September 28, 2021

Spotter Up

In Depth Tactical Solutions

The Tactical Games Athlete Spotlight

6 min read

The Tactical Games were created to provide a platform to test the skills and readiness of tactical athletes from all backgrounds. Whether you are military, LEO, competition shooter, or a civilian gun enthusiast you can compete in The Tactical Games.

The Tactical games provides a venue for all shooters and athletes to compete against the best in the world to find weaknesses and test gear in the most stressful environment a competition can offer.

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The Tactical Games Athlete Spotlight

Tim Buckner (@buckytactical)

Tim, 32, has been involved in The Tactical Games since March of 2020. He is a single father to his beautiful 7yr old daughter, Harper, and lives in Tulsa, OK.

“I was first introduced to The Tactical Games by my SWAT Assistant Team Commander, Brandon Wykoff (@nonnie_popo). He convinced me to compete in the Intermediate Division in March 2020 (@reveillepeakranchsolutions). After my first two events, I moved into the Elite Division, where I’ve been getting pushed ever since.

My training routine is all over the place, just like my background (LE, SWAT, and the Army National Guard). I’ve been a police officer for 10 years in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The people in and around The Tactical Games are the absolute best. You’ll never find a harder working group of friendly and helpful individuals. The competitors will help you through every event, even though y’all are competing for the same title. The challenges faced amongst the Elite competitors is a humbling experience like no other.

Thank you to the entire Tactical Games family (volunteers, competitors, sponsors). My daughter told me that I need to win an event, so I’ll keep coming back for more.”

The Tactical Games Athlete Spotlight – Matt Kempson (@rockymountainkempson)

Matt, 31, is from Woodstock, VT and currently lives in Asbury, NJ. He has quickly made a name for himself in this sport by competing in 3 of the first 4 events in 2021 and has a top goal of finishing on the podium at Nationals this year.

“I work as a Mechanical Design Engineer in the manufacturing industry. I also run an obstacle design company, Kempson Designs, where I design/build equipment for OCR and fitness competitions.

For the past 8 years I’ve been competing as an obstacle racing athlete, landing on 40+ podiums at events such as Spartan Race, Battlefrog, OCR Nor Ams, TMX, & Hyrox. The Tactical Games had been on my radar for about 2 years before a colleague of mine, Robert Killian (@robert_killian) was over for a BBQ one night and over a few beers had me sold on signing up for my first event. I’ve always loved to shoot (mostly bow & shotgun), but with no formal firearms experience I was looking forward to the challenge of having to quickly develop a new skill in order to compete at the highest level in this sport.

Since then I’ve done 3 Tactical Games events and just landed my first elite podium down in Texas (@texasshootingacademy) last month.

I can’t speak highly enough of the other competitors in both the intermediate and elite divisions. Competitive shooters, law enforcement, active duty, veterans: these guys have all been extremely welcoming and helpful to a green and entirely civilian shooter like me. But despite my greenness, I’m determined to keep growing as a tactical athlete and have my sights set on a National Championship podium in November.
Thank you to my sponsors:
MP Systems Inc.
VJ Shoes USA”

Callerina Key @miss_notorious1

“I found The Tactical Games during the summer of 2019 through my good friend Ro (@recon_ro). I had been competing in CrossFit since 2014 and I grew up shooting guns with my family, so I had a good understanding of weapons systems and gun safety.
Ro called me up and said there was this competition and it happened to be in Atlanta in a couple of months (South River Gun Club).

I showed up having no idea what to expect but I had SO much fun and met so many amazingly helpful people. I loved the community and I loved the competition so I was hooked. Since then I’ve competed in 5 other Tactical Games competitions and I look forward to competing in many more.

My day job is a chiropractor, and I am also a nutrition coach but my two main hobbies includes guns and fitness, so there’s no better combination for me than The Tactical Games Competitions.”

Meet Women’s Intermediate Competitor: Kristin Pollard (@krp1025)

“I started competing in December 2020 at The Tactical Games Skirmish (1st Place), then competed in my first 2-day Tactical Games Event – Women’s Intermediate (1st Place), and most recently another Tactical Games Skirmish (1st Place).

For an entire year, I was contemplating on participating in The Tactical Games. I was worried that I wasn’t going to be physically strong enough to move some of the weight and that my shooting wouldn’t be good enough . I decided to step out of my comfort zone to attend The Tactical Games University which led to my first Tactical Games Skirmish followed by a Tactical Games event. As I continued my training, one thing led to another and now my competitive spirit is hooked!

The Tactical Games community is like no other community. The support you get and the friendships you create is indescribable. Everyone you meet at these events are more than willing to help, give tips, and provide encouragement while still being competitive. I’m excited to see where this sport will be in the next few years!”

Meet Elite Competitor: Sal Hernandez (@sh_mander)

“Currently, I am a full time SWAT Officer for a large agency in Texas. I am a firearms instructor and part of our sniper team. I’ve been a Police Officer for 9 years.

Prior to LE, I played D-1 college baseball.
I’ve competed in several SWAT competitions prior to The Tactical Games and I come from a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu background.

I first heard about The Tactical Games while competing at the Florida SWAT roundup in November 2018. Tim Burke was a guest speaker at the opening ceremonies and talked about The Tactical Games. I was immediately interested and competed at my first event in March 2019 at Reveille Peak Ranch in Texas. I knew that competing at The Tactical Games would strongly improve my performance at TTPOA and Florida SWAT round up competition’s. Training for and competing at The Tactical Games has also helped my individual skills as a Police Officer.
The men’s elite competitors have pushed me to another level. There were several times in 2020 I thought that I should drop down to the intermediate division. Several men’s elite competitors reached out to me and gave me advice on how to get stronger and improve my physical performance. You won’t get that camaraderie anywhere else.

I am truly grateful for all of the people I’ve met throughout the 7 Tactical Games I’ve competed in. Training for The Tactical Games has become a lifestyle for me and my wife who just competed in her first event.

A huge thank you to my wife, the men’s elite competitors who keep setting the bar higher, the people who I’m surrounded by, and the companies who believe in me.”
Son’s of Liberty Gun Works
CMC Triggers
Reality Defense inc

Women’s Elite Winner: Laura Luppens (@llupps)

This was Laura’s 3rd Tactical Games and her first time at the top of the podium.

“I initially signed up for the Tactical Games in Utah in 2020 looking for an opportunity to challenge my rifle and pistol skills under physical stress and competition pressure. I found all of that and more. The competition pushed me to my limits and exposed weaknesses in my fitness and shooting skills that I have spent the last seven months improving. I also met amazing people who were welcoming, inspiring, and fun to compete with. We push each other and also help each other improve. The challenge and the community of the Tactical Games are what keep me coming back.”

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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