About Wen-Do

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

Who we are

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 of our classes are taught by women, for women and girls.  Classes are open to anyone whose lived gender identity is that of a woman or girl (whether cis or trans), aged 10 and up, of any level of physical ability.

What we teach

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.

Why take a course

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

Our clients

A–C
  • Aboriginal Women in Mining
  • AIDS Committee of Toronto
  • All Saints Anglican Church
  • Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP)
  • Aboriginal Women in Mining
  • BALANCE
  • 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

D–G
  • 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
  • GuardCourse
  • Guelph University
H–L
  • 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
M–O
  • Malvern Family Resource Centre
  • Manitoulin Island Toy Library
  • March of Dimes
  • Marguerite’s Place
  • McMaster University
  • Media Com
  • Memorial University Women’s Resource Centre
  • METRAC
  • Metis Nation of Ontario
  • Microskills
  • 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
  • Nellie’s
  • 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
P–S
  • 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
  • Power4Teens
  • 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
  • Sistering
  • Status of Women – Elementary Schools
  • Subway Academy I and II
  • Subway Academy TDSB
  • Sudbury Sexual Assault Crisis Centre
T–Z
  • 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