October 18

What I Think I Know After 20 Years of Teaching Women’s Self Defense


This is a guest Article by Chris Roberts of SAFE International. Chirs is an excellent coach and his ethics are among the highest in the self defense world. This article provides valuable insights into the teaching of self protection on a professional level.

October 14, 2013, Toronto, Canada – In this SAFE International Self Defense article I would like to reflect back on 20 years of teaching women’s self defense and share what I think I know.  SAFE International has taught self defense to more than 175,000 women since 1994 and one might think we are self defense experts.  Well, part of the reason I feel we are growing more and more each year is because I feel there is so much more I don’t know, which creates this never ending passion to learn more each day.  The goal has been since the beginning to continually improve our course so that our clients can, “Get home safely to their family”.  Okay, so here is just some of what I think I know:



1)  Self defense is not self defense if one does not cover how to avoid potentially violent scenarios.  Far too often instructors only teach the physical side of self defense which means you are teaching how to fight, rather than how to avoid a fight.

2)  Self defense is a topic that is difficult to talk about for many, so it is upon the instructor to make it comfortable to talk about.

3)  Having a lot of personal self defense skill means nothing as an instructor if you don’t know how to communicate with the client. If you are there to impress rather than teach, then get in front of the mirror and impress yourself. :0)

4)  Humor is the missing link in most women’s self defense courses.  Even if some of our clients don’t find us funny, they will certainly remember us. Yes, being goofy looking can be a gift.

5)  Never assume you know what a client has gone through in their life.  If you assume you will miss a lesson to be learned.

6)  Mindset is more important than physical ability in regards to protecting oneself.  Physical self defense delivered without personal reasons to defend are not as effective as someone with an important enough reason to live.

7)  Never trust anyone over your intuition.  Because someone is in a position of authority doesn’t mean they know you better than your intuition does.

8)  If people are comfortable doing self defense drills, then you are robbing them of the feeling violence can bring. Self defense drills should take everyone out of their comfort zone.  Yes, you build up the intensity, but make sure there is some.

9)  Nothing is guaranteed to work so don’t take credit for your clients success unless you are prepared to take the blame if something doesn’t work.

10)  Surround yourself with a team of self defense instructors who share your passion.

11)  Leave your ego at the door when teaching and training.  Clients don’t come to hear about all the fights you have won.  And by the way, why are you getting into so many fights?

12)  Never say to a client “you should have done this …..”.  Many have beaten themselves up for years questioning their decisions, so they don’t need you confirming their doubts.  If they are sitting in front of you, point out they must have done something pretty amazing.  This simple comment is often life changing for them.

13)  Strking the eyes is the most effective place to strike if one has a choice, and it is warranted to strike.

14)  Less is better when teaching self defense.  Cramming in as much info as possible does not create better value for the client. Remember they are the client without the knowledge you have, so teach based on their limited knowledge, not your huge vast knowledge of everything in the universe.  Lol

15)  Teaching self defense doesn’t mean you are a master of anything.  You are a coach, teacher, or advisor like any other profession.  Get off the pedestal and join the people.  It is more fun with the “common man” anyways.  Yes, I found that comment funny even if you didn’t.

16)  Never think your “self defense system” is perfect, otherwise you are robbing your future clients of more options to save their lives.  My course has changed each year with the most dramatic change coming after I met Richard Dimitri.  Not enough time to tell you what I think of him. Lol

17)  Align yourself with amazing quality people who can make your business better for the client.  I immediately think of Marc Joseph and Martin Ferland of Spartan Training Gear.  You can check out my blog about Spartan Training Gear  Without them our program would be much less valuable for the people we teach.

18)  While we make our courses fun, take the topic of self defense very serious.  You are teaching concepts that may be the difference between life and death.  While you can’t take credit or blame for results, you can take your teaching seriously.

19)  People commonly say they are as excited 20 years later in their jobs.  I think you should be more excited after 20 years.

20)  Lets see who reads this.  Post on my facebook page or email me one thing you think you know about self defense.

SAFE International is now expanding internationally.  Please check out our main site at www.safeinternational.biz on all we do.  You can also check out our YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/user/SAFEInternational


SAFE International is a mobile self defense company that has taught more than 175,000 people since 1994! Please visit our main site atwww.safeinternational.biz

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Andrew Holland Martial Arts, female self defence, judo for self defence, safe international, self defense for women, womens self defence

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