About Senshido

The very first Senshido school was opened in Montreal, Canada in 1994 by a young martial artist and self defence enthusiast named Richard Dimitri. Rich had the goal of removal the “shackles” of the traditional martial arts and addressing real violence and real self defence in a more holistic manner – analysing thoroughly the behavioural, emotional and psychological elements of violence as well as just the physical. Along the way, he also developed the world famous “Shredder” concept, and with it, one of the most devastatingly effective reality-based self-defence systems was born.

Over the coming years, law enforcement agencies, military units, women’s groups, high schools, health care departments and general civilians from all over the world have sought out Richard Dimitri to learn from the best when it comes to self defence.

Senshido has never stopped evolving. In 2006, a massive shift began as Rich began steering Senshido away from just self defence, into becoming what is now known as Senshido International – a worldwide movement for peace, tolerance, understanding and social awakening.

The following is taken from the new Senshido International website (still under development):

Senshido Re-Defined by Richard Dimitri

Rich regularly speaks to youth groups about choosing peace over violence.

Learning Unlimited: Rather than provide technical aspects for people to use in particular situations, we provide analytical skills that are useful in all situations. – Senshido Adage

“My life in Senshido, especially after I started teaching, led me directly to law school with the sole purpose of being a Prosecuting Attorney. After hearing so many heart wrenching stories from students about how violence affected them I decided that law school & being a Prosecutor was the life for me.” – Lawrence Boivin

“I was already on a quest for self discovery and Senshido has afforded me the opportunity to expand that. I feel much more connected to men and women who are interested in making this planet just a little bit better. Additionally, Senshido has helped me deal with a variety of ego issues and I have made incredible connections with people around the world, many of whom I have never even physically met yet.” – Glenn Wilson, Senshido International – Washington DC

“I can honestly say that Senshido has really helped me be analytically minded. Whether its discussing politics, philosophy, or hand to hand combat, I always try to take a step back, and think of new ways to deal with a situation free of self imposed, meaningless restraints. I think back to 2003, or whenever it was that I got my first Senshido video, when I realized that combat is more about thought and problem solving than it is about physicality.” – Nick Borek

If you’ve been following us from our early beginnings in 1994, you have undoubtedly noticed that we stood true to our original definition of Senshido being ‘change’.  A personal philosophy is acquired through our experiences on the journey of life, work, school, training, relationships, struggles, successes, failures, every sum of our experiences play a part and affect our perceptions, our beliefs and in turn, who we are and become; all of which are re-definable if we so choose them to be.

The journey is where we develop our philosophies. Change, as stated on our old site, or rather, the willingness to change is where it begins. There’s a saying that goes “Those who reject change, reject evolution.” And we couldn’t agree more.

The true foundations of personal protection belong to no particular person, group, or organization. They are the fundamental pillars of each and every human being, and as such this knowledge belongs to us all if we choose to acknowledge and embrace it.  Senshido first and foremost, works with these foundations:

– Natural Instinct
– Protective Reflexes
– Strong Emotions
– Behaviour
– Mind Set
– Adrenaline
– Fight or Flight

… and more helping you get back in touch with your natural protective mechanism and fine-tuning what ‘mother nature’ already gave us. Our primary concern is avoidance. The secondary is de-escalation; the tertiary if the first two are to fail, is protective physical defence.

“We are our own worst enemies.” I have found that saying to be very true for humanity. We indeed are our own worst enemies. It is critical that in our training, we do not become what it is we are so vehemently trying to defend against.  As we all know, self-defense truly begins with the self. We train in fear of someone else hurting us, but what about the damage we cause to ourselves on a daily-weekly-monthly and yearly basis? Living in a state of fear, anxiety and/or stress, living a lie or many lies, as well as poor health habits, creating major imbalances in the body, are factors in work and relationship failures, health deterioration and more.

If powerful yet dark emotions such as anger, fear, hatred and other derivatives of these emotions govern a good portion of our daily lives, it is indeed “we” of whom we should be worried about defending ourselves from primarily. What good is it to worry about exterior fires if the one inside is ripping us apart slowly but surely?

Also, regularly training under the intended inoculation of the adrenal stress condition phase, causing the over activation of the fight or flight branch of the nervous system (though excellent for replicating reality and a necessary part self-defense training) can also be detrimental without enough activation of the calm, peaceful, restful and meditative state of the body & mind.

Both branches need equal stimulation if a healthy strong and balanced body and mind are to be cultivated and maintained. That way, if it ever does come down to fight or flight, your nervous system will be able to perform at its peak therefore truly enhancing your survivability rate at its maximum.

Senshido is self-defense for self-development. It’s about strengthening one’s self holistically, in turn strengthening our families and our communities and creating a more peaceful, communicative and nurturing environment to thrive and prosper in. It isn’t just purely a one dimensional self-defense system or combative discipline mainly working on the physical aspects of a confrontation or fight but a truly holistic approach to the total defense of the self and there are many levels to the ‘self’.

This of course does not mean that we do not more than adequately address both the physical and athletic parts of self-defense either. Quite the contrary, our workouts and fitness are cutting edge and model itself after some of the world’s best providing, just as Senshido did with martial arts, what we and hundreds of thousands worldwide consider as a more holistic, conceptual and individually ‘friendly’ approach

Senshido attacks the problem of violence at the core root understanding that in order to achieve peace, we must, – as an old friend of mine said long ago: ‘out-birth’ violence. An enormous if not impossible task perhaps, but as Gandhi once said, “We must become the change we want to see in the world.”

And if all of humanity had decided not to pursue something just because it was deemed just as impossible or more… then where would humanity be today? One of Cicero’s six mistakes of man is imposing one’s own limitations and/or failures onto another… we do not succumb nor subscribe to this dead philosophy.

Senshido can not only give you the tools to successfully survive a violent confrontation but also give you the tools to help you on your journey to indeed become the change, see & share the vision you wish for the world through your friends, families and communities.  Join us; help us change the world by becoming the change we want to see.

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