Jon Payne, a former Bridge City Police Officer, is now teaching classes in firearms and defensive tactics as a staff instructor for Suarez International. Payne teaches Close Range Gunfighting, Force on Force Gunfighting, 0-5 Feet Pistol Gunfighting and Kalashnikov Rifle Gunfighting, in addition to most other courses in the Suarez International educational program.

Suarez International prides itself on the unique and effective courses that it offers. Gabe Suarez, President of the organization, describes the training as “reality-based, student-focused, concepts-driven, and combat-proven.” First, this combat training is not based on methods used in a “controlled environment,” as most training is but is based on “what actually happens in a fight.”

Furthermore, the techniques provided have been “proven in combat.” Suarez asserts, “The stuff I teach you, and that my instructors teach you was not learned from a tape or a book. To the contrary, it was learned in the famous school of hard knocks.”

Each student is treated with respect as he is trained in a “friendly” yet “intensive” way to be a more effective combatant in life-threatening situations. People of all weights, body-types, ages, and abilities desire to protect themselves from harm. For this reason, the training is “concepts-driven,” or in other words “makes the trainee, and not the training system, the focus.” Instruction is adjusted to fit the needs of each student.

These qualities alone deem the Suarez International courses revolutionary. The company is based in Prescott, Arizona but has a global customer base.

The unique combat instruction that Payne offers as a part of Suarez International is available to all people “of good character.” He is one of four Texas instructors for Suarez International. Others are Glenn Matthews, John Chambers, and JR Urbina.

Payne himself is not under qualified to offer this important training. Before his years of service in local law enforcement, Payne served for fifteen years as a member of Security Police (now called Security Forces) and as a Combat Arms Instructor in the US Air Force and US Air Force Reserves. In addition to his work with Suarez International, Payne continues to make himself available as a reserve Deputy Constable and patrolman. He also teaches the Texas Concealed Handgun Class. Payne is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. At this time, he is training in Gracie Jujitsu.

Payne has been interested in firearms since he was very young. He used to listen to his grandfathers, both of them reserve deputies in Orange County, tell stories about the old days when guns were used for hunting and survival. His interest developed as he grew up and escalated when he joined the military.

Payne is grateful that he has never had to take anyone’s life in self-defense. He does support the responsible individual’s right to be trained and ready to defend his life and the lives of defenseless others should this unfathomable situation arise. While Payne recognizes the many irresponsible things that people do with deadly force, his goal is to “give the good guys the ability to defend themselves.”

Jon Payne is the son of Joe and Dee Payne of Orange.

Payne would like to thank the Orange Gun Club on Liston Road, where he conducts many of his classes, for their continued support. Anyone interested in obtaining instruction from Mr. Payne or interested in learning more about Suarez International should visit their website at