Welcome to NAGA

Martial Arts | Self Defense | Community

Rethinking Martial Arts and Self-Defense

At Naga, you’ll find far more than a kick-n-punch school, you’ll discover a rich community of practitioners devoted to the betterment of their body and mind. You’ll feel right at home inside our empowering community of highly supportive peaceful warriors. The courage, strength and inner peace you’ll gain here at Naga will extend into other areas of your life, for the rest of your life. 

We chose Naga because of the gentle, yet effective and clear approach. The strength of the community is obvious and envelopes everyone who comes through the doors. Our family’s values are all centered around community, giving and global understanding. We felt immediately that our beliefs aligned with what we found here at Naga.

Kimmy Schenter

Color Innovation, Nike, Inc.

Ultimately we chose Naga because of the community. We saw the amazing, kind and caring staff and teachers along with the thoughtful and supportive students. The young people that train at Naga are not only caring, but smart, accepting, kind and fun!

Martha Lillie

Library Assistant, Multnomah County Library

Your Martial Arts Journey Begins Here

Learning self-defense skills and mastering martial arts begins with you. Want to become more fit? Feel safer or protect those who you love? Looking to discover who you are? At Naga we have something for everyone, and this includes YOU!

Kids and Teens Martial Arts Training, Camps or Workshops

You know it takes a village to raise a child, and you understand how important it is to find mentors, coaches and programs that align with your family’s values. At Naga, your child learns self-defense skills, yes, but so much more. Welcome to our village where integrity, honesty, compassion and respect are part of the air we breathe. Incidentally, lots of fun is also guaranteed along the way!

Adult Martial Arts Training Path

You are looking for a workout that builds your strength, flexibility, endurance and all around awesomeness. Why not get those endorphins flowing and that sweat dripping while building a powerful connection with other incredible humans? Set your superhero free!

Empowerment & Self Defense Workshops

Naga’s Empowerment programs are nationally recognized, state-of-the-art, delivered by experienced professionals trained in up-to-date best practices. Research proves that self-defense works to prevent sexual assault: not only are graduates of empowerment classes less fearful, more aware of their boundaries and able to speak up sooner than before taking the class, participants are 63% less likely to be raped than those who never have taken a course.

Corporate Self-Defense Training

You have an incredible team of talented people. The nature of your work, or the location of your office makes you concerned about their safety. You want value, professionalism and clear, empowering de-escalation, self-defense or active shooter training. We custom-design all our workshops so your team feels heard and our time together packs a wallop.

I chose to train at Naga because I felt accepted and challenged in a way I never had before.

Lisa Nolen

Associate Director of Community Involvement , OHSU Foundation

Jeff is very focused and demanding in the best possible way. He asks students to rise to their highest level and to not be ok with doing it halfway. He has them try their hardest and do the best they can. He’s very clear about what he expects.

Aura Sagner

Classroom Assistant, West Hills Montessori School

Meet Our Head instructors

Silvia Smart

I’m the luckiest gal in the whole world! I get to teach kicking and punching, parries and joint locks – all the stuff you’d expect a martial arts instructor to teach, and how fun is that? BUT, even better are the gleaming faces of empowered students and peaceful warriors that surround me at Naga. Stepping into the door of my school makes my heart sing!

Jeff Denson

I can’t think of many places I’d rather be than on the training floor at Naga! Our students and families are extraordinary, and the art we teach is limitless and inspiring. When we train, sweat, work on details and meditate together, the camaraderie is unmistakable. This is a great workout and so much more!

NAGA in the news

Popular Naga Podcasts

The Empowerment Podcast

Interrupting the Cycle Violence through Self Defense. Research proves that empowerment self-defense programs work. Participants are less fearful, more aware of their boundaries, and are able to speak up sooner when faced with manipulative or threatening situations. Furthermore, for those who have experienced trauma in the past, evidence shows that empowerment self-defense training can interrupt the cycle of violence and decrease the likelihood of a future assault. Join host Silvia Smart in this safe space. With over three decades on the frontlines, she’ll give you all the skills and knowledge you need to live your most fearless and empowered life!

The Power Up Kids Self Defense Podcast

With over three decades of experience teaching self-defense to children, teens, and adults, host Silvia Smart is a sixth-degree black belt and Head Instructor at her martial arts school in Oregon. Smart an inductee into the Association of Women’s Martial Arts Instructors Hall of Fame is recognized for both her dedication and body of work. Smart shares her compassion, ferocity, and wisdom with companies, organizations, private groups, schools, and universities around the country.

It is Silvia’s joy to share the gifts of power and safety through understanding, humor, and storytelling. Smart’s hope is that by listening together, children, and the adults who care about them, find connection and communication around the important topic of personal safety and empowerment. Her passion for this work is evident from the very first episode.

Recent Blogs

Empowerment Self Defense & The Saints Girls Academy

Empowerment Self Defense & The Saints Girls Academy

Soccer Teams can be dynamic spaces where girls' empowerment comes into focus. One such club here in Portland is The Saints Girls Academy. I was privileged to teach two of their age groups (the 15/16 year-olds and the 11, 12 & 13 year-olds). Their transformation...

What’s the Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors?

What’s the Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors?

The symbol of the art that I train, Poekoelan, is a rose. We are told that each of us is unique and beautiful, but if you grab us, we have thorns. I’ve always loved this imagery. There are the sweet little buds holding infinite hope and promise, the young blossoms...

Words from a Grateful Mom

Words from a Grateful Mom

Short version: Send your kids here.  Especially if they’re girls. Medium version: The school is not competitive, there’s no lockstep testing schedule, no tournaments; it’s just all about inner and outer strength, what each person can achieve, and being the best you...

Teaching Violence, and Control, to Children

Teaching Violence, and Control, to Children

Listen Up! This is a piece by National Public Radio about our sister school, Studio Naga in Oakland, CA, first published in 2006 but still relevant today. We teach our students how to hit - and hit hard! And with that ability to protect oneself comes an imense...

Silvia Smart Certified Empowerment Self Defense Instructor

Silvia Smart Certified Empowerment Self Defense Instructor

What is the National Women's Martial Arts Federation? The NWMAF is dedicated to promoting the involvement and empowerment of women and girls—cis and trans/non-binary/gender non-conforming person—who are active in martial arts, self-defense, and healing arts. Their...

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