What is Defenders LIVE?

Our mission is to grow defenders both on and off the range. We advocate for personal responsibility, personal growth and developing competency (with context) through education. We believe that the development of the heart, mind, body and spirit is just as important as learning skills on the range.

Defenders LIVE is affiliated with Defenders USA, a defensive training company founded by Adam Winch and hosted by Lora Thorson, a Defenders USA instructor.

The Host, Lora Thorson

Lora Thorson started Defenders LIVE in 2022, after being asked to join the Defenders USA team. She felt strongly that she wanted to share what she had been learning with others, from skills on the range to personal growth gleaned from in-depth instructor certifications and and everything in between. It was a big step of faith to do so and it has been a wild and wonderful ride.

Since then, she has interviewed over 120 guests to include Navy Seals, Green Berets, financial coaches, authors, athletes, law enforcement, politicians and extraordinary (but ordinary) everyday people of all ages with all kinds of inspiring lessons for growth.

Lora shares lessons learned through many of her monologues called: Lora’s TidBits of the Week. Through these, she shares her experiences, what she learned and how to apply them to your life.

Instructor Credentials & Training Experience:

Lora Thorson’s formal firearm’s training began in 2016 when she narrowly evaded a potentially tragic encounter. Feeling completely helpless in that moment and having no way to call for help, Lora now sees that moment in time as a wake up call in her life. She used that learning moment as a catalyst to seek out urgently needed training, approaching this new calling with the same passion and burning desire to learn and grow that she attacks everything in life. Her expertise was soon recognized and she began her own calling of helping train others in the same skills she has meticulously developed so they also would never feel helpless if and when Evil visits.​

CERTIFICATIONS & TRAINING (Over 600 hours in total):

Certified NRA Handgun Instructor
Certified Handgun Instructor through The Complete Combatant's "Deliberate Coaching" with Brian Hill
Certified NRA Range Safety Officer​
Certified ASP (Active Self Protection) Instructor
Former USCCA Instructor

Formal Training:

Adam Winch, Defenders USA: 3-Day Handgun Training (x 3), 3-Day Fighting Rifle Applications with a Side of Handgun (x 2), Emergency Medical Trauma Training, Avoid the Criminal: Awareness, Safe Habits, & The Weaponized Mind, Mastering Handgun Speed & Accuracy (x2), Handgun Concepts to Win​, Fighting Handgun Concepts (x2)

Sal Navarro, Montana Tactical Firearms Instruction, Inc: Basic Pistol, Intermediate Pistol, Advanced Conceal Carry Concepts, Carbine 1 (x2), Carbine 2, S.T.A.R.S. Self-Defense Course (x3), Room Clearance, Close Quarters Battle & Handgun Retention/Disarm Course, First Aid/Stop the Bleed Medical Training, Intro to Competitive Shooting – IDPA, Fast Strike & Sabre Pepper Spray Self-Defense Course

Lew Gosnell, Lead Instructor, Gunsite Academy: Attended on a Jeff Cooper Legacy Foundation Scholarship, 5-Day 250 Defensive Pistol; Achieved Marksman 1 status

Dave Jenkins, Rochester Personal Defense: Combat Kinetic Pistol

James Fleming, Warfighters Concepts: 1-Day Basic Pistol, 2-Day Intermediate Pistol, 1-Day Basic Carbine​

Riley Bowman, USPSA Master Class Shooter, Host of Concealed Carry Podcast: 2-Day Pistol Intelligence

Brian Hill, The Complete Combatant, Master Level Coach of 30+ Years, (Too many credentials/certifications to list here - go to his website): Deliberate Coaching & Inner Game of Shooting (Earned a Blue Belt Patch)

Medical Training: Stop The Bleed, CPR, Mass Casualty Emergency Medical Training

John Holschen, West Coast Armory North/ U.S. Special Forces: Aligning Training with Reality - Preparing for Lethal Encounters and Range Success; Integrating The Perception - Cognition - Decision Cycle in Handgun Training

Mike Ox, Rangemaster instructor, Force Science Analyst, IDPA BUG Master Class Shooter: Now You See Me - Visual & Performance Neurology

Jasmine Vanderpool, Martial Arts Research Systems: Moving To Strike - Open-hand, knife and palm stick defense

Dan Brady, Apache Solutions Firearms Training: Inner Instructor - Mastering the Art of Self Assessment

Chuck Haggard, Agile/Training & Consulting, 30+ years in law enforcement: MUC (Managing Unknown Contact) and OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) Spray; Pre-Attack Indicators, De-Esclalation, and Post-Incident Actions


Why subscribe?

Subscribe so you can learn. Subscribe so you can grow. Truly. Practically. In your everyday life.

Lora does her very best to find guests who have a heart of service and loads of value to bring to her viewers.

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Welcome to the Defenders LIVE community! This is where you can find information and inspiration to grow as a defender both on and off the range.


Our mission is to grow defenders both on and off the range. We advocate for personal responsibility, encourage personal growth and help people develop competency with context through education.