ESD Global Webinars

The Play Principle

May 12th, 2019​


Presenter: Professor Jay O'Shea

The importance of games in Empowerment Self-Defense training. In contrast to much hierarchical self-defense training, Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD) often incorporates playful activities such as games and role-play exercises. In this sense, ESD has much in common with other emancipatory practices such as Theatre of the Oppressed and Pedagogy of the Oppressed. This webinar will bring together ideas from these systems, joining them with philosophical theories of play, in order to demonstrate how games in self-defense training can increase a student’s sense of personal agency, generate insights about behavior and potential responses, and allow students to incorporate their personal experience into their training. The webinar will include suggestions for specific games and exercises as well as discussion of strategies for effectively incorporating play into ESD training. 

Blog Post>>> Making Work Play

Starting ESD Classes in Your Community

September 29th, 2019


Presenter: Antonella Spatola

New to teaching Empowerment Self Defense? Antonella has what you need to get yourself up and running classes in your community. Topics that will be covered in the 60-minute presentation will be: Utilizing social media, getting creative with email templates, developing your ESD syntax, branding your ESD programs, and understanding your own boundaries in teaching.


Teaching ESD to Children
November 10th, 2019
Presenter: Esti Lifschitz

ESD is for everyone, especially children. In this webinar, Esti will focus on the fundamental basics of teaching ESD to children. Learn how to provide ESD that supports children's mental, physical and emotional development, and how to adapt ESD lesson plans for children's classes.

ESD as a Tool for Trauma Healing

April 7th, 2019

Presenter: Clara Porter, Prevention. Action. Change.

Empowerment Self-Defense is a powerful tool for trauma healing. In this webinar we will share tools for trauma-informed teaching and ways to partner with other individuals and agencies working to prevent and respond to Sexual Assault / Domestic Violence. Building survivor-centered elements into all of your workshops makes learning ESD more accessible to survivors and aides in the healing process. Participants learn to observe and honor their own responses and preferences as felt in the body, to regulate adrenaline, and to develop practices to identify, express and defend what they want, need and feel in their own lives.


Download Article 1

Download Article 2

Categories of Violence, Stages of Victimization, & De-escalation

February 10th, 2019

Presenter: Lissette Fitzgerald, ASSERT


Knowing what type of opponent or aggressor you are facing and what stage of the interaction you are in is critical to being able to read and respond in any situation, from job interviews to traumatic events. During this webinar, we will learn to classify the most prevalent types of violent action, how they affect the victimization process, and what we can do to de-escalate based on those assessments.

Download Handout

Webinar: Queer 101: Including LGBTQ/GNC+ people in our work

January 13th, 2019

Presenter: Lauren Taylor, Defend Yourself

In this webinar, Lauren Taylor covers:

- How targeting of LGBTQIA/GNB people fits your understanding of oppression and gender-based violence


- The meanings of all the letters in LGBTQIA/NB and other language related to gender and sexual orientation, such as "cis," and how pronouns work

- How the risks LGBTQIA/NB people face are different from those most straight/cis people face.

- How to tailor a workshop to LGBTQIA/NB participants and how to make all workshops more inclusive for non-straight, non-cis people.


You’ll choose an action to take to affect how your organization or curriculum affects the LGBTQIA/NB people your community. 



Download Handout 
Download Presentation


Webinar: Teaching Self-Defense to People With Disabilities

December 9th, 2018

Presenter: Mandy Doyle, IMPACT:Ability


This presentation clarify some of the most common misconceptions about people with disabilities, and will give definitions of some of the most common disabilities that people may have. The majority of this presentation will cover some best practices for teaching people with a variety of disabilities. Mandy Doyle is a licensed special education teacher and has a Master’s Degree in Intercultural Relations. Mandy is the IMPACT:Ability Manager and teaches IMPACT:Ability self-defense classes as well healthy relationship and sexuality education to people with disabilities. Mandy received her Self-Defense Certification through NWMAF in January of 2018 and attained the level of first-degree black belt in Shaolin Kung Fu back in 2004 though her primary focus now is teaching self-defense.


Download Handout

Download PowerPoint


Webinar: Partnering to Change the Conversation on Violence Prevention

November 11th, 2018

Presenter: Yudit Sidikman


Learn about an exciting new partnership between ESD Global, El HaLev, and the Every Woman Everywhere Coalition, and some important developments in the fight against violence against women: Everywoman Everywhere’s treaty for the elimination of violence against women, the importance of this treaty for ESD advocates and how we can become allies to make this treaty have the biggest impact possible.


Read more about the treaty.



Webinar: ESD Alliance & the National Sexual Assault Conference

October 21st, 2018

Presenters: Meg Stone and Clara Porter


This webinar will give an overview of the Empowerment Self-Defense Alliance’s work to educate sexual assault agencies nationwide about ESD's approach and effectiveness by presenting a block of sessions at the National Sexual Assault Conference. 

The presenters will share their experience of gaining access to and presenting at the conference as well as discussing important considerations in communicating about ESD to rape crisis and domestic violence centers and advocates. 

Download Handout

How to Identify and Reach

Your Ideal Student

September 2018

Presenter: LissetteFitzgerald, ASSERT


"Many of us instructors and dojo owners have little or no experience in marketing. As a result, we tend to take the shotgun approach to advertising: put a bunch of stuff out and see what sticks. However, this tends to end in a lot of trials with relatively few sign-ups. I want to help you change that outcome.

Let me take you through a simple exercise to identify your ideal student! When we know who we are talking to, we can be clear, concise, and we can address their specific wants and needs, which helps convert that sales lead into a student. During the class, we’ll go through a simple step-by-step process, that you can then reproduce at home, to help you build an avatar of each of your ideal students and discuss techniques to build the message that they want and need to hear."


Download Worksheet

Subscribe to our newsletter and updates!

© 2018 by ESD Global Inc.

Proudly created with