Self Defense


Polaris holds self defense classes for individuals who are interested in learning self defense outside of a martial arts tradition.  Our self defense instructors teach practical self defense skills from multiple types of attack.  In all of our classes, students are introduced to skills that allow them to respond to the physical, mental, emotional, environmental, and physiological aspects of aggression and violence.  These skills keep you and those you care about safe, and better able to pursue the things you find important!


Self defense classes meet once a week and last 8-12 weeks, depending on the schedule.  Additionally, we offer introductory self defense workshops on a variety of topics.  These workshops vary in length between 1 and 2 hours.  In addition to Polaris held classes and work shops, schools, businesses, libraries, and community organizations may schedule classes with us to be held at their facilities.  Organizations may schedule self defense classes on both a weekly schedule or as a day-long or weekend event, and workshops a any time that fits their schedule.

Current Self Defense Schedule:


Look at our master schedule for additional information about upcoming seminars and classes.  Or, contact Heather Gutterman at with questions, to be put on a contact list for future classes, or to schedule a class at your organization!

Class Offerings

Self Defense

This holistic class focuses on core self defense skills, while providing time for students to practice these skills with the support of an instructor.  This class is open to all ages.

Class Features:

  • Practice increases confidence in skills
  • Great for families to attend together
  • Simple, practical, effective techniques
  • Responses to adrenaline and fear
  • Prevention and avoidance of dangerous situations

Women’s Self Defense

This class addresses the unique self defense concerns of women and girls ages 10+, while including all core self defense topics.

Class features:

  • Safe environment
  • Techniques take advantage of the strengths of the female body
  • Addresses emotional, physical, and sexual assault and abuse
  • Interactive, positive structure
  • Designed along the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation Self Defense guidelines.


Children’s Self Defense

This highly active and interactive class teaches children ages 5-12 core self defense skills that build confidence and self esteem.

Class Features:

  • FUN!!!
  • Interactive games and role-playing
  • Practice in verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Developing awareness of potentially dangerous situations
  • Physical escape skills


Core Self Defense Skills

Physical Defense

  • Punches and Elbow Strikes
  • Blocks and Deflections
  • Kicks and Knee Strikes
  • Dodges
  • Escapes and Breakouts
  • Balance and Grounding
  • Adrenaline Responses
  • Defense from the Ground
  • Defense Against Armed Attackers

Mental Skills

  • Will to Survive, Will to Escape
  • Centering and Staying Calm
  • Meditation
  • Awareness of:
  • - own emotions
  • - own body
  • - own morality
  • - environment
  • - others

Interactive Skills

  • Assertive Presence
  • Boundary Setting
  • De-escalation
  • Non-verbal Communication
  • Projection of Voice
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Personal Space