Instructors

Wen-do instructor bios and contact info

Leslie Allin

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Leslie loves teaching Wen-Do because working at the intersection of practice (learning effective physical techniques) and theory (dismantling stereotypes surrounding violence against women, knowledge about self-defense, and naming women’s experience) profoundly empowers women. She continues to be inspired by her…

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Deb Chard

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As a long time senior trainer and activist in Wen-Do Women’s Self Defence, I teach all levels including the instructor training program. Since 1988, I have been part of the creation of safety and wellness programs for colleges, community groups,…

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Renee Sharpe

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Renee Sharpe is a proud woman in the trades, and is so happy to be teaching Wen-Do Women’s Self Defence throughout her home of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Arij Elmi

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Arij holds a master and bachelor of social work and is pursing graduate studies in public health. She serves on the University of Toronto’s expert panel on education and prevention of sexual violence and Metrac’s Safe City committee. Arij is…

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Jennifer LaFontaine

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Jennifer took Wen-do when she moved to the big city to go to university. She has been teaching since 1999. As a Métis woman, she is particularly passionate about teaching Wen-Do in Indigenous communities, and works to bring awareness to…

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Claire Huang Kinsley

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I first took Wen-Do at the age of sixteen, and it’s no exaggeration to say that the course changed my life. I had never felt strong or athletic, so it was incredibly empowering to realize I could physically defend myself;…

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Laura Hartley

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I love that as a Wen-Do instructor I get to create supportive spaces for girls and women to find their own inner strength and work together to challenge the various forms of violence girls and women face in their lives. …

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Heather Howe

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Wen-Do has been a life changing experience for me, it helped me realize how strong and powerful I am, increasing my confidence in all areas of my life. I took my first Wen-Do course in 1999, I started taking intermediate…

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Shailagh Keaney

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Shailagh is a Wen-Do Women’s Self-Defence instructor and arts-based facilitator, focusing her work on empowerment for youth and women. She earned a Master in Social Work degree in 2018 and is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of…

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Deb Parent

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Deb Parent has taught Wen-Do to thousands of girls and women since 1987. She pioneered Dyke and Trans self-defence courses and is a senior instructor and board member with Wen-Do. Deb was on staff with the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre…

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Denise Handlarski

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Denise first took Wen-Do in 1999 after being inspired by a demo at a Take Back the Night rally. She fell in love with the moves and motivations behind Wen-Do, its feminism and its ferocity. She has joyously taught Wen-Do…

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