Empowerment Self Defense (ESD)

What is Empowerment Self Defense

The empowerment-based model of self-defense training includes physical self defense techniques, but also a comprehensive range of tactics including verbal techniques, awareness skills, confidence-building practices, and more.

ESD BELGIUM Empowerment through Self Defense

The empowerment model includes a focus on honoring and expanding the choices of participants, particularly those who have survived trauma and discrimination.

Empowerment self defense isn’t just a model; it’s a global movement.

The term “empowerment self defense” was first introduced in the United States during the 1970’s. The empowerment model of self defense training was defined by feminist activists as the movement made important gains against gender-based violence, including the creation of the first rape crisis and domestic violence shelter services. 

However, women all over the world have been creating community and developing the skills to resist violence long before the empowerment model was developed and named. The movement has spread across the world, and ESD Global is proud to be one organization among many dedicated to making empowerment self defense accessible globally.

Empowerment Self Defense is a system designed by and for women to:

  • Avoid danger and de-escalate conflict.​
  • Increase confidence in participating in social and economic systems.
  • Increase self-efficacy in problem-solving.​
  • Build physical self defense skills.​
  • Address violence that is most likely to occur in individual settings (e.g., school, home, workplace).​
ESD Global, The FIVE Principles of Empowerment Self Defense

Download The FIVE Principles of Empowerment Self Defense brochure :

For information about ESD workshops in Belgium, contact us:

ESD Global Empowerment through Self Defense
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