Free Teen Self-Defense Classes This Fall



photo via CAE

File “self-defense” next to “piano lessons,” “soccer practice,” and “the school play,” because Park Slope’s Center for Anti-Violence Education is offering what may be the most important extracurricular of the year.

As part of their mission to empower “women, transgender people, teen women, children, and other communities especially affected by violence” — and thereby create a “peaceful, just, and equitable world” — CAE offers a full course catalogue of free self-defense classes tailored for specific audiences. And A Child Grows in Brooklyn just tipped us off to the fact that one of those audiences is Brooklyn teens.

For young women and transyouth ages 12-19, they’ve got two options: PACT (Power Action Change for Teens), which is free and ongoing, and an (also free) 5-week teen self-defense class, which runs a set course. Either way, students will learn “elements of karate, self-defense and violence prevention with opportunities for community projects and leadership training.”

They’ve also got plenty of non-teen offerings for adult women, transpeople, specifically LGBTQ-identified folks, and survivors of violence — check out their full list of classes here.

PACT starts September 13th at CAE Park Slope, 327 7th St., second floor, and meets every Thursday from 4:30 to 6 PM. The 5-Week Teen Self Defense Class begins a month later, running October 13-November 10. To register for either course — both free — call 718-788-1775 or email

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