top of page

Empowerment Self Defense

Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD) is a comprehensive approach to personal safety that goes beyond physical techniques. It emphasizes self-awareness, confidence, decision-making, and verbal de-escalation strategies, empowering individuals to navigate risky situations with resilience and resourcefulness.

Origins & philosophy

Empowerment Self-Defense emerged from the feminist movement of the 1970s, as a response to the traditional self-defense approach that often emphasized physical aggression and masculine stereotypes. It recognized that violence is often rooted in social issues, most often inflicted by people that are known to us, and that empowering individuals to make informed choices and protect themselves requires a more holistic approach.

ESD Belgium - website photos (1).png
ESD Belgium - website photos.png

Trauma-Informed & Intersectional 

ESD is designed to be trauma-informed, understanding that individuals who have experienced trauma may face additional challenges in self-defense. It emphasizes consent, self-paced learning, and creating a safe and supportive environment.

ESD is also intersectional, recognizing that individuals from marginalized communities may face unique safety concerns. It incorporates strategies to address power imbalances, cultural sensitivity, and the role of societal factors in violence.

ESD Belgium - website photos (4).png


Increased Confidence

Developing a strong sense of self-confidence and the belief in one's ability to protect oneself.

Enhanced Decision-Making Skills

Learning to make informed decisions in stressful situations and prioritize one's safety.

Improved Assertiveness and Communication

Gaining the ability to assert oneself effectively and communicate needs and boundaries confidently.

Sense of Empowerment and Control

Experiencing a heightened sense of empowerment over one's safety and well-being.

ESD Belgium - website photos (4).png
bottom of page