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"ESD has taught me that there is nothing wrong about saying no. ESD has taught me that no matter who you are, where you come from, or what you believe, authentic empowerment always comes from within, but sometimes we need the support and encouragement from others to remind us how to connect with that power."

We are a global community.

We are ESD.

We are changing the world.

Our Spirit

Who We Are


Training includes physical self-defense techniques and a comprehensive range of tactics, including verbal techniques, awareness skills, confidence-building practices, and more. The empowerment model focuses on honoring and expanding the choices of participants, particularly those who have survived trauma and discrimination, and evidence supports the efficacy of Empowerment Self Defense education in reducing gender-based violence and other acts of interpersonal violence.

Originally created in response to the overwhelming occurrence of Gender-Based Violence, we believe that ESD training is a key violence prevention strategy to interrupt, respond to, and heal from violence in all forms. Our empowerment-based, trauma-informed approach makes Empowerment Self Defense different from conventional self-defense in that it covers all matters of violence rather than only physical.

ESD Global is a global collective of Empowerment Self Defense instructors, activists, and educators providing training worldwide in an effort to scale the accessibility of ESD. Our training aims to create new generations of Instructors from diverse communities and empower them with the tools to teach Empowerment Self Defense methodologies that are uniquely catered to their community and the populations they serve.

ESD Global’s mission is to establish empowerment self defense (ESD) training as a key violence prevention strategy to interrupt, respond to, and heal from interpersonal violence.

Our Mission
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Our Work

ESD Global provides programs worldwide

to train community 

members and leaders to become empowerment self defense instructors, so that they can teach ESD in their communities.

Instructors work within their social and cultural contexts to ensure that the training is appropriate for different settings.

We work to expand the network of teachers worldwide so, in turn, learning ESD is broadly available.

ESD Global Summer Experiences 2023

Our Community







August 20 - 26

Camp Echo, NY

ESDG Summer Experiences 2023