Sun Dragon Martial Arts and Self Defense, NFP
Self-defense Program
Youth and adult blackbelts

We offer a variety of violence-prevention workshops for different ages and focused on different topics (work, school, home, etc.). Organizational scholarship applications are available if cost is a barrier.

Empowerment Self-Defense
Our Violence Prevention program teaches Empowerment Self Defense, a holistic model which:
Self defense
  • stands against victim blaming
  • examines social issues like racism and sexism, and how they relate to violence.
  • teaches proven safety strategies to reduce fear and violence
  • is trauma sensitive and consistent with current trauma intervention practices
  • covers resolution, consent, relationships, and bystander intervention
  • Supports students in developing personal boundaries and verbal assertiveness skills, as well as simple and accessible physical self defense techniques

Our core curriculum is adaptable to a wide variety of students across age levels, backgrounds, and needs.
Empowerment Self Defense has been proven to be effective because it teaches us strategies to avoid violence altogether, rather than only reacting to it when it happens. Our curriculum uses the same approach as the program featured in the New England Journal of Medicine, which reduced assault rates by about half (“Efficacy of a Sexual Assault Resistance Program for University Women.” Charlene Y. Senn, et al. N  Engl J Med 2015; 372:2326-2335 June 11, 2015).

We are part of a community that not only wants to prevent violence, but to help those who have experienced it. We believe that everyone is entitled to physical and emotional safety, and working towards a peaceful and respectful society is all of our responsibility.

Types of Workshops

Many of our workshops are designated as “all genders” but some are separated “women/girls” or “men/boys.” This is not because we believe there is an inherent gender difference but because we recognize that the world treats us differently based on gender categories. All of our workshops are open and welcoming to people who are trans, genderqueer, gender fluid, non-binary, gender creative, gender non-conforming, or any other gender designation that exists. Whoever you are and however you identify, pick the workshop that makes the most sense for you. You know your gender experience better than anyone else does.

Participants are required to fill out a standard Medical Waiver. You can download this form and complete it in advance.

Student Registration & Medical Waiver
reGister for a workshop
Self defense: GROUP

Safety and Conflict Resolution

Open to all genders, age 15+

In this workshop, students will learn verbal strategies to deal with situations of disrespect, harassment, and abuse that they face or witness others facing. Through discussions, role playing, and hands-on practice, we cover:

  • Assessing situational safety in both everyday life and unfamiliar scenarios
  • Using your voice and words to advocate for yourself and set strong boundaries
  • Physical techniques to use in the event of physical violence
You will leave this workshop feeling stronger and more confident in everyday situations while also prepared for potentially dangerous situations.
Self defense: STOP

Women & Teen Girls

Open to people age 15+ who identify as women, teen girls, transwomen, genderqueer, gender fluid, female-presenting

Here at Sun Dragon, we have been proudly fighting like girls since 1989! In this Personal Safety & Self Empowerment workshop, you will:

  • Learn and practice skills for self awareness, verbal assertiveness and physical protection
  • Learn how to feel stronger and more confident in everyday situations while also preparing for potentially dangerous situations
  • Address gender-based harassment and safety in dating relationships

Men & Teen Boys

Open to people age 15+ who identify as men, teen boys, transmen, genderqueer, genderfluid, male-presenting

At Sun Dragon, we believe that everyone benefits from learning and practicing ways to handle safety and conflict situations in proactive ways. Why work with boys and men?

1. Violence and disrespect don’t happen in a vacuum; in order for things to change in our society, we need to involve everyone.
2. Men and boys experience sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and childhood sexual and physical abuse. They don’t have many supportive places to talk about that abuse.
3. Men and boys are pressured to resolve conflict by fighting. They are often taught that walking away means they are weak and not “real men.”
4. Gay men, trans & gender non-conforming people, men of color, men with disabilities, immigrant men, and others are targets of hate crime violence, harassment, and discrimination.
5. Men and boys are more likely to be perpetrators of sexual and partner violence. They face pressure to participate in gender-based violence or look the other way.

This workshop focuses on the nuances of gender-based violence from the perspective of men and boys, from the types of violence they face, to how they are discouraged from self-advocacy, compromise, and emotional communication. Through guided discussion, scenario-based role play, and physical practice, we cover:

  • Deescalation and mediation skills
  • Safety assessment strategies
  • Self-advocacy and boundary setting techniques
  • Physical self-defense skills to use in the event of violence

Personal Safety & Prevention of Identity-Based Violence

Open to all genders, age 15+

In this workshop, students learn strategies to handle disrespect, harassment, and abuse that they face or witness others facing when it comes to identity-based violence (i.e. religion, gender, sexuality, race). Through active discussions, scenario role-playing, and hands-on practice, students are empowered with skills to maximize their personal safety. We cover:

  • Assertive communication and de-escalation skills to challenge discrimination based on race, religion, gender/ gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, and other factors
  • Situational awareness and risk assessment
  • Bystander intervention techniques to stand up for others
  • Physical self-defense techniques to use in the event of violence

Back-to-School Safety & Bullying Prevention

Open to all genders for two age groups: 5 - 9 years and 9 - 14 years

Start the school year with skills for feeling safe and confident. These workshops are designed to empower kids and young adults to advocate for their needs and use boundary-setting techniques to avoid violence before it starts, particularly in a school setting. Through open discussion, guided activities, scenario-based role play, and physical practice, we cover:

  • Using your words to advocate for the needs of yourself and others
  • Boundary-setting skills and strategies
  • Safety assessment strategies – including identifying safe adults and navigating unfamiliar situations
  • Physical defense skills to use in the event of violence

Self-Defense for Preschoolers

Open to children ages 3 - 5 accompanied by an adult

In this workshop, we specifically practice skills for pre-schoolers entering a school environment. This helps them socialize with other children in new, stimulating environments while also learning how to work with adults that aren’t their parents. Through discussions, role playing, and hands-on practice, we cover:

  • Standing up for yourself and others
  • Identifying safe adults
  • Solving conflicts peacefully
  • Physical self-defense skills to use in the event of violence
This year’s Back to School Safety Day is Saturday, September 18.
10:00am – 10:45am: Ages 5-9
11:00am – 11:45am: Ages 9-14
Classes are free but please but please pre-register so we know how many people are coming.
Pre-register for Back-to-school Safety & Bullying Prevention
Workshop Prices
Because of the pandemic, we will be offering workshops online via Zoom and attendees may pay on a sliding scale.
  • $90 - Pay it forward (I'm doing ok and want to help someone else take this class)
  • $70 - Discounted registration for two participants (we're part of the same household or we'll meet online)
  • $45 - Standard registration
  • $25 - Discounted registration for students/young people (or anyone who is impacted by the pandemic)
  • FREE for anyone who has been laid off due to the current crisis or needs assistance for any reason
Already a Member?

Upcoming Workshops (probably should only be in Calendar-- too hard to maintain.)

Safety and conflict workshop
In this 2 1/2-hour workshop, students will learn verbal strategies to deal with situations of disrespect, harassment, and abuse that they face or witness others facing. You will leave this workshop feeling stronger and more confident in everyday situations while also prepared for potentially dangerous situations. Through discussions, role playing, and hands-on practice, we cover:
- Assessing situational safety in both everyday life and unfamiliar scenarios
- Using your voice and words to advocate for yourself and set strong boundaries
- Physical techniques to use in the event of physical violence

Community-Based Programs
Community Based Workshops are custom workshops that you can create for yourself and your friends or workplace.

Services for Schools/Clubs/Groups

All workshops cover physical, verbal, and mental skills for feeling safer and more confident. We can tailor content to specific needs or interests.
Description Length Max. Enroll. Cost
Parents & Preschoolers class for 3-5 year olds with adult caregiver 1.5 hr 10 $200
Bullying Prevention & Everyday Safety class for Elementary School age kids 1.5 hr 20 $200
Pre-Dating & Peer Pressure class for Middle School age kids 2 hr 25 $250
Dating Safety & Conflict Resolution class for High School age kids 2 hr 25 $250
Adult/Teen Basic Skills 3 hr 25 $375
Adult/Teen Advanced Skills 3 hr 20 $375
Adult/Teen Intensive Training 9 hr 20 $775
Private Session 1 hr 5 $100
Discussions are tailored to meet your needs.
Topics include: Length Max. Enroll. Cost
  • Parenting to foster empowerment and safety
  • Non-violent conflict resolution
  • Communication skills for assertiveness & self-empowerment
  • Protocols & procedures to increase safety
Per hour 20 $100
Per hour 35 $150
Per hour 50 $200

Services for Organizations/ Businesses

Interpersonal Conflict & Personal Safety
Onsite visit to assess risk for interpersonal conflict and personal safety situations. We conduct an assessment of physical space, policies/protocols, history of problems/concerns, scope of work and population served. Written report of findings (5-10 pages) documenting strengths and areas where safety could be increased.
Cost: $200-$500 depending on size of business and scope of assessment
Workshops are tailored to an organization or business's specific concerns.
Topics Include: Length Max. Enroll. Cost
  • Awareness of surroundings / assessment of risk
  • Verbal boundary setting / assertive communication
  • Deescalation / conflict resolution
  • Physical defense skills
1.5 hr 20 $200
2 hr 20 $250
3 hr 20 $375
Discussions are tailored to an organization or business's specific concerns.
Topics Include: Length Max. Enroll. Cost
  • Talking to students/clients/patients about personal safety and self-empowerment
  • Ethical considerations in self defense
  • Social change for conflict reduction
  • Creating a safe and empowered workspace
Per hour 20 $100
Per hour 35 $150
Per hour 50 $200

Workshop Resources