Defend Yourself works to empower people
— especially women and LGBTQ+ people — to end violence and create a world where they can be fully themselves.
In our classes you’ll learn skills to help you prevent, interrupt, heal from, and end violence and abuse. You’ll leave better equipped to deal with everything from annoying people to full-on attacks.
Empowerment Self-Defense Intensive,a 10-week deep dive into verbal and physical skills. You’ll transform yourself into a more confident, more assertive you!EARLY REGISTRATION ENDS SOON!
Buy a gift certificate for yourself or someone else you love to one of our 2019 workshops. Dates and locations coming soon. Let us know if you want to be notified when registration opens!
On My Own: Independence Skills for Tweens with Defend Yourself, Willow Street Yoga, Takoma Park, March 2, 2-4:30 p.m.
Get Empowered! A Self-Defense Happy Hour (16+), DC Center for the LGBT Community, various Wednesdays, 6:30-8 p.m.
What can we do for you?
Join a class that Defend Yourself has set up, or create one just for your group! Or take our Safe Bars program, Defend Yourself’s bystander intervention program for bar, club, and restaurant staffs. Or just one click and you can learn something now!
This class opened a door for me that I didn’t know existed. I know exactly what I would do if I needed to. It was the first time in my life that I felt that. Even if something happened, I would still feel safe in myself.
Thank you for such an empowering, confidence-inspiring class. When you first announced that the class would teach both verbal and physical defense, I was a bit hesitant – I presumed I already knew how to verbally defend myself, and thought I was ready to get down to more hard core self-defense moves.
When I took my [previous self-defense] class, I learned how to fend off physical attacks, but it took me much, much longer to learn how to develop and maintain healthy relationships. I spent too many years in an abusive relationship . . . Now I’m a lot more careful about defending myself – which is why your class was so important to me.
To my surprise, I found the verbal parts of the class the most beneficial. Instead of just preparing us for the chance of an all-out attack, we learned skills that have been helping me to navigate more assertively through everyday situations. You helped all of us to view self-defense holistically, and asked us to question our role in making this world less violent.
This class showed me that . . . I have every right to defend myself and take care of myself the best way I know how. My first responsibility is to myself.
I feel more confident, yet not complacent. I am learning to incorporate no into my everyday life.
Inspiring, caring, understanding, strong, and self-assured.
Lauren is very encouraging and patient. An excellent teacher, she makes everyone feel comfortable.
I wish other women/girls could experience THIS feeling of girrrrlpower, instead of listening to Cosmo and Glamour to tell them where their power lies.
Thank you for a wonderful class. I will spread the word around my high school and to every interested girl/woman I know!