest for martial arts extends not only into the competitive arena but into its practical application for self defense. His vision and passion is to share his knowledge, empowering people with the understanding that they, with a realistic approach and proper training, can remove themselves and their loved ones from the victim pool.
   With this goal in mind, Mark commenced teaching self defense to battered and abused women through Family Services of the Mid-South in 2005. In 2007, Mark began working as a bodyguard, organizing and running protection details for abused women, stalking victims, victims of hate crimes, celebrities and executives. He later cofounded Anlance Protection, TN - a full service security company specializing in consulting and executive protection. Continuing his passion to empower individuals, Mark created the foundations for Common S.E.N.S.E. Self Defense Systems in 2009 with Anlance, TN Co-founder Kevin Kowalczyk.