Taking a beating in the name of safety

of any self-respecting self defense teacher. But to Roberts, it is his secret weapon. “Humour makes people comfortable,” Roberts explained. He finds if his clients are comfortable, they are more willing to hit him. And allowing people to hit him is a key part of Roberts’ training. Roberts doesn’t give clients a standard cookie cutter response to being attacked. “Techniques look good in marketing,” he said. He describes his technique instead as “sloppy, messy, chaotic.” But that is generally the way things unfold in a real attack. It is never as neat, clean or dramatic as it is portrayed in Hollywood movies, Roberts said. He prefers to give clients simple techniques they can use to overwhelm an attacker in- stead of complex actions which, Roberts said, most people are unable to replicate when gripped with the stark terror of an at- tack. And once the clients are schooled in some of the counter attacks at their disposal, they are coaxed by Roberts to unleash them upon him once he is suited up in his protective Spartan gear. Please see “SAFE”: Page 15

Roberts to uncover cathartic incident. When he finally made the realization, it all made perfect sense. It is something he reflects upon “every time a woman hits me in the face pretty hard … that’s why I am doing this,” he said. “I guess you can say I was a victim of that too,” said the 47-year-old self defense

The harder women hit Chris Roberts, the better he feels

By Greg Kielec

When Chris Roberts was in sixth grade, something happened that would affect him for the rest of his life.

As scared children cowered underneath their desk, Roberts saw an older student from his school at- tempt to sexually as- sault a girl from his class. The incident from the Ottawa school re- mained buried deep in his subconscious until one day, as he

guru from Lunenburg, about 30 km northwest of Cornwall.

Roberts is not your prototypi- cal self defense instructor. He doesn’t look to impress his clients with brute force nor

Chris Roberts

is he interested in flaunting his fighting skills. His biggest

Special photo Chris Roberts, founder and president of SAFE International, doesn’t mind taking a hit in order to promote women’s self defense.

struggled to come to terms with his obses- sion with women’s self defense, it resur- faced. It took 10 years of soul searching for

defense without being scared or intimidated. He does that using humour. It is a skill you won’t find listed in the bio

skill is his ability to put clients at ease so they can get down to the serious business of self

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