NEW Girls & Nonbinary Kids Beginner Series

(3rd-8th grade)

Rolling admission starting March 5th

Tues/Thurs 5:15-6:15,  Sat 11:45-12:45

This special beginners series is for girls, non-binary, trans-feminine, trans-masculine, and gender-expansive kids (grades 3rd-8th). All classes will be taught by a woman or nonbinary instructor.  Classes are held 3 times per week. Come once, twice, or 3 times a week for the same price!  If you pay for 2 months of karate on the first day, uniform is included for free ($50 value). No contracts!

If you’re not sure if you want to commit, you are welcome to try the first class for free, then sign up for the full series or for a month-to-month commitment. Register to sign up for try your free trial class (select any payment tier, then “pay at dojo”).

Register now!

At Culture of Safety, we understand that girls and nonbinary kids often struggle to find a place where  they can explore martial arts with the same support and encouragement as their peers. It is common in most martial arts schools to struggle to find places to support young girls (and trans and non-binary kids) especially as they age. We know that finding friends to train with makes a huge difference in whether kids will continue to enjoy karate years later.

For this reason, we decided to start our first-ever “Girls and Nonbinary Kids Beginners Series.” Launching March 5th (admission is rolling after March 5th), this beginners class for kids in 3rd-8th grade will focus on teaching karate in a cohort of girls and non-binary kids (trans kids of all genders welcome).


Our Head Instructors

Sensei Amy L. E. Jones (she/they)

Sensei Amy is  a licensed social worker and a 4th-degree black belt.  She has been teaching empowerment-based violence prevention since 2003.  Amy finished her MSW and became licensed in Illinois in 2013, having pursued the degree in order to deepen her knowledge about violence and the effects of trauma in people’s lives in order to be a more effective instructor.  Recognizing that sexuality education is an important component of sexual violence prevention, Amy received training in the Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality curriculum in early 2020.  Since then, she has facilitated OWL trainings for middle schoolers with Oak Park OWL, and independently at The Children’s School (also in Oak Park).    Amy has taught self-defense workshops for people with cognitive, sensory, and mobility impairments; social workers and other helping professionals, insecurely-housed teens and young adults, older adults, the LGBTQI+ community, and college students. She currently trains in Jin Sei Ryu karate-do under the instruction of Kancho Ino Maquirang and Shuseki Shihan Mel Ramsey. She serves as co-chair of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation (NWMAF).



Senpai Kyren E. Epperson (they/them)

Senpai Kyren has been training in karate since 2011 and teaching since 2013 and has been teaching empowerment-based violence prevention since 2012.  Senpai Kyren is a third-degree black belt in Jin Sei Ryu Karate-Do, and has also practiced Aikido, Tai Chi, Kickboxing, and fencing. They currently train in Jin Sei Ryu Karate-Do under the instruction of Kancho Ino Maquirang and Sei Shihan Mel Ramsey. They teach meditation as part of the Samatha Foundation of North America. Senpai Kyren is a licensed massage therapist and a certified Shiatsu Bodywork therapist, specializing in bodywork for LGBTQIA+ folks and trauma survivors. Kyren routinely incorporates their deep understanding about the body and its healthy movements in all of their classes. In addition, Dr. Epperson earned their PhD in Buddhist Studies from the University of Chicago, has been practicing meditation and mindfulness since they were a child, and has been teaching it in various forms for many years.  They often introduce short guided meditations into their karate and self-defense classes as a way of helping their students re-regulate their nervous systems.




Girls & Nonbinary Kids Beginner Series Registration
Fill out this form to sign up! This Beginners series starts Tuesday Feb 27th. First class is free! If you pay upfront for the first 2 months of karate on your first day of class, you get the uniform (value $50) for free!
The Girls and - Non-Binary Kid Beginners' Series is for students ages 8 through 11. We accept students as young as 4. See if your child is too young for this series!
If you already have a child or adult in your household training with us, you will qualify for Household pricing. Select "Pay at the dojo" and we'll get you set up correctly.