Program Overview

Our self-defense program provides you with tools to avoid and escape life threatening situations.  You will learn:

  • situational awareness
  • escapes from abduction holds 
  • to fight back, targeting the most vulnerable points of your assailant
  • to disarm armed assailants, when possible

Program Design & Philosophy

Situational Awareness – In our martial arts classes, we train our students that the best way to avoid a fight is not to be there.  This applies to defending yourself against violent, unforeseen attacks.  You will learn how to read a room, identify potential danger, and know your exit points.  It is  critical to unwind yourself from hectic routines and be present, particularly in places in which you are prone to attack.  We’ll work on techniques to help you switch out of your routine and into an aware state of preparedness.

Escapes ­  In the event you are not able to exit and you are grabbed or thrown to the ground, you must know how to escape.  Our program teaches the best methods to escape if someone is on top of you on the ground.  You will learn simple ways to remove an assailant’s grip on your hair or arms and to escape if someone grabs and holds you from behind or front.  

Fighting Back – Perhaps the most important take-away will be discovering your own power to attack, tapping into your indomitable spirit and will to survive.  We all, regardless of our size, skill level, or physical limitations, have the ability to fight back and strike hard.  You will find the confidence necessary to hit your assailant and know where to strike.

Armed Assailants -  Being confronted with a weapon is a terrifying and dangerous situation.  You will explore and learn techniques for weapon take-aways.  Using tried and tested military and martial techniques, you can effectively disarm assailants in certain situations.

In stressful situations, we tend to only remember moves which are intuitive or which have been engrained through practice. Muscle memory and simplicity is important. Therefore, our focus is on providing you with only the most effective, simple techniques and skills.  In the program, we will extensively practice these techniques, so you have a set of “go to” moves.

The Instructor

The instructor, Joe Nelson, synthesizes the best defense and attack techniques from various martial arts and military training programs.  He has over 40 years’ experience training in multiple martial arts styles, including Kali (a Filipino combat martial art), Hapkido (a Korean art specializing in joint manipulation and self-defense), Jiu Jitsu (which trains how to fight once taken to the ground regardless of the size of your opponent), and kickboxing.  Our program integrates this ancient martial expertise, with modern military training, including  the  training that he used as  a weapons instructor for the United States Marine Corps' 2nd Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Intelligence Group.

The Case for Learning Self-Defense

Violent attacks happen quickly.  Statistics on violent crimes are staggering.  83% of people experience a violent crime their lifetime. One in three women are sexually assaulted.

Major studies have found women who learn self-defense are both more likely to avoid a situation in which they are raped and, if attacked, more likely to avoid rape.  For instance, one study found that women who complete a self-defense class were 50-60% less likely to be raped over the following year than women who did not train in self-defense. This unequivocally does not shift the blame from the attacker.  Rather, our message is that learning effective situational awareness techniques and self-defense strategies can empower you to avoid attack and, if attacked, can increase your chance of surviving and/or avoiding injury.   

Self-Defense Studies

Hollander, Jocelyn A. 2014. “Does Self-Defense Training Prevent Sexual Violence Against Women?” Violence Against Women 20(3):252–269.

Sarnquist, Clea et al. 2014. “Rape Prevention Through Empowerment of Adolescent Girls.” Pediatrics. 2013–3414.

Senn, Charlene Y., Misha Eliasziw, Paula C. Barata, Wilfreda E. Thurston, Ian R. Newby-Clark, H. Lorraine Radtke, and Karen L. Hobden. 2015. “Efficacy of a Sexual Assault Resistance Program for University Women.” New England Journal of Medicine 372 (24): 2326–35.

Sinclair, Jake et al. 2013. “A Self-Defense Program Reduces the Incidence of Sexual Assault in Kenyan Adolescent Girls.” Journal of Adolescent Health 53(3):374–380.

Tark, Jongyeon, and Gary Kleck. 2014. “Resisting Rape The Effects of Victim Self-Protection on Rape Completion and Injury.” Violence Against Women 20(3):270–292.

Ullman, Sarah E. 2007. “A 10-Year Update of ‘Review and Critique of Empirical Studies of Rape Avoidance’.” Criminal Justice and Behavior 34(3):1–19.

Brecklin, Leanne R., and Sarah E. Ullman. 2005. “Self-Defense or Assertiveness Training and Women’s Responses to Sexual Attacks.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 20(6):738–762. 

Ullman, Sarah E., and R. A. Knight. 1992. “Fighting Back: Women’s Resistance to Rape.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 7:31–43.

Ullman, Sarah E, and Raymond A Knight. 1993. “The Efficacy of Women’s Resistance Strategies in Rape Situations.” Psychology of Women Quarterly 17(1):23–38.