Empowering Portland One Kid at a Time!

Self Defense for Kids Ages 6-8 and 9-11

We have done the research and know that once a child has been assaulted, the likelihood of re-assault increases exponentially over the course of their lifetime. We know we can’t control everything that happens to our children, but we CAN give them tools to stay safer when we are not with them. Our classes are age-appropriate, safe, and empowering. We use current research and best practices to provide the highest quality experience in town.

As a parent, one of your primary jobs is to keep your child safe, but our children grow up! A child’s work is to explore the world and spend increasingly more time away from home. You want to be sure they have the tools they need to stay safe, even when they are not by your side. Oh, parenting! It is not for wimps!

Your child leaves class with a new confidence, a strong posture, a loud, forceful voice, and a realistic yet positive sense of their place in the world. Sparkling eyes and eager nods of understanding show you our lessons are hitting their mark. We promise to reinforce the message that communication with YOU, their biggest champion, is important now and for the rest of their life. Take a deep breath because now, you have support, materials, concepts, and tools to continue this relevant conversation at home.

You want to know your son or daughter can trust themselves, set boundaries, and speak up at school, on the playground, at sleepovers or camp, and whenever and wherever the situation demands it. What are you waiting for?

Reach out to schedule a private class for your children, family, group, or organization. Private lessons are always available on Zoom as well. Fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you right away.

What Our Students Say

“I signed my daughter up for this class because of my desire for her to hear and learn about possible dangerous situations in the real world. Learning in a class like this was more effective than trying to teach it to her myself as her parent. They don’t teach this stuff at school! I’m glad we came because I feel that a seed has been planted and in the months or years to come, we can build on this and increase her confidence and street smarts.”

-Michael Wong
Editor, Beaverton Resource Guide, Cedar House Media

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. Our head instructor is a lifelong educator and has worked with children and their families all her adult life. As a martial artist herself, she knows what she teaches works!


We have done the research and know that once a child has been assaulted, the likelihood of re-assault increases exponentially over the course of their lifetime. We know we can’t control everything that happens to our children, but we CAN give them tools to stay safer when we are not with them.


We keep class sizes small. Our programs connect deeply with body, mind and spirit and build trust. Trust nurtures confidence. Confidence amplifies empowerment! As the adult in your child’s life, you are expected to come to class and participate. This class is as much about you as it is about your child. Self Defense for children works best when the whole family is on the same page.

Continued Growth

Take the Power Up! class. Is that enough for you? Awesome! Does mom want to take a beginning class herself? She can! Is Dad inspired? You can all keep going, keep learning! 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!

Frequently Asked questions

Who is teaching the class?

Silvia Smart is a mom, has 30 years of experience teaching martial arts & self-defense and has her masters degree in education and was recently inducted into the Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors Hall of Fame. In her spare time, she does research in order to stay current with issues regarding children and safety. She has a positive, warm and humorous vibe that kids can relate to. She makes classes empowering, engaging and fun! Read Silvia’s bio here.

Will class scare my child?

NO! Class is designed very carefully to empower and inform your child. Our aim is for them to leave with honest information and real skills to keep safe for the rest of their lives. Class is a confidence-booster which  you’ll be able to see as they walk out the door into the world.

Will this class cover bullying?

Yes! We discuss all sorts of situations in which kids feel like they are loosing control. Bullying is definitely on the list! Please let Silvia know any specifics your child is dealing with before class starts so she can address them head-on in class. (Contact Silvia)

My child is aggressive already. Is this class going to make it worse?

NO! Great responsibility comes with learning to strike. We take that very seriously and make sure the kids understand this as well. However, you know your child best. Consider enrolling your son or daughter in our traditional martial arts classes, Little Monkeys (4-6 yrs old) and Tigers (7-11 yrs old). This way, we’ll have more time to work with them on impulse control, along with lessons in leadership, cooperation, self-confidence, strength of character, and compassion to name just a few.

It’s hard to be a parent. Our job is to support you in raising a happy, healthy human being who makes the world a better place. It takes a village and we are honored to be included in yours.

We create warriors of peace.

My child is not 6 yet. Do you have a class for them?

YES! You have several options.

  1. Let us set up a special self-defense workshop with your child’s preschool. We will do the legwork and all the other parents will thank you!
  2. Try out our Little Monkeys class for 4-6 year olds.
  3. Private lessons are always available for your children or your family. Just ask.

My daughter is 11 but is very mature for her age. Is this class appropriate for her?

YES! However, your daughter is welcome to come to a beginning self-defense class with you, if you feel that she is ready for a more mature message.

Can I stay and watch or participate?

YES! We think it’s important for you to stay and be part of the class. This way, you will know what your child is learning and you will be able to carry on the conversation at home. Please plan to stay and participate or at least observe.

Will you teach my child "Stranger Danger"?

No! Classes that teach your child “Stranger Danger” are a dime a dozen. All the skills we teach are effective with strangers, but go beyond that. Your child learns tools that are geared toward the threats they actually face. The reality is that kids are more at risk from known and trusted adults. This is why we believe so strongly that self-defense for children needs to be much more nuanced than a catchy slogan. Anything else is irresponsible at best.

What Our Students Say

This was an excellent class! We both enjoyed it and took away so much valuable information. The information was relevant but not scary. Silvia’s examples of personal experience helped to understand the theory. And the whole class seemed to be at just the right pace to keep the kids attention, which is a difficult thing to do.

Prefer a Private Lesson for your child or family, or Custom Training for your group?

Keep exploring our kids’ programs:

Little Monkeys (4-6 yrs.)

Tigers (7-11 yrs.)

Young Adults (12-18 yrs.)

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