NWMAF Special Training

Special Training is the NWMAF's signature event.  It is a multi-style training camp and professional self-defense instruction conference.  The event moves to a different college campus almost every year.  Every year women and girls come to Special Training from all over the United States, Canada, and beyond. We come to share our passion for the martial arts. We come to develop our skills in self-defense. We come because some of us rarely have training partners that match our skill, size, strength, or temperament. We come to grow as individuals. We come to belong to a community that has been sustaining us for over 30 years.



About the Training

The Trainers

We select the best women martial artists in the world to teach at Special Training.  Recent instructors have come from the United States, Canada, Germany, Israel, Japan and the  Netherlands.  instructors are recognized for their contributions to their art and for their support of women and girls in the martial arts.  Many of them have decades of experience and they are all committed to teaching excellence. NWMAF honors our commitment to diversity in the trainer selection process.


Classes for All Skill Levels

Special Training offers classes for all skill levels.  Whether you've trained for a day or a decade, you'll find classes that challenge and inspire you.  Every session includes open classes for all levels of experience.  

Classes at All Exertion Levels

From early morning to late night, you'll find classes at low, moderate and high exertion levels.  Because Special Training is self-paced, it's accessible for all ages and abilities.  Train your body, mind and spirit at the intensity that's right for you.

Classes in All Styles

From Aikido to Arnis, Kung Fu to Karate, Tai Chi to Tae Kwon Do, Judo to Jujitsu... a wide variety of hard and soft styles are taught at Special Training, along with weapons classes and alternative classes such as Origami.  It's a great opportunity to deepen into your own practice and cross-train in styles that are new to you.

Classes for Young Martial Artists and Teens

Special Training offers a multi-generational training experience, and many classes are open to all ages.

Young Martial Artists (YMA) also enjoy classes designed specifically for students 6-12 years old and Teens 13-18 enjoy classes specifically designed for them.  Our young students often choose to design an impromptu demonstration that they perform for the entire ST audience during the Demo on Saturday night.

For safety and security, we do require that YMA attendees are accompanied to classes by a guardian. 

Super Saturday  

Saturday is a training day that is open to people of all genders, some classes are still only for people who identify as women and girls, but most classes on Saturday are open to anyone willing to train in a welcoming environment. This means families may train together on Saturday that might otherwise be unable to train over the weekend. Boys who attend the YMA classes must be accompanied to classes by a guardian.

Self-Defense Empowerment Model Course

No experience is necessary for the Self-Defense Empowerment Model Course.  Take all or part of this comprehensive series of skill-building self defense classes, taught by NWMAF Certified Self Defense Instructors.  Learn how to escape grabs, fight from the ground, defend against weapons, and much more.

If you're interested in teaching self-defense, then you may also want to attend our Self-Defense Instruction Conference.


Self-Defense Instruction Conference information


Apart from amazing classes Special Training offers a skill demonstration on Saturday where anyone may perform for the camp attendees, there have been some incredible performances over the years, (see the Danzan Ryu Jujitsu demonstration on You Tube from 2016). There is also a Bazaar or Expo where camp attendees may buy or sell T-shirts, equipment or art. Plus social events and organized meetings where people may meet to discuss all kinds of subjects.



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