Women’s Empowerment and Safety Training

Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War, said: “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” The same applies to self-defense. While knowing how to fend off an attacker is valuable, our purpose is to avoid allowing a situation get to that point. Because no one leaves a fight unscathed.

That’s one of the core principles of a modern strain of self-defense training for women, which some call feminist self-defense or empowerment-based self-defense. Learning to use awareness, recognize a developing situation, and choose an option to escape are the lessons we want our students to master.

woman and daughter

Working in cooperation with an under-served population, we focus on developing and implementing outreach, education, prevention, and intervention strategies that highlight available resources and the specific issues faced by victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking from under-served populations.


Empowerment self-defense courses provide psychological awareness and verbal skills, not just physical training. Participation in self-defense classes encourages students to think in terms of options and choices, develops awareness and assertiveness skills and provides practice for physical self-defense techniques. It expands the way individuals think about violence prevention, helps students deal with their fears and enables all women to feel more empowered in their lives.

mother with stroller

Ideally, a good self-defense program should reflect these philosophical points

  • Women do not ask for, cause, invite or deserve to be assaulted.
  • People sometimes exercise poor judgment in their behavior, but that does not make them responsible for an attack.
  • Good self-defense programs do not teach an individual what they “should” or “should not” do. A good program offers options, techniques, and a way of analyzing situations, including a full range of strategy-building. A program may point out what usually works best in most situations, but each situation is unique, and the final decision rests with the person actually confronted by the situation.

Our safety seminars follow the points outlined above. No one should ever be made to feel guilty over how they deal with a potentially dangerous situation. Instead, they should be taught about their options and what they can do to protect themselves and escape unharmed.

Women’s Empowerment and Safety Training – Protect (west-protect.org@defense-ability.com) is the non-profit training division of Defense-ability Self-Defense Training. Please contact us for more information on booking a seminar or joining us as a supporting organization.