We teach Bay Area women and girls tools to use the power of our bodies, minds, and voices.  We promote freedom, health, and safety by confronting oppression, fear, and violence.

What makes Alive & Kicking different?
Our classes change lives. We are not a martial art and we teach more than just physical responses to attack. Because violence exists in different forms—emotional, verbal, and physical—we teach a variety of strategies and a range of options. Classes build on women’s existing knowledge, and balance physical and non-physical techniques.

In our classes we teach:
  • PHYSICAL TECHNIQUES that can disable attackers of any size

  • ASSERTIVENESS TECHNIQUES that provide useful negotiating skills for everyday life, de-escalate dangerous situations, help prevent sexual harassment, and deter potential attackers

  • AWARENESS of the many ways in which our society is violent to women and how to develop an attitude of self-protection
Alive & Kicking has over 20 years of experience teaching self-defense to women and girls, including training instructors who teach all over the world.

We teach from a strength-based perspective. Women and girls can protect themselves and come to class with many “tried and true” strategies for self-care. Our classes develop and strengthen the tools available to all women.

By helping women recognize and build on their strengths, our classes nurture confidence and self-esteem.

We tailor classes to specific group’s needs and we have experience teaching diverse communities. We offer scholarships for classes and no one is turned away for lack of funds.

We specialize not only in teaching students, but also in training the next generation of self-defense instructors.

Our classes are taught by women, for women.

Why Women-Only Classes?
There are many reasons Alive & Kicking classes are taught by women, for women.

Women’s bodies are different from men’s. We teach physical techniques specifically designed for women’s bodies.

We create a space where women can share personal experiences and intimate fears about violence. Our classes give women the opportunity to gain confidence and aptitude by practicing new skills in a women-only environment.

Women often feel uncomfortable role-playing attacks with male instructors and can find it easier to discuss experiences of violence in a women-only environment.

Women are attacked in different ways and for different reasons than men. Our classes specifically address the needs of women. For example, while men are more likely to be attacked by strangers, women face the greatest danger from people they know. Women are also attacked with intent to rape much more often than men. This means, among other things, that the fight will more often go to the ground and/or involve a pin.

Women and girls are often encouraged to take care of everyone else's needs before our own. In the assertiveness parts of our course, we teach a variety of techniques that women can use both to prevent assault and to defend their needs and wants in daily life.