Beginning Self Defense Class
Courage | Confidence | Freedom
Research proves that taking an empowerment self-defense class makes you safer. Period. Awareness of your intuition, of grooming practices and how violence works create a foundation for safety, security and peace of mind. Work to define your boundaries, how to set them clearly and protect yourself if they are crossed.
In the beginning class you will:
- Learn how crucial your awareness is and how paying attention to it keeps you safer.
- Sharpen your boundaries, and make them known.
- Practice managing your adrenaline response.
- Ramp up your volume with voice work and verbal exercises.
- Familiarize yourself with best practices for a physical response and other options to violence
- Drill kicks and hand strikes with pads.
Who Are These Classes For?
These classes are open to all women, cis and trans, as well as non-binary people who are comfortable in a space that centers the experiences of women.
Upcoming Classes Fall 2022:
Saturday, September 24, 9:00-11:00 AM or Saturday, November 5, 9:00-11:00 AM
Then, join us the following week for in-person drilling practice – M/W September 26 & 28 from 6:45 to 7:45 PM or M/W November 7 & 9 from 6:45 to 7:45 PM at a community center in SW Portland. (Address available for those who register.)
This is a total of up to four hours of self-defense training; two hours on Zoom and one or two (your choice!) of in-person training.
A portion of your registration fee goes towards the scholarship fund for this workshop. If you need a scholarship, please reach out to me.
If these classes don’t fit your schedule, consider organizing a private lesson for your family or for a small group:
What Our Students Say
“There is freedom in being able to control my body. There is strength in being able to protect myself. There is power in finding my strength. The most valuable things I have gained from classes at Naga have been joy and confidence. The joy is in the moment, the confidence is what I take with me when I leave.”
Communications Specialist/PIO, Washington County, Land Use & Transportation, Engineering and Construction Services Division
Reasons to Train With Us
Our programs are nationally recognized and certified. We use state-of-the-art research and the latest in best practices to develop our curriculum and methods. Instructors are all women black belts who sharpen our physical skills with opponents who are big and strong. We know what we teach you works!
We keep class sizes small. Our programs connect deeply with body, mind and spirit. Intimacy builds trust. Trust nurtures confidence. Confidence amplifies empowerment!
Many students come to us as survivors of assault. Some come with no prior history but want to prevent future violence. We are committed to teaching people in vulnerable populations. Regardless of how you show up, building a toolbox of options to use when facing threatening situations can be an anxious proposition. All these reasons, and more, make it all the more imperative that you feel safe, seen, heard, and accepted.
Take a beginning self-defense class. Is that enough for you? Awesome! Inspired? Take the advanced class! Still inspired? You can keep going! Want to learn how to teach self-defense yourself? Yes! We want to encourage you to take this path with us as long and as far as you would like! You are always welcome here!
What Our Students Say
“I really enjoyed all of the knowledge you shared. It definitely got my heart racing, but once we started hitting the pads and yelling, I was able to release a lot of fear. It was incredibly cathartic! Looking forward to the next class!”
Frequently Asked Questions
I'm not in good shape, can I take this class?
YES! All sizes, shapes, ages and abilities are invited to take this class. We build up slowly to the physical exercises and can modify absolutely everything we do. Please be sure to tell one of the instructors though, if there is a specific injury or concern you need us to help you work around.
I've never taken a self-defense class before. Is this the right choice for me?
Yes! You’ve definitely come to the right place. There will be plenty of other students in the class who have never taken a self-defense course before. This is a class for novices. Once you’ve completed this class, you will have the opportunity to pursue more advanced training.
I've taken self-defense classes before. Will I learn anything new?
Yes! You will learn new things each time you come to this class. Besides, the basics are worth practicing over and over again to gain muscle memory and to reinforce what you already know. Some take this class every year as a refresher. Once you have completed this class, you’ll have the opportunity to get more advanced training (attacks from behind, from the ground, from the front or verbal self-defense strategies.) For more information, about the advanced class, click here.
Who's Teaching the Class?
I am! Hi, I’m Silvia Smart. Naga is my school and I’ve been training and teaching self-defense and empowerment for three wonderful decades. As a martial artist, I know that what I am teaching you works. As an educator, I read, study and do lots of research in order to keep up with the dynamic landscape we live in. Self-defense means living fearlessly and I am honored to pass along to you everything I’ve learned. I’ll give you all I’ve got. And that’s a promise.