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.
Buy a gift certificate for yourself or someone else you love to one of our 2019 workshops.
Teens Can Defend Themselves, Willow Street Yoga, Takoma Park, May 4, 2:30-5 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!
I feel more confident, yet not complacent. I am learning to incorporate no into my everyday life.
Lauren is very encouraging and patient. An excellent teacher, she makes everyone feel comfortable.
This class was a springboard. Now I know where I need to go in the rest of my life.
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.
Inspiring, caring, understanding, strong, and self-assured.
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
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 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.
What an empowering, enlightening class! You gave me a wonderfully empowering gift – the ability to speak! You helped take away some of the fear that I had by having me realize that I have some power within.
The teachers are nonjudgmental: they are not going to tell you that what you are doing is wrong.