EDGE Self Defense is led by Stephanie Cyr. Stephanie is a practicing martial artist, with over 25 years of experience across more than 10 different martial arts. She holds a 6th-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, in which she has been a coach, official, instructor, and competitor with State and National championships. Stephanie is also a mother of four, including a 20-year-old daughter, who has assisted with Stephanie's clinics for high school students. Before she turned to teaching full-time, Stephanie was a practicing attorney. This unique background and instruction in the relevant case law round out her comprehensive approach.
Stephanie defines self-defense as anything you say, do, think, or believe that helps keep you or others safe. She advocates for a holistic approach that places self-care at the foundation of self-defense. In a supportive and nurturing environment, students who work with Stephanie learn mental readiness, situational awareness, boundary setting, deescalation strategies, and physical techniques. She makes many of these lessons regularly available through two free online resources - Move of the Day instructional videos and The Weekly EDGE Newsletter.
Currently, Stephanie is a Professor of Self Defense at San Francisco State University and a consultant for the San Francisco Unified School District. She has developed age-appropriate curriculums for students from kindergarten through college. Building on her years of curriculum development, she is presently leading a team with ESD Global to develop a higher education accredited minor program in Empowerment Self Defense. Stephanie also works with PAVE Prevention to train first responders to better protect themselves while they work to protect others.
TRAINING WITH THE BEST
Stephanie has trained with some of the world's most respected and accomplished martial artists. Since 1991, she has studied Taekwondo under the school of Grandmaster Sihak Henry Cho (bottom left) who is credited with opening the first commercial Tae Kwon Do studio in the United States and is the only martial artist to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition from President Obama. It was Cho who told Stephanie to always remain a student and encouraged her to pursue her interest in self defense and to share it with others. In San Francisco, she continued her studies with Grandmaster Bill Dewart and participated in the development of his self defense system called "Tiger Defeats the Bull" which was featured in Black Belt Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. After competing for the last time at Cho’s All American Open tournament (the first mixed martial arts competition in the United States), Stephanie then turned to other martial arts including Brazilian Jiujitsu, American boxing, Muay Thai, Zen Budokai jujitsu, and Krav Maga to refine her self defense skills and deepen her understanding of different techniques and their effectiveness.
Stephanie maintains and continues to grow her global network to leaders across the different martial arts.
CERTIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE
Juris Doctor with Honor, University of Maryland
6th Dan Blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do (Kukkiwon & AAU Certification)
5th Dan Blackbelt in Chang Moo Kwan
Rank, Krav Maga
Rank , Brazilian Jiujitsu
Student, Zen Budokai Jiujitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, MMA.
Professor, Personal Defense, San Francisco State University
Member, San Francisco State Women’s Coalition
Member, SFSU Sexual Violence Prevention Collaborative
Head of Committee on Development of Higher Education Curriculum for ESD Global
Speaker at Violence Prevention Education Conference
Team Leader of PAVE Prevention program to train first responders
Guest Instructor at University of San Francisco, Tae Kwon Do Club
Consultant, San Francisco Unified School District Physical Education Program
Instructor, Self Defense for Downtown Streets Team and Blooming Room Project
Senior Instructor, Academy of Taekwondo San Francisco
Member, AAU Positive Coaching Alliance
Official, AAU Certification - State, National, Junior Olympic Events
San Francisco Committee Member, The Joyful Heart Foundation
Member, Wellness Board, Tamalpais Union School District
Member, National Women's Martial Arts Federation
Exhibitor, Girls’ Festival 2019 by WorldWideWomen