The Best Defence Program
Meet the team
The Best Defense Program is a Counter-Violence and Advocacy Training organization in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. We're dedicated to equipping you with the tools to detect, prevent, deter, and ultimately repel interpersonal violence. Unlike traditional "self-defence" classes, Counter-Violence education directs focus away from the actions of potential victims and onto empowering communities against violence, person by person. Counter-Violence is about smart decisions, environmental- & self-awareness, as well as activism, assertiveness, advocacy, and verbal & physical tactics for dealing with a variety of situations at various levels of escalation. It isn't only about what to do when confronted with violence, but also about how to affect the social landscape, addressing popular mythologies in order to not propagate hyper-vigilance and victim-blaming.
Our instructors have dedicated a certain portion of our lives to researching crime, power-differentials, violence and counter-violence on numerous levels. We aren't law-enforcement officers, world-famous martial artists or undefeated martial sport/mma champions, nor are we brawlers looking for a fight. We incorporate relevant aspects of psychology, sociology, anatomy & physiology, kinesiology, martial arts & martial sports, conflict resolution, and medicine/paramedicine into our programs, and continue to study new methods as they are developed in order to bring you the very best and latest in counter-violence education.
Gary (Gaz) Black is the creator of The Best Defense Program. Gaz began his experience with violence at a young age, growing up in a physical household. Exposure to the martial arts laid a foundation for studying physical conflict, and a lifelong passion was discovered.
While Gaz continues training in traditional arts - most recently wingchun and kalaripayattu - his focus is primarily on application.
Gaz is a former paramedic, instructor of first aid & CPR, maintains numerous certifications and is highly dedicated to his role as instructor.
An outspoken member of their generation, Chantal Black has been participating in The Best Defense Program training from the age of eight.
As the youngest member of the instruction team, Chantal has made invaluable contributions to curriculum development and company direction.
Chantal is an artist and student of dance, and has an educational history including both arts and sciences.
Together, Gaz and Chantal have appeared on radio (CJOB and CBC Radio One), television (CTV and CKND), as well as in print (Winnipeg Free Press) to discuss self-defence, victim-blaming, and harassment.
Additional instruction is provided by members of the Applications Class as required.
The skills I have learned from Gary over the last ten years have enabled me to maintain a tactical advantage during various use of force situations. Gary is an excellent teacher who is enthusiastic in his teaching and practical in the applications of the skills he teaches. I consider myself a better peace officer and person for having learned from Gary and lucky to be able to call him my friend.”Constable Keith W. Ryzowski, RCMP Fort Chippewayan, Alberta
Excellent. Wow. I have to say it wasn’t only good for the self-defence part, but also for making me more aware of the emotional well being side of things as well. Thanks.”Richard, 28
All of the instruction and demonstration were clear, and additional information was always available.”Liz, 25
I enjoyed the day. All the techniques were practical and seem flexible enough to be used in the real world.”Ryan, paramedic
I just finished taking part in the Basic class for the second time and was surprised at how easy it was to get through it! My goal is to become a full-fledged instructor some day because I believe nobody should be without this!”Barb, 33