Self Defense Certification - Self Defense Classes Toronto Ottawa Ontario Canada

5 Principles of Physical Retaliation

This module covers Senshido International founder Richard Dimitri’s, world renowned and revised 5 Principles of physical retaliation aka “The Shredder”.

  1. >Identifying primary and secondary targets.
  2. Identifying one’s closest weapons (including natural/body and extended/improvised weapons) to closest and most damaging targets and how to differentiate in the heat of the moment.
  3. The ability to interpret/feel another’s movements and physical intentions through the sense of touch.
  4. How to physically retaliate without giving away or telegraph one’s intention to the aggressor.
  5. How to move in relation to energy conservation, efficiency and deception.

Also known as, and often confused to strictly being “The Shredder concept”, each of the 5 principles are broken down, demystified and covered in extensive detail and over every proximity (distance/range).

Topics include but are not limited to applying the 5 principles in over a dozen drills including common attacks.

Certification Testimonials




Growing up in a house riddled with abuse and lies, I grew up to be an unsure adult full of fear and anxiety. I kept everything to myself but found ways to cope, and I managed to live a productive and semi-happy life.

When I met Chris and started my Safe certification, I was not sure what exactly I was going to do with it. I knew I wanted to empower other girls and people being abused to stand up for them self and speak their truth. I wanted to help make it ok for people who lost their voice to speak up. I gravitated to Safe because they believe violence should only be used as a last resort. I respected this because most people, including myself, are not comfortable with violence. This course empowers people to feel safe and confident by educating them in knowing their surrounds, using communication as our greatest tool and removing risk factors in our daily activities.

Chris has a unique training style that includes both attention to detail and a hilarious sense of humour that makes the training days so fly by!

Being certified by Safe International has made me feel safe, strong, and most of all, smart when it comes to defending myself. I am so excited and honoured to now be teaching this program abroad to local school children of all ages. I am so grateful for the knowledge and confidence Safe has given me.

I hope to continue to teach this amazing course for many years to come! Thank you for giving me my voice back and allowing me to live without fear.

  • “K”


Great experience. Chris is a wealth of knowledge. I was challenged to think about situations that I never thought about. I learned something new about people and myself.
Thank you, Chris.

-  Leanne Erickson Huvenaars


Pamela Armitage - Certified SAFE International Instructor & Trainer

Edged Weapons Defense

The cheapest, easiest to acquire and most common weapon used in violence is the knife and other forms of edged weapons. More dangerous than and twice as treacherous as a gun at close range, the knife is by far one of the deadliest tools used in violent confrontations and can be found in every single kitchen household.

This module extensively covers the psychology behind an edged attack, the recognition of behavioural patterns, body language, how to evade and escape as well as dozens of drills to improve your close quarter arsenal against an armed attacker.

Topics covered include static and dynamic attacks, attacks from the front and rear, controlling the weapon hand, dealing with the dreaded rear handed pump and stab while being grabbed by the lead hand, how to increase perception time while decreasing reaction time, how to use functional gross motor skills during the adrenal stress conditions phase, overkill mentality, as well as performance enhancement and survival strategies successfully used by security personnel, bouncers, law enforcement officers and soldiers worldwide.

That said, there is absolutely no guarantee nor is any self defense system fool or variable proof as there are way too many factors to determine absolute success, or in this case, survival. Anyone telling you different is full of shit and desperately trying to sell you something.

What this and all our modules offer is a differing paradigm along with functional and easily adaptable concepts, attributes and skills to enhance your survivability in a knife attack, not guarantee it. There are no techniques to memorize, no frills, just plain truth on defensive edged weapon attacks.

Multiple Attackers

Next to facing an armed opponent, facing multiple attackers is probably one of the most dangerous situations one can unfortunately come across, especially if they are armed.

This module explores several strategies in facing multiple attackers including developing a psychological and behavioural arsenal necessary to escape as unharmed as possible.

As there are no guarantees in such circumstances, the primary objective is in avoiding and de-escalating while setting the assailants up for the proverbial ‘kill’ as it were.

Providing the situation hasn’t immediately escalated into a physical one, or originated in an ambush; and if avoidance and de-escalation failed then the verbal defusing stage of the confrontation’s secondary purpose of effectively setting up an escape plan via a stun & run strategy, is primed and ready to go.

This isn’t about getting into a knockdown, drag out brawl, this is about surviving, evading and escaping and as in one piece as possible.

Topics covered but not limited to: the demystification of fighting multiple attackers, psychological warfare, tactical set ups, the manipulation of human behaviour in relation to pack attacks, proper defensive, evasive and set up footwork, distancing and proximity sense, how to use the environment you are in as an asset and more.

Self Defense Certification Designed to Make Communities Safer

SAFE International Self Defense has designed a self defense certification program for those who want to make their communities safer.  For more information on how you can make a difference in your local high schools, corporations, women's groups, check out this new press release by clicking on the following link: 


or you can go directly to our self defense certification page by clicking on the following link:



Thanks & Keep SAFE!

Chris Roberts

Managing Director, SAFE International

Self Defense Certifications



We take an in-depth look at the psychology of violence from the perspective of the intended victim, the aggressor, bystanders or other parties who may be involved.  We examine the relation of human behaviour to both social and anti-social violence with a focus on avoiding violence through both environmental and situational awareness.  Through an examination of the potential hazards, people may face in their daily lives, and you will be prepared to offer them solutions whether they are a teen, adult, senior, corporate executive, or busy stay at home parent.  

We take an in-depth look at the potential hazards in the following areas in recognizing, avoiding, and dealing with the potential for violence:
- the value of our Intuition.
- display of pure confidence, not manufactured
- how to become a Hard Target
- how & why potential victims are chosen
- social vs anti-social violence
- self-defense vs martial arts vs fighting
- safe use of elevators
- home safety
- car safety
- safe travel
- plus much more!

This module will give you the tools to defuse and de-escalate a potentially violent assault using tried and tested tactics, not the commonly taught approach to out intimidate the intimidator by yelling "Back Off", or "Stay Back" which lack strategy or effectiveness when you look at the behaviour of the "bad guy" in relation to real violence.

Also, topics include fear, stress and confrontation management skills, differentiating between a good guy having a bad day and a genuine 'bad guy.'

Course Length: 8 hours (1 day)


Cost:  Contact for pricing. Location, timing and special pricing may be in effect. 

Note:This certification DOES NOT include a physical component.  Refer to the SAFE 360 Certification for details.




The SAFE 360° Certification contains all the content from the SAFE 101 Certification.  The additional training expands to include the physical concepts and principles of SAFE International.

This module covers self-defense from a 360-degree perspective.  Where the SAFE 101 certification ends at the verbal de-escalation phase, we expand on it by addressing the conflict resolution principles, pre-contact cues and indicators, threat and behavioural pattern recognition as well as the legal, moral, ethical and ripple effects of surviving a violent confrontation.

Also covered are the defenses against the most common attacks on both genders using the 5 Principles of Physical Retaliation (aka as the notorious 'Shredder' made famous by Richard Dimitri) including but not limited to shoves, grabs, tackles, sucker punches, pinned to the ground, mounted, bear hugs, chokes, hair pulls, and other aggravated assaults.

Our training is predicated upon the fact that violence is never static; it is live and dynamic, so one's answers to preventing and addressing it must be adaptable moment by moment.  The vast majority of self-defense programs teach a very systematic step by step approach to addressing violence, which is the exact opposite of how violence truly plays out. 

Course Length:15 hours (instruction covered over 2 or 3 days)

Location:  Flexible

Cost:  Contact for pricing.  Location, timing and special pricing may be in effect.

Note: This certification is a standalone certification.  For specialized curriculum training, check out the SAFE Corporate Packages.




So you are a SAFE 360 Certified Instructor but want to specialize in a particular seminar topic.  We have several options to help you with that.  You can choose one or more of the following packages.   Not only will the training be included, but assistance with curriculum, marketing, and support depending on your needs.  

SAFE Corporate Packages

Violence Prevention/Self-Defense for Schools

Knife/Edged Weapons Defense

Healthcare Industry Safety

Realtor Safety Program

Family Self Defense

Spartan Gear Scenario Development & Training

For additional information and pricing on any of these topics, please contact us. 

Course Length: Generally 4 to 8 hours of additional instruction.

Location: Flexible

Cost:Contact for more information


SAFE International Certification FAQ




Self Defense Instructor Certification

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Join a World Leader in Violence Prevention & Self Defence Instruction!

SAFE International™ has been a world leader in teaching Self Defence that is Honest, Memorable & Effective since 1994. We have trained more than 250,000 people and strengthened communities all over the world.  As part of our mission of making communities all over the world safer, we have certified self-defence instructors in Canada, the United States, Australia, and Germany.  Now is your chance to become a SAFE International™ Certified Self Defense Instructor.


 Who Is This Course For?

  • Experienced self-defence instructors looking to add a new certification
  • Owners and operators of martial arts schools
  • Corporate self-defence trainers
  • Law enforcement trainers
  • People with no self-defence training who want to make their communities safer
  • Parents interested in teaching their family sound self-defence tactics


 To Find Out More Click Below

You will be taken to our sister site at www.safe101.education


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Women's Self Defense

This module is specifically designed for the female gender taking into consideration of course that men and women are approached and attacked differently and with more often than not, a differing intent.

The topics of rape and sexual assault are covered in great depth and much like the Fundamental’s module; we dive deep into the psychology of violence and closely examine the relation of human behaviour to violence against women specifically, and with the primary focus of avoidance through both environmental and situational awareness as well as tried, tested and proven psychological principles.

Topics covered include fear, stress and confrontation management skills, verbal de-escalation strategies and conflict resolution principles, the differentiating between social and anti-social violence, what to do if being followed or stalked, how to deal with a solitary and/or confined environment (elevator, staircase, underground parking lot, etc.) how to use deceptive body language and natural defensive postures to your advantage, dealing with a physically larger and overpowering aggressor, how to handle aggression and intimidation and more.

Also covered in depth are the physical defenses against the most common attacks on women including but not limited to: grabs, being pulled and controlled by the hair, tackles, being taken down to the ground, being pinned to the ground, mounted, hands & rope strangulations from front and read, bear hugs, chokes, and other aggravated assaults.

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