Women's Basics Course

women-IMPACT2018_Zapolskadesign_300.pngIMPACT's core adult program is our Women’s Basics Course. This course covers the recognition and use of personal intuition, situational awareness, body language, verbal and emotional boundary setting, and accessible self-defense against assault.

Women's Basics covers defense against attacks by a single, unarmed assailantthe most common form of assault. The skills taught in the course are practiced in safe, realistic scenarios against highly trained Suited Instructors, who play the role of mock assailant. The course is led by a woman Whistle Instructor, whose role is to coach, guide, and create a safe and competent space for students from diverse backgrounds to have a positive and powerful experience. IMPACT understands the emotional nature of dealing with violence, and our courses are designed to be trauma-sensitive. Basics can be emotionally intense, and we recommend building in self-care before and after a course. Instructors and class assistants are there to offer skills and practices related to self-care, and generate a supportive learning experience in each group. As the course progresses, student skill and confidence builds. IMPACT's method of training all techniques in full-force, scenario-based practice provides each student with the felt experience of their own strength and power, and the confidence in their body's muscle memory. This course includes self-defense against sexual assault, as well as the opportunity to practice custom scenarios based on students' own lives and/or concerns for the future. 

This 24-hour course takes place over 3 or 4 days, and students must be available for each day and all hours of the course. Click "Info" next to the course date you are interested in below, then click "Schedule" to see the full schedule. 

For maximum individual instruction, courses are limited to 16 students. This course is open to all woman-identified adults ages 18+, and does not rely on physical fitness or athletic ability. Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.

(24 hours, $650)

Women of Color Basics Course:
This special class is open to all women of color identified adults ages 18+ to create a safe space to discuss our lived experiences with safety and violence in our community while also 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 Empowerment Self-Defense community. Applications for our 2020 Women of Color Basics course are now closed.

What Basics grads have to say:
"IMPACT helped me develop communication and boundary-setting tools that I can use for the rest of my life. I would recommend EVERYONE take a course with IMPACT. The instructors are supportive, thoughtful and progressive. A+++"

"This was honestly everything I hoped it would be and more."

"Life changing! Thank you so much for an extraordinary experience!!"

"This is an amazing, life-changing program. I am just sorry I didn't take Basics sooner."

Scholarship and Payment Plans:
We are committed to making our classes available to all people, regardless of ability to pay. Apply for a scholarship or contact us at info@impactbayarea.org to learn more about payment plans.


IMPACT is a trans-inclusive organization. Please feel free to contact us at info@impactbayarea.org if you have any questions!

See the schedule and sign up for a Course below: