How a Muscogee citizen makes your protection his business

OklahomaSportsBusinessHealthCommunity Indigenous
Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 10/07/2021, 6:09 PM
Edited: 10/07/2021, 6:19 PM

(MUSCOGEE NATION) It’s natural to imagine what you would do if someone attacked you or a loved one, but would those thoughts translate to life-saving actions during an emergency? 

Phillip Agee owns KO Fitness and Firearms in Henryetta. 

“I've got a family,” Agee said. “A six-year-old and a newborn and my wife. So, protecting them, I feel like is paramount for me. And there are a lot of other people, too, that I think kind of feel the same way.”

He told us the best way to guarantee a great defense is by preparing for it in real life. 

“In a fighting situation or combative situation, it's very cerebral,” Agee said. “And a lot of people don't see that until you start practicing it. But when you start focusing and you learn to stay calm under things like that. I mean, the idea of staying calm in a really dire situation. It's kind of hard to fathom sometimes, but you definitely have to teach the focus of it.” 

Agee said both armed and unarmed self-defense have a lot in common. 

“You have to have a self-awareness,” Agee said. “You have to have awareness of your surroundings.” 

And those interested in one area are commonly interested in both. 

Agee became a certified fitness trainer and opened his gym in 2016. He got his firearms license in 2018. 

CLEET certified and certified by the NRA as a pistol instructor, Agee can also teach concealed carry and other classes. 

“There's a lot more than just selling a product,” Agee said. “It's the emotional side of it, it's the understanding that you're dealing with major decisions in something like this.”

But it’s not all about protecting families for Agee. His business is now part of an entrepreneurial legacy he is building for his own family. 

“We spend a lot of time down here,” Agee said. “And our 6-year-old, I try to incorporate fitness and things like that and make it fun for her. But also, I try to pass along any teachable moments. I get her involved in helping price some of the items and things like that. And I try to show her the work/reward. And you know, we give her an allowance for that.” 

His entrepreneurial spirit can be considered hereditary. His family has owned Burnett Furniture since 1903. 

“Growing up, most of my family has all had a hand in helping with that business at some point or another in our lives,” Agee said. “And I think watching my grandparents sacrifice and their work ethic and everything that it took to make that business succeed and carry on to the next generation was definitely influential.”

And the entrepreneurial mind never quits. Agee told us he’s now working on expanding into a pawnshop, after the town recently lost their only one. 

“You see some businesses close that have been here for a long time, and it's kind of disheartening, but hopefully that's an opportunity for another one to come in and establish a business, as well,” Agee said. 

“My hope is that a lot more young people will get involved in starting businesses and promoting the town, as well. So, I would like to get back to a level where it was when I was growing up.” 

Agee said it’s also time for more tribal members to pick up the entrepreneurial torch. 

Larger tribes like the Muscogee Nation overcame the 19th century genocide of Native Americans, but many of those who survived were then forced to depend on the federal government. Today, much support is still provided by the tribes. 

The federal government is presently seeking to right some of their wrongs. Last year, the Supreme Court determined much of Oklahoma is still Indian Country in their historic McGirt v. Oklahoma decision. Since then, renewed opportunities for exercising total sovereignty have been popping up across the state.

Agee told VNN he believes business ownership is a great tool for full Native American independence. 

“There's a lot of them that have the talent to do it, I think, and it's just helping push them to take that risk and to just kind of go for it and get out of their comfort zone,” Agee said.

KO Fitness and Firearms is located at 110 South 4th Street in Henryetta. The gym is open to members 24 hours a day. They also offer Muy Thai and personal training. 

Gun sales by appointment. 

For more information, click here.


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