Meet the Team

Dr. Jimmy Turner - Founder and Lead Instructor

Dr. Jimmy Turner is the Founder and Lead Intructor for Practical Defense Training. 

The philosophy that drives his training comes from the preamble of the United States' Declaration of Independence: "We hold these rights to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." He believes all people, because of their inherent value as humans, should feel confident in their ability to maintain their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. First by learning how to take small steps that make a person less likely to be targeted as a potential victim, second by knowing how to spot a danger before it becomes a threat and get away, and finally by having a survivors mindset and the confidence of knowing how to stop a threat in the unlikely even of a violent encounter. 

Because of his belief that all people have inherent value, PDT offers private classes to select sub-populations and demographics who may not feel comfortable attending a public, open-enrollement classes. A couple examples of these are women's only classes and LGBTQ+ community private courses. As well, he offers private one-on-one classes and will provide on-site training in homes and businesses. 

Dr. Jimmy earned his Ph.D. from Carolina University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His research focused on the impact of emotional intelligence of senior level leaders on employee turnover in nonprofit organziations. A high school dropoup with a G.E.D., Dr. Jimmy didn't intend pursue higher education, but with the support of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, he graduated from Tennessee Temple University in 2013 before pursuing a Master's Degree, and finally a PH.D.

A Marine Corps veteran, Dr. Jimmy deployed with the 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terrorism where he was awarded the Marine Corps Combat Action Ribbon, the Presidential Unit Citation, and other awards. 

Believing in community service, Dr. Jimmy gives back by volunteering with various charities in different ways, membership in civic organizations, and offering a free workshops often for the general public to learn how to better protect themselves and loved ones. 

Dr. Jimmy continues to train and better himself in both his leadership consulting and personal protection instruction. He attends several training events each year to learn new skills and improve existing skills.

Born and raised in East and Southeast Tennessee, Dr. Jimmy is proud to call the Chattanooga area home with his wife of over 20 years, his two grown sons, and his one-year-old grandbaby. 

Some of Dr. Jimmy's Relevant Training includes:


Citizens Safety Academy

United States Marine Corps


United States Concealed Carry Association

Mantis Academy

State of Tennessee

American Red Cross