Child Safety Expert, C.O.B.R.A.™ Instructor, Author and Australia’s Self-Defense Leader Glenn Stevens
We caught up with Glenn Stevens for this months Self-Defense Professional Magazine to ask him a few questions. Glenn shares how he got involved in the martial arts / self-defense, his inspiration behind his books and his drive impact those around him. Glenn’s work ethic and community impact has landed him on the cover of this months magazine.
For many years as a youngster, Glenn lived in a bubble of insecurity. Crippling shy as a child, he found the vehicle for growth and self-esteem martial arts, which he started in 1986. This gave him the much needed focus to allow himself to commit his time and energy into a pursuit that built his confidence. He trained 4-5 hours each day and earned his black belt in 3 years. He became a professional Instructor and successfully competed internationally for many years.
He now runs his own martial arts schools in Australia as well as his self-defence company and has recently authored his first in a series of self-defence books. While some instructors focus on the military combative market, Glenn specializes in teaching children. Constantly researching new teaching methods and techniques, he is an innovator whose teaching is constantly described as engaging and dynamic for his ability to remember blocks of information and then utilize that information until every child finds confidence and “their voice.”
How did you find out about C.O.B.R.A.™ Defense?
Well, first of all Chris, thank you for inviting me to answer these questions. I am excited to talk with you.
We cover the adrenal stress response in our training, which is how your body reacts physically to the adrenal dump of adrenaline when under duress. We have a curriculum that we use which incorporates that with martial arts and self-defense. We wanted something that would complement that.
When I was doing my research, the name COBRA kept popping up. It looked like it had some good ideas and I liked what I saw. I took the free trial and, as I delved deeper, I was surprised at how much “new” material I was being exposed to. Simple things, but material that I had taken for granted. For example, the first time I saw the phone drill I knew we were onto something. It made so much sense, not just to me as an instructor but also how hard it hits home that no matter how smart your smartphone is, YOU are the only thing that you can rely on in a self-defense situation. I signed up to become COBRA certified straight away and began studying. The more I delved into it, the more I realized what a strong system it is. Not just the techniques but the mindset as well and also the business, marketing and curriculum side of it. You’ve been very supportive as well, Chris, and I thank you for that.
What are some unique training aspects that you discovered through the COBRA training model?
The thing I love is that you can teach as much or as little as you need. A half day course…simple. A 10 week academy…covered. I like the fact that you can break the system down into modules so that you can teach very specifically. I like the components that really make people think. The action vs reaction principle, improvised weapons etc.
By far though, the most popular addition to our curriculum is the vehicle and Anti Abduction principles. My forte and passion is teaching children. The Anti Abduction techniques have allowed us an entry into the school system where there maybe wasn’t an avenue before. Teachers, facilitators and parents respond brilliantly to this material.
We have also had parents crying on our courses when they see their child being “abducted” by an instructor. It really hits home that what we are teaching is lifesaving and that these simple skills can really make a difference. We have taught these skills to kindergartens and schools and the feedback has been phenomenal.
What’s your greatest motivation for teaching self-defense of any type?
I was bullied as a child. I was shy, introverted and majorly lacking in confidence, so I know and can relate to how people feel when they are not sure of their place in the world. The change in people’s (especially children’s) demeanor from being scared, nervous and shy to confident, alert and focused is my greatest pleasure. For instance, we had an 8 year old child come to one of our courses. His mum couldn’t afford to pay so we had a chat about some options. The child was being bullied majorly at school and had contemplated suicide…at 8 years old! That was totally mind blowing to me. So after chatting with my team we invited him and his mum to participate on the course as our guests. It was a challenging course for him and his mum for sure and, even though it was emotional, it was a safe place for him to let go of those negative feelings. Many tears were shed that day and there were many breakthroughs. I recently saw him and his mum and was amazed at the difference. This is a boy who was scared to even make eye contact, who was scared of life, now excited to tell me that he was doing great at school, had built the confidence to stand up for himself and is now loving life. THAT is my motivation.
What are the top 3 things you want a student walking away from your training sessions to possess?
Great question, Chris.
The first thing is that I want people to really BELIEVE that they are worth defending. That they have the tools to spot danger before it happens. That they NEED to find a way to get home safely to their families.
Secondly, and this is a big one, I want them to build the confidence in themselves to drastically change their own lives. Maybe it’s deciding to end a toxic relationship, maybe it’s the decision to start something that they have never believed they were capable of, maybe it’s learning how to face and deal with their own demons that are holding them back. I want them to see what they are really in control of their destiny.
Thirdly, I want them to possess the ability to impact the people around them. Their partners, their family, their neighborhoods This information is so important to get out into the community so that we really can change lives. If I can get them having fun as they learn these skills then I know I’m on the right path.
What are your top 3 professional goals you over the next 3 years?
I have a fantastic team of instructors and I want to see them be able to run every aspect of my self-defense company. I want them to be financially secure running courses that are impacting communities. We have a training system in place to start developing instructors and will be inviting prospects aboard very soon. I have a very active brain (as I’m sure my team will testify to), and I love researching new methods of training and teaching. I hope to be able to pass this information onto the next generation of instructors.
I also want to get this information out to as many people as possible so I have written a ladies self-defense book and am currently writing a children’s Anti Abduction guide for parents as well as a children’s book. I want to be able to also offer this through online courses so that no matter where you are in the world, you can have access to this material. I know that is something that you are very passionate about as well, Chris.
I am also starting my journey as a professional speaker and so want to travel to spread the word. I want to be seen as THE children’s self defense expert.
What was you’re motivation for writing a book dedicated to self-defense for women? How could someone get a copy of this book?
Well, the book came about because of our female instructor and my best friend, Tammy. She is an inspiration to me. She has 3 children and she is a fantastic mother; I am amazed at her passion for what we teach. When I first invited her to join the team, she had no experience in self-defense or martial arts, but I knew her compassion and nurturing nature would be a great fit. She has become a pure role model for ladies in our area and is admired in our community. It has been challenging for her and she has had to step outside her comfort zone many, many times to get to where she is now and I know that she is not happy unless she is pushing toward her next goal. I want that kind of impact on as many women as possible. I know that fear and self-doubt can hold people back and I want women to discover the keys to breaking through that. I want them to feel safe in their own mind and body. If the people that I can reach through the book can gain even a tiny percentage of what I have seen from Tammy I will be very happy.
The book will be available hopefully at the end of January on amazon.com and we will also have it available from our website www.ezdefence.com
GLENN Stevens: Background, Credentials & Team Members
GLENN STEVENS BIO
- Started karate in 1986 at the age of 13.
- 4th Dan in Shotokan karate.
- Former member of the Great Britain and England National Karate Teams
- Trained in BJJ, MMA, Kickboxing, Aikido, Arnis de mano (Philipino martial arts)
- Has taught martial arts professionally since 1990.
- Relocated to Australia in 2008.
- Now teaches at his martial arts school as well as teaching Les Mills Body Combat Fitness
- Certified with Bill Kipp in FAST Defence.
- Certified with C.O.B.R.A
- Specializes in teaching children Anti Abduction.
- Experienced in teaching courses for seniors, women and children
- Is trialing Anti Abduction courses in kindergartens and schools.
- Speaker for Australia’s Crime Prevention & Community Safety Conference in 2015.
- Author of “EZ Defence: Empowering Women to be Prepared.”
- Currently writing a children’s safety manual for parents to teach their children.
Started EZ Defence with business partner Danny Watkins in 2013.
Glenn Stevens – Director, Chief Instructor, Instructor Development, COBRA certified
Danny Watkins – Director, Business Development, Trainer and Coach, COBRA certified
Tammy Hewitt – Head Coach and Trainer
Jandre Vermaak – Coach
Children’s Anti Abduction
Older and Bolder (Senior citizens)
10 week self-protection
One day camps
“The team we have here at EZ Defence is amazing.”
Danny studied martial arts as a child and struck up a friendship with Glenn when Glenn first arrived in Australia. They have trained together ever since, building EZ Defence’s operating procedures and content delivery. Hardworking and tenacious, Danny brings a determination to the business. An imposing figure on the mat, he has a great way of relating to his clients. Recently certified as a personal trainer and a COBRA instructor his training attitude is infectious.
Tammy is a mother of 3 and is one of the most caring and nurturing coaches that you will ever see. She is able to calm a child’s fears one minute and inspire women with her total commitment and ferocity the next. She had no prior experience in martial arts but Glenn saw her determination and the willingness to help others. A true role model who is constantly stepping outside of her comfort zone to test her fitness, her attitude and her combat prowess, Tammy truly believes in empowering women and children with simple, lifesaving kills.
Jandre has trained with Glenn for the last 4 years. Only 19 years old and currently studying architecture at University, Jandre is the youngster of the team yet has a maturity way beyond his years. Level headed, respectful and focused, he relates brilliantly to children and teenagers. The last 4 years has seen constant progression with Jandre’s confidence and, as a result, he now teaches regularly with Glenn.
“Since meeting Chris and becoming COBRA certified, our teaching methods have changed and adapted. Schools and parents are actively seeking us to teach for them. The Anti Abduction elements of the COBRA system have never been seen in Australia and we are excited to be leading the field here.”
For more information on becoming a C.O.B.R.A.™ Self-Defense Professional visit www.SelfDefenseCertified.com.