Workshop & Registrations

Empowerment Self-Defense Training

Workshops and registration
ESD Level 1 Workshop

Level I Workshop:

2.5 Hour Introductory Empowerment Self-Defense Program

This beginner workshop utilizes both large and small group instruction. By adhering to a 5:1 student-to-instructor ratio, The Safety Team’s trauma-informed trainings focus on boundary setting, affirmative consent, and relevant sexual assault information, as well as the mental and physical skills of Empowerment Self-Defense. The overarching goal of these large-group sessions is to help women discover their collective voice, address victim-blaming by redirecting the responsibility for all assaults on to the perpetrators, improve women’s sense of power and control, and, as a result, reduce the likelihood of sexual assault and violence.

ESD Level 2 Workshop

Level II Workshop:

2.5 Hour Intermediate Empowerment Self-Defense Program

This intermediate workshop takes Level I another step further, allowing for a brief review of knowledge, practice of acquired strikes, and instruction of additional basic self-defense techniques that deal with a variety of common situations and potential attacks. The focus is on “hands-on” verbal and physical self-defense skills, techniques and strategies, which are presented to the group as a whole, but practiced in small groups of no more than four participants for each instructor. This format facilitates the learning of physical skills and allows for women to connect with one another. Throughout this class, important concepts are reinforced (affirmative consent, boundary setting, each person’s right to be safe). Level I is a prerequisite for Level II.

ESD Level 3

Level III Workshop:

2.5 Hour Advanced Empowerment Self-Defense Program

Level III reviews the strikes learned in Level I and Level II, as well as the self-defense skills, techniques and strategies. In addition, students are given the opportunity to practice scenarios against members of The Safety Team. All activities are at the discretion of the participant, as we firmly believe in “challenge by choice”. Level I and II are prerequisites for this class.

Participants who participate in one or all three workshops report feeling more confident and ready to take on positive challenges, as they have discovered the power of their voice and the strength from within their bodies.

Current Workshops

Available for Registration

*Although hoping to expand in the future, we currently only offer workshops for cis and transgender women, ages 14 and up. We offer scholarship to any community members facing social inequities, space permitting. Email for more information.


Level 1 Class - So. Burlington-Register Here

From 10:00am until 12:30pm

South Burlington Community Room


Level 1 Class - So. Burlington-Register Here

From 10:00am until 12:30pm

South Burlington Community Room


Level 2 Class - So. Burlington-Register Here

Prerequisite - Level 1

From 10am until 12:30pm

South Burlington Community Room


Level 1 Class - The Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center, Burlington - Register Here

This workshop is host Sponsored by Main Street Landing.

From 6pm until 8:30pm

The Main Street Landing Great Room, 60 Lake Street, Burlington VT 05401

Private Workshops


Level 1 - Private Workshop - Tribal Office

Free for Franklin County Residents, contact Genie at to sign up


Level 2 - Private Workshop - Tribal Office

Free for Franklin County residents, contact Genie at to sign up


Future Workshops & Newsletter

Not able to make a workshop? Sign up for our NEWSLETTER to learn about our upcoming workshops and certification trainings. Thank you for your interest!

Previous Workshops

Level I & II Workshops have been held at Maple Street Park, UVM Medical Center, Move You Fitness Studio, Martial Way Self-Defense Center, Northeast Association of Realtors, Middlebury College, Norwich University, Champlain College, Saint Michael’s College, Burlington Parks and Recreation Department, Otter Creek Awnings, Visiting Nurse Association, The Tribal Office, Gordon’s Windows and Decor, and The Sports and Fitness Edge, to name a few.

Certified ESD Instructors

Christine DiBlasio, Ph.D., PLC
5th Degree Black Belt, Kempo-Jujitsu, Psychologist

Nancy Keller, EdD
4th Degree Black Belt, Kempo-Jujitsu, 2nd Degree Purple Belt, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Educator

Christina Allard, P.T.
Black Belt in Kempo-Jujitsu, Physical Therapist

Eileen Mann, Guardian Ad Litem
1st Degree Brown Belt in Kempo-Jujitsu, Community Outreach Specialist

Geneviève Henry, CD, ICCE, CMT
Black Belt in Kempo-Jujitsu, Educator

Peg Rieley, MBA
Purple Belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate, Property Development

Kate Williams
Black Belt in Kempo-Jujitsu, Educator

Dale Henry
Green Belt in Kempo-Jujitsu, UVM Mental Health Technician

Sarah Carbonneau
Project Coordinator

Community Partners & Supporters

Vermont Women's Fund
The Vermont Community Foundation
Canaday Family Charitable Trust
Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services
Mascoma Bank

Thank you to our Community Partners!

City of South Burlington
David Quinlan and Martial Way Self-Defense Center - 73 Prim Road, Colchester
Benjamin Pincus and Aikido of Champlain Valley - 257 Pine Street, Burlington

Contact Us

Have questions about our programs?
From basic questions to specific inquiries, we're here to help!