About River City Training Academy
We believe in the safety-first mindset at River City Training Academy, and our motto is “Safety Through Education.” River City Training Academy got its start by teaching basic firearm safety and concealed carry classes. We then added more in-depth courses that teach students how to be more accurate, how to draw and shoot faster, and how to move and shoot – but safety remains our primary goal. Our firearms instructors are certified through the NRA and DCJS (Department of Criminal Justice Services).
Noticing a lack of formal training among gun owners and enthusiasts, and concerned about the resulting lack of safety, we began the Academy to educate the community about safe and responsible ownership and use of firearms.
RCTA has taken our “Safety Through Education” motto to the next level with our personal and corporate unarmed self-defense programs. Our instructors are compassionate and take pride in being able to offer quality self-defense training in a group setting at our facility or yours. Our S.P.E.A.K. (Self-Protection, Empowerment, And Knowledge) program is designed for women only, and our lead S.P.E.A.K. instructor, Lindsey Mac, has a background in Women’s Studies and gender violence that informs her perspective. This is not a martial arts program, but a comprehensive plan for safety that includes only self-defense techniques that are practical and effective for most women.
We’ve had great success with our Corporate Self-Defense program. Our staff will meet with your security personnel for a needs assessment. After we understand the specific needs of your company, we will tailor our program accordingly. Our program can be customized to any size group, frequency, and duration to meet your particular self-defense or safety goals. We encourage our clients to invite us back on a scheduled basis for continuing education.
River City Training Academy brings together a wealth of experience in both armed and unarmed self-defense through its instructors’ estimable and diverse perspectives and backgrounds. We are committed to using our collective training and experience to bring Safety through Education to the community!
The staff at River City Training Academy have been teaching firearms and self-defense for over 50 years combined.
Keith Parknow was born in Pennsylvania where he trained in Karate, Taekwondo and wrestling. He joined the Marine Corps and competed in freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling on the all-Marine wrestling team in Quantico, VA. It was in the Marines that he first experienced formal firearms training and developed the fundamentals of marksmanship.
After leaving the Marines, he entered law enforcement and began teaching firearms training. Later he began to enter fitness competitions. In 2002, Keith won first place in the “Top Cop” physical fitness competition for the state of Virginia, and was recognized by, commending resolution, by the VA General Assembly.
In 2004, Keith discovered Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and was hooked from the first class. Some of his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu accomplishments include:
3X Pan Am Champion
10X US Grappling Champion
3X Budweiser World Cup Champion
Mixed Martial Arts – Valhalla Fights
Certified referee for the US Grappling tournament circuit
He is a first-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and he both trains and teaches at Revolution BJJ in Richmond, VA.
Part of the reason Keith wanted to start River City Training Academy was his passion for teaching. RCTA wants to provide you with real-life personal defense skills to help protect against those who prey on the ill prepared.
Throughout his 28 years of combined military and law enforcement experience, Keith has been certified through the Department of Criminal Justice Services in the following:
Emergency Vehicle Operations
Keith brings a wealth of professional and life experience to RCTA, with his diverse background, having taught law enforcement, military, and civilian students. Throughout his career with the Marines and law enforcement, Keith has been in various leadership, training, and tactical roles in both the local and federal government.
Keith is committed, through River City Training Academy, to provide you with quality training in the areas of firearm proficiency and safety, self-defense, and physical fitness.
Our motto is “Safety Through Education.”
Tony Wayne has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Health and Physical Education with a concentration in Sports Medicine.
He became a sworn Law Enforcement Officer in 1994 with assignments as a patrol officer, Vice/Narcotics Investigator, and, currently, a General Investigator, specializing in violent crimes.
During his tenure he has attended numerous schools including Basic Narcotics Investigator, Basic Undercover Investigator, Club Drugs, Money Laundering/Financial Investigative Techniques, Top Gun (Class IX), Advanced Search and Seizure, Criminal Interdiction Including Concealed Compartments, Basic Crime Scene Investigations, and Basic Homicide Investigations.
Tony has participated in large scale drug conspiracy cases involving the DEA, IRS, and local and state Task Force operations. He has acted in an undercover capacity to purchase drugs including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and other Schedule I drugs. He has also participated in the DC Sniper Task Force based out of the Richmond FBI office. Tony has been a recognized expert in multiple courts in the Methods of Packaging, and PWID (possession with intent to distribute) vs. personal use for cocaine, heroin and marijuana.
Tony has obtained multiple certifications that include DCJS General Instructor (1998), DCJS Firearms Instructor (1998), Taser Instructor (2006), and NRA Pistol Instructor (2017). He is a Field Training Officer for new Vice/Narcotic and General Investigators. He teaches Drug Identification, Search and Seizure, and Writing Search Warrants to the academy and incumbent employees.
Tony has studied various martial arts including wrestling, Taekwondo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for over 20 years. He holds a blue belt in BJJ and won the Gold Medal in his age/weight class in the 2009 Pan Americans in California.
Fitness has been a lifelong staple for Tony, and he currently competes in Obstacle Course Races. He has raced in over 12 Spartan Races and qualified to participate in the OCR Championships in 2016.
Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Studies through Southern New Hampshire University. She served in the United States Coast Guard from 1996-2003.
She became a sworn Law Enforcement Officer in 2009 with assignments as a patrol officer and School Resource Officer. She became a Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise. She is an Ambassador of Hope for Shared Hope International (an anti human/sex trafficking organization).
Jennifer has over 13 years of combined military and law enforcement experience. While serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Jennifer was a Boarding Team Member who assisted with patrols along the Texas/Mexico border and assisted with several water rescues, as well as illegal fishing and drug smuggling seizures.
Jennifer later became a Health Services Technician (Corpsman), during which time she assisted active duty personnel and their dependents with maintaining medical care and wellness, along with U.S. Coast Guard medical compliance for active duty members.
While serving as a Deputy Sheriff, Jennifer completed numerous courses including FBI Crisis Negotiator, Search and Rescue, Pipeline Interdiction, INLETS (INtelligence and Law Enforcement Training Seminar), SRO (School Resource Officer), and DARE Officer Instructor. As a Deputy, she assisted with several cases involving crimes against children, and she assisted with the investigations, apprehensions, and convictions of offenders.
As a School Resource Officer, Jennifer had the opportunity to work with youth on a regular basis. She counseled, educated, and volunteered her free time to work with youth on health and wellness efforts. Her number one priority was keeping students safe and educating them in ways to prevent and avoid criminal activity.
Jennifer is a certified personal trainer who stays educated on current health and wellness trends. She has competed in sports and fitness programs for over 30 years. She has completed numerous Obstacle Course Races including Spartan Races, Tough Mudder, Rugged Maniac, and the Battlefrog Series, and she qualified for the OCR World Championship in 2016. She has a passion for helping others find balance and maintain everyday fitness. She enjoys encouraging others to step outside the box and challenge themselves daily with their fitness goals.
Lindsey MacMhaolain is a lifelong martial artist. She began with a number of traditional martial arts in her youth, including Okinawan Kempo Karate, Wing Chun, Jeet Kune Do, and Kali, moving on to her current disciplines of wrestling, submission grappling, Muay Thai kickboxing, Brazilian JiuJitsu, boxing, Judo, and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).
She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with degrees in Religious Studies and Women’s Studies. She taught Women’s Self-Defense courses both in high school and to undergraduate students while studying at VCU, continuing to teach at private institutions after graduation. She also taught women’s safety and safe dating courses through the YWCA.
She has worked in the martial arts world for more than a decade, with long-time involvement with the World Kickboxing Association. She has a voluminous fighter’s pedigree, with her first Muay Thai match in 2006. In 2007, she fought the first female MMA bout in Richmond, Virginia. She is a multiple-time medalist in numerous submission grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments, including a gold at the WKA World Championships in 2012. She has won WKA MMA and Muay Thai North American tournaments in the amateur open class division.
Lindsey teaches with a unique perspective: she combines her vast martial arts experience with scholarly knowledge of gender violence awareness and prevention. Combined with a passion for sexual assault and domestic violence advocacy, her self-defense instruction is thoughtful, effective, and evidence-based.
Matt McGrain graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. While studying for his degree, Matt was also lettering on the varsity soccer team.
He started practicing the martial arts in 1985 and has been involved in many different martial arts styles, including Jook Lum Tong Leong Kuo Shu Kwan Karate, in which he earned a purple belt, and Shorinji Toraken Ryu Ju-Jutsu, in which he earned his black belt.
Matt has spent the past 26+ years in Law Enforcement and is passionate about all aspects thereof. While performing his duties, Matt has been the recipient of many commendations, including Officer of the Year and a bronze valor award.
He has 20+ years of Investigations experience including:
14 years of Covert Narcotics Investigation with 6 years spent on the Richmond DEA task force. He headed investigations leading to hundreds of arrests for narcotics distribution; and
6 years of property crimes and crimes against persons investigations, during which time he investigated and prepared homicides, robberies, burglaries, and grand larcenies for successful prosecutions.
Matt has been certified as an expert witness in the United States District Court as well as a Virginia State Circuit Court and General District Court.
Matt has been a DCJS-certified General Instructor for more than years, during which time he has trained and helped certify hundreds of law enforcement officers from several different Central Virginia Law Enforcement Agencies.
He has been a DCJS-certified Firearms Instructor for over 13 years. He has recently supplemented this certification with a NRA Firearms Instructor certification.
Matt has been a DCJS-certified Defensive Tactics Instructor for 18+ years. He played a large role in reforming the defensive tactics program for a Central Virginia Law Enforcement Agency. He has trained and helped prepare hundreds of Law Enforcement Officers in the Central Virginia area to safely make arrests and survive many different types of armed and unarmed conflicts.
He is an advocate for physical fitness and its positive influence on all aspects of life. Matt was certified as a Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Instructor and helped implement a physical fitness program for a Central Virginia Law Enforcement Agency. He competed and placed in the National Law Enforcement Top Cop physical fitness competition. Matt also enjoys and has completed several Spartan and Tough Mudder Races.
Matt is an active member of his church in Hanover County, in which he has served as Deacon.