High School Self Defense Classes Ottawa

One of our prime concerns is today’s youth. SAFE International™ believes that Personal Self Defense Protection Education beginning at the High School level helps to develop and ensure that these students transition into our communities and workplaces as more confident and responsible individuals and strengthens our society.

highschoolpic2Our SAFE International High School course is our flagship program that began our journey in 1994!  Our high school program is taught to approximately 12,000 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 with an emphasis on detecting and defusing potentially dangerous situations. All of our instructors are certified through SAFE International™ and have a unique ability to reach the students in an effective and memorable manner.  

1 in 4 Women will be assaulted during their lifetime… and the highest risk group is teenage women! We have instructed more than 200,000 high school students since 1994.

We provide 1, 3, 4 or 5 hour courses which can be taught over consecutive days or all in one day depending upon your needs. We offer high school seminars customized to the class needs and expectations. Each session may include; discussion, role playing and a practical physical component. Our high school course covers the 3 R’s of Recognize, React, and Respond and are presented in 2 formats, Level 1 and Level 2.

Level 1

Hour 1

Danger Detection Strategies Safety Talk – through discussion and role playing, some of the topics covered are:

  • How & why to walk with confidence                                                                                          3D High School
  • 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, but 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 practice with partners safely while also practicing 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 since 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, plus 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

good ground 2During this hour the students are taught how to escape some of the most common attacks such as wrist grabs, bear hugs, chokes, ground attacks, etc. 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 allows the person a much better chance of surviving an assault because they are not having to remember dozens of different self defense moves.  The majority of self defense courses ignore the fact that real violence involves a high level of stress and adrenaline making it virtually impossible to perform any fine motor skills aka "fancy moves". This is why SAFE International takes a more conceptual approach to self defense teaching gross motor skills that anyone has the abiity and potential to remember.  Real self defense is messy, chaotic, and downright scary, so anything taught that is not based on reality, not only robs the student of quality instruction, but may also give them a false sense of security. 

Hour 4 – Simulated Attacks


During this hour the students get to practise 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 that 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 does challenge 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 lifeskill that the students will take with them for years and hopefully never have to use.  



 Level 2 

Thanks to the popularity of our Level 1 course, most schools will offer our advanced program to the students in following years. The goal of this seminar is to delve deeper than just the awareness and physical aspects of self-protection. This course will equip the students, both the girls and the boys, with conflict resolution, effective communication, a greater understanding of violence and its consequences, and what we call The 5 Principles of Physical Retaliation.  This course is particularly effective in preparing our youth for the world after high school.  

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