- What do the classes cover?
- Who can take the classes?
- How do I register for a class or bring a workshop to my group?
- Who are the teachers?
- I have more questions. Who can I talk to?
Every class, no matter how long or short, covers three areas:
- Prevention and awareness: things you can do to prevent or avoid an attack or abuse
- Assertiveness and verbal self-defense: using words and body language to stop obnoxious or intrusive behavior and to keep a situation from escalating
- Physical self-defense: techniques to end a physical attack and get to safety.
We learn these techniques through discussion, role-plays, exercises, and more.
This is not a martial arts class. You won’t have to practice for hours to learn practical skills. Even after the first class or a short workshop, you will go home with techniques you can use if you need to.
We can organize a class or workshop for any group. We have age-appropriate material for ages 3 and up, and we teach people of all genders and abilities. For example, we have led workshops for lesbian and gay college students, for adults who have multiple sclerosis, and for social service workers who have lots of contact with the public. (Find out more about setting up a class for your group.)
The classes that we schedule that are open to the public are for women, teen girls, trans and gender nonconforming people age 16 and up. We also have workshops for:
- teen girls getting ready for college
- parents and pre-K or elementary-age children
- LGBTQ people
- elementary-age children getting ready to go to school on their own (walking or public transit)
- people who have taken at least 8 hours of self-defense (advanced workshops)
- and more!
All of our classes are held in wheelchair-accessible spaces. If theres something else that would help you be able to participate, please let us know.
Lead instructor Lauren Taylor has studied and taught self-defense since 1985. She holds the rank of black belt in tae kwon do, a traditional Korean martial art. She specializes in teaching self-defense to women, to people with disabilities, to LGBTQ+ people, and to survivors of abuse and assault. She and other Defend Yourself instructors (meet them here) all have training in empowerment self-defense, in trauma and healing, and in teaching.
Email us or call 301-608-3708. We’re happy to talk and answer any questions you have!