Defend Yourself empowers 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.
Get Empowered! A Self-Defense Happy Hour (16+), DC Center for the LGBT Community, various Wednesdays, 6:30-8 p.m.
On My Own: Independence Skills for Tweens, Saturday, March 14, 2-4:30 p.m., Willow Street Yoga, Takoma Park.
Active Bystander Training, Wednesday, April 8, 6:30-8:30 p.m., The DC Center.
Find out more about our classes for everyone.
What can we do for you?
Join a class that Defend Yourself has set up, or create one just for your group! Check out 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 has affected my life in many ways. I am now able to deal with many suppressed feelings. This is an opening for me. I finally allow myself to feel anger without blaming myself. I now realize I have the right to happiness and I will fervently fight whoever tries to take this.
This class has given me a powerful toolkit and the confidence to yell “NO” and know I have every right to say it. It’s helped me rethink my personal boundaries and feel good about maintaining them.
I feel more confident and like I can get through anything.
Bothering leads to dangerous things and situations if we aren’t careful. We want to try to stop the situation before it gets really dangerous! There are bullies that can start at just being annoying by talking and saying those mean things but it can turn into something very dangerous if you are not careful. So the key is to be very smart and think before you act. – from the book by our students at Jump Start Girls/Adelante Nias
I feel so much stronger and more confident. Now I feel good about saying no to something I don’t want, where I used to feel bad about it. This is a big change!
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.
Everybody needs this!
Inspiring, caring, understanding, strong, and self-assured.
The teachers are nonjudgmental: they are not going to tell you that what you are doing is wrong.
I unfortunately had to use some tactics I learned from the workshop, as I was assaulted at the beach this summer. I honestly believe that I avoided a rape because of your training.