Defending yourself doesn’t require superhuman strength. You just need to know how to use the strongest parts of your body against the weakest parts of theirs.

And that’s exactly what you’ll learn in this 3-hour workshop — simple verbal and physical self-defense techniques for women of ALL ages and fitness levels. Read on to see if this is a good fit for you and your friends or for the women in your organization…

You’ll walk away from this workshop knowing how to:

Deter an unwanted interaction with your body language alone;

Identify an attacker’s most vulnerable body parts (beyond the obvious…);

Inflict damage with your elbows, your fingers, your fist, and even the palm of your hand;

Cash in on those strong hips to deliver mean kicks (and knees!);

Escape grabs and holds, whether they be around your torso, wrists, or neck;

Use your most powerful weapon — YOUR VOICE — in a way that both startles your attacker and improves the chances of bystander intervention; and

Safely provide support should you see another woman being harassed in public (because, really, if we don’t have each other’s backs, who will?!).

And if you think a self-defense class is too “advanced” for you, knowing what this class is NOT might change your mind:

While you will be on your feet most of the time, this class is NOT a group fitness or martial arts class. Not even close. All fitness levels are capable and welcome.

This class does NOT include any wrestling, sparring, or simulation attacks. It is strictly technique based, and you’ll practice many of those techniques safely and gently on one another. The only time you’ll be encouraged to use force is when practicing your strikes and kicks on pads held by the instructor (a.k.a. me).

This class is NOT a contest. It is an opportunity for women to come together in a safe, supportive space and practice potentially life-saving skills together. And champion the hell out of one another.

And I’ll be right there with you, every step of the way.

This seems like a good time to introduce myself.

I’m Sarah, your self-defense instructor!

I started Muscles and Moxie™ to help people get stronger, inside and out, and teaching women how to defend themselves is one of the ways I do that (personal fitness training is the other).

You can learn all about what I’m about here, but here’s the cliff’s notes version of why I’m the right person to run a workshop like this  …

Before becoming a personal trainer in 2016, I spent over a decade working in the legal field. During that time, I earned my M.S. in Criminal Justice and chose to do my final project on preventing the sexual victimization of female college students.

Fast forward to Spring 2018. That’s when I went through a 3-day self-defense program that (unexpectedly) reignited my passion for crime prevention. I started practicing Muay Thai shortly thereafter and ultimately completed a self-defense instructor certification training in Spring 2019.

Between my law background, my education, and my self-defense training, I know a lot about violent crime, the behavior that drives it, and what steps we can take to prevent it from happening to us.

You can consider this class one of those steps. Email me at to get details on my next public workshop or to learn more about my private, on-site trainings for individuals and corporations in Chicago and Evanston.

Need more reassurance that this is right for you?

Check out my responses to some frequently asked questions:

Who exactly is this class for?
This class is for all women, ages 13 to infinity, who are willing to bring a positive attitude and a fighting spirit to the table. However, if you’re under 18, your female guardian needs to sign up for the class as well. Think of it as a really badass way to bond with your mom.

What if I’ve been sexually assaulted? Will this class be good for me?
While taking a self-defense class can be incredibly empowering for survivors, I highly recommend that you consult with a mental health professional before registering to make sure now is the right time.

Why can’t men participate?
Attacks on men are different than attacks on women. The self-defense techniques I teach are specific to women, and those are the only ones I am qualified to teach at this time.

What do I need to bring? What should I wear?
Bring a water bottle and a snack if you think you’ll need one, and wear athletic clothing/shoes. I’ll ask that you remove your shoes at certain points, so hole-less socks might be a good idea too 😉 Also, please no jewelry.

Do you think I’ll ever have to actually use this stuff?
My hope is that you’ll never have to use anything beyond the body language and verbal techniques you’ll learn in this class, but sometimes a physical attack cannot be avoided, and I want you to know some ways to fight back (and escape!) should it come to that.

Ready? Click the button below to contact me about planning a workshop for you and your friends or for the women in your organization.

Tell me more.