Requirements to become a certified self-defense instructor:

  1. Three years (for a minimum of 500 hours of training) in a martial arts or self-defense system.
  2. Training/experience in the following areas:
    • assertiveness/confrontation skills
    • de-escalation training
    • conflict resolution/crisis management training
    • defense against grab attacks
    • defense against punching and kicking attacks
    • defense against armed attacks
    • defense against multiple attackers
    • defense from the ground

  3. 50 hours experience teaching or co-teaching self defense
  4. Knowledgeable about the issues survivors of violence face; understanding the process of healing from violent victimization
  5. Familiarity with data regarding violent victimization
  6. Ability to present a range of options including precautions, verbal, psychological, and physical tactics
  7. Ability to create physically and emotionally safe learning environments
  8. Organize and plan classes effectively
  9. Able to adapt and modify curriculum to meet the needs of students
  10. Be a perceptive and skilled communicator, treating each student with respect and sensitivity and encouragement
  11. Be aware and supportive of other local resources for women and children victimized by threat of violence
  12. Maintain high ethical standards and conduct yourself at all times in a manner that acknowledges and honors the special bond between teacher and student, and in no way exploits this relationship
  13. Be a current female member in good standing of the National Women's Martial Arts Federation for at least one year
  14. Attend at least one pre-Special Training Self-Defense Instructors' Conference AND complete the self-defense track given during Special Training
  15. Be in agreement with the philosophical assumptions developed by the NCASA Self-Defense AD-HOC Committee regarding the teaching of self defense presented:
  1. Women do not ask for, cause, invite, or deserve to be assaulted. Women and men sometimes exercise poor judgment about safety behavior, but that does not make them responsible for the attack. Attackers are responsible for their attacks and their use of violence to overpower, control and abuse another human being.
  2. Whatever a woman's decision in a given self-defense situation, whatever action she does or does not take, she is not at fault. A woman's decision to survive the best way she can must be respected. Self defense classes should not be used as judgment against a victim/survivor.
  3. Good self defense programs do not "tell" an individual what she "should" or "should not" do. A program should offer options, techniques, and a way of analyzing situations. A program may point out what USUALLY works best in MOST situations, but each situation is unique and the final decision rests with the person actually confronted by the situation.
  4. Empowerment is the goal of a good self defense program. The individual's right to make decisions about her participation must be respected. Pressure should not be brought to bear in any way to get a woman to participate in an activity if she is hesitant or unwilling.

For more details see the NWMAF's Feminist Empowerment Model for Teaching Women's Self Defense and the Self Defense Instructor Core Competencies.


Also see these readings recommended for all women's self-defense instructors.



© 2013-2017 National Women's Martial Arts Federation

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software