GO Self‑Defence
Self-Defence &
Master Gary Eikenberry, 7th Dan black belt, Chief Instructor
About  Approach  Real world  Principles  4-Star  Who

The 4 Star Self-defence System


We believe that the ability to defend oneself doesn't have to rely on overpowering an assailant. The 4 Star System is a comprehensive approach to understanding conflict and teaching self-defence. It comprises a system of techniques, knowledge, skills and habits accessible to normal people. Of course, you may be surprised at what normal people of all ages and physical abilities can accomplish with a little training and practice. Any skills or experiences you bring are assets, but you don't have to start out as an experienced martial artist or an athlete of exceptional ability to benefit from or apply what we teach.

Our theory and techniques draw on many sources, including multiple martial arts. However, the 4 Star system starts from the assumption that avoiding violent confrontation is preferable and, where that isn't possible, creating the opportunity for escape is paramount. Because we recognize that the use of force can be required, in addition to avoidance, release and escape strategies and techniques we also teach counter-attack and control techniques. Those principles and techniques aren't derived from or tied to any specific single martial art or other discipline or organization. They are also adaptable for people physical challenges. While size and physical strength are definitely factors in a physical confrontation, they can be overcome.

The 4 Star Self-defence System is the result of Master Eikenberry's extensive experience, not only in the martial arts but also in teaching and putting into practise conflict and crisis management theories and techniques.

He began teaching street safety and self-defence in the 1970's while he was an instructor in Syracuse University's Social Science Program in Non-violent Conflict and Change. Subsequent years found him living and working in such disparate environments as inner city Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto, a central Yukon Territory mining town, Halifax and Ottawa. As he pursued martial arts training, he became convinced that self-defence or personal safety training often focused on counter-attack techniques of questionable value to someone, even a trained martial artist, experiencing a real-life personal attack for the first time. He gradually developed an approach to teaching self-defence built on an understanding of conflict theory along with escape, release and control principles and techniques drawn from a number of martial arts and other disciplines.

He has studied numerous martial arts and, as a certified instructor, has taught Taekwon-Do and HupKwonDo and offered classes, workshops, private lessons, lectures and presentations as well as media appearances on self-defence theory and techniques in and around Canada's National Capital Region since 1989. He has also been involved in crisis intervention and community mediation projects in both the U.S. and Canada.

His 4 Star System is an approach to teaching self-defence that draws from his broad base of practical experience as well as academic and martial arts training. It also incorporates things he learned in the study of adult and community education and years of experience teaching in classrooms as well as seminar and training halls. Finally, it benefits from the analysis of crime statistics and reports and interviews with actual victims of violent confrontations, drawing and learning from real life situations.

4 Star Self-defence System Instructor Certification    More information on the 4 Star Self-defence System...

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