This month in our spotlight of Women in the Industry, we would like to introduce you to the owner of Archangel Tactical NIKKI TURPEAUX. Nikki is another one of the many amazing women who contribute to our shooting community in a huge way!
SSM: Please tell us a little about your company, Archangel Tactical
Nikki: Archangel Tactical, LLC was created with the purpose of providing high quality tactical and defensive training throughout the United States. Archangel Tactical, LLC’s training curriculum serves women, men, youth and families in the disciplines of defensive pistol, shotgun, carbine, OC, edged/improvised weapons and unarmed defense training. We are a mobile training company that also provides the following:
• Our Get A GRIP® Personal Defense Firearms Training Program for Women, Men and Youth.
• Basic firearms training for law abiding Citizens.
• Advanced & Specialty Tactical training courses for select military units, Law Enforcement agencies and personnel, Private Security professionals and specially vetted Civilians.
• Home Defense & Personal Security planning.
• Private, Customized Group & Individual Instruction and Scenario-based Fun Shoots.
• Seminars and Speaking Engagements
SSM: How long has your company been in business?
Nikki: Since 2011.
SSM: Have you always been involved in the shooting/tactical/firearms community?
Nikki: No. I started training with firearms seriously about 4 years ago. It has been like riding a bullet train since I took my first shots and realized I had an aptitude for shooting and a fierce desire to learn more and share that knowledge. Learning the psychology and physical skills of weapons manipulations became my passion. I have been blessed with mentors and counterparts that are some of the very best in the world. I am very thankful and thrilled to have the opportunity to combine my business savvy and love for shooting to offer quality training and life-saving skills to others.
SSM: And you do a fantastic job of combining them! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
Nikki: I am originally from the great state of Texas. In 1995 I proudly represented my hometown as Miss Houston and was a Top Ten Finalist in the Miss Texas Scholarship Pageant as an accomplished saxophone player. A fun fact is that I also survived "Amateur Night" on Showtime at the Apollo at the legendary Apollo Theatre in New York. My career prior to starting AT was in Business Development and Sales.
Currently, I am the Owner/CEO of Archangel Tactical, LLC and Founder of the Get A GRIP® Personal Defense & Firearms Training Program. In addition to being a member of the NRA, NSSF, IDPA, I am also an NRA Instructor/RSO, Certified SABRE College Safety Program Instructor, writer for the Beretta Blog and Host of Firearms Insider Radio. I am currently a Tactical Training Alliance Ambassador for 5.11 Tactical and the newest instructor to be added to the Panteao “Make Ready with the Experts” family of instructors. For fun, I like reading, snowboarding, watching movies and improvised dance sessions with my two English bulldogs! I love my friends and family and love to laugh. I have diverse taste in music and love fashion, contrary to having to wear a lot of tactical pants & range boots. I always have manicured nails and never leave home without wearing at least these three things: mascara, lip gloss and earrings! SSM: What a super-impressive resume! So, what made you decide to start Archangel?
Nikki: I realized during all of my training that all of the highly skilled individuals I was learning from were men. One question that kept coming to mind was, “why aren’t there any women teaching/training skills like this?” I quickly realized the difference between training for target shooting and combat-proven defensive firearms training... more specifically-gun fighting. Realizing that there were almost no female instructors with a deep knowledge and skill set for teaching complex defensive skills to everyday women, I felt a calling to make these skills relatable and obtainable particularly to the women in my circle of influence. Archangel Tactical, LLC and the Get A GRIP® Program grew from there spanning the country and bringing training to men, women, youth and families. Combining this with the skills and talent of my training team, we are able to serve the needs of military and law enforcement communities as well.
SSM: What would you say is the best part of your job?
Nikki: The most rewarding part is helping a person, regardless of gender, age or skill level, achieve success on the range. Watching a person have an honest discovery of their ability to become better and feel empowered is so fulfilling. I love people! Being looked to as a subject matter authority is a huge responsibility. It is a great reward to be a part of the learning process when others are gaining momentum towards their personal goals. I also love it when I overhear my students talking to, shooting with or demonstrating to others using terminology that they have learned during training… it always makes me smile!
SSM: Nothing is better when you see a student "click". On that note, have there been any lessons has your work life taught you?
Nikki: Too many to list! One of the most important lessons relates to constructive criticism in business relationships, or any relationships for that matter. When you need to articulate a point and desire to bring about a positive change, deliver a statement of affirmation and replace the word “but” with “and” prior to articulating the thing you wish to be different. A simple rephrase, and the elimination of the word “but,” can take away any negative connotation and keeps the positive momentum going. This allows the other person(s) involved to still feel valued. It’s a simple concept, but it’s a powerful tool of interpersonal communication.
SSM: That's huge. Excellent advice! If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
Nikki: Though I have had, and still have, some valuable and influential mentors throughout my life, I have chosen one above all others to be the constant. I am a woman of faith and a continual “work in progress.” In my heart of hearts, I am inspired and empowered by my faith in Christ. There is no better mentorship available than that of a loving Savior who provides for you, protects you and leads you on the individual journey through life, tailor made specifically and uniquely for each of us. No one knows me like He does and no one loves me more!
SSM: What is your primary weapon and why?
Nikki: My primary weapon is my mind. This is true of all of us. This is a concept that makes so much sense when you really break down the concept of personal defense. In everyday life, the military, law enforcement or security details, all of the training and practical application of skill will only go so far. It is the decision making paradigm and the mental components necessary to implement decisive action that directly impact the outcome.
SSM: What are some important lessons you have learned while running Archangel?
Nikki: I have learned that not every opportunity is a good opportunity. The art of saying “no” is important. When creating goals, it is important to stay laser-focused on a specific goal and avoid being distracted with too many.
SSM: What do our readers have to look forward to in the future from Archangel?
The new “Make Ready with Nikki Turpeaux” series of Instructional DVDs from Panteao Productions are available for pre-sale now. There are more titles coming in the future, www.panteaoproductions.com.
Archangel Tactical, LLC training locations have grown to include 15 states and we will continue to add additional locations to our training routes. Our Annual Anniversary Event Training Weekend is coming up again in August and we would love for the readers to attend. We’ll be announcing the Guest of Honor and opening up early registration soon! Keep an eye on our Facebook pages (Archangel Tactical, LLC and Nikki Turpeaux – Public Figure) and check in at www.archangeltactical.com for more info about this and training in different areas of the US. Let us know if you are interested in scheduling training in your area or at a range near you: firstname.lastname@example.org … have guns – will travel!
SSM: Awesome! What is the best shooting advice you have been given that you feel might be important to share with our readers?
Nikki: There are so many, but follow through is essential!
SSM: Where do you see Archangel in 5 years?
Nikki: In 5 years, we will still be committed to protecting those we can and training those we can’t protect to protect themselves.
SSM: And for our final question... If you could be any character in a movie to be who would it be & why?
Nikki: A hybrid of Lara Croft – Tomb Raider & Katness Everdeen – Hunger Games
Lady Croft has guns, a stellar homestead, amazing adventures and unlimited resources. Katness has amazing survival skills, an enduring spirit, a true sense of self-reliance and dedication to family. Both are strong women with clever wit, rock solid determination, thrive in male dominated environments and look great in spandex!
For more information on Archangel Tactical you can visit them on Facebook or on their website at archangeltactical.com.
Spotlight on a Sure Shot
At work, scouting locations
This issue's Spotlight is on Sure Shots Co-Leader Carrin Welch... just where has she been?!
Since May of last year, Sure Shots co-leader Carrin has been temporarily living in Nashville, TN, to work as the Art Department Coordinator for Season 2 of the TV series "Nashville"! This is Carrin's second season working in Nashville in this position. What does an Art Department Coordinator do, exactly? Carrin explains: "The Art Department on a film or in a TV show encompasses the construction department (they build sets and scenery pieces), the set decoration department (they fill the sets with all the furniture, art, and stuff to make them look like real places), the props department (they take care of everything the actors handle, like bags, computers, guns, even sunglasses and jewelry). The Art Department is responsible for getting info to all those departments so they can fulfill the Production Designer and Director's vision for the show. My job is to make sure that people and things are getting where they need to be, when they need to be there. I track budgets, create graphics, print posters and artwork, plus much more. But, really my biggest job is just to do whatever needs to be done, and that can be a VERY wide range of possibilities. I've had to help find some really strange things, like carnival rides, large metal bull sculptures, and even a pumpjack for a scene in an oil field!"
Carrin finally put sights on her second AR build and took it to the range to shoot with her Nashville shooting buddy, DJ
Though her days on the lot are long, she still makes time to practice shooting as much as she can, sometimes even participating in after-work nighttime indoor IDPA matches at the Nashville Armory. Nighttime indoor IDPA matches—how cool is that?!
Shooting indoor IDPA at Nashville Armory
nother cool development in Carrin's shooting life is that she recently entered the world of 3-Gun competitions! Carrin says "3-Gun is A LOT OF FUN! It's challenging and exciting, I find that I really have to concentrate and utilize all the tools I've learned from training. The first thing I said after the first 3gun stage I ever shot? "That was so much more fun than IDPA!". She's even registered for the Brownells Lady 3 Gun Pro-Am Challenge in Georgia this October!
Carrin's first 3-Gun match at Gallatin Gun Club
We miss Carrin tons, and can't wait for the season to end so she'll be back with us… where she belongs!
by Mariesha Williams
My first time at Sure Shots was in July, just one month after picking up a handgun for the very first time. It was only my third time to shoot and I must admit, I was very nervous—actually, I was very intimidated. I didn't know what to expect. I figured that all the ladies would be seasoned pros and they would look down on me for my lack of knowledge and experience.
What I found was quite the opposite. I paid for my ammo and rental and was sent to Niki for my safety briefing. I was met with smiles and kindness and encouragement!! And I was ready to join the group, for I had an intense desire to learn. I didn't want someone to hand me a gun and just let me shoot it. I wanted to know how it worked and why. I wanted to know the proper techniques to make me an adequate and efficient shooter. I wanted to shoot all types of guns and I wanted to be good at it.
You see, I was not raised around guns. I spent most of my life afraid of guns because I didn't know how to use them. When my husband would leave town and leave me alone with our three small children, I would take the biggest kitchen knife to bed with me and sleep with it under the pillow (what little I did sleep, when I wasn't listening to every little sound, convinced it was a burglar).
What I found at Sure Shots was an incredible group of like-minded ladies.They have made it possible for me to take some amazing training courses and have taught me many things. They are even responsible for introducing me to my second love... archery. So glad I got up the nerve to go that first night!
- Mariesha Williams
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