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.

Core Curriculum

SAFE Modular CurriculumThis module covers every general self defense base in great detail. Going in depth into the psychology of violence, we examine closely the relation of human behaviour to both social and anti-social violence with the primary focus of avoidance through both environmental and situational awareness.

Using proven behavioural and psychological principles to navigate through the chaos of confrontation, this module will give you the tools to defuse and de-escalate a potentially violent assault using tried and tested tactics.

Topics include fear, stress and confrontation management skills, differentiating between a good guy having a bad day and a genuine ‘bad guy’, verbal de-escalation strategies, conflict resolution principles, setting up your own ‘ambush’, how to use deceptive body language and natural defensive postures to your advantage, the comprehensive dissection of the ego, 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’) including but not limited to shoves, grabs, tackles, sucker punches, take downs, pinned to the ground, mounted, strangulations, bear hugs, chokes and other aggravated assaults.

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.

Ground Defense

This module deals with situations where you are literally off your feet. The human survival instinct consists of ‘fight and/or flight’ and being on the ground literally eliminates the very goal of self defense, which is the ability to escape/run away and get home safely.

The reality of an attack is that if it hits the ground or you are purposefully taken there, the environment plays a monumental role in the outcome of the situation. Rarely will it be a mattress or gym mat. Environments can vary between hard wood floors, ceramic, tile, concrete, laminate, industrial or thick carpets, asphalt, a stair case, cement, grass, dirt road, mountain trail gravel road, public bus floor, most of which are very unfriendly environments to be physically trying to defend one’s self against a heavier, stronger psychopath determined to rape and kill a middle aged woman for instance.

That particular visual about the elderly lady defending herself against a sociopath for example, is critical to mention as many unfortunately confuse grappling/wrestling with ground fighting, and ground fighting for the purpose of winning vs. ground fighting for the purpose of surviving. All very different animals.

This module covers every aspect of the ground fight. Including but not limited to: What to do if you find yourself on the ground already - Have been taken to the ground - How to get back up as safely as possible - How to avoid and intercept someone trying to get on top of you - What to do once someone is on top of you, with every intention including but not limited to: being pinned in and from various positions, strangled both from a personal and impersonal perspective, repeatedly struck (ground and pound), sexual assault, rape, avoiding and, how to handle as best and logically as possible (with no guarantees needed to say) being stabbed repeatedly – And much more.

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 Instructor Certification

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Ready to be Part of the Fastest Growing Self Defense Program in the World? 


SAFE International™ has been a world leader in teaching Pure and Applied Self Defense since 1994. We have taught students and strengthened communities all over the world.

As part of our mission of making communities all over the world safer, we have certified self-defense instructors in Canada, the United States, Finland, Australia, and Germany.

Now is your chance to become a SAFE International™ Certified Self Defense Instructor. For a limited time, we are offering our intense self-defense instructor certification program.

 Who is This Course For? 

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


How the SAFE International™ Instructor Certification Works


The SAFE International™ Instructor Certification program guides students through the curriculum during these 3 days to teach the basics of self-defense and to demonstrate effective methods for teaching these techniques to others.

Our Safe Core Curriculum has been updated every year for the past 23 years, so that our students and instructors are always on the cutting-edge of self-defense concepts and principles.

Our curriculum is based on the simple premise of:

If I only had 5 hours to teach a group of people with no previous training, what would I teach them? 

We take into account the complex legal, moral, and ethical considerations of self-defense.

Our students are not just taught about the physical aspects of self-defense. We also focus on the often neglected psychological and behavioral aspects as well.

Our self-defense certification is a holistic and comprehensive workshop. At the end of the day you will be well versed in the all of the key elements of self-defense and you will be prepared to teach others.

In addition to our core curriculum, we also offer additional modules that you may want to take. To find out more on each individual module please contact us. 

SAFE Modules

Benefits of Instructor Certification

Why would I want to be a Certified SAFE International™ Self-Defense Instructor?

Our global reputation for excellence means that when you earn our certification, everyone else knows that you really must know your stuff. Going through the certification process gives you the confidence to teach others, demonstrates to your future students that you know what you’re talking about, and allows you to prove to anyone that you are a fully trained self-defense instructor.

Students who successfully complete the certification program will receive:

  • Official certification listing on our website
  • Official SAFE International™ badge and banner you can use to promote your services
  • Critical self-defense knowledge and skills you won’t find anywhere else
  • Teaching techniques to help you train others in the SAFE International™ methods


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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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