The PE and Rec self-defense instructors are committed to teaching empowerment-based self-defense to everyone. We offer a variety of workshops and classes to help our community feel prepared, aware, and confident. Workshops are prioritized for University of Oregon student groups; we will consider other UO campus community requests as capacity allows.

Physical Education Self-Defense Classes

The self-defense workshops are an introduction to our ten-week PE courses:

  • PEMA 115 Self-Defense
  • PEMA 116 Women's Self-Defense

Find more information about our instructors and classes here.

Self-Defense Workshops

You can request a self-defense workshop for your group at the Student Recreation Center. We need at least two weeks of lead time to organize a workshop, so please submit your request early.

Workshops are scheduled for two hours for groups of 8–20 people. We are willing to work with groups of more than 20 people with special requests. Wear comfortable clothing that allows ease of movement.

Empowerment Self-Defense Workshop

Self-defense isn’t just learning how to fight. It’s also learning how to set clear boundaries and stand up for yourself while maintaining healthy, positive relationships. In this supportive and empowering workshop, we will introduce you to a range of physical, verbal, and emotional skills that can help you recognize and thwart perpetrator tactics, reduce your risk of sexual assault, and feel more comfortable in your daily interactions. All techniques are simple, easy to learn, and effective regardless of fitness or experience level. The workshops are tailored to the interests and needs of the participants.

This workshop is open to all self-identified women and non-binary people who are comfortable in a space centered around experiences of those who identify as or may be perceived as women.

Coed Self-Defense Workshop

Content includes:

  • brief statistics and demographics on assaults
  • recognizing predatory behaviors and potentially dangerous situations
  • verbal strategies and importance of setting boundaries
  • description of healthy relationships and consent
  • examples of assertive vs. passive or aggressive communication
  • body language and "ready stance"
  • non-violent physical self-defense techniques
  • serious self-defense techniques and strategies to injure and escape

The workshops are tailored to the interests and needs of the participants.

To ensure the best experience we maintain a low ratio of instructors to students. Student leaders may also assist in facilitating these workshops. Workshop fees cover instructor wages.

  • Workshop cost starts at $250 (two hours, 8–20 participants).
  • For more than 20 participants: $50 extra for every additional 1–10 students.  
  • The workshop maximum capacity is 80 participants ($500).

If the cost is a primary barrier for your UO student group, please submit a request with that noted.

Mandatory Attendance Concerns

In order to create a safer and productive space for all, and due to the sensitive nature of Empowerment Self-Defense Workshops, we highly recommend that attendance NOT be made mandatory for participants. For groups or clubs that require attendance for their members (e.g., for their organization's monthly meeting), workshop instructors reserve the right, at their discretion, to ask attendees to step out for a break or leave the workshop. Attendees who cause any kind of disruption (e.g., side conversations, inappropriate comments, or obvious inattention) will be asked to leave the workshop.

Questions? Contact Chantelle Russell at 541-346-1364 or

Request a Workshop

Cost of attendance is the estimated cost to attend the UO for the academic year. The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships provides estimates for cost of attendance information that goes beyond tuition and fees, and includes: living expenses (housing and food), books/supplies/equipment, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses.