Sarah Thomas

  • Women of Color Basics

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    Women of Color Basics is designed to address gender-based violence as experienced by cis and trans women of color ages 18+. This class is open to all women of color as well as non-binary and gender-nonconforming BIPOC who have lived experience of misogyny and are comfortable in a space that centers the experience of women. With the intention of creating a safe space to discuss our unique experiences with safety and violence in our community while learning and practicing boundary setting and self-defense skills, we also hope to create meaningful connections, provide opportunities for shared learning, and welcome more women of color into the IMPACT community.

    Women of Color Basics covers IMPACT's comprehensive adult curriculum:

    • Personal safety skills including intuition, threat assessment, and assertive body language.
    • Self-defense voice to alert yourself, the attacker, and bystanders.
    • Techniques for verbal and emotional boundary setting and de-escalation.
    • Adrenaline management skills for acquaintance and stranger interactions.
    • Bystander intervention strategies to safely help others and mobilize community assistance.
    • Powerful, effective, and accessible physical self-defense techniques—no athletic ability required!


    This 24-hour course focuses on preventing and defending against attacks by a single, unarmed assailant—the most common form of assault—and includes self-defense against sexual assault, as well as the opportunity to practice custom scenarios based on your own life and/or concerns for the future. The course is led by a woman Whistle Instructor, who leads the introduction of new skills, and creates a safe and competent space for students from diverse backgrounds to have a positive and powerful experience. Skills are practiced in safe, realistic role-play scenarios against highly trained Suited Instructors, who play the role of the mock assailant.

    IMPACT understands the emotional nature of dealing with violence, and our courses are designed to be trauma-sensitive. Basics can be emotionally demanding, so we recommend building in self-care before and after your course. During class, instructors and class assistants are there to support with self-care and adrenaline management tools, and to generate a supportive learning experience in each group. IMPACT's method of training all techniques in full-force, scenario-based practice provides each student with the felt experience of your own strength and power, and the confidence of your body's muscle memory.

    IMPACT Bay Area COVID-19 Policies

    IMPACT Bay Area continuously monitors public health guidelines at the national, state, and local level and updates our policies accordingly. Click here for the most up-to-date information for our classes, and review carefully before signing up for a class.

    Schedule

    This 24-hour course takes place over 4 days, and students must be available for each day and all hours of your course. Click "Info" next to the course date below, then click "Schedule" to see the full schedule. For maximum individual instruction, courses are limited to 16 students.

    Sliding Scale

    Sliding scale for this class is $250-650. To keep our classes open and accessible to all, we ask that you contribute at the highest level you can.

    Scholarships

    At IMPACT we believe self-defense is for everyone, regardless of ability to pay. We reserve a quarter of the spaces in each class for scholarship recipients. If you have financial need and want to request a scholarship space, email [email protected] with the name and date of the class you are interested in. If there is space available, we will provide info on how to register, and also ask you to make a meaningful, affordable co-pay of your choice to reserve your space in a class. There are a limited number of scholarship spaces in each class, and your co-pay shows your commitment to the course.

    Payment Plans

    Email [email protected] to learn more about our flexible payment plans.


    See the schedule and sign up for a Women of Color Basics Course below:

     


  • Teen Intro to IMPACT (3-hrs)

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    Intro to IMPACT, now for teens ages 12-16! 

    From street safety and awareness to full-force self-defense techniques, this 3-hour class lays a foundation of skills including intuition, situational awareness, body language and voice proven effective at increasing safety and confidence. Participants practice de-escalating dangerous situations, and get the unique and powerful experience of practicing physical techniques at full force in safe and age-appropriate scenarios against a padded mock assailant.

    This class is led by a Whistle Instructor, who is the lead coach, and a Suited Instructor, who plays the role of mock assailant and wears a padded suit to allow students to hit full force. Physical techniques include defending against attacks from the front, being grabbed from behind, and an introduction to fighting from the ground. Participants leave this class feeling strong and maybe surprised by their own power and courage!

    Open to youth of all genders ages 12-16.

    Did you know?
    Our two-day IMPACT Teen Course offers even more self-defense (and empowerment!) for ages 12-16.
    Click here for upcoming dates.


    IMPACT Bay Area COVID-19 Policies

    IMPACT Bay Area continuously monitors public health guidelines at the national, state, and local level and updates our policies accordingly. Click here for the most up-to-date information for our classes, and review carefully before signing up for a class.

    Sliding Scale

    Sliding scale for this class is $40-85. To keep our classes open and accessible to all, we ask that you contribute at the highest level you can.

    Scholarships

    At IMPACT we believe self-defense is for everyone, regardless of ability to pay. We reserve a quarter of the spaces in each class for scholarship recipients. If you have financial need and want to request a scholarship space, email [email protected] with the name and date of the class you are interested in. If there is space available, we will provide info on how to register, and also ask you to make a meaningful, affordable co-pay of your choice to reserve your space in a class. There are a limited number of scholarship spaces in each class, and your co-pay shows your commitment to the course.

    Payment Plans

    Email [email protected] to learn more about our flexible payment plans.


    Sign up for a Teen Intro to IMPACT below:


  • COVID-19 Policies

    IMPACT Bay Area continuously monitors public health guidelines at the national, state, and local level and updates our policies accordingly. This page has the most up-to-date information for our classes. Review the below policies carefully before signing up for a class.

    IMPACT Bay Area COVID-19 Policies (updated 9/1/21)

    • All staff and participants age 12+ must be fully vaccinated by the day of class and provide proof of vaccination* upon registration (see instructions below). "Fully vaccinated" means at least 14 days have passed since your second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna), or at least 14 days have passed since your single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson).
    • Face coverings are required for all staff and participants, unless you have an exemption as defined by CDPH.
    • All participants will be asked to complete a health screening questionnaire before coming to class.
    • During class, all participants are encouraged to wash hands or use hand sanitizer before drills and practice fights. Sanitizing wipes will be available if you wish to sanitize shared equipment before using it.
    • We invite you to take any additional precautions that feel safe for you, such as social distancing and hand washing during class.


    These policies replace the previous ones. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us. Our priority, as always, is to provide a safe and healthy class environment for you to learn powerful and empowering self-defense skills.

    * How to Provide Proof of Vaccination

    By signing up for a class, you agree to provide your proof of vaccination upon registration. Email [email protected] with the following:

    1. A photo of your government-issued photo ID (e.g. driver's license); and
    2. Either a photo of your CDC vaccination card, or a screenshot of your personal digital COVID-19 vaccine record issued by the State of California and available at myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov. Either document must include your name and the date of your final dose.

     


  • Our New Mission, Vision, and Values

    We're so excited to share our new Mission, Vision, and Values, and to invite you to help us make them a reality!

    We need your support to get to 100 donations by August 31, 2021! 

    Your generous donations enable us to make IMPACT support:

    • Continuing our "pay what you can" model for in-person classes
    • Recruitment and training of instructors from the community
    • Expanding programs for those who need us most

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    Donate

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