Protect yourself with confidence.
Empower yourself in everyday life.
Take a workshop to gain practical skills to defend and assert yourself.
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
Empowerment and Self-Defense:
Intro for BIPOC
People of color in the U.S. are targeted for verbal and physical hate at much higher rates than white people are. Women, LGBTQIA+ and nonbinary people face gender- and race-based harassment, abuse, and assault combined.
Join us to build on what you already know with more skills to help keep yourself safe. You’ll learn:
Awareness and prevention: Understand where the risks really lie and how to avoid problematic situations
Verbal skills: Boost your assertiveness and boundary-setting skills for everyday life
Physical skills: Learn simple, effective ways to hit and get to safety if you have to — and more!
Who: For women, trans men, and non-binary people age 16 and up, who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color.
What: 2.5 hours of interactive learning with practical exercises based on real-life situations in a small group
When + where: Saturday, June 25, 3:30-6 pm Eastern time via Zoom
How: The fee is $38. Please contact us if you can’t afford the full fee or if you can give more than $38.
Slots are limited, so register soon!
Get Ready for College
Finishing high school? The bad news is that the late teens and early 20s are a high-risk time for sexual harassment and assault. The good news is that research shows empowerment self-defense training can make a huge difference!
Join us to learn skills to be safer and more confident as you head off (literally or virtually) to school or work.
Since most attacks are by someone you know, we focus on prevention, boundary-setting, assertiveness skills, and physical strikes as a last resort in a college setting.
Who: Rising high-school juniors, seniors, and college students who identify as women, trans men, or non-binary.
What: 3-hours of interactive learning with practical exercises based on real-life situations in a small group.
When: Sunday, July 24, 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. Eastern
Where: Online via Zoom, so people from almost anywhere can join!
Cost: $79 per person.
Slots are limited, so register soon!
Bring us to you
We run programs at workplaces, organizations, and for private groups. Learn more about how we can work with you.