In October 2007, reality-based self-defense expert Jim Wagner visited Black Belt to shoot the cover for the then-upcoming February 2008 issue. As a well-known defensive-tactics instructor, Sgt. Jim Wagner draws on more than three decades of experience in martial arts, police, military and special operations. For many years, Jim Wagner wrote Black Belt’s High Risk column. Jim Wagner's methods are used by many elite forces, including the Israeli Special Forces, FBI SWAT and Germany's GSG9 unit. Jim Wagner is the creator of two Reality-Based Personal Protection DVD series, a multi-topic DVD series on survival tactics, and the author of two books: Reality-Based Personal Protection and Defensive Tactics for Special Operations, with the third (Protecting Others) in production for 2011 release. Jim Wagner remains in demand around the world, where he preaches the gospel of reality-based fighting, a genre he single-handedly defined.


Photo by Kem West
Gillian White has worked in film and television for 25 years — far longer than she's been married to Michael Jai White, whom she wed in 2015. Recently, she's created a buzz in the entertainment industry because of her role as Zara in Take Back, a movie that also stars her husband and teacher, as well as Mickey Rourke. After eight years of hybrid training that includes kyokushin karate and an array of effective fighting styles, Gillian will step into history as the first Black female martial artist to play the lead in an action film when Take Back is released this year.
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