Free self-defense classes for teens

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Brooklyn and grit are no strangers. We all love the street cred that comes from telling out-of-towners about our edgy urban lives (You’ve been mugged? Well, sort of… it was really scary, though), but of course sketchy situations can arise in Brooklyn, just like anywhere else. So we should all be at least a little prepared—especially the young and impressionable among us. Park Slope’s Center for Anti-violence Education (CAE) knows this, and they’re offering free self-defense classes for Brooklyn’s youth to help make those late-night subway rides and schoolyard bullies a little less scary.

This Saturday, Jan. 23, is a special class for young women and transyouth, age 13 to 19. Participants will learn the basics of self-defense through a series of exercises, discussions and activities. The class runs from 12:30 to 2:30 and it’s co-taught by teens who’ve already taken the class and signed on to educate their peers.

And every Thursday from 4:30 to 6, the center offers Power Action Change for Teens (PACT)—a karate and self-defense class for women and transyouth age 12 to 19 (those who are 18 or 19 can sign up for free adult martial arts classes too).

The center also has classes for adults (LGBTQ-geared and general) and for pre-teens, all with free childcare and a sliding fee scale. More info and details for everything here. This Saturday’s class and the ongoing Thursday sessions at CAE, advanced registration required.

The Center for Anti-Violence Education, 327 7th St., 718-788-1775 [email protected]


  1. Hi im 17 , and im very fragile , i am very interested in your free self defense classes not to hurt anyone but to make me feel safe and just to give anyone a warning to not mess with me and to back off . Ive veen robbed before and living in nyc , it could most likely happen again.I dont like trouble but there are a couple of girls in my school who want to fight me just to be trouble makers and being short and skinny they see me as a easy target. and i kno sooner or later they will force me to fight even i try to aviod them or not , i just to protect and defend myself.

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