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Oakland, CA

Everyone Deserves to Feel Safe!
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Impact Bay Area is a nonprofit organization preventing violence and promoting healing by teaching Impact style self-defense, a unique form of full-force self-defense for mind, body and voice. We offer a variety of courses, each with the aim of making you more safe and secure in this world.

Our Women’s Basics course is over 20 hours of comprehensive training with lots of practice, covering the emotional, mental and physical aspects of self-defense. We also offer public classes specifically for teens, young adult women, and advanced courses for Basics graduates (defense against weapons and defense against multiple assailants). If you want to book a private class or demonstration for an event or fair, we can tailor a class for your audience of all ages and genders for two to 24 hours.

Since 1985, Impact Bay Area has given more than 10,000 women and girls the skills to defend themselves against verbal, physical and sexual assault (we also host a Men’s class every other year).

Impact’s self-defense training is different from ordinary self-defense training in several ways.

We teach full-force self-defense. By training students to fight full-force in an adrenalized state, we engrain our techniques in ‘muscle memory’. This means that the body will remember – and respond appropriately – even when the mind has forgotten during an attack.
We teach using realistic scenarios. Our instructors are trained to use real-life scenarios of violence and potential violence by playing the role of perpetrators so that students are prepared to counter an actual assault.
Training is tailored to each individual. While our techniques utilize the strengths in most women’s bodies, they can be learned by virtually any woman regardless of age or physical ability. Class size is limited to provide a maximum level of individual instruction.
We understand the extremely emotional nature inherent in confronting the fear of violence, especially for women. Our classes are taught in an extremely supportive environment, and we help our students develop their inner strength and work through their fears, as well as honing their physical abilities.
Impact Bay Area is internationally recognized as a leader in the self-defense field. Our clients include Yosemite Park Service who chose Impact Bay Area as their self-defense provider after the Yosemite murders in 2000. We have also helped found Impact chapters in North Dakota, Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom. We have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, on “Oprah,” “Dr. Phil” & “Tyra Banks” and on MSNBC’s “Weekend Magazine” and were voted Best of the Bay Area by San Francisco Magazine.

IMPACT Bay Area is a 501(c)3 organization.