The founder and president of ITAC, Russell Ricalde, spent 25 years serving as a Special Agent with various U.S. government agencies. He has been a SWAT Team Leader for the past 12 years with U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations. Russ has worked closely with the US Marshals Service, Regional Fugitive Task Force, giving him extensive experience in locating and apprehending violent wanted persons.
Russ spent six years conducting and teaching Executive Protection with U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security. He provided Protective Security for numerous diplomats to include U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright, PLO Leader Yasser Arafat, Princess Dianna of the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United State, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, and other foreign dignitaries and distinguished guests. He has travelled extensively overseas as Special Agent, working in over 30 countries to include areas of the Middle East, the former Soviet Union, West Africa, Europe, Asia, and Haiti. Russ was deployed during numerous national and international emergencies to include the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 in New York City, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the Haiti earthquake in 2010.
Russ has been a certified firearms instructor for over 22 years and has provided advanced training to Special Agents in three federal agencies. He has also trained foreign national police units, U.S government and military personnel overseas, and civilian clients. Russ has studied mixed martial arts (MMA) for over 30 years and holds numerous Defensive Tactics Instructor certifications. Russ is a NRA Law Enforcement and Civilian Firearms Instructor and currently holds a Florida Class K Firearms Instructor License. He is a licensed private investigator in the State of Florida.
Amir Ardebily began training in the martial arts at age 6 under his first Sensei, Amir's father. Amir's training continued and he opened his first martial arts school at age 16 in Tehran, Iran. After serving in the Iranian military’s Special Forces unit in the early 1980's, Amir immigrated to the United States and opened the Amir Academy of Martial Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1985. His training techniques reflect the philosophy that everyone is an individual and each has their own abilities and system that works for them. Conditioning and flexibility are emphasized. His classes are designed in a fashion that will give both combative and non-combative training. Amir has actively trained in the martial arts for over 40 years. Some of Amir’s Martial Arts credentials include:
“Shaolin Kung Fu" ‘Chen To On' International K-F Association 7th Degree Black Belt
“Iaido” 5th Degree Black Belt
“Kan Zen Ryu” 3rd Degree Black Belt
Certified Muay Thai Instructor
“Ken Doe” 5th Degree Black Belt
Certified Jiu Jitsu Instructor
Mike began his in 1998 with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office where he served as a Patrol deputy. Shortly thereafter, Mike accepted a position as a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service. Mike was a full time Control Tactics Instructor (CTI) at the James J. Rowley Training Center (JJRTC) located in Laurel, MD, for several years. As a CTI, Mike developed a ground fighting curriculum for the basic Special Agent training class. He also trained Special Agents assigned to the Presidential Protection Detail in self-defense tactics and other Use of Force disciplines. Finally, Mike operate as a full-time member of the President’s Counter Assault Team (C.A.T.), providing counter ambush and closed quarter combat support for the President and Vice-President.
In 2009, Mike accepted a position as a Special Agent with the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Currently, Mike is the Assistant Team Leader for the HSI Tampa Special Response Team (SRT). The SRT conducts high risk arrest and search warrants in support of all HSI investigations. Mike is a Defensive Tactics Instructor for the HSI and a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force for which he holds a Top Secret, SCI clearance.
Steve is currently a Federal Agent with the United States government. He has over 20 years' experience in law enforcement and competitive shooting and has been a Certified Federal Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor for over 15 years. Steve has been a sworn officer for multiple local and Federal Agencies to include Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (Reserve II), U.S. Customs Service, Federal Air Marshal Service, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He is a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician with the current title of Lead Tactical Medic on a federal SWAT team. Steve is a FLETC certified Use of Force Instructor and has trained in hundreds of Special Agents Defensive Tactics and Arrest Techniques. He is an expert in all types of shooting and weapons platforms to include revolver, semi auto pistol, patrol rifle, bullseye and combat shooting.
Mike began his military career as an infantryman with the US Army 75th Ranger Regiment. He retired from the Army Reserve as a Colonel after 35 years of total active and reserve service. Mike had a parallel civilian career as a special agent with the US Customs Service and after 9/11 with Homeland Security Investigations. He investigated and supervised investigations of every major case category during his 26 years as a Federal agent. He retired as an Assistant Special Agent in Charge of a major field office. Mike has completed numerous training courses including: Airborne, Ranger, Northern Warfare, Jungle Warfare, FLETC and US Customs Service Firearms Instructor, Use of Force Instructor, Special Response Team, Warrant Entry Team, Submachinegun Instructor, Mental Preparation for Armed Confrontation, Street Survival, and Task Force Operations. His awards include the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service Medals, Expert Infantryman's and Combat Action Badges, as well as over 15 Civilian Service Awards. Mike is a NRA Law Enforcement and Civilian Firearms Instructor and currently holds a Florida Class K Firearms Instructor License. Mike is a licensed private investigator in the State of Florida.