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Frequently Asked GST Questions

Q: Who can take the GST program?

A: The GST course is only open to Military and Law Enforcement professionals (reserve, guard, part-time duty acceptable). When you arrive for the training, you will be required to show a government issued badge and/or photo ID to verify your status. On occasion, we make exceptions for select corrections officers, private security personnel, EMT’s, and firefighters to participate, but this must be arranged in advance. If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact the GST Program Director by sending an email to: or calling (817) 692-8303.

Q: What if I cannot participate in the recertification course every 12 months?

A: Upon successful completion of the Level 1 GST Instructor Certification Course (hands-on), you will be issued an instructor certificate that is valid for 12 months, and you will be given a free one-year subscription to the GST online video course. During this 12-month certification period, members of the Gracie family will testify as ”subject matter experts” on behalf of your organization if excessive force allegations arise involving the use of the GST techniques. After the 12-month certification period expires, you must attend the 5-day recertification course to renew your instructor certificate and your GST online video subscription. As with all training, the combatives/defensive tactics techniques taught in the GST program are perishable so you should recertify every 12 months. If you do not recertify, you may still practice/teach the techniques at your organization, but the Gracie family will not testify on your behalf in excessive force cases. The other significant benefit of recertification is the opportunity to learn new/modified techniques based on the feedback from users. In the past, some Law Enforcement Officers and Military personnel chose not to take the GST course because they couldn’t budget time and/or money to recertify every 12 months. You will still benefit immensely from taking the GST course once even if you never recertify.

Q: Why did the GST recertification requirement change from 2 days to 5 days?

A: Originally, the GST recertification requirement was to attend a 2-day course every six months. Realizing that we were going to make the entire GST course available online, we changed to an annual recertification requirement. The greater length of time between certification/recertification meant that we had to cover more material, so we expanded the course to five days.

If you hold an active GST Instructor’s Certificate, you qualify to have free access to the GST online video course (valued at $395.00). Click here to learn more and to receive access.

Q: How many instructors should attend from my organization?

A: Although no experience is necessary, and only one member of your organization must participate in order for the organization to be recognized as GST certified, we recommend that at least two people attend the 5-day Instructor Certification Course. We have found that if at least two people from the same organization attend the course, then there is better retention for course material and consequently, a greater chance that the course will be successfully implemented within your organization.

Q: Is it possible to host a closed GST Instructor Certification Course for my organization only?

A: Yes. Over the years, there have been many Military and Law Enforcement organizations that have opted to have closed GST Instructor Certification Courses for their personnel. Some organizations that have requested this option over the years are: the US Secret Service, US Customs and Border Protection, US Army Rangers, and the US Air Force, to name a few. In this type of arrangement, the Gracies are brought out to the host installation where they conduct the 5-day Instructor Certification Course for anywhere from 30 to 100 participants. If you have questions about hosting a GST course, including schedule availability and pricing requirements, at your installation, please contact the GST Program Director by sending an email to: or calling (817) 692-8303.

Q: What makes the techniques taught in GST court-defensible?

A: Since the GST techniques are based on leverage and control, rather than punches and kicks, we minimize the physical damage to the suspect. Allegations of excessive force decrease significantly as a result of using the GST approach. In order for one of the Gracie family members to appear as an expert witness on behalf of your department or agency, at least one individual from within the organization must hold a valid GST certification, as well as accurate records of who they’ve trained, when the training was conducted, and what techniques were taught.


For more information on GST, including program options, upcoming course dates, pricing, and benefits of hosting a GST course at your organization, simply click on the additional links found on the upper left-hand side of this webpage.


For national security reasons, additional information requires our personal attention. please contact the GST Director, by sending an email to: or calling (817) 692-8303.