Castle Defense brings a unique, fun, safe spin to self-defense

Published 12:58 pm Friday, January 13, 2023

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By Ron Marvel
Star Correspondent
Castle Defense, which was started in 2021, has now moved to a more spacious building at 1749 US 19-E Scenic Hwy., Elizabethton. With their grand opening on January 2 their hope is to offer safe, fun, instructive, new services to the community, which will include a 2,100-square-foot shoot house and three virtual firearms training rooms.
Started in 2021 by Matt and Joscelyn Goldberg, they were shortly joined by partner Michael Vaughn, who created the company under the premise everyone should know how to defend themselves. And, according to them, while going to a shooting range can provide help with fundamentals, it falls short in helping people with real world situations they are likely to face. They do in fact have a wide spectrum of services they are now offering the community. “We will be offering Pistol 1, 2 and 3, hand to hand combat, women’s self-defense, and a simulation Force on Force course all designed to simulate the most realistic training,” Goldberg said. They are also committed to promoting safety as they bring this high level of instruction to the Tri-Cities area. “Safety is the utmost importance. If someone gets hurt it is counterproductive to everything we are trying to teach here. We are strict about what we allow to come through these doors,” Vaughn added.
The Goldbergs and Vaughn bring a wealth of knowledge to the courses and training they will be offering. Matthew Goldberg has nearly a decade of firearms training and instruction and served as both an EMT and has emergency room training to go with that training. Vaughn is a military veteran with 30 years of training and real-world experience. He also has his Black Belt in Kaju-Kenbo and has been a state super-heavyweight belt holder. Both have various certifications including NRA Pistol Certifications. Joscelyn, who will be the company’s business manager, holds various certifications in firearm safety. When you speak to them, they all have a passion for bringing self-defense to their community. Their skills and training are beneficial because it will translate to the real world. “When I’m teaching, I’m teaching from reality, not theory; these are all things I have used,” Vaughn stated.
“The tendency is for individuals when put in situations where they have to defend themselves or when placed in high stress situations, to default to their lowest level of training. If you have never been put in these situations you won’t know how to react so they typically panic,” Goldberg shared. Preparation will be a key to all the courses Castle Defense will offer. Some of those courses will include situational awareness, defensive flashlight courses where individuals will be shown in the dark how to defend themselves with a flashlight, the wide spectrum of defensive tactics, low-light simulation shooting and Mommy and Me courses that will teach parents how to keep their children safe in threatening situations. ”We will teach you how to be mentally prepared in different situations, daily routines. We want you to be able to think your way out of a situation first. Thinkers before shooters,” they both shared.
As well as safety and preparedness, they also want folks to just simply come out and have fun while being educated and trained. There are simulation courses that will allow the participant to shoot rounds similar to paintball rounds but more like bullets. “There is just inherent fun in some of the courses we teach.” Walking through the 2100-square-foot shoot house in complete safety gear, knowing that you are in a one-on-one situation with another competitor, would be exhilarating for anyone. There will be other scenarios that will push your mental abilities and preparedness to the limit that Vaughn and Goldberg can set up like a real life chess game. They also desire to work with just not the stereotyped firearm person but also with women and families. “We are trying to create an environment where everyone is welcomed. We want to be intentional in that,” Goldberg shared. Another focus will be on kids and anti-bullying courses will be taught. “You, your wife and your kids can come to use our laser rooms. We can use these rooms to also teach safety.”
Partnering with the community will also be part of the itinerary. “We have a Stop the Bleed course — a free course that teaches first-aid on how to stop bleeding and how to use a tourniquet,” Vaughn said. They are also hoping to work with non-profits including recovery centers, police and fire departments and schools. With a modular shoot house, both fire departments and police could benefit from training that would include the aspect of video.
Training facilities like Castle Defense have typically only been found in large cities such as Charlotte or Atlanta and can cost upwards of $1,000 or more. Castle Defense is hoping to keep all of its services affordable for the community. If you would like to learn about Castle Defense, including services, courses or hours, you can visit their, their Facebook page or you can contact them directly at (423) 297-1199.

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