About our classes
Defend Yourself has classes for everyone, no matter what your age or ability. Whether you’re dealing with street harassment, going off to college, healing from abuse, or meeting any other challenge, we offer skills you can use.
Live life with more confidence, more safety, more freedom, + more fun!
Join us to learn how to prevent and avoid harassment, attack, and abuse; how to stop a threatening situation with words; and physical strikes to use against common attacks.
- All of our classes are tailored to the life situations and experiences of the students.
- All of our classes are open to people of all abilities: You don’t have to be an athlete or a martial artist to help yourself be safer. All of our classes are held in wheelchair-accessible spaces. If there’s something else that would help you be able to participate, please let us know.
- All of our classes have limited sliding-scale spaces for those who can’t afford the full fee.
- And all of our classes are fun!
If you sign up for a class and are unable to make it, we’ll give you a partial credit toward another class. We’re unable to make refunds.
Online: Active bystander skills for interrupting racism
Attacks on Asian Americans, indigenous, and black people are spiking. Essential workers — often people of color — are on the front lines of the pandemic, and are often being treated badly by a stressed public. We all can take action to interrupt verbal and physical hate. And we all have concerns that can prevent us from stepping up. Skills are the antidote to those concerns. Join us to learn how to assess a situation and choose a response to reduce harm to the person targeted while keeping yourself safe.
- A social-justice framework for understanding the role of bystanders in interrupting oppression
- Reasons to intervene when you see a problem, and reasons not to
- Overcoming barriers to intervening
- The 5 steps of bystander intervention
- De-escalation basics
- 4 tools for intervening
Sessions will be subtitled.
Read more about our active bystander trainings in The Washington Post.
This webinar is offered for free, with the option to give a donation. You will be directed to the donation page after filling out this form. Your aid will help us offer these webinars while we can’t support the community in person.
The workshops are 1.5 hours long.
By registering, you agree to hold confidential other peoples’ experiences and stories shared in the session. No recording is allowed. The session will be closed to entry 10 minutes after it starts.
Online: Boundaries for the pandemic (and the rest of life)
Boundaries are crucial to keeping ourselves safe physically and emotionally. During the pandemic, boundaries are more important than ever for several reasons, including that they can help stop the spread of the virus, and that they can help us deal with new situations, like being with the people we live with much more of the time, or facing different kinds of demands at work.
Keeping physical distance and respecting our own needs help us and everyone else stay safe and healthy. Join us to learn:
- Why boundaries matter and why they’re hard to set,
- 5 simple steps to setting a boundary,
- How to get centered and grounded before you say what you need,
- 4 basic strategies to communicate a clear message, and
- Lots of practice!
The workshops are about 1 hour, 15 minutes long.
Get Ready for College!
Learn skills to be safer and more confident as you head off to school, work, or travel. This is a high-risk time for sexual assault, especially by someone you know, but research has found that empowerment self-defense can make a huge difference! So we focus on using prevention, boundary-setting, assertiveness skills, and physical strikes as a last resort in a college setting.
Who: For rising high-school juniors, seniors, and college students
Where: Online via Zoom
How: Let us know if you want to be notified when registration is open
Don’t see what you want?
Please sign up for our newsletter, and we’ll let you know when workshops are scheduled.
In the meantime, if you’d like some training in personal safety and self-protection skills, you can bring us to you! If you have any group (friends, neighborhood, workplace, faith group, club/team, etc.), we’ll customize a workshop to your needs – and we can do it online.