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.
On My Own: Independence Skills for Tweens with Defend Yourself, Willow Street Yoga, Takoma Park, March 2, 2-4:30 p.m.
Get Ready for College, Willow Street Yoga, Takoma Park, April 6, 3-6 p.m.
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!
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.
Inspiring, caring, understanding, strong, and self-assured.
The teachers role-modeled being strong women.
The teachers are nonjudgmental: they are not going to tell you that what you are doing is wrong.
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.
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
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 was a springboard. Now I know where I need to go in the rest of my life.
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.
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.