FREE Monthly Women of Color Self-Defense Workshops
FREE MONTHLY WOMEN OF COLOR SELF-DEFENSE WORKSHOPS
Three San Francisco Bay Area martial arts agencies with deep roots in community outreach and engagement are joining forces to help end violence against women and girls, particularly among low income girls and women of color. Sweaty Betties, Four Elements Fitness and Tuff Love Fitness Collective are collaborating to offer offer Women of Color Self Defense Scholarship Program starting in 2019. Our goal is to provide free self-defense training for girls and women at FOUR Elements Fitness gym. We seek to offer girls and women in the community up to 20 scholarships per month over a period of a year.
ABOUT THE WORKSHOPS
Sexual and physical assault is never the victim’s fault. It is the perpetrator’s responsibility to respect women’s boundaries, and our society must build institutions and values that support the safety of women. But until this day comes, we encourage women to learn self-defense; not because it’s their responsibility, but because it’s their reality.
About Women of Color Self-Defense Workshops
We believe self-defense is more than knowing how to fight back against a physical attack. Our workshops teach you how to think in terms of choices and options while developing awareness, assertiveness skills and practice for physical self-defense techniques.
Our training offers:
- Safety strategies, assertiveness skills and physical self-defense techniques.
- Awareness of specific vulnerabilities and issues of women and girls.
- Classes designed with women’s experiences, strength and capabilities in mind.
- A focus on sexual assault and domestic violence prevention.
- Designed to empower women and girls.
We will also teach you a series of simple highly effective self-defense techniques for use to during an assault. Rather than relying on strength to defend against a stronger assailant, you will learn the basic techniques of self-defense that includes the principles of leverage, timing and energy efficiency. None requires exceptional strength, speed or coordination. In addition, our self-defense system effectively addresses what to do in the worst-case scenarios: when the assailant pins you to the ground against your will, when the assailant is between your legs or a bigger and stronger attacker grabs your wrist. Regardless of your age, weight, or fitness level, you can learn the techniques of self-defense while gaining an increased sense of personal confidence and empowerment.
Who Can Apply
Self-identified women and girls who are people of color. Ages 9+ welcome. No experience required.
What to wear
Comfortable workout/yoga clothing. Training will be barefoot or in socks.
Instructor Mollii Khangsengsing
Mollii is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) under 9x World Champion Leticia Ribeiro with 11+ years of training in BJJ. She is the founder of the Sweaty Betties, one of the first group in the country to offer free, weekly BJJ training to women, and a co-founder of Tuff Love Fitness Collective. In 2010, she organized one of the largest women’s grappling camps in the country featuring several World Champion instructors, drawing attendees from all over the world. Since then, Mollii has run BJJ camps in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Maui and Costa Rica.
In addition, Mollii has over 8+ years of experience teaching BJJ, self-defense, Ginastica Natural and circuit training with a specialization in women’s and girls self-defense.
As a lifelong athlete, Mollii understands how sports and physical activity can change one’s life for the better. She first immigrated to the U.S. as a young child, and it was through her love of sports that she was able to quickly adapt to a new country and language. When Mollii isn’t teaching or training, you can find her slurping on a giant bowl of ramen noodles or climbing up the nearest coconut tree.
Instructor Lori Bruzenas
Lori Bruzenas is a certified Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Professor Luis Heredia. She has nine years of experience teaching children and eight years of experience teaching women’s and adult classes, specializing in self-defense. She has taught self-defense training at the first-ever Women’s Jiu-Jitsu Camp in Capetown, South Africa as well as other self-defense seminars in Maui, HI. She also has several years of experience competing, organizing and helping with Jiu-Jitsu tournaments and camps. Currently, Lori teach Jiu-jitsu and women’s self-defense classes and workshop in Oakland, CA.
Sweaty Betties was founded in 2008 by a small group of martial arts women who were united by their passion, shared beliefs, values and aspirations.The original members began as white belts. But through persistence, sweat and hard work those white belts are now purple, brown and black belts! Now we are students, competitors, teachers, coaches, mentors, gym owners and leaders in our community.
“While so many parts of our cultures teach women that they are valued for how they look, Jiu-Jitsu teaches women to value what their bodies can do.” Those words encapsulate their core beliefs which guided them ten years ago and continue to guide them now. The Sweaty Betties have organized numerous events, workshops and classes throughout the US and beyond with the goal of educating, sharing self-defense and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and creating strong and positive communities, particularly among girls and women.
For over a decade, the Sweaty Betties has helped girls and women reach their potential, find their personal power and discovered what their bodies are capable using the martial arts and self-defense platform. They’ve instructed many self-defense workshops to girls and women, including marginalized communities such as the African American and the Muslim communities. In addition, they offer weekly free women’s Jiu-jitsu classes as well as volunteered their time teaching Jiu-jitsu to kids at a non-profit gym in Oakland, CA.
FOUR Elements Fitness
Founded in Oakland, CA in 2014 by two female martial artists, Sharon Sanghera-Sidhu and Shawn Tamaribuchi, FOUR Elements Fitness is dedicated to building community strength through martial arts and fitness. The gym’s programs and services enable individuals to realize their potential, connect with others, and become healthier in body, mind, and spirit. As a martial arts gym with an orientation towards social justice, FOUR Elements Fitness regularly holds fundraisers, participates in community events, and provides free self-defense seminars for at-risk groups.
Who Can Apply
Self-identified women and girls who are people of color. Ages 9+ welcome. No experience required. All participants under the age of 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Since there are a limited number number of scholarships, recipients are expected to notify us three days before the workshop to cancel and we will give your slot to the next person on the waiting list.
Work for organization who might be interested in being involved with this program? If so, email us at Mollii@fourelementsfitness.
SUPPORT THE PROGRAM
Recently we’ve seen increased incidents that may have undermined our sense of safety: attacks on the LGBTQ community and immigrants, With your help, we can continue our important work and make a real difference in our communities. We ask that you consider making a donation today to support our work to end violence against girls and women and help us achieve our budget. Any amount is appreciated.