Empowerment self-defense (ESD) is a evidence-based, trauma-informed approach to resisting and preventing violence, encompassing a broad spectrum of harm, from everyday harassment to life-threatening situations. It is rooted in empirical evidence about assaults and the most effective responses to stop them. ESD acknowledges that most assaults are perpetrated by acquaintances and intimates and equips individuals with strategies tailored for these situations as well as those involving strangers.

The training includes practical physical tactics adaptable to various body types and self awareness training of best strategies for managing an adrenal stress response to a threat. Additionally, it emphasizes development of a growth mindset, boundary-setting, de-escalation, and verbal self-defense techniques to prevent assaults from escalating to physical danger.

ESD provides a toolbox of strategies to avoid and interrupt violence, empowering students to choose the best options for their specific circumstances. By instilling these skills, ESD empowers individuals, expanding their freedom and agency, allowing them to make informed decisions about their activities, locations, and companions.

Moreover, ESD addresses not only the physical aspects of self-defense but also the social conditions that enable sexual assault and the psychological barriers hindering resistance, particularly for women and marginalized groups.

It’s important to note that while there are various self-defense training methods, ESD stands as the only one supported by research evidence confirming its effectiveness. Consequently, findings from ESD classes cannot be generalized to non-ESD approaches.

Our Mission: Empowering people through personal safety education to lead healthier lives. One move at a time.

POWERUP Moves Core Values
"We practice respect, empowerment, choice, community, and justice"

Let's Start Where You Are





Assisted Living

*Special topics on safety are offered as well. These can include safe travel, hiking alone, signs of human trafficking, bystander intervention, how to be an ally, and sports teams.

Whether I am working with an individual or a group, we start the journey of developing your personal safety plan.

In-Person and Virtual Training Formats


60-minute Crash Course Series

A course involving a series of 60 minute classes with a layering of safety concepts and in depth discussion on specific topics of interest.  Expect movement exercises, role playing and reflection materials depending on the needs of the group. Participants will have the opportunity to develop a personalized safety plan. Recommended for all types of learners.


90-minute Intensive

An introduction to empowerment self defense training and how it affects your health.  You will learn basic physical and mental skills to keep yourself and others safe. Expect movement drills, discussion and laughter! Recommended for all types of learners who wish to feel stronger 


Ongoing Series (Plus 1-1 Zoom)

A comprehensive course provides each participant with in-depth movement, discussion, and one-on-one development. Expect movement exercises, role-playing, and reflection materials depending on the group’s needs. Participants will have the opportunity to develop a personalized safety plan. Recommended for all types of learners and is most popular for cultivating a thriving workplace culture.

Bring ESD Education to Your Organization!

The power of people working together to prevent interpersonal violence in their community, be it a school, workplace, or home, cannot be overstated. Collective efforts and community engagement play a crucial role in creating safer environments and reducing the prevalence of violence.