We are educators, providing the training to develop the necessary skills to become more alert, capable, and prepared citizens for whatever danger comes your way. Not only are we proud to be the first full time private state certified handgun training academy for civilians in Tennessee, we continue to provide professional training courses designed for civilians, private security officers, and specifically tailored courses for members of our law enforcement community.


"We believe people make the difference. With every student, we strive to push the limits of understanding; emphasizing how to think over what to think. Educate, train, and reinforce the person."



  • State certifications for unarmed and armed security officers

  • LEOSA H.R.218 (Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act)

  • State certified enhanced handgun-carry permits

  • Relator mindset safety courses 

  • Less than lethal device classes (Baton, TASER, Chemical Spray)

  • Beginner and advanced pistol and rifle courses

  • Active threat training for corporations

  • CPR / Stop the bleed

  • Site security threat assessments

Our training includes:




Lead Instructor / Director of Operations

Blaise began his career in the military’s special operations command, serving in the 1/75 Ranger Regiment with multiple combat deployments. After leaving the military he transitioned into the private sector of high threat executive security, working as a private contractor for the department of defense, the department of state, and various private corporations. After a decade of service to the government in multiple combat theaters, Blaise moved back to Nashville, TN. He earned two Bachelor degrees from Belmont and gave back to the community through various programs including the Big Brother program. After college, Blaise entered the private security industry state side working for a variety of companies conducting executive protection, site security assessments, and training. Blaise has become a leader in the training industry and currently sits on the Private Protective Services Committee with the Department of Commerce. Blaise is now the director of training and academic affairs for the Academy of Personal Protection and Security.



Managing Director

Damian joined the APPS Team after 30 years in Law Enforcement. As a Senior Deputy Chief of the Metro Nashville Police Department for more than 10 years, he has a deep understanding of program management and a track record of success. Serving as the Deputy Chief or Commander in a Major City Police Dept. for 13 years, has provided experience leading many programs and teams. His experience includes the Investigative Services Bureau (ISB), Administrative Services Bureau (ASB), and Support Services Bureau (SSB), Office of Professional Accountability (Internal Affairs), Forensic Services Division, Training Academy, Information Technology (IT), Human Resources, Records Division, SWAT Team 5-yrs, Emergency Contingency Section, Fleet Management, Records, Facility Security, and Behavioral Health sections of the police department.


Prior to being appointed to the Deputy Chief position, Damian was the Commander of the Central Precinct in downtown Nashville. The Central Precinct caters to the more than 16 million annual tourist visits to Nashville, a growing urban population, NFL, NHL events, and numerous other special events. The Central Precinct had approximately 125 full time personnel, motorcycle units and mounted patrol units. Under his command, the Central Precinct was named Precinct of the Year, produced two years of greater than -15% UCR Part I crime reduction, and the three highest consecutive years on record for crime reduction for any MNPD Precinct (Non-Covid years).


Damian has a Doctoral Degree in Business Administration, a Master of Science Degree in Public Service Management, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Additional professional leadership training includes completion of the Major Cities Chiefs Police Executive Leadership Institute (PELI) in 2018, a graduate of the FBI National Academy (FBINA) in 2016, the Senior Management Institute for Police

(SMIP) by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) in 2013, Tennessee Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (TLEEDS) in 2012, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) leadership training in 2009. Damian is also certified as an Environmental Health & Safety Professional (EHS-2021)



Lead Sales / Instructor

Originally from St Petersburg, Florida, Brandy began apprenticing in a gun shop at an early age. Brandy's knowledge in the firearm industry is a balance of education, precision, and experience. Over a distinguished and extensive career, she has become an NRA certified pistol instructor, range safety officer, instructor of “Refuse to be a Victim”, NRA State handgun instructor, USCCA concealed carry and home defense instructor, and a Glock certified armorer. Brandy has trained both new and seasoned shooters and developed a variety of industry leading course curriculums. Brandy is now lead of the sales department and assistant instructor for the Academy of Personal Protection and Security.



Assistant to the Instructor

Eron Johnsey, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, started training in 2008 and moved to Nashville from West Tennessee specifically to teach and train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2013. From that point on, he has been dedicated to the growth of Jiu Jitsu in middle TN because he believes in the empowerment it can give an individual. He has instructed classes for kids, women, and  serves all tiers of adult skill levels. Eron has educated thousands of individuals on how to properly defend themselves using Jiu Jitsu. While traveling the world competing and coaching, he has had the chance to form positive relationships with many people from all walks of life and is excited to bring his positivity as the newest trainer at APPS. With 10 years experience in protective services he has had the opportunity to work with countless music venues, private event spaces, and executive personal protection.  



Business Development

For the last 26 years, Tony has served in the United States Army. After multiple deployments overseas, Tony moved to the National Guard serving in the PSYOP unit (Psychological Operations) conducting unconventional warfare under the United States Special Operation Command. Now serving in the private sector, Tony has spent 12 years as a leader in business development for various corporations.  Recently, he has had the pleasure of becoming a parent ambassador for the Middle TN Down Syndrome Association and continues to volunteer with Special Olympics in TN. Tony now heads business development for the Academy of Personal Protection and Security.

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President, APPS

 Leann Woods, President of the Academy of Personal Protection & Security (APPS), was born and raised in Nashville, TN. She learned at a very young age the value of hard work and dedication in which she applies these values to her daily life. Leann is a proud member of the “Women Business Enterprise” (WBE) and believes that with diligence and commitment, you can achieve anything. Being married to a retired police officer, she realizes the importance of safety and security, along with the significance of proper training.  Hence why she is so passionate about providing a comfortable place, where anyone can come and feel confident, they will receive first class training in all areas related to security, personal safety, and protection.