Our Clients

Comments from organizations and their staff

“The University of Toronto Community Safety Office has offered Wen-Do Women’s Self-Defence courses for over twenty years because we believe Wen-Do is uniquely well suited to the needs of women and girls. Each course prepares participants both mentally and physically, giving them the confidence to deal with the types of aggression they are most likely to encounter in real life. The techniques taught are practical, hands-on, and easy to learn, and the learning environment is safe, supportive, and full of positive energy. Wen-Do is designed by women to empower girls and women of all ages and abilities, and that is exactly what it does.”
University of Toronto Community Safety Office

“We encourage all organizations that value women and girls’ safety to sponsor Wen-Do classes, as we ourselves have done since 2005. Taking Wen-Do is a tremendously empowering experience, in which countless participants have discovered an inner strength and confidence that they didn’t know they had. The instructors have an in-depth understanding of multiple aspects of violence against women and girls, and teach with great skill and sensitivity to participants’ needs.”
Sexual Assault Survivors’ Support Line at York University

“Thank you so much for coming. Your empathy, sensitivity and understanding have been much appreciated. It’s not very often that my girls have the chance to hear such positive messages about self-esteem, self-worth and control over their own lives. I especially liked how you tied in aspects of healthy relationships, date rape, and sexual assault in the course.”
Grade Nine teacher

Comments from course participants

Most of these comments are taken from course evaluations that participants complete at the end of a Wen-Do course. Some have come from women who contacted us after their course was over.

“Wen-Do certainly saved me from being raped, and may have saved my life. I am forever grateful.”
Elizabeth, Toronto, Ontario.

“. . . this course has given me the confidence and strength to feel safe & secure. In the beginning I never thought I was strong enough to defend myself. The various techniques that we learned are effective and amazing. I can actually see myself doing them in a dangerous situation. You have really helped me think that I can do it. Thank you.”

“I did four years of tae kwon do but now I actually feel more confident in my ability to defend myself.”

“I really don’t know how to say thanks for you coming to our school. I have learned so so so many useful things in your wonderful class. I think that what everyone should know at the beginning of the class is to believe in yourself!”

“Wen-Do rocks – a real community of supportive sisters. I noticed a change in myself from the first class to the second and each week onward. I kept growing more and more comfortable with my own power, the strength in my voice and a deep sense of self respect at my core.”

“Wen-Do was fun. It taught me to stop being the little girl sitting in the corner watching. It taught me to be the superhero and fight for myself. I hope nothing ever happens to me or anyone in my class but if it does happen we will all know how to defend ourselves and it’s all because of [Wen-Do].”

“I’ll be honest. I came into the course with a negative point of view. I thought it would be a waste of time and that I wouldn’t get anything new from a civilian-run, women-run, self-defense course. I enrolled in this course with a prejudice towards the very gender I am a part of. I can’t tell anyone, even myself enough, how wrong I was. Yes, I am a soldier and they tell us on the very first day we are ‘soldiers first’. Yes, I am a soldier, but I am a woman first. There was something this course gave me that made me feel proud to be a female. It was empowering. It provided me with a whole new sense of self-defense geared specifically for my female body. I extend my sincerest gratitude to those who make Wen-Do possible for all women.”
A corporal in the Canadian National Armed Forces

“I have worked in the field…. and feel happy and privileged and honoured that many women and girls are getting the information delivered in this (Wen-Do) course. It is up to date, valuable and life affirming.”

“Having had this course several times; with family & friends; I plan to come back again & again. All three of my girls and I have learnt so much. I took this course originally to help my oldest daughter gain confidence. She gained so much that by the time she had her sisters join her (3/4 years later), she disclosed her experiences both as a victim and as a courageous young lady. What better role modeling can a mom ask for? Thank you for giving my family all that you have.”

“A must… builds on many levels, not just physical. An amazing platform for women to come together and share and grow. … enjoyed the camaraderie of the other participants under [the instructor]’s skilled direction & guidance.”

“For all those women out there who have a boyfriend or guy friend who pushes you around, take yourself seriously and know you could do it. My boyfriend pushed me around all the time and always told me I would never be able to fight back. I took Wen-Do Women’s Self Defence class and now I believe in myself to fight back. Any girl, no matter how skinny or big you are, you have the strength to defend your body and rights. All you have to do is believe in yourself.”
A grade nine student.

“It’s unforgettable and it’s so much more than self defense, it’s about women’s empowerment and connection.”

“I am aware of a new sense of strength within myself – like I can just stand up tall.”

“I deserve to be treated as I would want to be – not as someone else thinks I should be.”

“There are many suppressed memories in my mind where I have been in compromising situations since I was a child & did not stand up for myself or felt I deserved to be protected. This has shaped my belief systems about myself. Wen-Do has given me a new belief system.”

“It’s essential and vital and incredible.”

“I had a complete change in perspective after just the first day of this course. When guys that I know and that are my friends, lean towards me at the bar and touch my waist and pull me in and make me uncomfortable, I’ve always blown it off as drunkenness and something to be ignored because they’re my friends and I don’t want to offend them by pushing them away, they’re only being friendly after all, right? No. They are invading my personal space and I have every right to let them know that I’m not okay with that. If they’re not okay with me pushing them away and telling them off, then why am I even friends with them?”

“By standing up for myself and giving myself permission to defend myself, especially against friends, I give myself my respect and dignity, and they have no choice but to respect me for it too. I know it seems obvious, but this was like a little eye-opening epiphany for me. I don’t owe men anything. If they want my respect they will earn it. They will get it when I want to give it and not a moment sooner. Thank you.”

“[Instructor’s name] is a wonderful instructor – skilled, patient, and engaging – and Wen-Do is FANTASTIC. All women and girls should take it!”

“I’ve never felt so powerful or confident as a woman, this was a truly life changing workshop for me – thank you Laura and WenDo!”

“This course is amazing!  This became a difficult journey for me in the last few weeks, but a necessary one.  I feel stronger, more powerful, CAPABLE, of protecting myself.  Most importantly, I’m continuing to find my voice, and my right to do right by me, regardless of someone else’s intentions.  There are no words for how positive this experience was for me, and how much good this has brought into my life.  Thank you so much!!! Laura, your compassion, warmth and encouragement will never be forgotten.  You are amazing!”

“This course was not just a 2 week or 2 day course but a life-long course.  I really enjoyed the stories and hands on experience.  It was well taught by both instructors.  It just not taught me but I am thankful that my 14 year old niece and 12 year old daughter also took the course and I will be taking this course again as a refresher in the near future”

“Thanks for sensitivity for all age groups.  Never felt compromised or threatened despite very sensitive topics”

“This course changed my life completely, it made me become very confident and helped me feel in control of my life again for the first time since what happened to me.  Heather was so supportive and made us all feel comfortable!  As well as every woman taking the course, they became like a group of close friends.  This course truly changes lives, makes women feel strong again, and helps so much to feel comfortable in our own skin.  Thank you so much for everything.”

“Being a very introverted person I was hesitant to enroll in the class but with my partners encouragement I showed up.  I remember feeling during the first class that I couldn’t come back  Feelings of anxiety/overwhelmed with interactive nature of the class but I’m so glad I came back.  Heather is a wonderful and inspiring teacher.”

“I really benefited from the discussions as well as the moves (I didn’t know we would be talking that much) and having resources laid out was very useful in case I need to help someone some day.”

“This course had quickly become one of the most valuable things I’ve ever done for myself.  I will highly recommend this course, or any self defense workshop for that matter, to other women.  This course made me realize the power I really do have within myself, while practicing all techniques in action.  There was an excellent balance between physical maneuvers practice and group discussion of relevant topics.  I believe all women could come to this class and be comfortable and confident, and leave feeling empowered.  The biggest thing I take away from this course is my realization of how I can use my voice and the power of it.  The breathing techniques and yelling make the self defense truly effective and empowering and brings a huge element of confidence and focus.