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Program Descriptions

IMPACT Basics 16 – 20 Hours

Self-defense, personal safety and communication skills

  • Adult Women and Teens
  • Adult Men and Teens
  • All Genders Adult and Teens

Basics is a comprehensive program offering instruction and practice in a range of realistic encounters at various levels of danger or threat. Students learn to trust their instincts and increase their environmental awareness. Verbal strategies include those designed to help prevent potential encounters escalating to violence, and strategies to manage verbal conflict and boundary violations. We train individuals in options for physical resistance. These techniques include walking away, breathing, posture and other non-verbal communication, as well as strikes for when danger is imminent and can’t be avoided. Through repetition and a gradual increase in challenge and intensity (specific for each student), our graduates gain confidence in their abilities.

Fundamental Concepts of our Curriculum

  • External awareness to the environment – Where am I, what is happening?
  • Internal awareness to one’s feelings – How does this person/situation make me feel?
  • Threat assessment – Is this situation annoying or dangerous?
  • Accessing external resources – Can I find help nearby and/or quickly leave and get to safety?
  • Adrenaline/stress – How can I manage physiological and emotional arousal and not “shut down”?
  • Threat management – What is the best option to keep me safe? Can I move to safety, can I verbally set limits or self advocate? Is physical resistance an option?
  • Body boundaries – How close is someone getting/are they breaching the norms of social behavior?
  • Emotional boundaries – How is someone “pushing my buttons” or manipulating me?
  • Communication skills – How can I use words and nonverbal communication to say what I mean clearly and powerfully?
  • Bystander Intervention – How can I access the help of people in the area?
  • Allied Behavior – Can I find a way to stand up for others?

In a safe, supportive environment, our professional instructor teams create context and scenarios that allow students to practice in an adrenalized state. Students exercise both verbal and physical skills, receiving personal feedback from a coach and fully padded suited instructor. This unique physical training method offers both practice drills and dynamic, realistic scenarios. Participants also practice the transition from verbal strategies to physical technique. When the instructors are portraying physical aggression, the suits protect their most vulnerable target areas as students practice delivering full force, full contact strikes.

The class employs a combination of demonstrations, training exercises and role-plays — allowing students to practice and refine their skills, develop “muscle memory”, and improve adrenaline management.


Workshops for Adults and Older Teens 2 – 4 hours

In our short introductory workshops, participants learn the basics of personal safety with strangers and with people you know. Each class member has the opportunity to practice verbal and physical skills with the suited instructor and learn how to read people and situations while trusting their instincts. Although physical safety skills are often the highlight of our program, our classes cover more than just how to stay safe or how to advocate for yourself in a confrontation. You will learn how to listen carefully, think clearly, problem-solve, and communicate while adrenalized.

Prepare’d Parent, Educator, and Caregiver Workshop 3 – 4 hours

This program is geared towards educating adults so they can help keep kids safer. Created in collaboration with a child psychotherapist and social worker, the workshop is designed for parents, teachers, coaches or other adults who engage with children (especially young kids). The class addresses replacing myth with fact. Further, it demonstrates ways to improve risk assessment and intuition skills, and teaches adults how to model and teach children to help them build protective factors and reduce vulnerabilities. Participants practice interactive verbal exercises and problem solving scenarios, including how to have challenging conversations with kids and with other adults. This short but impactful program teaches skills you can put into use immediately to improve your interaction with children and help advocate for them.

Prepare Children’s Classes (Grades 2 – 5, all genders) – 6 hours

Age-appropriate personal safety education classes work to strengthen children’s emotional and psychological integrity and focus on developing smart safety habits when dealing with strangers and people they know. Prepare’s training introduces children to awareness and avoidance of danger, how to communicate verbally and non-verbally, and how to strike and flee to safety when necessary. In addition, kids practice emotional and physical boundary setting. They rehearse options to respond to bullying behavior, stop unwelcome attention and inappropriate physical contact, and access adult help. All skills are practiced in interactive scenarios with instructors and students receive one-on-one coaching.

FAQS for Children’s and Teens Classes

Prepare Young Teens Classes (Grades 6 & 7, all genders) – 9 hours

This program is ideal for young people who are becoming more independent and will not always be under adult supervision. Using one-on-one coaching and focused role-playing, the workshop introduces personal safety issues to a maturing young person. Scenarios include moving around on one’s own (public transportation), being home alone, group dating and social relationships/peer pressure, navigating public spaces like movie theatres and restaurants, ending inappropriate interactions with adults and older teens you know, general street safety, and accessing adult support.


Prepare Bridge Teen Basics (Grades 8, 9, & 10, all genders) – 12 hours

The Bridge class offers curriculum not found in Young Teen or Adult Basics. It guides students through the next level of navigating friendships and romantic relationships and explores the larger social context of violence. Teens will practice more physical resistance skills, social problem solving skills, and additional verbal strategies. The concepts are presented through the lens of critical thinking: decision making, risk taking, and making healthy choices.

Classes for Basics Graduates

Upon completion of Basics, students are eligible to enroll in our Advanced Basics, Defense Against Armed Assailants, and Defense Against Multiple Assailant programs. Contact the office for further information.