Women's Basics Course


Women's* 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.

* Women’s Basics is designed to address gender-based violence as experienced by cis and trans women ages 18+. This class is open to all women as well as non-binary and gender-nonconforming people who have lived experience of misogyny and are comfortable in a space that centers the experience of women.

IMPACT Bay Area COVID-19 Policies

On June 15, the state of California lifted most COVID-19 restrictions.  In light of the new guidelines, IMPACT Bay Area has updated our COVID-19 policies as follows:

  • Face coverings are optional for fully vaccinated participants.  While not required, we recommend wearing a face covering for the portions of class that involve shouting, due to the possibility of airborne transmission.  "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).
  • Unvaccinated participants are required by the state to wear a face covering at all times during class.  The CDC additionally recommends that unvaccinated people continue to practice social distancing and frequent hand washing.
  • 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 wearing a mask, social distancing, and hand washing during class.

These policies replace the previous ones.  We are continuing to track public health recommendations and update our policies.  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.


This 24-hour course takes place over 3 or 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.


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's Basics Course below: