Our Story

Pretty Deadly Self Defense was created as an answer to traditional, male-led self defense classes that tend to be fear-driven, and focus on women’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities. We believe women learn better through encouragement rather than discouragement, and Pretty Deadly focuses on what women physically already have in our favor… and we have a lot!  

From learning about center of balance to coordinated movement, adding power through body mechanics instead of muscle mass, and using every day gestures women already do (picking up a cup, opening a door, putting their hair behind our ears), we introduce self defense techniques that are easy to learn and effective.

And we believe that learning self defense can and should be fun: women are already aware of the dangers we face; re-associating self defense to something fun and positive makes training not only more enjoyable, but is more likely to stay with us longer. Because who wants to remember a terrifying experience?

No one, that’s who! 

We need to know how to defend ourselves in a realistic way — not by changing our routes or our clothes or going out in pairs or adjusting our lives, even temporarily; because every woman knows that all that does is avoid risk, and never eliminate it.  We’ll reduce those risks much more substantially if we’re confident we know what to do in the event we find ourselves in that situation.

That doesn’t take years of training; it takes a different understanding of ourselves and our own strengths. It’s the journey we’ve been on since 2000, and it’s the journey we’d like to share with you.

We are a growing community who believe that self defense isn't just about fighting back -- it's about presence, confidence, and trust in our own innate will to be; contrary to popular thinking, it’s about community, and an awareness of possibility. We believe the world is an open place, filled with just as much opportunity as obstacles. And we believe that everyone has a right to exist and occupy their own personal space, everyone has a right to agency over their own body.

We are artists and writers, musicians, office workers, IT specialists and social media stars, moms, students, doctors, designers, performers and just plain folks. Pretty Deadly is a place to grow and discover, make connections and celebrate the amazing person you already are. 

We can't wait to meet you!