Self-Defense Trainings

Empowerment Self-Defense Training

Empowerment self-defense (ESD) workshops like ours are the gold standard for self-defense programs as they have demonstrated success in reducing one’s risk for violence.

How can you tell if a self-defense class qualifies as ESD?

Here are a few of the core concept that The Safety Team programs integrates into all of our classes:

  • Our program is evidence-based, which means there is extensive research supporting our methods.
  • We include a comprehensive toolbox of strategies that apply to a variety of safety concerns.
  • Our program is strengths-based and maximizes each person’s power.
  • We offer choices and options.
  • In every class, we reinforce that full responsibility for violence falls on the perpetrators.
  • We teach simple, easy-to-learn physical and verbal techniques.
  • We acknowledge the social-cultural context of violence.
  • Together, we work for societal change.

Register for a Workshop

View and sign up for upcoming workshops.

Got a Question?

Find your answer on our FAQ page.

The Safety Team programs are trauma-informed and culturally responsive as well.

What do people who take our classes say?

Participants leave our workshops feeling energized and with an increased understanding of their own strength and power. They feel equipped with useful knowledge about the social contexts and contributors that elevate or reduce their risk for violence. They walk away with verbal and physical skills to help keep them safe.

Our workshops are grounded in positivity, empowerment and fun.

The Safety Team (TST) believes that it is important to teach this subject matter in a way that is empowering, safe, and non-intimidating. Our workshops and presentations are welcoming and incorporate humor, active listening, physical demonstrations, instructor skits, challenge-by-choice, and movement so that participants leave feeling strong, empowered and valued.

The Safety Team Showed Me…

  • Strikes, awareness, my voice, empowerment!
  • How powerful my voice is & how powerful I am
  • No matter how big the aggressor, I can defend myself.
Empowerment Self-Defense Training
Our instructor team

For over 20 years, The Safety Team has carefully designed and presented effective, practical and welcoming ESD workshops. In addition to an impressive martial arts background, founding members have extensive professional expertise in the fields of psychology, education, physical therapy, community outreach, business, and more. Instructors infuse this professional knowledge into every class while engaging students and making classes both fun and informative. Meet our instructors here.

Trainings have been offered to colleges, high schools, community groups, businesses, and other at-risk individuals. All The Safety Team workshops are team-taught, with a student to instructor ratio of 5:1 to maximize learning. Students walk away feeling empowered, confident, knowledgeable and capable.

What do we teach?

While we like students to have fun in our classes, we take the topic of violence prevention seriously. All information is delivered in a safe, comfortable and welcoming class environment. We strongly believe in “challenge by choice” so that each person can participate in a way that works best for their needs.

Topics that we cover include:

  • Increasing awareness in your daily routine.
  • Recognizing and defusing aggressive behavior before it becomes a threat.
  • Setting boundaries.
  • Understanding and practicing affirmative consent.
  • Using practical and powerful mental and physical self-defense strategies and techniques.
  • And more!

We also discuss the cultural and social influences that contribute to violence, placing some people at elevated risk.

Empowerment Self-Defense Training
What makes our classes stand out?
  • All of our instructors are highly trained and receive on-going education.
  • Our programs are continually revised based upon advancements in the field.
  • We listen carefully to input from our participants.
  • Every class features a high level of individualized instruction.
  • Content is attuned to the needs of the audience.
  • Classes are strength-based, recognizing the power of each individual.
  • Founders have extensive professional knowledge in psychology, education, and physical therapy.
  • We know the importance of creating a safe learning environment.
  • Classes are fun, informative, and accessible.
Empowerment Self-Defense Training

We can often adapt ESD workshops for participants with physical challenges or for groups with custom needs. Please contact our team ahead of time so that we can develop a plan together that meets your safety concerns.


We do our best to keep The Safety Team classes affordable for everyone and invite people to request scholarships or donate to our scholarship fund. The best surefire way to bring ESD to your community? Encourage your town, employer or group to sponsor a class!

Disrupting the Dominoes

Disrupting the Dominoes

On this episode of Disrupting the Dominoes, Arlene chats with Dr. Christine DiBlasio and Nancy Keller, leaders of The Safety Team. The Safety Team, Inc., is a 501(c)3 Vermont nonprofit organization dedicated to the safety, empowerment, resiliency, and well-being of...

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Local workshops offer self-defense training for women

Local workshops offer self-defense training for women

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – Statistics show that violence against women — and violence in general — is on the rise in the United States. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says over 39% percent of women in Vermont have been physically abused by a...

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