Self Defense

We are dedicated to making high-quality self defense programming available to as many people in our community as possible. In addition to our ongoing classes, we offer free monthly talks, one-off weekend workshops, and short group presentations. No matter your budget or the size of your group, we will work with you to deliver a session that suits your needs.

Free Introductory Talk

First Sunday of every month, 12:00pm - 2:30pm

This free, informal talk is the perfect foundation for our weekly self defense classes, and an essential starting point for anyone interested in understanding self defense and violence. You'll learn:

  • how the Canadian legal system defines and regulates self defense
  • what different kinds of violence look like, and how that dictates our response
  • how to spot and avoid dangerous people, groups, and places
  • how to make decisions under stress
  • a simple approach to verbal de-escalation
  • how to understand the Canadian National Use of Force Framework, and how to think about force escalation in general
  • what to do in the aftermath of a violent encounter

No prior knowledge or experience is required, and there is no physical component to this session.

RSVP TODAY

Weekend Workshops

Take a deep dive into the many sides of effective self defense, including legal rights and Use of Force frameworks in Canada, identifying potentially dangerous people and situations, decision-making, de-escalation, physical defense, and aftercare. Our two-day, 9-hour program covers a range of situations, from the mundane to the life-threatening, and helps you build a healthy, realistic relationship with violence and risk. In Day 2 of this workshop, students have the opportunity to participate in several tactical self-defense scenarios, and practice their decision-making, de-escalation, and physical response skills in a realistic context.

We offer mixed-gender courses, as well as a Womens' Only Self Defense Workshop. In this version, instructors Courtney Rice and Kaja Sadowski cover the same legal, psychological, and practical ground, with a special focus on the dangerous situations and social pressures that affect women most strongly, and the different problem-solving tools available to them. The single-gender course is run entirely by women, and is open to all female-identified and femme-identified students, in accordance with our gender accessibility policy.

Contact us today to request a custom booking for your workplace, non-profit organization, or friend group.

Short Group Presentations

Not everyone can dedicate a full weekend to their self-defense training. We offer 1 hour and 2 hour presentations and 2-4 hour workshops tailored to larger groups. Our basic sessions teach students how to deal with unsafe situations that are uncomfortable and unsafe, but not actually life-threatening. How do you escape or defuse a confrontation with a creep at the bar who doesn’t value boundaries, or a street harasser, or a problem customer in your workplace? There are a lot of intermediate, lower-risk techniques that you can use to address a dangerous situation without getting into a fight. Let us teach you how to use observation, verbal de-escalation, and simple physical techniques to solve the problems that you’re most likely to face.

  • 1-Hour Presentation: covers the basics of dealing with everyday dangers and harassment. Learn how to spot and respond quickly to a bad situation, what resources you can bring to bear against someone who threatens your safety, and how to take care of yourself after a confrontation.
  • 2-Hour Presentation: covers all of the material featured in our presentation, and adds in an expanded discussion of the legal context of self defense, violence dynamics, and verbal and physical techniques to address the most common issues.

We're also always happy to build a custom presentation or workshop that's the right fit for your group, their circumstances and concerns, and the goals of your organization.
Contact us for rates (sliding-scale pricing available for non-profit organizations and community groups), or to request a presentation on a topic of your choice.

Talking Self-Defense in the Media

Want more of a sense of our approach? Check out the videos below to get to know some of our instructors and hear us share some self defense advice with Global News.

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