How to Find Free Self-Defense Classes Online and in Person

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.

Self-defense is one of those skills that most people hope they never have to use, but it’s always a good idea to be prepared just in case.

However, the high cost of many self-defense courses can cause people to procrastinate when they have more money to spare, often resulting in it never being.

Luckily, there are many free ways to learn how to defend yourself, both through in-person and online courses.

A few hours of your time could potentially save your life. Here are some ways to find free self-defense courses and resources.

Free online self defense courses

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Before diving into all the options, it’s a good idea to get a feel for the basics. But knowing where to start can be daunting. Fortunately, there are many free online self-defense courses that you can take from the comfort of your home using your phone or laptop. Here are some that are recommended.

Situation Effective protection system

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The Situation Effective Protection System (SEPS) offers several modules designed to teach women self-defense in a range of situations including sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, mugging and rape.

SEPS suggests women study each module for at least a week to ensure they have mastered the movements so they are prepared for any situation they may find themselves in.

Wallace Smedley Free Online Self Defense Course

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Wallace Smedley is a martial arts instructor in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He recorded a free video demonstrating the basic self-defense moves that everyone should know. The video is available on his website or on his YouTube channel.

HowCast self-defense tips

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HowCast has a video showing the three most important self-defense tips, as well as several videos on proper striking form, how to use your legs and feet to defend, how to mentally prepare for an attack, among other things.

The videos can be viewed in any order and provide some good basic tips and information to teach the basics of self defense.

Free Self Defense Courses on Udemy

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Udemy has nearly 200,000 courses on a range of topics including self defense. While most courses on the platform require a Udemy membership, there are several free online self-defense courses that do not require a paid membership. There are videos specifically designed for women as well as those that teach military jiu-jitsu techniques.

Free personal self-defense courses

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If online learning isn’t your thing, there are plenty of ways to find face-to-face classes as well.

To find self-defense classes near you, it’s a good idea to first search online for “self-defense classes near me” to see what comes up. But that’s not the only way to find in-person courses. Here are a few tips on how to find free courses in your location.

Call a campus security department

Some colleges offer a variety of free self-defense courses as part of their campus security programs. For example, the University of Denver offers 10 types of courses ranging from rape prevention to active shooter awareness programs.

If you’re a student, call your school’s campus security office and see what they have to offer. If they aren’t currently offering free self-defense classes, you can inspire them to do so. It never hurts to ask!

Call the local fire department or police station

Some fire or police stations occasionally offer free self-defense classes to not only keep their communities safe, but to bring them together.

The Portland Police Bureau, for example, has trained more than 30,000 women through its free program since 1979.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and many stations are running classes around this time so keep an eye out for them.

Check your city’s Parks and Recreation website

City parks and recreation departments are known for sponsoring free events and providing free resources for people of all ages.

For example, the city of Boise, Idaho, offers free martial arts classes to youth to “focus on self-defense development” as well as improve cardiovascular development and overall fitness.

Check to see if your city or state offers similar courses for youth or adults.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links in our stories.

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