About Empowered Today
We are a not-for-profit organisation based near Byron Bay committed to reducing gender-based violence in Australia
That every Australian feels safe and empowered to live a happy and healthy life.
To ensure every Australian has access to a toolkit of emotional, mental & physical skills in order to feel empowered and safe in any situation. Our nation-wide initiative called "Empowered Communities" will provide Facilitator Training to key community members all over Australia to help us reach this goal.
Our Core Values
- INTEGRITY – We model the values we teach with authenticity, compassion and mindfulness.
- AVAILABILITY – Everyone deserves to feel safe; regardless of income, age, gender, race, sexual orientation, ability or circumstance.
- BELIEF – We believe in the power and efficacy of ESD. It is proven, it is practical and it works.
- SERVICE – We are of service to our local and greater community.
Empowered Communities Initiative
To help us reach our vision we are working on a Nation-wide initiative called “Empowered Communities”. The goal for this project is to reach as
many communities throughout Australia as possible with Empowerment Self Defence Facilitator Training to enable them to service their own
communities and help reduce gender-based violence
Help us create a safer tomorrow by becoming
Through further research we discovered that the US had a long history in ESD and we were fortunate enough to find an organisation (ESD Global) offering instructor training. We travelled to New York in 2019 to complete the training and began co-facilitating workshops in our local community right away.
Access for all…
Since our vision is to help reduce gender-based violence, we wanted as many people as possible to have access to our training. For this reason we decided to establish a not-for-profit organisation where our course fees would be kept deliberately low and scholarships would be available for people who may not be able to afford to attend otherwise. More recently we have been focusing on our new initiative Empowered Communities that is designed to provide Facilitator Training to communities throughout Australia with the aim of all Australians having access to ESD training.
Meet The Team
Founder - President - Instructor
Lisa has over 20 years of teaching experience and is one of only two Level 3 certified ESD Global trainers in Australia. She is a 1st degree black belt in both Aikido and Goshindo and a qualified relaxation and stress management consultant. Lisa is passionate about the transformation that happens when women are taught Empowerment & Self Defence.
Founder - Vice-President - Instructor
Researcher - Tech Wiz
Mark has been doing martial arts for over 30 years, is a 6th degree black belt in Aikido and has been running dojos and teaching self defence for the last 16 years. He has over 20 years of group facilitation experience and his goal is to affect positive change in people’s lives by providing training that empowers those at risk of sexual violence.
Volunteer - Padded Instructor
When our workshops include Adrenal Stress Training Simon volunteers to come and assist us by donning specially designed padded equipment so that our participants get to experience full-force striking as part of the real-life scenarios. His focus is, “providing the best training possible while keeping everyone safe”.
Frequently Asked Questions
A: No. The physical techniques and scenarios we teach are a combination of tried and tested ‘street defence’ tactics developed over the last 40 years. There is a huge focus on preventing violence and aggression before it becomes physical through situational awareness, risk assessment, boundary setting and de-escalation as well as realistic survival strategies.
A: Our classes are designed to be fun and engaging even though we deal with serious topics. All the games, exercises, drills and discussions are voluntary and you will not be asked to do anything you are not comfortable with.
During the assertiveness / empowerment section there will be a combination of short lectures, interactive exercises, and group discussions that will help you to develop your verbal self-defence skills and boundary setting, your awareness and intuition, and your understanding of the underlying causes of violence against women.
During the physical skills section, you will practice physical self-defence skills alone and with a partner. We encourage you to wear clothes that are easy to move in, but no special preparation is necessary. You do not need any prior experience or special skills to take our classes.
See the ESD page for more information.
A: Not at all! The perpetrator is ALWAYS to blame for the violence they commit and ESD classes explicitly attribute responsibility for assault to perpetrators. Empowerment Self Defence is simply one of the tools available to help combat violence against women and just because a woman is capable of defending herself, does not mean that she is responsible for doing so.
There are already other tools being employed such as violence education and bystander intervention programs. However, systemic changes such as these often take generations to become part of mainstream society and in the meantime perpetrators will still be committing sexual assault. We are committed to teaching people about the nature of violence and giving them the tools to navigate those situations successfully.
When we tell a driver to wear a seatbelt in case they are in an accident we are not victim blaming, we are simply trying to employ every means possible to keep them safe.
A: Yes. Research has shown that empowerment-based self-defence classes can be empowering and healing for sexual assault survivors. We aim to create a survivor-centred, trauma-informed classroom. However, we encourage you to be aware of where you are in your healing process, and to consult with a therapist or other advisor if you are not certain whether you are ready to take the class. None of the exercises in our courses are mandatory and you can opt-out of anything you are uncomfortable with.
A: Yes! As long as you identify as a woman (however you define it), you are welcome in this class. We are trans-friendly, queer-friendly, Greek-friendly, geek-friendly… We’re just friendly.
A: Yes. We never want money to be the reason a person doesn’t get this potentially life-saving training. We always make free scholarship places available for every training we do. Please contact us if you would like to apply for a scholarship for one of our workshops.
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