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Why I Love Teaching Longer SAFE Self Defense Courses

Today I begin a much more intensive 30 hour self defense course with 5 women in Northern Quebec.  I am always humbled that a group of women or an individual will seek my services out and be willing to bring me in, at an often significant expense, to teach them when there are so many self defense instructors they could choose from.  I always feel very responsible to do the most amazing job for them.  While the majority of our SAFE International self defense courses are about 4 to 5 hours in length, I have to say that I really look forward to these longer sessions with a small group of women. Why?  For many many reasons:

First of all, this allows me to cover much more than I normally get to cover  when I teach the Awareness and Verbal strategies of self defense.  When I flew to Happy Valley, Goose Bay last March to teach 3 lovely women from the Native Friendship Centre, they were most surprised that 50% of our time together was spent on these topics.  They assumed the course would almost be all physical instruction. Not only were they surprised how much time I spent on it, but they completely understood by the end why I spent so much time on it.  We were really able to dive deep into each topic and address how and why I teach it the way I do, as well as get into their personal lives and how they saw things on each topic.  I learned as much from them as hopefully they did from me.  This is the beauty of having no time restraints.

Secondly, the conversations often get much more personal delving into all of our personal lives and histories.  This is where so much is learned in my opinion and the area where I try to shut up and just listen.   Far too often self defense instructors think they need to do all the talking, but if they just realized that by listening they could make their course so much better.  When someone opens up and shares stories of a highly personal nature, just shut up, listen, and don't judge!

Thirdly, I like to think that with the extra time teaching, even more impact might be made in regards to making people safer and giving them the tools to share this information with their family, friends, and communities.

This is not a job for me, this is who I am.  Many in my life have sacrificed part of their lives due to my putting so much focus into this work.  Those who have sacrificed have been contributors to what SAFE does and they can never be thanked enough.

Keep SAFE!

Chris Roberts
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Friday, 24 May 2019
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