NWMAf self-defense instructor certification

Since the early 1970's, the National Women's Martial Arts Federation has pioneered in the development of self defense instruction, bringing together highly-trained martial artists and women knowledgeable about the issues of violence - enabling them to gain support, share ideas and promote quality programs. We believe that women deserve the highest standards in self defense instructors. We hope you will find the process of certification itself to be educational and will gain even more credibility as a National Women's Martial Arts Federation Certified Instructor.

This is a comprehensive application, meant to cover the full range of skills involved to teach women's self-defense at a high level. Physical skills, verbal skills, anti-violence education, the works.

Here's what one recently-certified member had to say:

"I would like to express how much I value this certification. As an independent contractor for health and fitness classes (I place self defense in this grouping), I get frustrated & discouraged by the "fly-by-night" operations that pass out certifications as if they were candy at Halloween. They come in all forms - online, home study, 4-hr seminars - for all types of things such as personal training, group fitness & yes, self defense. So I ask, isn't something worth getting, worth working for? I specifically sought this certification because it was not easy to get & it was a thorough, thoughtful process. I absolutely enjoyed Pre-ST & ST & appreciate the certification process that has been established."

DiAnn Lanke Stasik

Women Only Workout




Request an Application

Applications are available to current NWMAF members only. To received an application, log in to this website and click the Download an Application link (also below). If you have additional questions please contact us at the address below.

Write to us at:

National Women's Martial Arts Federation
9450 SW Gemini Drive
Beaverton, OR 97005-2343

Write "RE: SD Certification" under your return address.

Email us at: selfdefense@nwmaf.org



Get Certified!


Read the requirements to become an NWMAF Certified Self Defense Instructor.


Review the core competencies that Self Defense instructors must demonstrate.


Understand the Empowerment Model for teaching Self Defense.


The National Women's Martial Arts Federation is committed to making self-defense training accessible across diverse communities.


Download and study this list of suggestions on ways to improve your cross-cultural teaching skills.


Check out the reading list and add to your knowledge of Self Defense.


Visit and subscribe to SafetyNet, the blog for self-defense instructors, both experienced and aspiring. Follow SafetyNet on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Download an application to become an NWMAF-Certified Self-Defense Instructor. (Note: you need to be a current member and logged in to get this download).


Have you read all the above, become an NWMAF member, downloaded an application, and still have questions?


Contact us for more info about becoming a Certified Self-Defense Instructor.

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