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The City of Portland, Oregon

Police Bureau

Sworn to protect. Dedicated to serve.

Phone: 503-823-0000

Non-Emergency: 503-823-3333

1111 S.W. 2nd Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Introductory Self-Defense Classes


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June Classes:
Mondays, June 6th, 13th and 20th from 6:00-7:00 p.m.

July Classes:
No Classes

August Virtual Classes:
Tuesdays August 2nd, 9th and 16th from 6-7 pm
      - (Registration for August classes will begin on July 18th)

Anticipating in-person classes mid to late fall.

Must attend all 3 sessions in order. Ages 13 and above.

To register email



Women identify their risks and evaluate their strengths, and to explore their options for dealing with the threat of sexual violence. Class activities focus on practicing verbal and physical strategies. Discussion topics focus on sexual and domestic violence.

WomenStrength emphasizes that each threat must be assessed quickly. Research on women's experiences indicates that the likelihood of escaping a sexual assault increases with the number of escape strategies employed. Women who choose to fight are encouraged to use the element of surprise to their advantage. Because physical self-defense will be most effective if vulnerable areas of the body are targeted, some of the skills taught include multiple strikes to those areas, as well as escapes from choke holds, body grabs, and wrist grasps, and defense techniques from the ground.

WomenStrength participants are encouraged to maintain their skills by using visualization, practicing, attending refresher classes, and to improve and diversify their skills by pursuing additional training from other self-defense programs.

Participants: We welcome all people who identify as women. Classes are open to ages 13 and above. Young women under 16 need to be accompanied by a participating adult. Younger people may also be interested in our sister program, GirlStrength, which offers classes from 10-17 years of age. Learn more about GirlStrength here:

  • Please fill out our online registration form or call 503-823-0260 on or after the registration date listed for each month.
  • Please plan to attend all three sessions at the location you select.
  • Please cancel your registration before the first session if you cannot attend all three sessions.
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