Setting up a Wen-Do course or workshop is one of the best things you can do for the safety of women and girls in your organization or community!
Over the last 45+ years, committed women have organized Wen-Do workshops and courses in a variety of settings, including: elementary and high schools, universities, non-profit organizations, companies and unions, hospitals and health centres, friendship centres, seniors groups, shelters, community centres, and even for special groups of family and friends.
There are so many great reasons to bring Wen-Do to your organization. In the past, women have incorporated Wen-Do into their organization or school in order to:
- Celebrate International Women’s Day
- Promote self-esteem and confidence for Grade 8s before they transition to high school
- Respond proactively to support women and girls after a challenging event or when a community safety issue arises
- Provide an occupational health and safety activity or a professional development opportunity in the workplace
- Help women in male-dominated workplaces feel confident in their rights
- Support women survivors of violence
Or simply to bring women and girls together, to get active and have fun!
What to consider
If you want to organize a course, there are a few things to consider. Who do you want to get involved? What support will you need within your organization? What is the connection between self-defence and the work that you do?
Please review the information below, and then get in touch with us to set up a course or workshop.
How long is a course or workshop?
The Basic Wen-Do Course is 15 hours long; it can be taught over 2 days or 5-6 evening sessions.
Workshops can last an hour, a full day, or anything in between.
Who can participate?
Women and girls age 10 and up, of all levels of physical ability. This includes anyone whose lived gender identity is that of a woman or girl (whether cis or trans).
For further explanations of these guidelines, please refer to our commonly asked questions. If participants have questions about how to interpret these guidelines, or wish to request an exception to the guidelines, please refer them to your instructor.
How many women can attend?
There is no limit to the number of participants for a 1-hour workshop, as long as the space can accommodate them. Longer sessions are limited to 20 participants.
What do participants need to bring?
Participants should wear loose, comfortable clothing and rubber-soled shoes or bare feet.
For workshops longer than 1 hour, women should bring: a yoga mat, firm cushion or rolled up sleeping bag (to serve as a punching bag); water to drink; and a notebook (optional).
What kind of space do we need?
The room should be big enough for all the participants to stand with their arms outstretched without touching each other. It should be private, closed to through traffic, and cleared of all obstacles. The floor should be clean.
It is useful to have some chairs available, in case some women are not comfortable sitting on the floor, and a table for handouts. We strongly recommend using a wheelchair-accessible space, if possible.
How much will it cost?
The 15-hour Basic Course fee is $3,000, plus transportation and accommodations if travel is required.
Workshops can be arranged at a rate of $200 per hour.
For organizations that cannot afford these costs, most instructors offer a sliding scale.
Having reviewed the requirements, if you would like to move forward with organizing a course or workshop, please take these tips to help with the event‘s success.
If you need more funds, consider applying to corporations, unions, foundations, service groups or the government for financial assistance with the course.
To give yourself adequate time to publicize the course, book your instructor and location 6–8 weeks in advance.
Your course can be posted on the Wen-Do website and phone line, by request. There are many other ways you can promote the course: flyers; email announcements; social media posts; articles or events listings in organizational newsletters or local newspapers; public service announcements on local radio and TV.
Record each registrant’s contact information. Please tell her it is important to attend all sessions of the course, and ask her to arrive 10 minutes early on the first day.
Participants under 18 will need a permission form signed by a parent or guardian.
Whether you charge a fee or not is entirely up to you. If you are charging a fee, we recommend that you consider someone registered only after she has paid. If you are offering the course for free, consider asking registrants for a small deposit to hold their spot, on the understanding that it will be refunded if they attend the course.