A self-defender practices hitting a target pad.Our self-defense classes for groups help people feel safe, strong, and self-confident in their workplace, school, church/temple/mosque, and other community spaces.   Our participants have a higher sense of self-efficacy, which results in increased confidence and reduced anxiety.  We work with people of all genders, ages, and abilities, and specialize in working with people who feel vulnerable because of their identity or perceived identity — whether because of age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, or any other factor.

Our goal is to empower our self-defense class participants and help them discover their own strength.  We recognize that while there is nothing anyone ever does that makes it their fault if someone else chooses to assault them, there are things anyone can do to make assault less likely.

Our approach is trauma-informed, and we validate and deeply honor the lived experiences of class participants.

Who We Serve

We work with groups from corporations, small businesses, nonprofit organizations, religious organizations, community organizations, and private groups.

About Empowerment Self-Defense

Empowerment self-defense is an approach to personal safety that recognizes that violence occurs in a context, and all too often is at the hands of a known assailant.  In addition to physical self-defense skills, empowerment self-defense includes training in awareness of risks, recognizing signs of danger, and effective verbal and para-verbal boundary-setting and assertiveness skills.  We affirm each individual’s basic right to make their own choices; thus, we teach principles that can be broadly applied rather than narrowly-defined rules.

What We Do:

We will work with you to craft a training tailored to your groups’ needs and concerns.   All of our self-defense classes for groups are highly interactive, trauma-informed, culturally  humble, and strengths-based.


Group Self-Defense Class Options

Read about our parent-child classes on our Kids’ Self-Defense page.  The following descriptions assume an adult and older-teen audience.

Single-Session Classes

Most of our single-session classes can also be offered over multiple sessions.

Empowerment Self-Defense

This self-defense class for your group gives participants the tools to physically defend themselves against a stranger if necessary, so they can live with more confidence and less fear.  And in addition, it gives them the tools to recognize when someone they know may become violent, before they have to fight back — and hopefully they’ll never have to.

Bystander Intervention

Looking for ways to become a better ally? Want to learn how to set boundaries and stand up for those you love?  Learn how to stand up for others–both on the street, and around the dinner table–through this hands-on, interactive workshop. This class can be presented as a mostly verbal-skills training, or include a physical component, at the discretion of the organizer.

De-Escalation for healthcare and social service staff

Healthcare professions see more workplace violence than almost any other.  This training uses hands-on practice to increase workers’ ability to notice when someone is potentially going to escalate, to de-escalate a situation when possible, and defend themselves if necessary.  This class is affordable enough (in time and money) to offer to everyone in a department, and customizable for healthcare settings or social service settings.  We partner with professional actors (or SPs) to give every participants the opportunity to practice verbal de-escalation skills in a realistic but low-stakes setting.  NorthShore University Health System  partnered with Culture of Safety to develop this training for all of their ED and Immediate Care staff, and we’re excited to tailor it to your needs.  Note that rates are higher than our standard rates for this training due to greater staffing requirements.  Contact us using the form below for more information.

Introduction to Mindfulness

The benefits of mindfulness are by now well-documented, but knowing how to get started or how to integrate a mindfulness practice into everyday life can feel overwhelming.  This class introduces participants to several different mindfulness techniques, and will help participants create a foundation for their own regular, ongoing practice.

Multi-Session Classes

The following options are designed to be offered as a series of classes.  A series can be as short as 3 sessions, or as many as 12, 15, 24, or ongoing.  A series of classes offers a greater long-term impact on the lives of participants.

Full Empowerment Self-Defense Course

This course includes both physical and verbal curriculum sections approximately equally, and includes sections on responding to harassment, recognizing healthy relationships, responding to weapons, and more.  Full outline available upon request.   Individual sessions are 1.5 – 3 hours, or this can be delivered in an intensive, all-day or all-weekend format.    Ask us about integrating this into a college course for a truly unique and uniquely valuable experience!

PowerUP Programs

PowerUP is a multi-week workplace empowerment program that supports participants as they increase their personal power.  Part workout, part meditation, and part assertiveness training, each session will leave participants feeling more powerful and in charge of themselves, their lives, and their work.  Workouts are centered around self-defense techniques to further increase participants’ confidence.  After 6 sessions, participants break a board, and earn a PowerUP Basic certification.

Further certifications can be earned by completing each of the 3 advanced PowerUP programs: PowerUP: Voice, PowerUP: Body, and PowerUP: Mind.  Each of these 6-week sessions is a deep dive into its respective subject matter.  Completion of each 6-week program earns its respective certification, and completion of all 3 plus Basic earns particpants a PowerUP  Master certification.

Communication, Connection, and Safety in the Workplace

This highly interactive, trauma-informed, strengths-based 6-hour training includes paired exercises, role plays, and physical defensive skills with the goal of enabling each participant to fully experience their own emotional and physical strength, enhancing their personal safety both at work and in everyday life.

This course is best offered as two half-day retreats, and includes training in communication skills, recognizing and responding to power dynamics, and emergency-level physical defensive skills.  The result is an improved organizational culture and employees who connect more authentically in the workplace.  This is a great choice for any workplace that is seeking to improve staff communication, creativity, and innovation.

Pricing for Group Self-Defense Classes

Pricing is available at a group rate or per-participant rate. We will always work with you to find a price point that is affordable for you, fair, and congruent with our commitment to equity.

Ready to hire us?  Have questions?  Contact us using the form below!