About 4 Star Self-
We believe there is more to self- than the use of force and particularly the counter-attacks many systems tend to stress. The Four Star Self- System is a comprehensive approach to understanding conflict and teaching self-.

Our theory and techniques draw on many sources, including multiple martial arts. However, the 4 Star Self- 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 we incorporate release, escape and counter-attack and control techniques. Those techniques aren't derived from or tied to any specific single martial art or other discipline or organization. And although we don't require martial arts certification, we welcome and are open to martial artists and self- instructors of any and all stripes.

The 4 Star Self- system is not intended to undercut or replace anything you might already be teaching in an existing martial art or self- program. However, if you are open to new ideas and approaches, it is bound to augment and enhance what you are already doing.

The 4 Star Self- System is the result of Head Instructor Trainer, Master Gary 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 Syracuse, Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto, a central Yukon Territory mining town, Halifax and Ottawa. As he pursued martial arts training, he became convinced that too much self- or personal safety training 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- built on a combination of conflict theory, crisis management concepts along with escape, release and control principles and techniques drawn from a number of martial art 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 community mediation projects in both the U.S. and Canada.

The development of the 4 Star System grew out of a "you should write a book" discussion following self- workshop for a community organization, but there's only so much that can be conveyed in a book or even a video. So he decided to develop a program for training and certifying instructors in an approach to teaching self- 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.

Master Eikenberry holds a 7th Dan black belt in HupKwonDo and has operated Gloucester Ottawa HupKwonDo since 1993 and has served as Founder and Chief Instructor for the Gloucester Ottawa Self-defence Club since 2001.

Instructor Trainer, Dan Deschamps also has extensive training in multiple martial arts as well as experience in security and law enforcement.

The Four Star Self- System provides instructors with a practical approach to self- which is easily incorporated into an existing martial art, street-proofing or other program of instruction. It can also be taught on its own.

We provide instructors with

The 4 Star System is not intended to undercut or replace anything you might already be teaching in an existing martial art or self- program. However, if you are open to new ideas and approaches, it is bound to augment and enhance what you are already doing.

We are not a martial arts organization with affiliation fees or requirements. We are a training and certification organization devoted to promoting what we believe is a practical, balanced and effective approach to teaching self-.