MEET THE BOARD
The We Defy Foundation Board is comprised of passionate and driven individuals, dedicated to serving our veterans.
We are 100% volunteer-run
TRAVIS LARSON - PRESIDENT
Travis started training Jiu Jitsu in 2014, earned his blue belt under former board member, Professor Gina Franssen in 2016 and is now a purple belt under Professor Manuel Flores at Daimyo BJJ in Tucson, AZ. Mr. Larson has been a consistent supporter of the Foundation since its inception. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1996, has built a career in Software Development and managing remote teams and has worked for Northrop Grumman since 1999. He brings a background of strong project & budget management, process improvement and remote & distributed team leadership skills to the board. Travis has experienced firsthand the mental health benefits of training in Jiu Jitsu. The camaraderie, support and accountability in the Jiu Jitsu community were critical to his recovery from a hemorrhagic stroke in late 2015. His wife and three children are also active Jiu Jitsu students.
TJ KREUTZER - VP OPERATIONS
TJ graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 1999 with a degree in Behavioral Sciences. Over the next several years he attended NATO’s premier fighter pilot training course, EURO-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) and became an F-16 fighter pilot. He served overseas in Korea and deployed to Iraq as a combat flight lead, and was recognized as the Hill Air Force Base Flight Lead of the Year in 2005. Later he served as an instructor and evaluator pilot at ENJJPT, overseeing student training and managing several operational components of the program. During that time he also earned an MBA from Texas A&M - Commerce. He retired after more than 20 years of service in 2019. TJ began his Jiu Jitsu study in earnest in 2015 and has been an active Masters competitor, winning an IBJJF No-Gi World Championship when he was a blue belt and has appeared in multiple Fight 2 Win events. TJ is currently a brown belt. One chance meeting with a struggling veteran after a Jiu Jitsu class inspired him to search for a volunteer opportunity. Soon after, TJ became aware of We Defy Foundation and applied to serve as an ambassador. TJ is passionate about helping people understand why Jiu Jitsu works as a tool for helping disabled combat veterans cope with their challenges. He firmly believes that components of the practice, such as human touch and personal accountability, are easily overlooked and yet integral to the healing process. TJ uses the organizational skills he practiced as an Air Force officer to help manage the day-to-day operations of We Defy Foundation.
MIKE ANDERSON - TREASURER
Mike Anderson is an active Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor and coach. He earned his Black Belt from Professor Alan Shebaro in 2019 after more than 10 years of consistent training and competing. Mike trains at the We Defy Foundation Headquarters in McKinney, TX and has been actively supporting the foundation since its start. Mike has spent his career in the financial services industry and is a Financial Advisor working with families and small businesses. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Consumer Science and Personal Finance and brings a comprehensive background of budgeting, money management, and financial planning to the board. Shortly after moving to Dallas from Minneapolis in 2011, Mike met and began training Jiu Jitsu with Professor Alan Shebaro. As the We Defy Foundation took shape, Mike was able to see first hand how important a tool Jiu Jitsu can be to deal with some of the physical struggles and mental health issues facing everyone, especially disabled combat veterans.
KEVIN LINDERMAN - DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
Kevin Linderman started his Jiu Jitsu journey in 2016 under Alex Martins at AMBJJ in Dallas, TX. He earned his Blue Belt in April 2018 and competed in his first IBJJF tournament in the fall of 2019 taking gold in the open class. Kevin currently is a purple belt. To put it mildly, Kevin is an evangelist for the sport of Jiu Jitsu and believes anyone and everyone should be able to share in the camaraderie, fellowship and overall journey that is Jiu Jitsu. Kevin also shares a passion for working with veterans.
From organizing his own fund raiser for the Green Beret Foundation, to marketing and promoting veteran-run organizations, to joining the board of Pedal Against PTSD, Kevin has been passionate about giving back to our nation’s heroes.
Kevin earned his undergrad from the University of San Diego in Psychology and his Masters from the University of Colorado in Information Systems. At his core, Kevin is a creative problem solver, that is self-motivated, leads by example, and motivates others through hard work and dedication.
STEVE HARGETT - SECRETARY
Steve Hargett enlisted in the Marines in November of 2001 while still in High School and was shipped out to bootcamp shortly after graduating in 2002. After finishing Infantry School, he was sent to 1 st Battalion 7 th Marines, “Suicide” Charley Company. In January of 2003 only 2 weeks after arriving at his duty station his unit shipped out to Kuwait. Steve deployed with 1/7 for 10 months in 2003 and again in August of 2004. After his second deployment Steve was sent to Mojave Viper to be an Urban Warfare instructor with the focus on urban patrolling with tanks. After the Marine Corps Steve worked overseas in the private sector as a security contractor. Shortly after leaving the Marine Corps a friend that served with him in Iraq invited him to join a Jiu Jitsu class and from there he was hooked. “As someone who has directly benefited from the power of Jiu Jitsu, I want to share my Jiu Jitsu Journey with as many people as possible. Jiu Jitsu can fill a void that many veterans feel after leaving the service, it provides you with a group of individuals that are all sharing the same struggle, overcoming obstacles, and being uncomfortable together. Jiu Jitsu has done so much for my life- it is my passion and mission to share this amazing art with everyone who wants to benefit from it”. Steve is a Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under Sensei Xande Ribeiro and has been training Jiu Jitsu since 2007. He is an active competitor and is currently the number one ranked Medium Heavy NoGi competitor in IBJJF. Steve is the Founder and Owner of Hargett Performance in La Quinta, California. community of individuals ready to face the challenges that we will all encounter in daily life. Steve resides in Austin, Texas with his beautiful wife and 3 daughters.
Professor Shebaro earned his Black Belt from Carlos Machado in 2004 and is currently ranked as a 4th degree Black Belt under Professor Chris Haueter. He was 1 of only 4 Black Belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the U.S. Army and is the first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt in Special Forces Regiment. Most importantly, Professor Shebaro has trained a broad spectrum of operators during his deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. These operators included U.S. Army Special Forces from all Groups (Active Duty and National Guard), U.S. Army Rangers, U.S. Navy SEALs, U.S. Air Force Special Operations, Tactical Air Control Party (TACPs), Combat Controllers (CCTs), and U.S. Marine Force Recon. The curriculum covered various close quarters combat techniques including Special Operations Close Quarters Combatives (SOCQC) and Emergency Reaction Training (ERT) specifically tailored for combat and life threatening situations. Professor Shebaro led the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School Combatives (JFKSWCS) Team to take 1st place in the 2006 All Army Combatives Tournament in Ft. Benning, Georgia. He served as the Team Captain of the 12-member team. Professor Shebaro hand selected team members then trained and coached them in multiple levels of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Submission Wrestling, Wrestling, Judo, Pancrase Fighting, and Mixed Martial Arts. Professor Shebaro also trained both SFARTAEC and 82nd Airborne Division Chief Combatives Instructors to refine Training, Tactics, and Procedures (TTP’s) in the areas of restraint and control techniques, competitive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Submission Wrestling. Alan Shebaro has spent a great deal of time training members of the greater Dallas/Ft. Worth area’s Law Enforcement professionals as well as the FBI Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) and Federal Law Enforcement in Law Enforcement Defensive Tactics (LEDT). Highlights of Coach Shebaro’s competitive martial arts record include placing in the top of his division in over 50 International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Wrestling tournaments.
Joey Bozik joined the army in 2000 and was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC with the 82nd airborne. After 6 years of service, he was severely injured by an IED while operating in Iraq. He lost both of his legs and his right arm below the elbow. He received a purple heart and a bronze star for his service. After returning to civilian life, Joey completed his bachelors in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a focus on Forensic Psychology. He worked for a year with the Department of Homeland Security/I.C.E Child Exploitation Division as a Computer Forensics Analyst before co-founding We Defy Foundation. Joey knows firsthand the benefits of training in martial arts for a disabled combat veteran. He holds a 1st Degree Black Belt in Okinawan Kenpo Kobudo and has been training in Jiu Jitsu since 2014 under Professor Alan Shebaro. Since he began his Jiu Jitsu journey, he has lost 35lbs and went from being wheelchair bound to an active Jiu Jitsu competitor.
Retired after 20 years as Active Duty Soldier in the Army. Brian has been instructing since 2008. He was the BJJ coach for 5th SFG(A) from 2008-2014. Brian was also attached to the 160th SOAR(A) from 2008-2014, with multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Professor Brian is a 3rd degree Black Belt under Renzo Gracie.