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‘This Craft is Ever Evolving’: Joel ‘Tek’ Martinez Brings Training Tactics to Vedder Holsters

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‘This Craft is Ever Evolving’: Joel ‘Tek’ Martinez Brings Training Tactics to Vedder Holsters

For Joel “Tek” Martinez, growing up in a law enforcement household meant training with a firearm was just an ordinary part of life. But when he picked up his own pistol for the first time at the age of 21, he had no idea he was embarking on a journey that would allow him to train and inspire countless others to take their personal safety into their own hands.

Based in Central Florida, Joel is a certified firearm instructor who has spent years honing his craft and helping others do the same. While he’s well-versed in a variety of shooting styles, he specializes in modern gun handling techniques and teaches the most up-to-date and advanced methods for improving accuracy, managing high-stress scenarios, and effective concealed carry.

Although he runs a business offering pistol, rifle, and concealed carry courses, Joel joined the Vedder Holsters team as the in-house firearms instructor in 2024 to bring the same cutting-edge training tactics and education to our followers in the form of video content and free training courses.

Joel officially began teaching in 2020, but his lengthy background in shooting and concealed carry started long before that. Growing up in Santurce, Puerto Rico until the age of 13, Joel was raised by a single mother who spent her career working for Puerto Rico’s Joint Forces of Rapid Action, which works closely with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to combat narcotics trafficking in the country. His mom, Maria D. Ruiz, passed much of her extensive weapons knowledge and training approach on to Joel, instilling a deep understanding of safe and effective firearm use and respect for law enforcement at a young age.

Joel ‘Tek’ Martinez in tactical gear outdoor photography

"I give her credit and the honor to be my first instructor not only in firearms training but also in the letter of the law,” Joel said. “I grew up with, obviously, firearms in the home, lots of safety training, going to the range periodically with her, and kind of seeing her career evolve all the way until the point where she retired. This woman just did it all. This was my mom, my hero.”

Joel began regularly concealed carrying as soon as he was old enough, taking classes and clocking plenty of time at the range. He didn’t officially start teaching until 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and many of his friends and relatives who knew he carried a gun reached out to him for advice.

“I had all my friends calling me all at once panicking, rightfully so, due to the uncertainty of things at that time,” he said. “Having had this previous knowledge, I was able to educate my community, my close friends, and my family. And it just kind of evolved from there."

What started as casual training with sometimes as many as 14 friends at an outdoor shooting range in Central Florida quickly transformed into something bigger. It wasn’t long before Joel took the steps to become a certified trainer, and he and his wife Krista Estepa launched their business Teknical Methodz by the end of that year – a feat that involved a lot of collaboration with other known experts and trainers in the industry.

“Since I launched my company, I’ve been fortunate to have learned and trained with incredible instructors who not only helped me improve my personal skill set, but some who have also been so supportive of my journey since I began: Trae and Julie Johnson of Ares Training Facility, Scott “Jedi” Jedlinski of Modern Samurai Project, John Eynouf of Paladin Response, Combat Cozz, Mickey Schuch of Carry Trainer, Mike Jackson of Training Solutions, Tony Johnson of Gun Life Tactical, Josiah Smith of Critical Training Solutions and, of course, the Teknical Methodz Squad – Wayne White and Brian Kupke.”

Today, Joel teaches a wide range of courses covering everything from shooting fundamentals to advanced drills for firing around cover, managing high-stress scenarios, and handling system malfunctions at the Ares Training Facility and throughout Central Florida.

Joel ‘Tek’ Martinez Outdoor Photography

The name of his training business is a nod to Joel’s 30-year career as a competitive breakdancer and graffiti artist, a world in which he’s known as “Teknyc.” He is a founding member of the Tampa, Florida Skill Methodz Crew, which brought a unique and iconic style to the breakdancing scene and won multiple championship titles and awards. This experience even led Joel to serve as a U.S. Cultural Ambassador in the Middle East in 2012, teaching breakdancing to kids in Egypt, Palestine, and Israel as a way to promote good political relations in the region.

"When I created this company, I wanted to have a sense of authenticity. I am teaching techniques, and I'm teaching methods, and it just so happened that for the past, at that time 25 years, I've been b-boy Teknyc and from a crew called Skill Methodz,” he said.

In 2024, Joel took on the role of firearms trainer for Vedder Holsters to create in-depth content and educational courses for our followers. He covers many of the same modern gun handling tactics that he does in his in-person courses, starting with basic shooting fundamentals like proper grip, trigger discipline, and sight alignment, moving into more intermediate and advanced skills like safely drawing from inside and outside the waistband, clearing malfunctions, and mastering form. As a longtime user of Vedder Holsters products, Joel knows firsthand how to best utilize these tools for the most comfortable and successful carry experience.

Joel ‘Tek’ Martinez teaching Vedder Holsters Manager on tips for shooting a handgun

"I've been a Vedder customer since 2019. I have been an avid advocate for Vedder long before this partnership. I could not think or dream of a better partnership,” he said. “What the company stands for in being able to provide a quality product that's made in the states for everyday law-abiding gun owners absolutely aligns with our values as a responsible firearms training company that operates to the highest degree of integrity.”

To continuously bring the latest and most cutting-edge techniques to his followers and trainees, Joel has made it a priority to constantly update his own knowledge and skill set by networking with other trainers, taking courses for himself, and even working with local weapons manufacturers.

"If I were to describe my mentality behind all of this is that I am still a student,” Joel said. “This craft is ever-evolving. The technology is ever-evolving. Our holsters are better now, they're constantly evolving. And so I have to keep a student mentality."

But there’s more to it than simply keeping up with the latest and greatest gear and trends. Joel is dedicated to instilling a sense of “safety first” in everyone he teaches, providing education on self-defense laws, and maintaining a desire to keep improving. His intent is for each trainee to develop a deeper understanding of what their rights and duties are as responsible gun owners so they’re equipped to handle defensive situations appropriately if they arise.

"My slogan is 'train hard, train often.’ The ethos though, inside of that, is safety first. Safety first above all and to always obey the law, and learn the letter of the law,” he said. “It is what oftentimes tends to get everyday law-abiding citizens in trouble is the fact that they didn't know that one thing that changes the situation based on the letter of the law. Education is power.”

To access these educational resources and to learn practical concealed carry tips, the latest shooting drills, and methods for how to improve your accuracy and form, be sure to follow Vedder Holsters and Joel Martinez on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok and sign up for our email list to keep up with all our latest content and offerings.

To learn more about Joel or to book a one-on-one or group training course with him, check out his website at teknicalmethodz.com or follow him on Instagram at @teknicalmethodz.

If you’re looking for a new IWB, OWB, or pocket carry holster, visit our Holsters by Gun Model page for Kydex holsters that are custom-made for your weapon of choice. Interested in items beyond holsters? Check out our Resources Page for links to recommended products like lights, lasers, first aid, maintenance, and more, and browse our selection of apparel, and accessories at our website, VedderHolsters.com.

To take a deep dive into the world of firearms and concealed carry, check out our blog or download our FREE E-book The Concealed Carry Blueprint for all the tools, tips, and tactics you’ll ever need for successful concealed carry. And be sure to visit our sister company, GeoGrit, for all your American-made minimalist wallet needs.

Mikayla Blair

After launching her career as an award-winning journalist in the American Southwest, Mikayla Blair joined the Vedder Holsters team as a content writer in 2021. She writes about all things guns, holsters, and concealed carry, and is especially passionate about women's self-defense.

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