Self Defense

We offer self defense seminars that are open to the public as well as fully customizable private seminars.  If you are interested in our public self defense classes, click on the events tab and see what we have currently available.
If you are interested in a private self defense seminar, consider the following options and then shoot us an email outlining what material you want to see covered, the number of students, ages of students, challenges and concerns of students, and the location of the seminar.


In our public self defense seminars, using physical drills, games, and discussion we cover:

  • situational awareness (noticing what is going on around you)
  • setting physical boundaries (knowing what is okay for you and what is not okay)
  • using your voice and body language as a tool (saying “no” and “stop”)
  • understanding who the threat is (acknowledging that family and friends are statistically a bigger threat than strangers and that our individual identity may dictate who the threat is)
  • simple strikes (how to hit with your elbows and knees)
  • breaking simple grabs (how to escape a wrist grab)
  • escaping a pin (how to get off the ground if someone is on top of you)

For our private seminars, we are happy to use the same formula, focus on a specific element, or cover whatever material your group may be interested in.

Student Numbers

In our public seminars, we try and keep the ratio of teachers to students to around 1 instructor to every 5 students.  This insures that everyone who takes the seminar gets some personal attention as well as time to play with the ideas with their fellow students.
For private seminars, we recommend keeping the ratio at about 5 students per every instructor to insure quality but we are happy to adjust things.  As a general rule, the more instructors that are present, the more we will charge for the session.

Student Ages

In our public seminars, we have children who are between the ages of 6-12 must have an adult present.  This means the adult can either participate in the seminar (which we recommend as a way of setting the example) or sit and watch.  We allow students who are 13 and up to participate without an adult present.  Experience has taught us that this policy helps with class management and makes for smoother running classes and a positive experience for all.
For our private seminars, we stick with these same rules in regards to age of students.

Challenges and Concerns of Students

Self defense is a physical, mental, and emotional endeavor.  In this regard, it will challenge students on all three of these fronts.  In our public seminars, we ask people when they sign up to tell us about any challenges they may have (bad knees, English as a second language, ADD, etc) or any concerns they may have (terrified of having other people touch them, etc).  We use this information to help us customize the seminar with the goal of challenging but not overwhelming the students.

With our private seminars, we ask for honesty in this same regard.  If you want to do a private seminar, what are the challenges (physical, mental, and emotional) the students are facing and what are the barriers involved that may stop them from overcoming those challenges?


For our public seminars, we usually work out of one our three schools: Southwest Portland Martial Arts, Southeast Portland Martial Arts, or Northeast Portland Martial Arts.
For our private seminars, we are happy to use one of our schools or go to a nearby location.  In terms of money, we charge less for our spaces and more for yours.


As a starting point, we charge $20 per participant for a 1.5 hour class.  We have a minimum charge of $200.  Cost may change based on many factors, including age range, content choice, number of teachers, and location


Email us at to set up a seminar.  Please include as much detail as possible about what you want your seminar to look like.