High School Self Defense Classes
The SAFE International™ High School Self Defense Mission is to teach violence-prevention strategies to as many students as possible through a self defense experience that is honest, memorable, and effective!
As a teacher, educator, and role model to your students, the safety and well being of your students is obviously a priority since you are here. SAFE International™ also believes that Personal Safety Education is a critical Life Skill that all students should have access to. We know personal safety is a priority since it is reflected in the Personal Safety component of the Healthy Living Curriculums. Having taught more than 200,000 students since 1994, SAFE International™ has become the leading provider of this type of training through a deep understanding of confrontation whether it be abuse, bullying, sexual assault or other forms of conflict.
Our SAFE International™ High School self defense/violence prevention course is our flagship program that began our journey in 1994. Our high school program is taught to approximately 10,000 female and male students each year and continues to grow every year, not only in Ontario, but also through our SAFE International™ Certified Partners worldwide.
SAFE International™ has become Canada’s most popular high school course for both boys and girls due to the fact that we are not teaching martial arts, but rather a practical approach to personal safety. In fact one important distinction we make compared to many self defense companies is that if one brings their "martial arts tools" to the arena of violence, the results are most often very ineffective.
In addition, all of our instructors certified through SAFE International™ have a unique ability to reach the students in an effective and memorable manner which is critical. The SAFE International™ self defense/violence prevention courses are designed around the fact that most people will only ever participate in one course in their lifetime so careful planning has been put into the curriculum knowing that fact.
Consider the following statistics...
Did you know that 1 in 4 North American women will be assaulted during their lifetime.. and the highest risk group is teenagers!
60% of sexual abuse/assault victims whether female or male are under the age of 17!
80% of asssailants are friends and family of the victim, NOT a stranger!
One in three adolescent students report having been bullied recently!
How Will Your Students Benefit?
Your students will not only learn how to physically defend themselves, but more importantly how to recognize and avoid potential violence through environmental and situational awareness. The students will be introduced to the tools to defuse and de-escalate a physical assault. These verbal strategies will also carry over to other areas of their life, not just self defense scenarios. They will also be exposed to the legalities of self defense and its use in a legal, ethical and moral manner. Time will be spent learning defenses against the most common attacks they may face using proven concepts and principles that do not require memorization, but rather an understanding on how violence may unfold. This self defense course has been developed specifically so that even with just a few hours of instruction, the student will leave with an enhanced chance of survivability in the event of conflict, confrontation, bullying, or harassment.
How Does The School Benefit?
Our SAFE International™ High School self defense program addresses the Personal Safety component of the Healthy Active Living Curriculum. You can be confident that you are offering a quality self defense course of world class that is based on reality, not fantasy which is unfortunately the case with many martial arts courses disguised as self defense courses. We do want to make it clear that we are teaching "Pure & Applied Self Defense". This is not a martial arts, kickboxing aerobics, or other "only physical" type program. This is a full A to Z self defense/violence prevention program for those truly interested in making their students safer.
Teachers consistently tell us that their students rate our program as one of the favourite activities in the Physical Education career. Having taught more than 200,000 students since 1994 we have also received countless endorsements from both parents and teachers for offering this potentially life saving instruction. We have received emails and calls where the material these students have received has in fact saved lives, often many years after having received the training.
Basic Course Outline
Strategies to Avoid Violence – through discussion and role playing, some of the topics covered are:
- How and why to walk with confidence.
- Importance of being aware of your environment.
- Stairs/elevators in a building.
- Safe use of buses and taxis.
- How being too polite can be dangerous.
- Distraction techniques an attacker might use.
- How giving directions or the time of day can be dangerous.
- What to do if being followed.
- How to carry purses/wallets.
- Why cell phones are good and bad.
- The MP3 player, the criminal’s greatest invention.
- Safe relationships.
Hour 2 – Strikes
During this hour, the students are taught basic, easy to perform, yet highly effective strikes. The goal of these strikes is to allow one to "Stun & Run" their attacker as quickly as possible. Also taught are the consequences of using these strikes and how one must understand the legal implications to using self defense. As we teach, the goal of self defense is not to hurt or punish the attacker, but to stop them from hurting you. The students are given the opportunity to train with partners safely through practice on striking shields. Many self defense companies teach strikes that are just not practical on an attacker who may be altered by alcohol, drugs, or their strength. We at SAFE International™ strive to keep all instruction simple because when one is under stress, they do not have the ability to remember or perform any strikes or moves that are not basic and simple. Some of the strikes taught include palm strikes, ear slaps, elbow strikes, hammerfists, and much more. In the following clip, you will see a short example of our Strikes class with students. You will also notice how we integrate humour into our program, which is a key reason why students enjoy our approach to personal safety.
Hour 3 – Escapes, Holds, and Groundwork
During this hour, the students are taught how to escape some of the most common attacks such as wrist grabs, bear hugs, chokes, ground attacks, and more. Students are also taught how to identify the pre-contact cues of an attack in order to maximize their chances of getting home safely to their family. Rather than teach a memorized set of new techniques for each attack, we teach a few basic concepts meant to address all possible attacks. This is much more practical and effective than attempting to remember dozens of different self defense moves which would be forgotten in the high stress, chaotic moments of real violence. This is another difference between learning martial arts and self defense. In martial arts you practice your self defense in a systematic fashion in which the partner lets you do your move when in reality the "bad guy" will be resistant to your attempts to defend yourself so we offer drills that allow one to practice in a more realistic environment. We also discuss that one is not defending against a "move", but rather the intent of the attacker whether that be anger, rage, jealousy, etc. It is easy to defend against a move, but in reality what the attacker brings in relation to their intent is much more difficult to defend against. This in addition to the verbal assault, "the language", the attacker uses to intimidate, oppress, and control their victim makes for a much more valuable learning experience.
Hour 4 – Simulated Attacks
During this hour, the students get to practice their new skills in a safe environment on the instructor who is padded with the Spartan Training Gear. The instructor simulates an attack based on the skills and concepts the students have been taught. This is always a highlight of the course with the students (the instructor might disagree!). Each student is able to perform at a level that challenges them, but, at the same time, empowers them. Students get the opportunity to feel the stress that may be felt during a real attack. By the end of the simulations, the students are empowered, but also very aware that the awareness and avoidance chat they had is the most important day of the whole SAFE International™ High School course. The goal in any self defense course should be to learn how to avoid confrontation, but also be prepared to deal with violence physically as a last resort.
Teachers tell us that the SAFE™ Simulated Attacks are not only the favourite day for most of the students, but also a life skill that the students will take with them for years and hopefully never have to use. We often hear from students years later about how this day helped build confidence in other areas of their life because they learned how to face a challenge head on and beat it. We like to think that our self defense program teaches much more than just self defense, but rather, how to grow as a human being.
High School Principal Testimonial
For several years now, our TDSB school's Phys. Ed. department has invited SAFE International to visit their classes and provide workshops to all grade 9 students. In response to our growing concern that our students lacked the awareness of potentially dangerous situations which may put them at risk, we began to place more emphasis on personal safety in our Health and Physical Education classes, including units on personal safety, injury prevention, conflict resolution, decision-making, and reducing vulnerability. The workshops from SAFE International complement our program in a way that is useful and relevant for youth. Students and parents alike have expressed their gratitude and praise. These workshops have given students valuable information on detecting dangerous situations, diffusing or de-escalating potentially dangerous situations and reacting in ways that would improve their chances of "getting away" in the event of confrontation or danger. The staff are knowledgeable and professional, and they've been an excellent resource for our teaching staff.
Sincerely, Sandy Kaskens
Thanks to the popularity of our Basic Course, most schools will offer one of our advanced programs to their students in following years. These advanced courses review material from previous years while also expanding on the student's knowledge base. One of the concerns we often hear from parents is how to prepare their children for their post-secondary years when they leave for college or university. While this is an exciting time for our youth, they will encounter new experiences with some new challenges. SAFE International™ has an answer for this as well. Not only do we continue to offer our world renowned physical material, but we also address additional topics from our eBook, "A Parent's Guide to Achieving Peace of Mind When Your Child Leaves Home for College." Included in this program are some of the safety concerns unique to students living away from home for the first time, such as campus safety, safety in social settings, safe use of public transportation, plus much, much more!
How to Reach a SAFE Representative: