I want to become certified with SAFE International because I have been in many fights and can help others learn how to fight!
Luckily, I have only heard that a few times over the past 28 years of teaching Violence Prevention & Self Defence. And the few times I have listened to that and explained what I feel constitutes real self-defence and violence prevention, they have moved on to another program.
Or I have heard something like, “I want to make money, and I think teaching self-defence would be a great way.” If I am being honest, I thought that when I considered teaching self-defence around 1993. You can read the in-depth story I offer on how and why that changed by visiting https://safeinternational.biz/get_certified/ with a small scroll down the page.
Those are two different reasons to teach self-defence and violence prevention. I wanted to offer a few short replies based on the recent influx of SAFE Certification inquiries and bookings I have received in the last 1.5 to 2 months.
First, what is your goal in wanting to teach self-defence and violence prevention? If teaching how to fight, don’t call it self-defence because if that is the first stage of your thinking, say you want to teach people how to fight, not avoid a fight. That is the complete opposite goal of what we offer. There is nothing wrong with teaching people how to fight if that is what you want to teach. Well, I do have issues with that, but at least if you are honest and not teaching it under the guise of self-defence, go for it.
One funny, but not funny, story was many years ago. I had a gentleman contact me, and no word of a lie; he wanted to teach the SAFE program because he felt qualified. He told me, “I would be an excellent addition to SAFE because I have been in over 1000 documented fights!”
My first apparent thought was, “Who the hell documents their fights?” My second thought was, “Why are you getting into so many fights?” Not exactly the type of person I feel might see the importance of avoiding a fight at all costs before resorting to doing whatever is necessary to get home to the loved ones.
Secondly, there is nothing wrong with earning a living and making money by teaching self-defence, but if there is one thing I learned quickly, was that if that is your primary motivator, good luck! Yes, you can make a good living teaching self-defence, but many do it with a compromise of quality content, leaning towards promoting flash and glam as if self-defence was a showcase of one’s ego.
Self-defence and violence prevention has ZERO to do with the instructor’s ego but has everything to do with the changing and saving lives of those who might seek you out. So could you take a moment and think about it? Teaching violence prevention and self-defence has life and death consequences for most people, if even remotely small.
The clients are potentially putting their lives in your hands. If what you teach is more about how you use your hands than how they might use their hands, you are lying to them. Even more critical is that how you teach them to use their hands should be the last area of exploration in self-defence.
How they use their mind, how their life experiences have shaped their minds, how they get through day to day after suffering possible years of abuse, how they might want to help others avoid what they have been through, down to those who might just want to feel a little safer, these are things to consider if you teach self-defence.
So, before you begin any self-defence course, whether for yourself or to teach others, get a firm understanding of why you want to learn, why you want to teach, and who you might want to help.
Founder, SAFE International