Who We Are, What We Teach

40+ years. 5,000+ courses. 100,000+ women and girls.

Wen-Do Women’s Self Defence is a registered charity and the oldest women’s self defence organization in Canada. Our fifteen-hour Basic course covers a wide variety of physical and verbal self-defence techniques, awareness and avoidance of threatening situations, and discussions of psychological, social, and legal issues involved in self-defence. All our classes are taught by women, for women and girls ages 10 and up and are inclusive of transgendered women and women and girls of all abilities.

Physical techniques are designed to be effective against larger, physically stronger attackers. They include blocks, strikes, releases from holds (arm holds, body holds, chokes, hair grabs, and situations where one is pinned to the ground), defences against weapons, and defences against more than one attacker. Women do not need to be physically fit to learn Wen-Do; we teach women to use their bodies as they are, and our instructors are trained to offer alternative techniques and strategies to women with physical limitations or disabilities.

Verbal self-defence strategies examined in the class include calming, reasoning, negotiating, distracting, surprising or confronting an attacker, depending on the situation. We also look at the most effective ways of calling on bystanders, if any, for help.

Discussion topics include sexual assault; relationship abuse; harassment; self-defence and the law; and safety awareness in a variety of situations (at home, work, or school; at parties or on dates; on the street, highway, or public transit; and while travelling). We also offer our students information on many community resources such as rape crisis centres, women’s shelters, legal services, and more.

Our instructors undergo rigorous training and apprenticeship before being certified to teach, and must recertify every year. This training includes a strong emphasis on ensuring the physical and emotional safety of participants. Participants complete written evaluations of every course, to assist Wen-Do in maintaining its high standard of teaching.

In a Wen Do course, participants will:

  • Learn simple, powerful physical self-defence skills
  • Explore a range of effective verbal self-defence strategies
  • Develop their ability to recognize and deal with threatening situations
  • Increase their confidence
  • … and have fun!

Our Clients

Aboriginal Women in Mining

AIDS Committee of Toronto

All Saints Anglican Church

Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP)

Aboriginal Women in Mining


Bayview Middle School

Becoming an Outdoors Woman

Bendale High School – Scarborough

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Camp Tapawingo

Canadian Council of Muslim Women

Canadian Mental Health Association – Peterborough/Lindsay

Cape Croker – Chippewa First Nation & Nawash Social Services

Canadian Auto Workers, Port Elgin

Cecil Community Centre

Centennial College

Central Technical Secondary

Centre for Independent Living Toronto

City of Peterborough Recreation Department

Clairlea TDSB

College of North Atlantic HVGB

Community Centre 55

Community Living Toronto Adult Protection

Contact Alternative

Copernicus House

Corvette School TDSB

Craiglea Public School

Danforth Technical and Collegiate

David Lewis P.S. TDSB

DeviSant Welsh United Church

East York Alternative School

Eastern Commerce Collegiate

Eastview Community Centre

Educator Financial Group

Elementary Teachers’ Status of Women

Emily Greenberg of Riverdale Collegiate

Ernst MacMillan Public School

Eva’s Phoenix

Family Services Toronto

Family Transition Place, Orangeville

Fish Out of Water Design

Fit & Well

Four Counties Addiction Services Team (Fourcast)

Four Villages Community Health Centre

G-Day Toronto

GALS City of St. John’s Community & Recreation

George Brown College

George Harvey S.S. Toronto

GoodLife Fitness

Gould’s Community Centre

Grey County SAC/DV, Owen Sound


Guelph University

Habitat House

Head & Hands

Henvey Inlet First Nations

Holy Name of Mary Catholic Secondary School Peel

Homeschooling Group

Humber College Student Association

Humberside Collegiate

Huron Women’s Shelter, Goderich, Ontario

Hurontario Transition & Shelter for Women

Inglenook Secondary alternative School

Interval House

Investor’s Group, Peterborough

Jack Miner Public School

Jean Tweed Centre for Women

John A MacDonald Secondary School

John Buchann Highschool

Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre

Kennedy Public School TDSB

Key Assets

Kingston HIV/AIDS Coalition

L’Ameroux Collegiate

LAMP – Etobicoke Community Health Centre

Lanark County Hospital – Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Services

Laurentian University Students’ General Association

Laurentian University Women’s Centre

Laurentian University Graduate Students Association

Linden School for Girls

Lord Dufferin TDSB

Malvern Family Resource Centre

Manitoulin Island Toy Library

March of Dimes

Marguerite’s Place

McMaster University

Media Com

Memorial University Women’s Resource Centre


Metis Nation of Ontario


Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre

Mohawk College

Momiji Health Care Society

Monarch Park Secondary School

Mooseonee /Moose Factory Northern Lights Secondary School

Nawash Social Services


New Canadian’s Centre, Peterborough

Newcomer Women’s Services of Toronto

Newfoundland and Labrador Coalition Against Violence

Newfoundland and Labrador Multicultural Women’s Centre

Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre

Noorshila Keshavjee (Muslim Women’s Group)

North York Community House

North York Women’s Services

Northern Lights College – Timmins/North Bay

Northview Heights Secondary School

Northwest Scarborough Youth Centre

Oakdale Community Center

Oasis Alternative Secondary School

Office to Advance Women Apprentices

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants

Ontario Public Service Employees Union

Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation

PACE Centre for Independent Living

Parkdale Anti-Violence Education

Parkdale Collegiate Institute

Parkdale Community Health Centre

Pavilion Shelter for Women, New Liskeard

Peel Sexual Assault Centre

Peel Victim Services

Pic River First Nations

Pioneering Women


Public Space Agency

Reconnect Mental Health Services

Red Cross

Red Door Shelter

Red Wood Shelter

Regent Park Community Health Centre

Riverdale Collegiate

Robert Borden TDSB

Ryerson University, Rye Access

Ryerson University, Ryerson Student Association

St. John’s Military Resource Centre

St. John’s Native Friendship Centre

St. Paul’s Anglican Church

School For Young Moms, Peterborough

Seneca College

Settlement Assistance and Family Support Services

Sheena’s Place

Sheridan College

Sign 55+ Centre

Silver Springs Public School TDSB

Sir Ernest MacMillan TDSB


Status of Women – Elementary Schools

Subway Academy I and II

Subway Academy TDSB

Sudbury Sexual Assault Crisis Centre

Temiskaming Native Women’s Support Group, Kirkland Lake

Terry Fox Public School, TDSB

The 519 Community Centre

The Linden School

The Student School

Thorncliffe Junior Public School

Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Centre

Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office

Thorncliffe Park Reach-Out Teach-In

Three Trilliums

Thrive St. John’s

Timmins Sexual Assault Crisis Centre & Shelter

Toronto Community Housing Corporation

Toronto General Hospital Eating Disorder Clinic

Toronto Board of Education Elementary Teachers

Trillium Hospital – Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence Services

UNIFOR, Bell Canada

University Health Network

University of Toronto Community Safety Office

Ursula Franklin Academy for Girls

United Steel Workers

Violence Intervention and Prevention Program Health Sciences North

West End Alternative Secondary School

Western Technical Secondary School

Wilfred Laurier Secondary

William Miller Public School

Wilmot Family Resource Centre, New Hamburg

Windsor University

Women in Film

Women of Race Climbing it Together

Women’s Business Network, Peterborough

Women’s College Hospital

Women’s Health Care Centre

Woodsview TDSB

YMCA Canada

Yonge Street Mission

York University

Youth Assisting Youth

YWCA Crossroads Women’s Shelter

YWCA Power of Being A Girl