Self Defense Certification

Get SAFE Certified!

Over 200,000 People Made Safer Since 1994!

SAFE International is recognized as an industry leader in teaching Violence Prevention & Self Defence to those who NEED IT MOST!


We have taught more than 200,000 people in Canada and communities worldwide, focusing on one simple but POWERFUL goal.


To Get People Home SAFE to Their Loved Ones!


From Children to Seniors, survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault, to families and communities, we continue to focus on helping those deemed most vulnerable. 

We have been Changing & Saving Lives Since 1994, and we are looking for caring, empathetic, motivated people who want to make a difference in their communities.

From our Founder, Chris Roberts:

“Foremost, I seek people who have a passion for helping others, whether you have experience teaching violence prevention and self-defence or NOT. If you have that desire or want to change and save lives because of your life experiences, this certification might be the perfect fit.”

Why I thought I chose Self Defence & Violence Prevention as a Career, BUT I WAS WRONG!

People start careers for various reasons. Some have a passion and an interest in the topic. Some want to make a difference by helping others, while it may be the money for others.

In my case, it began as all three, but soon it became much more than I could ever have imagined.

Through my teenage years and early to mid-twenties, I had primarily worked in the food industry and expected to stay managing and having part ownership in a restaurant. And while I was good at it, something was missing.


But for years, I would question it every once in a while, ask myself if I enjoyed it and could see myself in the industry for the rest of my life. So this question would come up occasionally, and most times, I would accept or talk myself into believing this was my career.


But then, the self-reflection became more prominent and demanded an honest answer. I found myself not accepting my self-talk as to this being my future. The nagging feeling I would get to be frank with myself became irritating till I decided I needed to take a good hard look at myself, my future, and what I truly wanted.


The one question I kept returning to time after time was, “do I feel a sense of purpose with what I am doing right now?” Quickly, the answer became a resounding, “NO!”


Then the doubt would come in, the thoughts like, “but you have small children at home, you can’t quit now and completely start over, and what would do that might give me that sense of purpose?”


Inevitably, I settled on the decision that I had to help others whatever I did. And by helping others, I would be helping myself.


At this time, I had been training in the martial arts, close to receiving my black belt in karate. In discussions with my Sensei at the time, Daniel Coles, we had agreed I could teach self-defence, not knowing how it would change my life.


From the very first time I got up in front of a class of about 20 teenage girls to teach, I was not terrified but highly excited and nervous in a good way. By the end of that first hour of teaching, I knew I had found my purpose for the rest of my life.


I was able to teach a topic that helped others, bring my personality (for better or worse) to this passion, and hopefully generate an income.


I soon decided to leave a comfortable, financially stable, secure “job” to begin this new journey. I can recall driving home after my last day in the food industry with an excitement unmatched in my work career.


The emotions were high, the yearning to dive deep into the business when the terror of, “what the hell have you done leaving a job paying me regularly to something unproven and zero guaranteed income.”


In the early days, I thought I needed to make money, and money was the critical and most crucial issue. And it was so I put my nose to the grindstone, as they say, focusing on building a self-defence program for high school girls.


I first focused on schools in Eastern Ontario in 1994, then a year or two later, as the number of schools was building and I was achieving some success, I began asking myself a new set of questions. Questions like, “why am I so obsessed with teaching self-defence? Why am I spending 16 hours plus a day on it, I am sure, to the detriment of my family?” Again, I thought of the money, but I knew there had to be more, but I did know why.




I can’t remember exactly when, but a few years into teaching, I woke up one night in a panic, crying, thinking what the hell was wrong with me. Then it hit me!

See, I had what I considered to be a perfect childhood. My sister and I often ask how we got so lucky with our parents. We saw no violence and experienced no violence, as many self-defence instructors have who gone into teaching to help others.


But that night, when I woke up crying, I recalled a story that I had buried, my trauma. When I was in grade 7 in an Ontario middle school, I was 11 or 12 years of age when an older student at the school rushed into the classroom and locked the door. He targeted another student, a young girl about the same age, and assaulted her in the classroom sexually.


I will not share the details, but I can still remember now, 45 years later, what he did, the anger he showed, but more impactful, the fear, sadness, and terror on the girl’s face. All of us kids hid under or behind the desks in fear until a teacher arrived. Unfortunately, the student physically assaulted the teacher as well.


So, years later, when I woke up crying, it slowly made sense why I was so obsessed with the business. Sure, the money was necessary, but now I knew it was much more than just that. I began thinking about how I had blocked out what had happened, so I could only imagine how the young girl must have felt when it happened to her. Sure, I was a victim, but nothing compared to what she experienced.


I have spent many hours wondering about her, where she ended up, and how she is doing. I have made inquiries about her multiple times, but sadly, I have never been able to find her.


I am not sure what I would say, but I have wanted to tell her that the terrible experience she went through has helped save countless other girls, women, boys, and men from avoiding violence physically or sexually. I want to tell her that, in turn, she has saved lives in hopes it might give her even a tiny sense of reason that what she went through has helped others.


I will not stop trying to find her and hope I can chat with her one day.

I am most proud of how many women, and some men we have not only taught but have certified to teach the SAFE program have shared their personal stories of abuse with me.

They want to help ensure other girls, boys, women and men never experience what they went through. And most of them had told me that when they first came to the SAFE website, they immediately connected to what we say we do, why we do it, and how.

We are not just teaching self-defence and violence prevention but also aiming to help Change & Save Lives.

Keep SAFE!

What Benefits Will You Receive From This Education & Certification?

You will develop a deep understanding of violence prevention and the ability to teach it in a memorable, clear, and concise manner.

You will learn the critical elements of what should be taught in the first four to five hours of any violence prevention and self-defence curriculum. 

We will teach you how to tap into your client’s mindset and help them to develop the attitude necessary to get home safely. 

You will learn how to teach the physical skills of self-defence regardless of any limitations the client might have.

You will learn how to create an atmosphere and environment that allows the client to feel comfortable, supported, and listened to.

You will have access to our extensive self-defence library of videos, pdfs, and curriculums.

You will receive ongoing email and video support from Chris Roberts regarding training, curriculums, and marketing. 

How Do We Stand Out from Other Self-Defence Certifications?  


We put a focus on the preventative side of violence and conflict resolution. But unfortunately, most programs emphasize just the physical training. Yes, the physical aspect of self-defence is critical. Still, in any reputable violence prevention and self-defence program, the instructor should emphasize how to identify and avoid violence whenever possible. 


Here are just a few examples of many…

Walk With Confidence

Yes, walk with confidence, but what if you are not? The commonly taught “fake it till you make it” may apply in business, but we talk about real-life and death here. So we explore how to develop true confidence you can display through body language.

Yell “Back Off” or “Stay Away” if confronted

Teaching just one strategy as part of your conflict resolution is limiting. And what if the person does not back off? We teach you multiple conflict resolution strategies, providing a deep understanding of the most appropriate approach for the scenario.

Just Kick Him in the Groin

If only it were that simple. Striking the groin is one option, but it is not the optimal choice every time. The human body has many potential targets. We explore the most appropriate based on circumstances such as the threat level and access to the individual targets of the human body.

Hit First, Ask Questions Later

We address the legalities of when, with what tools, and how much force one may use. To strike another person without consideration for the law can be very dangerous and risky.

 Who is This Certification For? 


  • Experienced self-defence instructors looking to add a world-class violence-prevention certification to their training
  • Fitness trainers considering a violence-prevention program that complements the healthy lifestyle philosophies they teach
  • Owners and operators of martial arts schools looking to integrate violence prevention into their self-defence classes
  • Corporate violence-prevention/workplace-safety trainers
  • Law enforcement trainers
  • People who have a passion for making their communities safer
  • Parents interested in violence-prevention training to keep their families safe
  • Survivors of abuse who want to help others

Check Out What Others Have Said…

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

Thank you, Chris.

Leanne Erickson Huvenaars

Top-notch self-defence program. These guys really understand preventative measures so that you don’t ever find yourself in a sticky situation. Plus, they are hilarious!

Jarod Milko

SAFE International offers simple-to-implement self-defense for EVERY WOMAN and EVERY MAN.
Short and crisp opportunities are conveyed in 4-hour workshops.
Every woman and girl should engage in self defense at least once and invest those 4 hours to move safely in life.
As one of two SAFE International Instructors throughout Germany, I offer you the opportunity to learn how to effectively defend yourself at eye level from woman to woman, without climbing.
A social organization is coming to the first to enjoy this workshop as part of a project to empower women.
Petra Zalfen-Harzheim

I recently held 2 workshops for adults presenting the content of the Parental SAFEGUARD Plan Course. This content helped me a lot to show my participants (80% female / 20% male) how to properly prevent bad situations BEFORE they happen. 
It covers so much from the daily life and how to cope with situations in elevators/garages/public transportation etc., that anyone of any age, male or female can benefit from it. I held many workshops in the last 20 years but the content of the SAFEGUARD Plan Course is really unique.
As a father of a teenage daughter now starting her studies and a SAFE Certified Self-Defence Instructor I consider it mandatory for parents AND the children to talk about personal safety.
Thorsten Bruchhauser

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 unsure what I would do with it. I knew I wanted to empower other girls and people being abused to stand up for themselves 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 surroundings, using communication as our greatest tool and removing risk factors in our daily activities.

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

Being certified by Safe International has made me feel safe, strong, and 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.


 SAFE Coaching Certification Blueprint 

First, fill out the application. It would be best if you were a good fit and representative for SAFE. Just as important is that the SAFE Coaching Certification is a good fit for you.

The next step is a video chat so we can introduce ourselves and answer any questions you may have.

The SAFE 101 Certification segment prepares you to teach by taking 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 will examine the relation of human behaviour to both social and anti-social violence, focusing on avoiding violence through environmental and situational awareness. By examining the potential hazards, people may face in their daily lives; you will have the education to offer solutions to your clients, whether they are teens, adults, seniors, corporate executives, or busy stay-at-home parents.

The SAFE 101 Certification takes an in-depth look at the potential hazards those you teach may face in the following areas to recognize, avoid, and deal with the potential for violence.

  • The value of our Intuition
  • Display of pure confidence, not manufactured
  • How to become a Hard Target
  • The victim selection process and how to prevent
  • Differences between social & anti-social violence
  • Self-defence vs martial arts vs fighting
  • Safe use of elevators
  • Home safety
  • Car safety
  • Safe travel
  • Bullying prevention
  • Conflict resolution training.
  • Plus, much more!

Besides, we teach 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 with proven strategies and conflict resolution principles. It is critical to differentiate between a good guy having a bad day and a genuine ‘bad guy.’

Next, we will provide you with the education and tools to provide your clients with education and training in managing violence at the physical level with the SAFE 360 -degree module.

You will understand confrontation management from a 360-degree perspective considering all possible variables such as participants, witnesses, environmental, and situational variables. You will learn.

  • How to recognize the pre-physical contact cues to potential violence.
  • How to use distance and proximity to reduce the chances of harm to you and the aggressor.
  • Demystification of fantasy self-defence taught in the martial arts, Hollywood movies, and other violence prevention programs.
  • Defence against most common attacks such as shoves, grabs, tackles, sucker punches, attacks on the ground, bear hugs, chokes, hair pulls, and other aggravated assaults.
  • The principles and concepts to stop a threat based on one’s force in defending must parallel the danger.
  • How the step-by-step self-defence instruction commonly taught is not valid.
  • How to apply the training to the job descriptions of your clients.
  • The legal, moral, and ethical effects of surviving a violent encounter.


Specialized SAFE Certification Modules

  • Violence Prevention/Self-Defence for Schools
  • Knife/Edged Weapons Defence
  • Ground Defence
  • Close Quarter Principles – aka 5 Principles of Physical Retaliation developed by Richard Dimitri
  • Healthcare Industry Safety
  • Realtor Safety Program
  • Family Self Defense
  • Spartan Gear Scenario Development & Training

You must complete the SAFE 101 & SAFE 360 Certification modules successfully before adding the additional modules listed above. Included in the specialized certifications are:

  • Precise curriculums taught, including updates based upon ongoing research
  • Marketing support in each area of certification
  • Badges and Logos for each module of certification


Begin Your Self Defence Journey

Self Defense Certification