The Empowerment Project

Interrupting the Cycle Violence through Self Defense

What’s Our Mission?

Naga’s Empowerment programs are nationally recognized, state-of-the-art, delivered by experienced professionals trained in up-to-date best practices. 

Why is Empowerment Self Defense Important?

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. (evidence)

Physical Requirements

Walking, running, hitting, kicking! However, all exercises may be modified for those with ANY physical concerns – with total success.

Naga Statement

Every participant brings with them a unique perspective, life story, and individual awareness of our place in the world of politics and power, which informs our understanding of violence and safety. As experts in self-defense and empowerment training, we, your instructors, are doing our best to understand how these differences affect not just our teaching, but all of us in this shared space. We teach universal tools and concepts you can use in your everyday life as you move through the world. Our hope is that you feel seen, heard, and embraced in this safe space. Thank you for your trust in us and welcome!

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.

The Empowerment Podcast

What Our Students Say

“Kids took a self defense and I took the woman’s self defense classes. They were all awesome. Silva was incredible instructor. I plan to take again to refresh what I learned and take to next level. (3 more classes to expand on what you learned). Class sold out, every woman showed up to my class. Wonderful time.”

– Caroline P

Beginner Self Defense

An understanding of social context and the continuum of sexual assault sets the stage for awareness and prevention. Learn how to notice when things don’t feel right and discover your range of options. Develop skills to speak up, set strong boundaries and respond when they are disrespected. Drill beginning strikes and find out where to hit and why in a supportive and safe space.

Advanced Self Defense

Continue to fuel your confidence and empowerment. Build on skills you learned in the beginner’s class and go deeper, get more specific. Explore fight/flight/freeze responses and learn about grooming and socialization. Practice verbal responses, refresh your understanding of body targets and body weapons and drill strikes in combinations. Practice releases from chokes, attacks from behind and attacks on the ground.

Power Up 

Self Defense for Kids 6-8 and 9-11 | You want your children to stay safe when they are away from you. Research shows that participating in self-defense classes can statistically prevent assault, so why not set them up for success? Classes are age-specific and age-appropriate.

Private and Custom classes

Designed Just for youFor groups or organizations wanting to train together – either at Naga or on site at your space – we are happy to work with you! Tell us you are interested….click link to contact form and we’ll get back to you shortly!

Corporate Classes

Self Defense • De-escalation • Active Shooter • Meditation  | You care about your employees and seek training that is interesting, effective and engaging. Whether you want to focus on specific skills or an empowering experience, allow us to custom design a workshop or series of workshops that addresses your needs and those of your team.

What Our Students Say

“I took a self defense workshop taught by Silvia Smart to a group of women ages 40-65ish. Smart is a superb teacher. The class was energizing and empowering. I would recommend this class to all women. We walked out of the dojo standing taller and with more confidence.”

– Lavinia M. 

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!

Class size

We keep class sizes small. Our programs connect deeply with body, mind and spirit. Intimacy builds trust. Trust nurtures confidence. Confidence amplifies empowerment!

Safe Environment

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.

Continued Growth

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!

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