How it works

Wen-Do Workshop can be as short as one hour, or as long as a full day, or anything in between.

Our fifteen-hour Basic Wen-Do 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.

Intermediate Wen-Do Courses are also available for women and girls who have completed a 15-hour Basic Course within the previous 365 days.

What you will learn

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.

Defy: Trans+ Self-Defence Classes

We know that people who do not identify as women also vitally need self-defence training that is sensitive to their needs. Defy: Trans+ self-defense classes, currently taught by certified Wen-Do Women’s Self-Defense instructors, are open to all 2SLGBTQ+ people of ten years and older, and of all abilities. Some people who are both women identifying and members of the queer or trans community may choose to go to either a Wen-Do or Defy: Trans+ class. If you have any questions or concerns about whether Wen-Do or Defy: Trans+ is for you, please contact the instructor of the course that you have chosen.

About our instructors

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 and emotional safety of participants. Participants complete written evaluations of every course, to assist Wen-Do in maintaining its high standard of teaching.

All Wen-Do Classes are taught by women, for girls and women.

Ready to start learning Wen-Do?

Groups: To organize a Wen-Do course or workshop for your organization or group, please visit Organize a Course.

Individuals: To find an upcoming course or workshop, available online or in-person when possible, please visit Find a Course.