Protect yourself with confidence.
Empower yourself in everyday life.
Take a workshop to gain practical skills to defend and assert yourself.
Get Empowered: A Practical Guide to Thrive, Heal, and Embrace Your Confidence in a Sexist World
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Want to be safer and more confident?
Defend Yourself empowers people — especially those targeted for gender-based violence — to protect themselves and create a world where they can be fully themselves.
We’ve trained 35,000+ students to defend and assert themselves. Take one of our workshops to learn skills to help you prevent, interrupt, heal from, and end harassment, abuse, and assault.
You’ll leave better equipped to deal with everything from annoying people to full-on attacks.
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An empowering, upbeat, and inclusive approach
You get more options
We don’t focus on how scary it is that violence happens, but rather on options we all have and ways we can take care of ourselves — including physical and verbal skills.
This isn’t martial arts
If you’re thinking, “I’m not sure I can do it,” you can stop! We’ve designed our classes so that no matter your abilities or fitness level, you can gain skills to make yourself safer.
All classes are survivor-centered
We understand trauma and honor whatever you did to get through.
It’s okay to put yourself first.
Harassment, abuse, and assault are the fault of the person who does them, so shouldn’t they be the ones to stop it?
The truth is, we need all the strategies to create a safe and respectful world — including that men, the primary aggressors, must lead the change.
But you shouldn’t shouldn’t have to wait around for other people (and systems) to change to be able to live a safer, more authentic life.
And studies show that learning Empowerment Self-Defense skills not only improves your safety — it also reduces anxiety and fear, and boosts your confidence.
From our students
“People say ‘boundaries’ all the time, but this is the first time that I really understood what that means.”
”This class was warm, welcoming, safe, empowering, and educational.”
“Defend Yourself training is really a comprehensive approach to protecting your whole self: body and mind. It covers not only physical tips to keep you safe but also how to defend against unwanted verbal and controlling behaviors. The trainers do an excellent job covering so many facets of self-defense for different identities that it truly is a joy to be in their classes.”
“This class profoundly changed my life in large ways and small, in obvious ways and more subtle ways that I’m only now becoming aware of. From learning strategies to defend myself from street harassment and attacks to gaining skills to help me feel more confident in your body and mind that will help me better advocate for myself in friendships, relationships, at work, and—perhaps most profoundly—in my own discussions with my own worst fears and doubts, this class is a life-changer.”
“Self-defense, assertiveness training, and bystander intervention helped me to refine my voice, put my comfort levels first, and enable me to move more freely. Now, I give myself permission to speak up, I have plans of action, and feel confident to engage.”
Sign up for a class
LGBTQIA+ people deserve to be safer!
Want to feel safer and more confident? Learn self-defense and empowerment skills in a queer environment!
We’ll address the range of situations LGBTQIA+ people face, from the annoying (problematic family members or intrusive coworkers) to the dangerous, including abusive relationships and hate crimes. Though you may never need the physical techniques, you’ll use the confidence, skills, and attitude every day. You’ll leave this session with techniques you can use right away.
Anyone can do this! People of all sizes and abilities are welcome. You don’t have to be an athlete or martial artist to help yourself be safer.
Who: Everyone in the LGBTQIA+ alphabet who’s age 16 and up
When + where: Wed., Feb. 28, 5:30-7:30 pm Eastern. At Gallery Place DC; you’ll get the details about the location when you register.
How: Suggested donation is $39. If you can pay more, or if you can’t afford the full fee, please contact us and we’ll make it work.
Bring us to you
We run programs at workplaces, organizations, and for private groups. Learn more about how we can work with you.